Despite the predictions of dismal weather, 16 cars gathered at the Darnum Tearooms in warm sunshine which favoured us all day, although open-top touring was a little chilly.
Our group of cars was made up of 12 older Classics (from a 1954 MG TD) to 4 newer Classics (up to a 2010 BMW coupe) – see photos on website.
After Coffee, everyone chatted in the sun before a Drivers Briefing, then we headed to Nilma, and further north via Bloomfields Rd, then left into Old Telegraph Rd East to Rokeby, then continued on to Glen Cromie, followed by a right, and into Jindivick. The country looked amazing in the clear sunshine – with some wonderful views across the rolling farmland. At Jindivick we turned east to Neerim South, however this section of road is in a terrible state of repair, so it was a little slow. However, the views were delightful – especially as we looped back on ourselves where we could observe the long ‘train’ of classics going down and back up both sides of the valley! At Neerim South we turned right at the roundabout, and had a quick pit-stop at the toilet block nearby.
From there it was downhill, then up McDougals Rd and on to the fabulous Mizpah Settlement Road. This road winds up and down, back and forth, but generally downhill through bushland with the small farm blocks in between. There was plenty to admire here as a passenger, whilst the driver could delight in the winding road. We finished this section at the Old Sale Rd where we turned left towards Willow Grove. This road had a picturesque windy section around the Shady Creek area before it opened out into the more flowing road sections and more open grazing land in between the roadside trees. Very enjoyable, and the ‘train’ wound along providing great views of the convoy in front and behind – no matter where you were in it.
We soon met the Trafalgar–Willow Grove road and turned left for the last few kilometres to Willow Grove, the last couple of which were a little ‘bouncy’.
At the Welcome Inn we parked around the back, where some others who had gone directly there, had already parked. What a fabulous sight, so it was no wonder that everyone just got out of their cars and talked and looked at the cars in the beautiful sunshine.
The meals inside were absolutely delightful and quickly served, whilst the camaraderie and chatter between our 38 members was great. In fact it was so enjoyable that it was strongly suggested by a few that we should hold our Dinner Meetings here!
Afterwards everyone chatted outside in the sun before leaving. It had been a great Spring Mid-week tour.
Words and group photos by John Fowler