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Day 1 Friday 11th April

Five cars set out on the first day of the trip to Melbourne for the National Rally. Ian Hissey with his XJ-SC met up with Peter Dwyer with his Series 3 at Thomleigh. Robynne and Steve Lilly with their E Type and Andrew and Nicole Haigh in their Mark IX met up with lan and Peter at Stanwell Tops. David and Janet Merryweather in their Mark 2 set off a little later with the intent of meeting the others at Kiama, the planned overnight stop. Unfortunately the Mark 2 only made it to Wahroonga before it overheated and was forced to stop. It was decided the trip was too long to risk carrying on so they limped back home and set off the next day in their 2013 Pajero, which was after that called a Mark 2 Pajero and was the back-up car for the trip. 

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Peter does some minor repairs in the Rain

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The four cars, from the left, Peter's Series 3, Andrew and Nicole's Mark IX, Steve and Robynne's E Type and Ian's XJSC. 

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Wet and wild at Kiama

Day 2 Saturday 12th April

Before the 4 cars set off from Kiama for Bermagui the Kiama Blowhole was visited. There was a huge low pressure system which created enormous surf so the blowhole was in superb form. David and Janet were driving down the main street of Ulladulla when they spotted Ian's XJSC, so rang him and found the group having lunch. The group set off for Bermagui and met up at the Motel, Dinner was had at the local club.

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Big Seas at Mossy Point

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Cuttagee Lake

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Nice Surf at Bermagui

Day 3 Sunday 13th April We set off down the coast road and our first stop was at Tathra Beach which was where a lady swimmer was taken by a Bronze Whaler shark only weeks before. At Tathra we visited the only sea wharf on the East coast, lots of fishermen doing very well catching Drummer. On the wharf was a plaque remembering a father and 2 young sons lost there in 2008. The 3year old climbed onto his younger brother's stroller which then fell off the wharf into heavy seas, the father jumped in to rescue them but all three drowned. 
Morning tea was at Eden overlooking the beach. We set off for our lunch stop which was Cape Conron stopping on the way at Cann River, where lunch was picked up at the local Bakery. Our overnight stop was at the Lazy Acre Log Cabins at Lakes Entrance. These superb cabins are run by Helen MacCubbin who is a member of the Victoria Jaguar club. She showed us her immaculate cars, an XK 150 and an E type. Dinner was held at the cabins where Helen had arranged Fish and Chips or Steak sandwiches for the group, we were also joined by another local Jaguar Club member Simon and his family.

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Tathra Pier

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Nicole, Peter & Ian

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Stony Creek Tressle Bridge

Day 4 Monday 14th April

We set off for our next overnight stop at Yarram, after thanking Helen for her hospitality. She planned to be at the Rally on Saturday so we hope to see her there. We all left separately apart from Ian who accompanied Peter. We drove through very pleasant countryside via Baimsdale and Sale, for Lunch at Golden Beach. Andrew and Nicole went via the car collection at Maffra. On to Port Albert which was a very important port in the early days of Gippsland. Very pleasant but not too much there now. We then drove on to Yarram for our overnight stop. A good motel with dinner at the Pub celebrating Andrew's birthday. 

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Nicole, David, Ian & Peter

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Swing Bridge

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Maffra Motor Museum

Day 5 Tuesday 15th April

We left Yarram separately or in small groups. The main attraction of the day was a visit to Wilson's Promontory, which is known locally as the Prom. The Prom is one of Victoria's best known and loved attractions. Consisting of 50,000 hectares of National Park , beautiful beaches spectacular granite formations, cool fern gullies, diverse views and abundant native wildlife. It is also the most southerly point on the mainland, although it is a 19 kilometre walk from the nearest road to this point. Needless to say none of our group made this hike. After spending quite a few hours exploring The Prom it was time to head from Gippsland into the Bass Coast and on towards Phillip Island. Driving through Inverloch, Wonthaggi and San Remo and over the bridge onto Phillip Island. The small town of Rhyll was inspected followed by our nights stop at Cowes. Good motel and dinner, Tuesday night $12 special at the local Italian restaurant. 

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Day 6 Wednesday 16th April

The morning spent investigating some of Phillip Island's natural beauty. We started off going to The Nobbies, rock formations carved out by the sea. The National park people had erected hundreds of small wooden shelters for the little penguins to nest in, several were spotted. The coastline is spectacular with the rocks offshore home to 30,000 fur seals. Next was a visit to Swan Lake a freshwater lake full of waterbirds. A visit to the GP circuit was next where we watched Go Karts racing and 3 Lamborghinis lapping the track. 
We then headed over the San Remo Bridge and off the island heading for our overnight stop at Dandenong. We stopped for lunch at Arthurs Seat a 300 metre hill over-looking Port Phillip Bay. Our location was a little remote so we bought meat and had a BBQ for dinner.

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Sunrise at Cowes

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Mike Roddy's workshop

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Peter in Arthur's Seat

Days 7 and 8 Thursday and Friday 16th and 17 April

These two days were spent in various locations in Melbourne with members doing their own thing. Several members stayed at the Rally HQ where Andrew Pointing and Veralene with Liam joined us, they had driven down in their XJS. 

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A wet start to the Display Day

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Puffing Billy

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Admiring the view from inside the MK IX

Day 9 Saturday 19th April 

This is Rally Day. Unfortunately we woke up to quite heavy rain. There seemed a little hesitation in taking the cars out but everyone made the effort. It was a cold and wet day in Melbourne with rain coming and going all morning. There was a break of about an hour without much rain when all the chamois came out. There was a good turn out but the weather obviously put many visors off. 
On Saturday evening the local club had organised a Bush Dance at their club house. Several of our members attended and had a really good night. We also discovered that we have a very talented whistler in Veralene. We were joined for the evening by Helen MacCubbin our hostess at Lakes Entrance. 

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F type Coupe

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Concour D'etat Cars

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Concours D'elegance cars

Day 10 Sunday 20th April

 Another free day in Melbourne, several members attended the organised Sporting Day at Sandown Motor Circuit. Peter Dwyer reports that he arrived mid morning at the track and soon found Ian and Andrew Pointings's XJS's—Andrew was in one grouping and Liam another. After a few fairly rapid rounds Andrew came back with a deflating rear tyre. What to do? Can't use the spare as it's a different size tried a tiny borrowed pump but we would have done better using our mouths. Liam was looking a tad deflated also as his blossoming racing career seemed doomed to an early demise at least on this day. A tyre repair was out of the question as everything was closed. Soon after, Ian Hissey arrived and generously offered Andrew and Liam the use of "The Beast". Andrew accepted gratefully but Liam was somewhat overawed initially with the prospect but with encouragement agreed to give it a go. Liam went out first and circulated conservatively (I can't blame him as Ian's car is a very different animal to Andrew's) but he loved every minute of it. When Andrew's turn came around he circulated at a brisk pace using plenty of revs. When he'd finished, the car returned with smoke pouring out from under the bonnet. Lifting the bonnet – oil everywhere. The crankcase gases are sucked out of the engine by two pipes that run to separate valves in the twin exhaust. These had failed and the oil was forced out of the dipstick tube. The hoses were removed and the oil cleaned up and Liam was able to just make it to the start for his group's run. Liam got better and better with each lap and acquitted himself well. Then Andrew's turn came again and he was not holding back on 'The Beast'. On I think his last lap when trying to catch an XK8, at the right angle before the pit straight he executed a spectacular close with a 180 turn with lots of smoke and noise. Taa daaaah! Well done Andrew and you can't blame tyre deflation. After I had left mid afternoon, the competition between the various States was conducted. Andrew drove as the JDCHR representative for the NSW team and for the second time in a row they were victorious. Congratulations Andrew and team NSW we are proud of you. Many thanks also to Ian for his generous loan of his XJS without which this outcome would not have been possible. 

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Day 11 Monday 21st April

Only 3 cars remain on the main trip with Steve, Robynne, Andrew and Nicole heading for home. Only Ian, Peter, David and Janet remain. Today we are off to Ballarat, via the Sorento to Queenscliff ferry. A very pleasant drive along the Mornington peninsular to Sorento, it was a very windy day with the wind coming from the north directly down Port Phillip Bay. We missed the ferry by 2 minutes but only had to wait thirty minutes to board the next one. To reverse into the ramp in these conditions the ship has an extended side strip which they use to back the ship along the concrete bollards. Driving onto the ship was a strange experience with the ramp moving up and down as you drive across it. From Queenscliff we drove through Geelong and onto Ballarat via back roads through Cressy.

Day 12 Tuesday 22nd April 
Heavy rain at the start of the day limited sightseeing in Ballarat, it was also very cold. So we set off for lunch at Bendigo. It had warmed up by the time we arrived. Peter had a fond memory of a famous old hotel in Bendigo, The Shamrock, so we had lunch there, very pleasant. We then drove onto Echuca and met up with Roger and Margaret Holt with their XF who are to join us for the rest of the trip. 

Day 13 Wednesday 23rd April

Echuca is a surprisingly large town and very tourist based. It is the home of the largest fleet of steam paddle wheelers in the world. We planned to have a trip on the same boat but we had to separate. Ian, Peter, Roger and Margaret went on the Pride of The Murray with Janet and David on the Pevensey. A lovely trip on the Murray with interesting steam machinery. The group from the Pride of the Murray did another afternoon trip on the Emmylou. Another very enjoyable trip. 

Day 14 Thursday 24th April 

A long days drive through lovely country on a beautiful sunny day from Echuca to Cootamundra, with a visit to the Junee Liquorice and Chocolate Factory. 

Day 15 Friday 25th April Anzac Day

Our second last day with another lovely sunny day for our drive to Bathurst via Peter's home town of Young, the Cherry Capital of Australia, followed by a brief visit to landra Castle at Greenthorpe and morning Tea at Grenfell railway Station. Lunch was held at Cowra Japanese Gardens with Roger and Margaret taking an autumnal visit to the Gardens. 

Day 16 26th April

Our final day and on the way home. Peter leaves us this morning as he has to go via Kurrajong to collect his dog Pokie. Ian has to go via Sydney, Roger and Margaret head home via Sofala and Denham as do Janet and David, but separately. 

On behalf of all the participants I would like to thank President Ian for all the time and effort he has put in to make this another memorable trip - David Merryweather