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Holiday dialysis with the Big Red Kidney Bus

The Big Red Kidney Bus makes it possible for people on haemodialysis to enjoy a much-needed holiday. Find out if you’re eligible and how to book.

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COVID-19 Update

Due to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, Kidney Health Australia has taken the advice of our clinical partners in our Big Red Kidney Bus Program; Monash Health in Victoria and Royal North Shore Hospital in NSW, to cancel the Big Red Kidney Bus operations for the remainder of 2020. Unfortunately, this means the cancellation of the following locations: Warrnambool (VIC) and Ballina (NSW).

We know this is a much-loved service and we hope to welcome all patients back onto the Bus in 2021 pending further advice based on the current health pandemic.

Please keep checking back to this page for updates or call our Kidney Helpline on 1800 454 363 or email for any enquiries regarding this service.

On a positive note, the VIC Bus is currently being used as a COVID-free environment for dialysis patients at Monash Health’s hospital in Moorabbin. As a result of the current restrictions, there has been an increase in the number of patients needing haemodialysis treatment and we have been able to offer the Bus to assist with dialysising additional patients. Monash Health is running AM and PM sessions, accommodating 12 patients for 3 sessions a week.

Holidaying with the Big Red Kidney Bus

Holidays away can be out of reach if you're on dialysis. Thanks to our generous supporters, Kidney Health Australia offers free dialysis services to holiday-makers impacted by kidney disease, thanks to the Big Red Kidney Bus.

The Bus makes it possible for many people on haemodialysis, anywhere in Australia, to enjoy much-needed time away with family and friends in beautiful locations in Victoria and New South Wales.

To check if you’re eligible, you can view our admission criteria online.

How the Big Red Kidney Bus works

The Big Red Kidney Bus features three comfortable chairs – each fully equipped with dialysis machines. It travels to different locations in Victoria and New South Wales each year, staying for up to six weeks at a time, allowing people to book short or long holidays without having to worry about missing dialysis treatments. There are up to six sessions available per day, and you can book as many as required throughout the duration of your holiday.

The Bus itself is free, but you’ll need to pay for your own holiday accommodation and travel. Thanks to the generous support of Monash Health (Victoria) and Royal North Shore Hospital (New South Wales), you’ll be cared for by highly experienced and caring dialysis nurses when on board.

Book your spot on the Big Red Kidney Bus

You need to book your Big Red Kidney Bus at least two weeks in advance. Some of our more popular locations get booked up even faster than that, so be sure to check ahead if you have your heart set on a certain holiday destination.

If you need to cancel, please notify us straight away.

“The Bus is terrific,” says Barry. “We’ve followed the bus to Milton’s Bay, Halls Gap, Torquay and Warrnambool. It’s great to have a service that gives us a break from the routine and allows us to take the holidays we always dreamed of.”

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“Planning is a big part of travelling whilst on dialysis and using the Big Red Kidney Bus makes planning for trips so much easier. It is so simple to go online to see the bus locations and to book through the Kidney Health Australia website. I can’t express enough how great this facility is! The staff are excellent and go out of their way to make you feel comfortable and even introduce you to fellow Bus users." - Stephen

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