Veteran Car Club of Australia (Tasmania )Inc
On Saturday the 16th July 2022, 50 veteran cars and motorcycles assembled at the Caboolture Village in preparation for our almost 4 week trek across the north of Australia from Brisbane to Broome.
The rally was aiming to raise funds for the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the Blue Tree Foundation. There was great excitement amongst the various crews for what lay ahead.
On the Sunday, the entrants drove their cars to Beachmere to put their wheels in the Pacific Ocean then after a beachside lunch we returned to Caboolture for a group meal of pizza and pudding before having an early night ready for our start on the Monday morning. Peter and I had Steve Fleming as our co-driver and back-up, as well as Doug Scarfe who was riding his modern Moto Guzzi motorbike. We also adopted into our group the only overseas entrant, Tom Klecan, who was driving a 1914 Model T Ford.
On our first day we travelled to Yarraman with a lunch stop in Kilcoy. Out little T had a coil that was giving trouble but once it was replaced it went extremely well for the remaining 5000km.
As we continued our journey we had overnight stops in Miles, Mitchell, Augathella and Blackall before having a 2night stop in Longreach so that entrants could shop, wash or see the local tourist sites. The countryside was mostly green and was such a stark contrast to how it had been on a previous visit when there was not a blade of grass to be seen and the roadkill was almost end to end along each side of the highway.
From Longreach we travelled to Winton, Julia Creek and then Mt Isa for a 2night stop. At this stage of the trip all the entrants became very aware of the need to lock up their keys, money and phones as several incidents occurred within the caravan parks.
After checking out the local sites, stocking up on supplies, doing the washing and enjoying a roast lamb dinner with all the trimming cooked by Doug on the Weber, we continued onto Camooweal before crossing the border into the Northern Territory and overnighting at Barkly Homestead.
The first human casualty occurred on this leg when one of the bike rider’s front forks broke and he was catapulted over the front of his bike. The Royal Flying Doctor Service took him to the Mt Isa Hospital as he had head, shoulder and leg injuries After several tests and a couple of nights in hospital, he and his family re-joined the group in Katherine. Barkly Homestead had the most expensive fuel enroute.
On the 1st August we moved on to Renner Springs where there was no Telstra coverage. This was also where the term ‘resort” took on a totally different meaning to what we had all previously thought. The following night was a great evening at the Daly Waters Pub where there was live entertainment and many other tourists staying. Shannon’s also had a presence there and let us know that they would be putting on a barbecue for the first night of our 2 day stay in Katherine. It was a wonderful get together at the Katherine Museum where their local car club had their headquarters. Several entrants took advantage of the tours available but Peter changed the oil yet again and I washed and shopped.
We were on the road by 8am from here on as it was always really hot by lunchtime (mid 30 degrees). We would have two rest stops along the way in order to avoid the engine overheating and to quench our thirst. Next overnight stop was Timber Creek, then after crossing into Western Australia it was followed by a 2night stay in Kununurra where some of our group did a side trip into Lake Argyle and a 200km round trip to Wyndham. One entrant had both his veteran Humber and his Winnebago break down on this leg. The Humber’s problem was remedied but the motorhome ended up being taken firstly to Kununurra where they could not repair the electrical fault that the computer identified, then Darwin at a cost in excess of $8000. He is still waiting for news about his repairs. This was the 3rd motor home to have major issues that resulted in the owners having to play catch up.
After Kununurra we all squeezed into the camping area behind the roadhouse at Warmun with power sites at a premium, hence even earlier starts as the remaining stop overs did not take bookings.
The next stop was Hall’s Creek. One chap had his keys stolen from his back pocket by a local and offered back to him for $50 at the local service station. Fortunately, a local elder observed the incident and retrieved his keys. We were able to garage our old cars at the caravan park and the police ‘babysat’ us all night. Others went to a free camp at Mary Pool, 80km further on.
At our next stop at Fitzroy Crossing we were joined by a group of army trainees hailing from the Pacific region who were training with our troops in the area. We then had our final stopover at the Willare Roadhouse before heading to our destination in Broome. Our group of travellers then drove down to the beach where they dipped the wheels in the Indian ocean.
That afternoon the cars and bikes were on display at Matso’s brewery where our final function was held. It was a great celebration with well over $7000 raised for the nominated charities.
Our little black T Ford did us proud. Peter had doubts it would get us very far as he had to remedy an issue when the line bore was not aligned to perfection after we broke a crankshaft on an earlier rally. The shims and adjustments he made obviously did the trick.
We are looking forward to our next adventure in it next year.
Brisbane to Broome Veteran Rally 2022