Gippsland Tour 2017 – Report

SPC South Gippsland Tour, Day one, Friday 28th April 2017

SPC STH GIPPY TOUR CARS AT BUNNINGS DAY ONEExcitement rose as classic cars, and club members arrived at Bunnings in Mornington. Gathered around John Becker, our esteemed tour leader, information packs given out to the members but with the idea that one would follow the car in front.

It was cool, but the sun peeked through which put everyone in a good mood.

One car appeared with its hood down. The driver copped plenty of comments; the passenger received head shaking.

A litany of disasters befell the group within ten minutes of leaving Mornington – the Turner’s as in Alan and Marie’s Morris lost a nut and bolt. Fixed in no time at all and those who stopped to help, and watch, headed off in pursuit of the others.

The road works on the way to our first stop at Bayles had so many ruts and huge holes that the Topolino almost disappeared into them.

A nice break at Bayles before leaving for Yarragon. The Topolino and Austin Healey last to go having tried to get over the state of the roads and then took a wrong turn towards Drouin.

Not far from Yarragon, Bill and Barbara broke down, so the usual suspects stopped to assist.

The RACV arranged a tow truck for their MG. The Glovers waited with their car.

At Yarragon, for a moment it looked like another breakdown when Brian Evans raised his car bonnet. His excuse was that he was checking that everything was okay. It was.

A Holden display held at Trafalgar was on offer for those who wished to partake.

A name like Fozigobbles conjures up lots of imagery, and it was here that we had a lovely lunch in a private section of the café. Cosy and warm, too, because the clouds stopped the sun from appearing and there was little warmth in the air.

Why people go overseas to see rolling hills dotted with cows is beyond me. Here, in the Gippsland area, we have the very same thing. The scenery is amazing and so green, and dotted with cows! Glorious scenery and it was perfect for a drive into the countryside.

We visited descendants of Vincent van Gough, Di and John Koenders, in Arawatta and to view their artwork. As descendants, they were special guests that night at the Van Gogh exhibition at the NGV. The view through their picture window was spectacular and from their property just stunning. They live in a world of their own consisting of beauty and splendour.

Leaving there, we enjoyed the journey through winding roads to arrive at the motel in Leongatha to settle in before venturing to the local RSL for dinner.

As if by cue, the Glover car arrived by a tow truck. Bill and Barbara relieved it returned safely.

**Before the tour, John made sure all participants signed their log book but one day at a time, had a full tank of fuel and if any cars not used lately, to check tyres and spare, water and oil.

Also, to include a little bag of ‘tricks’ as in tools.

** Chris Higgins thought better of bringing out his newly purchased Alvis because he was off to Queensland only days after the South Gippsland Tour and preferred to wait for that trip instead.

** Colin Pitcher became ill from gardening. Euphorbia, if not treated carefully, can leave itching, red blotches and if brushed anywhere near the eyes, cause temporary blindness. All of this occurred to Colin. He was taken to a hospital, treated accordingly and returned home. Don Monro kept us updated during the tour about Colin’s health. Colin attended the club meeting on Tuesday, the 2nd of May. He was okay and explained to the members what happened and to warn about this shrub.

** Two club members who won’t be named added the same plant in their new garden!


SPC South Gippsland Tour, Day two, Saturday 29th April 2017

The drivers’ chat after a hearty breakfast and before leaving the motel at 0930 was informative, but again, for some, it was to follow the car in front. Bill and Barbara Glover stayed at the motel to await the necessary repairs for their vehicle.

It rained! However, it eased by the time we were ready for the next part of the journey. The Austin Healey top remained hidden.

Off we trundled to Mirboo North and Colin’s Classic Car Museum stored in a shed every man should own. It was huge, and the array of cars on display was fantastic. Morning tea beforehand and a talk by Colin.

It rained heavily when we were inside the museum! Again, it eased as we left Colin’s big shed and wended our way to lunch at the Grand Ridge Brewery. A wander through, and tour of the brewery and a talk was most interesting.

After lunch, it was a cruisy drive to Meeniyan. A few of the group descended on the local Op Shop while others visited the art gallery before afternoon tea at Moos Café. The clouds remained, but the temperature was not overly cold.

Dinner that night was at McCartins Hotel. Chrissy and John put together a trivia game covering various stages of car questions with others to trick us which they did. What a fun time and won by Michael and Marian Hurd. John presented them with a lovely bottle of wine. It also showed just how much we didn’t know about classic cars!

SPC semi circle

SPC South Gippsland Tour, Day three, Sunday 30th April 2017

We had breakfast at the motel each day. Hot dishes, fruit and cereal with lots of coffee and tea on offer. An excellent way to begin.

John gave his daily talk to make sure everyone remembered their log books, fuel and to make sure nothing left behind as this was the final day in Leongatha.

The obligatory photo call brought everyone together at the rear of the motel. The cars easily in place but it took time for the owners to get into gear!

The group headed off to the Cheesery at Moyarra. It won the ‘best cheese in Australia’, so we were anxious to try their fare. On each table a plate with different tasting cheeses and a paste eagerly sampled. The cheeses were appetising.

Scones, jam and cream, followed, with a talk about their award-winning cheeses by the owner that their stock is primarily sheep, and Alpacas roam the land to keep away foxes and other animals that may try to harm the flock.

The weather improved, and the drive to Poowong for lunch was delightful. It was here that many farewells were exchanged. For some, a visit to Loch village followed and for the remainder, it was straight home.

A fantastic three-day tour. Thank you, Chrissy and John Becker, we look forward to the next adventure you put together.

Comments from members who attended the Sth Gippy Tour:

Well done John and Chrissy for the most enjoyable tour you arranged. We ate well, went to some interesting venues and shared lots of fun together. Apart from the showers. The accommodation was suitable and the breakfast very fulfilling. Many thanks! Brenda and Wally.

Walking distance to our evening meals great no need to drive at night, also the route taken, was a stunning drive that not all would have been on. It’s interesting that until you rally you don’t see our countryside; the only downside was that most of us will have to go on a DIET. Sandra and Charlie.

Barbara and I along with the group really enjoyed what proved to be a great Rally, just so well organized and good fun. Despite missing a day when the MG broke a generator pulley and certainly, that was a first in my experience.

Considering it’s our 53rd year of ownership one is inclined to forgive such a public downfall.

The mishap brought to light the incredible kindness of both club members and complete strangers, and it is to them we owe our gratitude.

How nice to see Peter and Lorraine Greening join the party.

Articles and photos by Anne Kruger