What a great day South East Queensland put on for day 2 of Austins Over Australia and our run to Boonah via a stop over and morning tea at beautiful Kalbar. Whilst it started off a cool 20 degrees in the morning, it got up to a warm 27 during the day. This was a perfect Autumn day for us South East Queenslanders, but a few of our Southern States friends found it to be a bit too warm in comparison.
Everyone gathered at Ipswich Racecourse for a run briefing, some lucky prize draws and a 9 am start. The line up from the front gates over all of the Austins was a magnificent site! The older slower cars lined up first and were flagged away first to give them a head start over the faster cars. After about 15 to 20 minutes or so, we were all on the road and on our way to our first morning tea break at the Kalbar Showgrounds.
The run took us through Peak Crossing with some wonderful scenery along the way (apart from the convoy of Austins). The recent rains had provided lush green scenery, however, you could see where the water ways had breached their banks and flowed through paddocks and over roads. There were many fences still with clumps of vegetation hanging over them, a result of the flooded waters flowing through. We also saw the result of road damage, with flood level signs an ominous reminder of the force of flooded waters.
We were welcomed to the Kalbar Showgrounds and directed to parking by our helpful volunteers in their hi-viz vests. We were also warmly greeted by some surprised people who were staying in the show grounds in their caravans. One group was heard to be trying to identify the models of each Austin entering the grounds.
We all lined up for our tasty and generous morning tea, which was wonderfully provided by the local Kalbar Show volunteers. It was a variety of cakes, biscuits and sandwiches, with a large cup of tea or coffee. Most found a shady spot to sit, have some food and engage in conversation. Many also took the opportunity to walk through the Austin to admire, take photos and chat to owners about their cars. Many of the owners had information displays about their cars, which provides a great background story - it's well worth taking the time to read them.
After refueling (ourselves) and a pit-stop (us, not the cars), we were all again on our way to Boonah. But first, a detour to Lake Moogerah where many took the opportunity to park (finding one was an achievement) and go for a walk along the dam wall. After carefully exiting from the dam road and numerous cattle grids, we continued on our way to Boonah for a display of our cars and some lunch.
After travelling through the lovely village of Mt Alford, we arrived at Boonah State School where we were again directed to parking our cars on the school grounds by our hi-viz vest volunteers. Boonah certainly put out the welcome mat for us, with a large sign on the local Mitre 10 welcoming AOA and there was also promotion of the event prior, with many locals coming to look at our display of Austins. There was also the local newspaper reporter who took photos and interviewed many - will you and your Austin appear in the local Boonah paper soon?
Many took the opportunity to walk the local Boonah streets and get themselves a tasty lunch. It was great to see many local businesses doing a roaring trade with hungry Austin drivers and passengers (that generous morning tea in Kalbar was all used up). A number also hung around the local Blumbergville Clock. It was commissioned in 2014 from artist Christopher Trotter and honours the spirit of resilience; in particular that of the farming community following the natural disasters of 2011 and 2013. The name "Blumbergville" is an historical reference to an early name for the township now known as Boonah. The sculptural time piece features pieces of equipment sourced from the district that have been re-imagined. It has some interesting chimes on the quarter, half and top of the hour. If you have not seen the clock, be sure you do next time you're in Boonah and stay for a top of the hour chime.
Everyone made their own way back to base, either at Ipswich or for those from Brisbane. There was a suggested return route in the Rally Pack and their was a number of smaller groups on various road back. We're all now looking forward to the Display Day tomorrow and our main dinner in Rosewood.