Despite a threat of possible showers, the rain held off and we enjoyed a fine, dry but cloudy day for our romp up to Mt Donna Buang near Warburton. The summit is 1250 metres above sea level, so it’s quite a climb from the Yarra valley.
Eight rather diverse vehicles and eleven members assembled at the Warragul Shell servo for the 9am start, we had a 1960’s Fiat 124 Sport, a 1970’s Torana SLR 5000, Porsches 944 and Boxster, Subarus WRX and BRZ, a late model Mustang and a Commodore. The route took us up Bloomfield Rd to Neerim South before turning off to Nayook. The drive towards Powelltown was enjoyable, especially after a vehicle we had caught up to, pulled over to let us pass before reaching the twisty stuff which begins after the Ada Tree turnoff. From there we travelled to Gladesdale and onto Tarrango Road which bypasses Yarra Junction and joins back onto the Warburton Highway at Wesburn. It was then a slow crawl into Warburton before turning off onto the Donna Buang Road for a spirited drive to the summit.
Upon reaching the car park, most decided to climb the 126 (or was it 128?) steps of the lookout tower. The view is expansive in all directions, although on this day a little hazy due to controlled burns being undertaken in the forests.
Nobody took me up on the suggestion of extending the drive to include the Reefton Spur and a visit to the higher Lake Mountain summit (1433 metres), so your correspondent in the Fiat, took off alone to enjoy another 60 km of twists and turns (and then back again) whilst everybody else retired to the Yarra Junction Pub or elsewhere, for lunch.
The drive home was interesting in that we met a stream of classic cars, including club member Mike Kolody and his father in their orange Porsche 911, participating in the Targa Florio Tribute event making their way from Bryant Park to the Healesville overnight stopover. There were plenty of Fiat Car Club people on the tribute event as well, so there was much waving as we passed by in the 124 Coupe.
I’m not sure if everybody enjoyed the spirited nature of the drive, especially the passengers. Although we remained within speed limits, we enjoyed the handling of our cars on the twists and turns of good mountain roads. If anyone is interested in participating in similar spirited runs during the working week please let me know, otherwise I won’t bother trying again.
Rob Nolan “The idea & the drive was excellent Steve. A shame more people didn’t come on the day, as the weather was fine & clear. Looking forward to some more in the future, especially after winter I guess. Watching a lot of the Targa Florio cars coming towards us on the way back from Warburton, was a great bonus also. Many waves & looked great oncoming!”