Story: Noellene Gleeson
We were saying our goodbyes at 11pm because we had the bags packed, our little car facing out in our driveway and were heading from Ballarat to Dandenong for the night.
Home to change and off we go, arriving at the motel at 2am, thanks to road works on the Westgate Bridge. Surprise, surprise!
Next morning, at 8.15am, we head to Trafalgar for the Tarra Bulga National Park Run. On arrival at the starting point, we were car number 16, and three of our Ballarat Chapter cars were already there! Jeff Woolf had left Ballarat at 5.30am to make it for this terrific run.
After Alan (pictured opposite, top right) gave us our instructions and his request for the mxtra report was met by everyone admiring their shoes, I got the job (please guys, give it a go sometime).
We head off over the railway line on Waterloo Road towards Morwell. The road is great, around twists and bends through some lovely farming country. Then we hit the most shocking smell … yes, we are in cow country. Pew !! Now we can breathe again, heading to Willow Grove under the trees, through lovely valleys with great views; a terrific road.
We are going towards Erica which is a very pretty place. Alan is setting a good pace, but alas now we are stuck behind three 4WDs. The weather is a little misty, but all is fine because the drive is great, winding through tree fern bush and tall timbers.
At least at the slower pace we can appreciate the Boola Boola State Forest. We now know we are in the mountains: fresh air, mist and those bush fragrances.
This is a great run, Alan. Thank goodness the 4WDs have turned off, so off we go again.
Out into open country again and what a terrific view of the power stations and countryside as we pass the Tyers Lookout. Wow! Now off to Traralgon, through and under the bridge roundabout and up the Tarra Valley, where the road is a little patchy because of the logging trucks. Would you believe it, traffic lights in the middle of nowhere! Certainly adds to the interest
of the run.
We are now near Tarra Bulga. What a beautiful drive. The tree ferns are right out to the edge of the road. After one wrong turn we reach the car park for our lunch break. To work off lunch, a few of us do the 3km walk on some beautiful bush tracks. Then it’s back into our cars again to head back through Callignee, Yinnar and Thorpdale to Trafalgar. We all pull into the car park and have a great chat with the rest of the MX-5 lovers. All agreed it was a great day.
Now it is time for the four Ballarat cars to head for home. Three hours later we are sitting up to a very nice meal at the Golf House Hotel.
Another terrific day with great company, great roads, great scenery and of course great little cars. A big thank you to Alan for organising such a great run.