Saturday, April 13, 2024

Do you recall the 1994 film with Hugo Weaving and Guy Pearce, about drag queens with a bus in Austalia? "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" an Oscar-winning smash hit. Thank you Raymond G!

Not long after the 1994 film became a smash hit, the titular bus disappeared. Where did it go? Who had it? But for years, no one has known where the bus used in Stephan Elliott’s film went. Not long after the 38-day shoot finished in 1993, it seemingly vanished without a trace.

For years, the bus was the white whale for curatorial staff at the History Trust of South Australia, who hoped to acquire it for the National Motor Museum in Birdwood, SA

But in 2019, they got a call from a man claiming the bus was sitting on his property in Ewingar, New South Wales (population: 67) and he wanted to sell it.  By that time, the bus had been languishing outdoors for a decade. In the years following, it survived multiple bushfires and floods. In October 2019, when huge flames came within centimetres of the bus, a water bomb struck it and saved it.

it had the right number plates, the distinctive animal print curtains and dashboard cover, and the original name roller,” says Adam Paterson, manager curatorial at the History Trust.

The bus was purchased in 2023, and transported to Brisbane (I've been there! Lovely small city!) 

“We are restoring it to the state it was in during the making of Priscilla because the film is why it is significant,” says Rees. “So if the crew say it was a bit manky then, then it’s going to be that way when we’re done with it.”

But Priscilla was almost 20 years old when she featured in the film and will turn 50 in two years’ time, so she needs a lot of work, and a lot of money, and the History Trust is hoping people around the world will help raise A$2.2m (US$1.4m/£1.1m) – a total that includes A$750,000 for an extensive restoration, including possibly making the bus roadworthy again.

The rest will go to building an ambitious “immersive” exhibit, fit for a queen, in the National Motor Museum in South Australia. (The SA government has already committed $100,000.)


  1. Would it be possible to increase the Font size? My current options are to increase it to 125 then have to scroll back and forth sideways to read a whole line. Or leave it at 100 so the entire line of type is on my screen and it is too small to read easily.

    1. I just posted a test of the font size from normal to largest. Let me know what you think Gregg!