Day 1. Blue Bus: Sydney to Denman (via Newcastle)

Guest Blog by Blue Crew Member, Riarne.

This year’s Big Lifters rose bright and early to arrive at UTS at the crack of 7.30am. Nervous in anticipation and unaware of the coming week’s events our participants received their blue shirts and badges (making it official!) before everyone introduced themselves.

We then began playing some games to get to know each other. With games like “Electricity” it was hard not to crack a smile while engaging both buses in some friendly competition (but blue bus definitely won that one!).  We grabbed a group photo and even spelled out TBL in one (check out our instagram - thebiglift!).


Since this year was my second year participating in The Big Lift it was interesting having a different perspective being a crew member and knowing what everyone was feeling. After such a big lead up organising each element of the trip months in advance it was so exhilarating knowing the trip was about to start!

We all prepared for future service projects flexing our guns while carrying all the gear to the buses before setting off on our adventure. We then had to complete the very serious task of introducing our members to this year’s TBL bus song by none other than One Direction.

Our trip to Newcastle flew by while playing “Speed Friending” where bus members were asked a series of questions and had to answer before continuing around to the next person. I made a few quick friends knowing who is a folder not a scruncher before I met my newest bestie – a fellow Nicki Minaj lover – you legend James!


The sun was shining down when we had a beautiful lunch in Newcastle and everyone did a bit of inter-bus-mingling. We then set off for our first town stop at Denman where we got a little bit of shut eye and listened to our “Chill” playlist before we got stuck into our busy afternoon. 

After arriving in Denman, the participants were split into groups to scope out the major sites in a cryptic scavenger hunt, including getting a local to yell “YEAH BUDDY” and acting as a train near the Denman train station.

We returned to the hall to be introduced to games “Little Sally Walker”, “Big Booty” and “High-Five Unique Trait”. The participants got busy filling in some questions in their yearbooks while we secretly got dressed in onesies and surprised the group while dancing to 1D before continuing the games.


Dinner made us love Denman with a beautiful big hot buffet that was generously provided by local families. The highlight for most of us was definitely the brownies, which I would happily eat as my only meal for the rest of TBL! Tired from the games and with full stomachs everyone fell into our sleeping bags to be reenergised for tomorrow, excited for our first day of service projects!