A Cessnock-based motorcycle club has handed over donations to three charities to help communities and organisations that have been affected by the long-running drought in NSW.
Hunter Coalfields Ulysses, the local branch of the Australia-wide Ulysses Club, recently decided to raise money for the drought appeal after seeing the impact on the landscape and towns they ride through.
A social motorcycle club for people over 40, its members ride to any corner of the Hunter Valley and other regions of Australia nearly every Sunday.
Hunter Coalfields Ulysses branch president Bill Ingall said the drought has been the most noticeable thing on their recent rides.
"Dry dams and river beds, farm after farm stripped of pastures and the sombre facial expressions of the locals," he said.
"The east coast looks green but out west it's devastating."
The branch raised $3000 from Bunnings sausage sizzles and club functions, which has been split among three charities - Walgett Country Women's Association, Buy A Bale and Riding for the Disabled.
Branch members decided to deliver the cheque in person, so nine bikes with 11 people on board embarked on the 1100-kilometre round trip, injecting another $4500 into these towns' economies in the way of accommodation, fuel and meals.
A donation of $1500 was presented to Walgett CWA, which will be used to buy gift vouchers to distribute to farmers in the north-western NSW town, which is one of the worst drought-affected areas in the state.
The branch donated $1000 was given to the Buy A Bale campaign, which delivers feed and water to all corners of the country; and $500 to Riding for the Disabled at Raymond Terrace, to help with the costs of feeding 16 horses at drought-inflated prices.
"Hunter Coalfields will strive to battle this drought but what we need is rain, plenty of it," Mr Ingall said.
"We also urge all Aussies to exchange their palm trees and beaches holiday and spend some money in the bush."