ICONIC PUB: The Nindigully Pub was chosen as the first pit stop in the nationwide Mystery Box Rally.
ICONIC PUB: The Nindigully Pub was chosen as the first pit stop in the nationwide Mystery Box Rally. Nathan McNeil

Mystery Rally chooses Nindigully Pub as the perfect pit stop

A YEAR in planning, more than 400 people from across Australia and the globe left Byron Bay to begin a five-day driving adventure, with no idea where they were going.

But as the rubber started to burn on Saturday morning, drivers were given their first pit stop, the iconic Nindigully Pub.

The Mystery Box Rally is part of the Box Rallies project that has delivered more than $20 million to cancer research since 2010, helping fund 24 Cancer Council research projects and assisting millions facing their unknown cancer journeys.

Box Rallies founder James Freeman came up with the initiative after losing his mother and father to cancer within 12 months of each other.

He said the rallies are dedicated to their memory but the journey into the unknown also reflects the experience cancer patients face when diagnosed.

"The rally has been highly successful this year,” Mr Freeman said.

"By the time we hit Nindigully Pub we had raised more than $1 million, which is incredible, it is the most we've ever raised.”

Mr Freeman said Nindigully was chosen because of its fantastic reputation.

"When you leave the most eastern point of Australia, you want to get out to somewhere remote and coming out of the hinterland, Nindigully is well positioned,” Mr Freeman said.

"It's a great pub, great people and they looked after us - we certainly will be looking at coming back next year.”

Participants must drive cars that are 25 or more years old for thousands of kilometres with the day's destination revealed each morning.

They were in Lightning Ridge as we went to press, six cars had died and there had been many breakdowns but Mr Freeman said the end was in sight.