Close to twenty cars gathered at Woolies car park on ANZAC Day for our tour to Olinda and the CloudeHillGardens. Our tour director,Glenn Campbell,conducted a drivers’ briefing and handed out route instructions, not that they were needed as most of us just followed Glenn. Then it was on to Drouin and the freeway until we reached Nar Nar Goon where we were joined by Peter and Anne Witney. From there it was along the old highway to Windemere Blvd Pakenham,where ULP at the United servo was $1.23.9 about 25 cent cheaper than home! Windemere Blvd. had two of the most savage speed humps I’ve come across, and the large oil stain across the road would attest to this as someone had punctured their sump on one of them. Windemere connected us to Army Rd. which connected to the Pakenham – Emerald Rd Which took us to Cockatoo and the picturesque drive through Avonsleigh, Emerald and Monbulk. As CloudHillGarden is on the Monbulk -Olinda Rd. we soon reached our destination and commenced filling their car park with our classics. On arriving we assembled at the café for morning tea and a briefing from Glenn. Unfortunately our tour guide was unavailable so we had to find our own way around, which wasn’t difficult but an explanation of some of the features and plants would have made the visit more interesting. A lot of thought and money has gone into the garden and features over the years, and the size and age of the beach trees on one of the walks would attest to this .There were grottos, water features, covered walks, an out door theatre, uniquely shaped shrubs and hedges, along with a wide variety of exotic plants and trees. The nursery had a wide variety of plants and garden ornaments for sale including many hand made pots and sculptures at commensurate prices. After our tour of the garden we had to head home for our grandson’s 5th birthday, but most of the others stayed in the area for lunch either at Olinda or Monbulk. Our trip back down the Emerald -Beaconsfield Rd. was much quicker but not as interesting,and a little longer, however, we got back in plenty of time for the party.
The early morning drizzle had cleared with the dawn and any residual low cloud remaining, was slowly dispersing as about 20 sporting and classic cars headed off down the highway towards Pakenham before turning north and up into the Dandenong Ranges. The convoy snaked its way along some glorious roads through fresh damp forests and sleepy villages resplendent in their full autumnal glory. It was worth driving with the roof off, or at least the windows down, just to listen to the cars as their induction and exhaust notes bounced off the embankments and rock walls. Having so many classic cars following each other through the hills must have been a spectacular sight. Many locals out on their morning walks, stopped to watch as we motored past, some even took photos.
Glenn and Pam in the red 911 led the way, skirting around closed roads that were being used for local ANZAC Day ceremonies, and managed to arrive at Cloude Hill without losing anybody enroute. On arrival we filled the car park to capacity and made our way to the Cafe for morning tea before walking off the kilojoules on a tour of the spectacular garden.
Many thanks to Glenn and Pam for organisingthe event and leading the run.
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