Post Number: 44
|Posted on Friday, 20 February, 2004 - 09:20: |
Similar to the above Alpine Celebration Tour 2003 and the Sundowner Overlander 2003 under Events, I am hoping to provide you with on-the -road reports of the Australian leg when I and my husband drive down from Queensland to Victoria on the RROC-A tour. It begins at the end of this month.Privacy will be maintained re names of participants.
To begin with, here is note from the New Zealand organizers who can now relax after providing a great tour in their scenic country.
The first leg of the 2004 Rolls-Royce Centennial World Tour is now complete.
One hundred and twenty seven participants and 52 cars arrived in Christchurch on February the 10th, 2004, after completing about 3300
Kilometres of driving that began on January the 26th in Auckland. The Inaugural Dinner - a black tie optional event - that was held on January
the 25th in Auckland to start the Centennial Celebrations was very well attended and included Graham Biggs, Head of Corporate Communications for
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd at Goodwood, who gave the keynote speech. With Graham were Colin Kelly from their Singapore office and Andrew Jackson from Trivett Classic Cars in Sydney. A brand new Phantom had also been flown into Auckland and this car took pride of place in front of the Stamford Plaza Hotel that night. What a wonderful welcome for the tour participants. History and the future met and liked what each other saw! That there is still a car being made badged Rolls-Royce means we are celebrating a living marque. This is something to be truly proud of when so many others have dissappeared into history books and car collector's garages.
Alan F. from Surfers Paradise said via email: "thanks for a fantastic
tour of New Zealand, it is something I shall always remember". Dr Henry G., New Zealand said: "What a fantastic 2004 Tour that was. After driving the Spirit for 11 days (Henry did Module 2 only) how ghastly 'another make' feels." These comments were typical and happily there were
no adverse comments made. Mechanical problems did occur of course but nothing terribly serious. All cars made it to Christchurch. We experienced the odd spot of rain but the weather was overall fine and hot - thank goodness the tour was not a week or two later!!!. The views were spectacular with photo opportunities seemingly around every new corner, particularly in the South Island. News coverage was more than hoped for both locally and internationally and many local towns people turned out to see the cars, almost always with large smiles on their faces.
Jeanne, it is the hope of the New Zealand Rolls-Royce and Bentley Club, Inc., that the Australian Leg of the Centennial World Tour is as, or
more successful, than the first leg. Please extend our best wishes to those participants who are continuing on from New Zealand. These people became part of our family. Please also extend our best wishes to all joining participants. I am sure you will all have a wonderful time.
and from the Chairman of the NZRR&BC:
- just to add to Rod's response, and wish all participants on the Australian leg of the 2004 Centennial World Tour a successful and enjoyable event.
All the best - Peter & Mary Morelli
Post Number: 202
|Posted on Saturday, 21 February, 2004 - 19:34: |
Jeanne - Thank you for opening up contributions on this very significant R-R/B event. I look forward to your contributions as the Rally travels through Australia and hopefully you will be able to "twist an arm or two" to get participants to continue to file reports for us as the Rally continues around the world.
Your reports on the 2003 Alpine Rally will be a hard act to follow however I am certain all participants on this site will join with me in expressing our thanks for the time and effort you put into keeping us informed.
Post Number: 45
|Posted on Tuesday, 02 March, 2004 - 18:59: |
We're on the road from Surfer's Paradise to Melbourne via Coffs Harbour. Can't believe that I have lost the post from yesterday when I started this with the details of participants' cars etc. Will fill in later when have more time. Suffice to say all 40 cars have started on this historic Round the World Tour with eight Silver Ghosts - mainly from UK with many models represented right up to the current Phantom.
The route notes are detailed with choices each day, with the longer scenic one and a shorter one for those requiring it. Today we were the ones who needed it. Perhaps I have found the best way to have our bags carried in the luggage van. It was easy - just saying 'Sure we can take two riders!' so out with our bags and in with a couple from California. Two hours later after stopping in Lennox Head for the photo across to the most Eastern point of Australia at Byron Bay, we had to find a local mechanic in Ballina. Our yellow 1924 Silver Ghost was not happy,losing power and running rough. Yesterday we thought it was from vapour lock sustained with the hot morning spent with the Channel 2 cameraman and for the group photo complete with the large blue Round the World flag. Sadly no - our magneto rattled around so was mistimed and the points had burnt out from an unearthed condenser. Two hours later all was repaired and we were off but only having found alternate cars for our two riders.With the hour time difference at the Queensland/NSW border we were now three hours behind schedule. Too late to drive the scenic route through Lismore and Casino, instead the faster Pacific Highway with its trucks and long road stretches. However it was still attractive as it followed the Clarence River and past sugar cane then dairy country.
The last two days in Queensland have been hot but it has become cooler as we head south with the occasional shower. Still blue patches of sky within the cloud cover and this part of NSW is so green.
Everyone is relaxed and more than 100 participants are matching faces to names to cars.It has been a great start to the second leg of this historic Round the World Rolls-Royce Centennial Tour.
Cheers, Jeanne Eve.
Post Number: 46
|Posted on Wednesday, 03 March, 2004 - 20:40: |
Day 1 = Surfer's Paradise - Coffs Harbour: 364kms
Day 2 = Coffs Harbour - Newcastle : 426kms
A long day but everyone is starting to find their own route rythm i.e. when leave, who travel with, when stop. Also how to interpret the mind of the route notes writer ; everyone is different with their own style and observation points. Have been a few detours made by some cars, one ending offtrack in Armidale. But the driver was there at the end of the day, with beer in hand to tell the tale with humour.
This morning the rainbow signalled a squally few hours which made travelling on the fast Pacific Highway a little tedious. We were ghosting along at 45-50 mph which did not endear us to time pressured truck drivers. However turning inland to Taree for the gentle mooch through dairy and farming country on Buckett's Way was a delight.Meeting up with fellow particiapants for lunch, petrol station, scenic lookout or ice cream stop, breaks up the long road. Only bed and breakfast is provided so the day is free to spend as one wishes.The sun shone and the little town of Stroud sparkled with its well maintained historic buildings and wondrous heavily blossomed crepe myrtle trees in pinks and purples.
Caught up with a few UK participants who remarked, 'There are so many trees, reminds me of Canada' or, 'Australia is such a big,big country" and 'The birds are really pretty'. (parrots)
A few of the motor cars are playing up but nothing too major yet.A short run into Sydney tomorrow for a rest day and car maintenance before departing on Saturday for Canberra with an added eighteen cars.Almost half of the present contingent are pre-war.
That's all for now, Cheers, Jeanne.
Post Number: 218
|Posted on Thursday, 04 March, 2004 - 04:04: |
Your last post bought back memories of my teenage years when I lived in Gloucester on the Bucketts Way. I hope the road has improved over the years otherwise the Ghost suspension will have received a good workout!! Stroud is a very pretty town and I hope you took the Ghost to the top of Silo Hill to see the view and the underground wheat silos built by convicts for the Australian Agricultural Company in the 1840's.
The Club's assistance points for participants have been organised and I will be at the Pymble pull-in location with the Club Flag/Flagpole proudly on display - Saturday's departure arrangements are also in place and I will have a tight schedule getting into the city by train then back home to pick up the Corniche and on to Bowral for the cricket match and lunch with the participants at the Bradman Museum.
Post Number: 47
|Posted on Friday, 05 March, 2004 - 17:36: |
It was great seeing you all, cheering and waving at Pymble. Was a real buzz and thank you and also every marshall and especially Margaret and Patti; the organizers.Was a terrific welcome to Sydney.
Yesterday morning we watched in awe the huge container boats and tugs turning in the Newcastle harbour which was right in front of our hotel, the one year old Crowne Plaza Hotel, Newcastle. A fantastic location on the waterfront with lots of restaurants nearby. Great reception on our arrival with hotel staff helping in the underground carpark, jugs of water for us and labels for our luggage which were taken to our rooms. All the resorts have been spacious with views of the ocean and evening walks on the sand for the athletes amongst us,(Me? I prefer a beer and a chat!).Local club member Anthony V, who's on this tour, helped with local directions and restaurants.
However in Sydney, the view onto Darling Harbour from the Sheraton is vibrant and alive with submarine, cruise boats and water taxis plus many restaurants and bars, shops, Aquarium and Maritime Museum. Gorgeous at night with all the lights on the water. A very happy and relaxed group enjoyed seafood and wine at Jordan's restaurant and the walk back to the hotel on a clear, balmy autumnal evening was delightful.
Friday -rest day.
Clear blue skies and warm weather was everyones's wish for a day to explore Sydney and it couldn't have been better. Heard that there are cyclonic type winds at Surfers Paradise.Essentially we've been lucky with the weather. A few took their cars to Milsons Point for that perfect shot of motor car with Sydney's Harbour Bridge, Opera House and skyline, others visited the brand new Rolls-Royce showroom in Yurong Street and met up again with Colin Kelly, R-R Regional Director for Asia Pacific. He told us about the recently released experimental car 100EX at the Geneva Motor Show last Monday (March 1st) on the S.Paradise canal cruise butI wasn't sure how much then was public knowledge. Expect you have seen this on the news. From the photos I think it looks sexy - a two (coach)door,drop head coupe. It is fully operational but there are no plans for manufacture but R-R is interested in hearing your feedback. See www.carpages.co.uk for details. It is shorter at 164cm and 73 cms lower than the Phantom. Lots of R-R agencies opening up in Asia; already three in China, one in Tokyo and one opening this weekend in Jakarta.
Sydney Harbour Cruise tonight then off again tomorrow for Bowral - Bradman Museum for big car display as a local charity fundraiser. Once again, I know that there will be a great job done by NSW Members as marshalls. Makes driving in city conditions so much easier.
Post Number: 219
|Posted on Sunday, 07 March, 2004 - 03:52: |
Saturday 6th March - The Cricket match had to be abandoned due to rain but no one complained!!
For our international readers, Sydney has been experiencing a prolonged drought and severe water restrictions are in place to conserve our dwindling water supplies. We are grateful to the Centennial rally participants and organisers for organising an activity that brought desperately needed rain to our water catchment region.
Over 120 Rolls-Royce and Bentley vehicles from 1912 to 2004 gathered at historic Bradman Oval in Bowral and were made available for public inspection by donation to a local charity thanks to the participation of the local Chamber of Commerce. There was a large public attendance despite the rain and the diversity of models appealed to everyone - the willingness of drivers of the open tourers to drive without weather protection [other than an open umbrella in town] generated considerable comment from the public.
I will leave further comment to Jeanne about the event. The following photographs show some of the diversity of cars that were present:
1. A Brace of British Visitors
2. Cars from around the World and Australia
3.Two S3 Continentals pass the time of day
4. The Writer's 1973 Corniche tries to fly the Club Flag for two British visiting cars.
Post Number: 48
|Posted on Sunday, 07 March, 2004 - 15:45: |
Great photos David. Hadn't realized that there were so many cars - fantastic turnout and wonderful organization by everyone.Much appreciated. Pity about the rain but there is no doubt that south of the Southern Highlands, paddocks are brown and the dams empty so hopefully there will be winter feed now for cattle and sheep.
Prior to the visit and lunch at the Bradman Museum, some of us enjoyed the hairpinned ascent up the Macquarie Pass with its old forests and tree ferns. The Silver Ghosts lumbered up with ease and were quicker than the Silver Shadows!
The weather was foul for driving but the reception in Canberra by the ACT Branch was great. Over 100 of us landed at the President's private home for an old fashioned Aussie BBQ with a Phantom 1 and 111 parked nearby.Having a warm, personal and informal evening strengthened the cameraderie especially with 18 more cars having joined us in Sydney. The newcomers have commented on the elegant and practical rally insulated/cooler bags with s/steel thermos flask and mugs engraved with the Spirit of Ecstacy and a bottle opening kit with the details of the 2004 Centennial Tour. Also on the route notes complete with the relevant cloured strip maps with the short and long routes highlighted in different colours.
Our second day in Canberra was a rest day with options. Some flew down to Melbourne to watch the Grand Prix or most of us took part in the large Shannons Wheel display Day on the lawns in front of the old Parliament House which also raised money for the Down Syndrome Society. Over 800 classic, vintage and veteran cars were there including steam engines, fire engines, vintage bikes.The ones which caught my eye were a couple of 1926 Bean 14 Sports cars, one of which was the replica of the London to Sydney Bean driven by Francis Birtles in 1927. Also a 1928 Moon and a 1905 Peugeot bike. But there were many veterans there plus several models from the 1920's.For memory lane there was a sweet 1953 rounded caravan with complete 1950's furniture and utensils. The sun shone and everyone strolled around. Several of our English participants opened bonnets and gave spontaneous engine lessons. One remarked that he was actually asked intelligent questions!
Canberra is alive at the moment because there are also 55 air balloons in town for the International Balloon Fiesta. The Dawn Drifters looked so graceful in the early morn.
After the first couple of days of long driving over,I am now in holiday mode. This historic Centennial Tour just gets better each day.
Post Number: 49
|Posted on Monday, 08 March, 2004 - 16:49: |
Canberra - Wagga Wagga 400kms
This morning people were still commenting on the successful black tie dinner last night in the elegant setting of the Mural room in Parliament House. A memorable evening with great food, wine and presentation. So it was farewell to this Federal capital city of Australia and on to Wagga Wagga (rhymes with logger)via the scenic Snowy Mountains Highway with its sweeping bends and long empty roads with enough ascents and descents for interest.Just heard one driver of a Silver Wraith come into the motel saying, 'I have had a great day. Never had so much fun driving a Rolls-Royce before!"
The sun shone for perfect touring. Some overseas participants were somewhat amused and a little alarmed to hear that there was an 80 km. stretch with no fuel or food. In preparation for this,the Crowne Plaza, Canberra gave us all a gourmet picnic lunch to have en route which added to the relaxed atmosphere.
First off was the crossing of the parched brown Monara Plateau. (53% of NSW is drought - declared,then through Cooma, Adaminaby and the old goldfields of Kiandra.The air was fresh and cool in low 20's in the Kosciuszko National Park when we crossed the Great Dividing Range at 1490m. But once on the other side it became an oven and temperatures rose to the mid 30's. It was hot and dry. No wonder the Blowering Dam is horribly low and provides refuge for emu and kangaroos, the latter bounding across the road. A minor incident caused a short delay when on one steep ascent an oncoming truck lost his load on a bend. We waited whilst the cargo of plastic barriers were hauled back onto the trailer and could pass.
Nearby was the engineering wonder of the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Scheme which was built from 1949 - 1974 by more than 100,000 people from over thirty countries. About two thirds of them were newly arrived immigrants from war-torn Europe. The scheme is considered one of the most complex integrated water and hydro-electric power schemes in the world with sixteen major dams, seven power stations, a pumping station, 145 kms of interconnected trans-mountain tunnels and 80 kms of aqueducts.
No rain saved the trees of the Kos.National Park last year when vicious bushfires burnt two thirds of the park and it will take time before the alpine flora and fauna will regenerate. On one section many trees had died leaving burnt black skeleton trunks - no flurry of green leaves on them which is normally seen for eucalypt regeneration.
On a lighter note and to finish off, some Australian names cause postal merriment. Try this one: Gumly Gumly in the shire of Wagga Wagga!
Until tomorrow, Cheers, Jeanne.
Post Number: 50
|Posted on Tuesday, 09 March, 2004 - 17:11: |
Wagga Wagga - Echuca 335 kms
You know you are in the country when the galahs wake you up in the morning with their squabbling as they fly around the gum trees showing off their pink and grey plumage.
Today was another warm but overcast day as we drove across the flat country, west then south, towards the Murray River but not before we past historic Lockhart and Jerilderie. The latter has been famous since the infamous bushranger Ned Kelly held up this NSW town in Feb 1879. Kelly carefully rounded up thirty of the town's notables and held them in the pub, locked the police in their cells and stole 2140 pounds from the Bank of NSW.However young Ned did shout his hostages several rounds of local brew before riding off.
Next stop was Deniliquin where local R-R club members kindly put on afternoon tea for about 15 cars which called in. Their private car collection which included a couple of cadillacs were on display and we marvelled at their rose garden in this drought ridden part of the world.
Others arrived early at Echuca, the town famous for its paddle steamers on the once mighty Murray River. Its heyday was in the late 1800s when hundreds of paddlesteamers laden with wool, timber and other produce returned with household necessities so opening up inland Australia from 1865. Some of our earlybirds enthused over their paddle steam ride.
Being in country towns, no motel is able to accomodate us all so several are used. A few complaints floating around but on tours it is usually first in,first served with monies or accomodation placements shared around.
Believe all cars have arrived and it is the last day tomorrow. Will give you a full list of motor cars tomorrow: an exciting collection.
Post Number: 51
|Posted on Wednesday, 10 March, 2004 - 15:27: |
Echuca - Melbourne 235 kms.
The last day of this Centennial Tour sparkled under autumnal blue skies, a cool freshness to the air and the moon, full for the evening Sydney Harbour cruise five days ago, still hung fat in the morning heaven.
Those who were early breakfasters read the larrikin day's news before the General Travel Australia reps could rub it off. Despite the obvious humour, e.g. Melbourne trams will not be running due to flat tyres, Spirit of Ecstacy tablets on sale for $150 and please pick up petrol coupons becaus of theoretical petrol strike,several trusting participants enquired re the petrol situation. Whoops!The phantom writers have been writing each morning since Canberra, bringing smiles to breakfast.
Today's shorter distance was ideal for the pre -war cars allowing time to spare for relaxed coffee and lunch breaks and exploration. Continuing past flat wheat and sheep country we drove into Rochester, Heathcote and Kilmore past older architecture with wrought iron lacework on the verandahs, wooden painted shop barge boards and paint colourschemes from the Victorian era. Large rectangular or cylinders of hay were being stacked for winter and sulphur crested white cockatoos squarked noisily overhead. Southwards the road past signs to the Bendigo goldfields and the land became less drought ridden with the occasional vineyard, lavendar farm, yabby (fresh crayfish)farm plus alpacas and goats.
It was a rude shock to soon hit the busy freeways and enter Melbourne for the start of the 2004 Praeclarum Rally. Ahead of us we have a couple of days to unwind with choices of dining in tramcars, visiting the Phillip Island fairypenguins,lunching in a vineyard,and/or visiting private car collections or just free time.
It is also now time to end this report although the lure and freedom of the open road is strong. It is also time to reflect on the contribution not only of the Victorian Branch for organizing both the 2004 Centennial Tour and the upcoming Paraeclarum Rally but also the other Branches in Oz: the Queensland branch for piloting cars off the container depot into Surfers Paradise and for finding mechanics when necessary, to the NSW Branch for the marshalling,cheer and assistance squad in Pymble,Bradman museum and car display and again mechanical assistance by club members and finally to the ACT Branch for their welcome BBQ to Canberra and mechanical assistance.
The more smooth the process is on the surface, the greater is the preparation. My thanks to everyone who made this Tour such a success and especially to Eric H, tour organizer.
Motor Cars were:
Origin: United Kingdom - 21
USA - 1
NZ - 1
Canada - 1
Hong Kong - 1
Australia - 32
Silver Ghosts = 9
20 h.p. = 4
Phantom 1 = 2
Phantom 11 = 1
20/25 = 4
25/30 = 1
Silver Wraith = 2
Silver Cloud = 7
Silver Shadow = 8
Camargue = 1
Phantom V = 1
S.Shadow Corniche= 4
Silver Spirit = 5
The Phantom was on the S.Paradise - Sydney leg only.
Bentley 3 1/2 = 1
Bentley 4 1/4 = 4
Bentley S1 = 1
Bemtley 8 = 1
Bentley Brooklands = 2
There were 9 riders from UK and USA who travelled in different cars.
Goodbye! Jeanne Eve.