Middle of winter, a grey sky, the mercury struggling to reach double digits and the threat of afternoon rain failed to deter about 50 members from making the run over the Strzleckis to South Gippsland. Most drivers were accompanied by partners, others made the trip solo, but the roads and the scenic splendour of the Tara Bulga Nationals Park were worth braving the conditions for. There were a few ‘crazies’ who made the trip with the roof off, but most members, shall we call them the ‘sensible majority’, had to wait until reaching Port Albert before fully embracing natures elements. I was fortunate enough to be in a convoy of sports cars as we wound our way up through the hills from Traralgon South to Balook. There was a TR6, Honda S2000, Lotus Elise, and a couple MGs together with my Fiat Spider, and the sound of all the different exhausts accelerating out of the corners was fantastic. The run down the other side was initially tight, twisty and very narrow through the rainforest, but it soon opened out as it followed the picturesque Tara River down onto the coastal plain.
We were lucky to arrive at Port Albert before the lunch rush, and were able to park at the end of the road by the wharf and enjoy our fish and chips at the picnic tables with the seagulls. Our eclectic collection of very well presented sporting and classic vehicles attracted a fair degree of attention from other visitors who were probably secretly assessing our sanity – as I was donning gloves and woolly hat prior to leaving, one chap asked me if my Spider had a roof, when I pointed to it folded up on the rear deck he just shook his head.
Photos by Grady Edwards, Malcolm Irwin and Steve Schmidt
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