Glenn and Pam Campbell having been organising and running our annual Australia Day mystery runs for longer than I care to remember and the event is always an enjoyable way of celebrating the occasion. The drive inevitably encompasses some of our best scenic forest roads and inexorably leads to some out-of-the-way café for morning tea before participants head off again on Stage 2 which finishes at the lunch venue. The optional Australiana Trivia Quiz keeps passengers involved and discussion within the vehicle ongoing.
Following on from a week of very hot weather, it was a relief to have a cool change come through on Australia Day eve this year, heralding in a new day which was much more suitable for top-down motoring. It wasn’t a surprise therefore to see, out of the 22 cars participating, three Mercedes roadsters, a couple of MGBs, an MX5, XJS cabriolet, Boxster, Saab convertible, Fiat Spider, E-type Jag, Ford Capri, Healey 100/4, a BMW Z3 and Mark McKibbin’s 1925 Lancia Lambda all letting the wind ruffle the coiffure.
Stage 1 covered a distance of 55 kilometres, beginning in Warragul and heading south out towards Seaview and then along the Grand Ridge Road through Hallston and Allambee South to Mirboo North. The popular Strzelecki Ranges town was a hive of activity with a local market adding even more visitors to the usual weekend crowd. Forty minutes, however, was sufficient time to enjoy a coffee and cake at one of several cafes, or even a souvlaki at the take-away if that was your want. We then gathered back at the car park where Clint Wilson had discovered the rear tyres on my Spider were fitted to wrong sides of the car and thus rotating against the prescribed Direction of Rotation – thanks Clint, well spotted and now rectified! Instructions for Stage 2 (60 kilometres) were then handed out and the cars began filing out of town past the Brewery towards Boolarra. Simon Eaton driving his very tidy Fiat 128 3P peeled off and headed for home at Jeeralang Junction whilst Shane Slatter’s E-type decided it needed to rest for a while before proceeding further. The rest of the group enjoyed some seldom-used back roads that took us back through Yinnar and Narracan to the Trafalgar-Thorpdale Rd and eventually the Princes Highway through to Coco’s Café at Yarragon for lunch.
Food was consumed and trivia quizzes assessed. Alan and Marg Humphreys topped the results with 10 out of 10 winning themselves two pairs of Aussie thongs (for their feet). Second place with 9 out of 10 went to Ian and Jenny Honey who will need to share the Aussie top hat prize, whilst third place was a tie – split by a tie-breaker between the McKibbins and Kevin Perry both of whom scored 8 out of 10. The McKibbins prevailed and took home a pair of Aussie car mirror covers. Fun Fact – Who was Count Strzelecki’s aboriginal guide? Answer: Tarra – and the river in South Gippsland is named after him.
Thank you to Glenn and Pam for another terrific Aussie Day Mystery Run and to all the participants who helped make it a success.