The EH Holden All State event was held at Busselton in W.A over the Easter period, this event has been part of the EH club culture for the last 28 years but this is the first time we have held the event in W.A.
The event kicked off with the welcome BBQ on the Thursday evening allow everyone to great old friends and start making new ones, this was also the time the travel tales start to come out and with many different ways to make it to event whether flying, driving, trucking or doing the full holiday bit everyone had a story to tell, there was bent trailer axles to a young chap named Adrian who took a shine to a couple of the Victorian boys as they booked out their Statesman hire car at the airport, Avis does drive your dollar further right. The BBQ was also the point the WA club set the standard with the food, snags and burgers with a host of salads to choose from and this was just the welcome BBQ, the next 2 hours slipped quickly by and those weary from travel slipped off and some serious socialising was done until late that night Friday started casually with entrant required to take their cars for an inspection if they intended to participate in the driving events and the other entrants where offered the chance to go on an observation run of the winery region. I trundled off on the observation just after lunch with JD, Jo and the kids following in the limo, we visited a soap and olive factory (up a dirt road to JD’s dislike) then a chocolate factory and finished out the run with a visit to a charms and trinket shop each location saw a exchange of money and goods and the picking up of our participates card at each stop for the raffle that night. Friday night was the get together at the local tennis club for more chat some photos and finger food allowing everyone to finally catch up to all the entrants, buses where provide so there was no excuse for driving your car if you had a drink, JD had even managed a surprise birthday cake for Joanne with the real surprise being how many pieces she managed to cut it into Saturday saw the cruise down to Signal Park in the heart of Busselton for the show, a wonderful area with great shade and public access and approx 55 cars, rather than go on about the day we have just put in photos.
Saturday night was a karaoke night with a roast meal, the people who jumped up on stage to show their form had a lot more guts than this President who managed to slip off and see some of the Carlton-Essendon match in the back room with Dennis (we where robbed) a great meal with some surprising performances on stage then it was back to the resort to get ready for the driving events day.
Sunday was driving events day and for me an odd day it is the first time since 1991 I haven’t had my Ute there to drive and the first ever event since 1987 I haven’t had an EH there to drive, the event was a real trip to get to something you have to get use to in WA as everything is so far away, with some car sick kids it took us 2 hours to get there and here was another surprise some entrants had decided to attend a car show down the coast rather than come to the driving events, the upside was lots more goes for those who took their cars, I must thank Keith for allowing me a couple of drives in his V6 supercharged sedan it was the main highlight of the day for me, due to the long trip home we packed it in a 2pm and I proceeded to take JD on a tour of the country side (means I took the wrong turn) with the limo running on fumes and packed solid with kids we rolled into Donnybrook for an ice-cream and a play in the playground with them.
Sunday night saw the Presentation night at the Bayview Geographic resort it was a great meal with the presentations conducted through each course, our clubs biggest winner was George S with his stock EH wagon and he was closely followed with Christy T with her modified EH sedan combine with the girls doing their bit in the driving events congrats go to Deb S and Joanne D in that department, a full list of winners are included at the end of this report.
Sunday was the leisurely start for those of us who where staying on and a mad rush for those moving on a full Buffet breakfast was consumed and goodbyes where passed onto both new and old friends, we did put in the hard sell for the WA crew to come to Canberra in 2011 and even offered an overnight stay in Melbourne to help them get there.
As always with an All State it is what you make of it and everyone I spoke to had made it into an event to remember, I can’t thank the WA club enough for their efforts over the weekend and to Neil and Sue you both have done your club proud, roll on 2011 so we all can get together and repeat the WA success, again thanks from all the Victorians members who participated.
Eight days, 4424Km, 70 hrs 52 mins (If we went direct), $876.32 in fuel, driving across the Nullabor with three kids and one big kid anyone would think I was crazy!
In fact it was quite an adventure, something you wouldn’t do everyday but well worth it. I imagined it to be quite boring driving long distances but there was a lot to see along the way and we visited many places we wouldn’t have had a chance to if we had gone by plane. We did have the advantage of watching daily DVD’s and playing the XBOX.
What follows is a condensed version of our trip:-
About an hour after leaving home James was feeling quite ill. After stopping so he could dry-reach in a McDonald’s carpark we continued on our journey. We visited ‘The Big Koala’ built out of bronze and fibreglass. By 2.30pm we had reached Bordertown, later stopping in Adelaide for the night.
Day two we set off for Ceduna. We took a detour through the well known town of Snowtown being followed close
behind by a police car. Later after reading the local paper we learnt there was a man charged with four counts of attempted murder there the day before. Five km’s to the town of Kimba with the fuel needle on empty we rolled into town. At one stage I was imagining J.D. hitch hiking to the nearest fuel stop but luckily we just made it.
Next morning we left Ceduna for Cocklebiddy. We stopped at the Nullabor service station and were greeted by two resident dingoes. Our lunch stop was at the SA/WA border which was very expensive. As I was ordering lunch J.D. was filling up with petrol again. He came in and said a young Swedish girl asked him if he was travelling on his own. I had to break the news to him that it was the car and not him she was interested in! J.D. said for a split second he thought do I go in to the wife and three screaming kids or drive off into the sunset with a Swedish back-packer.
We still hadn’t seen any camels, kangaroos or wombats but we did see a huge Wedgetail Eagle standing over some road kill. He stared us down as we drove towards him, not the least bit afraid of us. Not much to do in Cocklebiddy so we spent the evening in The Wedgetail Inn Pub. The same place Hamish and Andy (Fox FM) stayed while on the Caravan of Courage tour. J.D. confused with the time change had us all up at 4.30am the next morning. Filling in time the boys decided to get into the theme of some of the locals and performed a corroboree dance on the roof of an old hi-ace van parked behind the Inn to the amusement of other travellers.
Our next stop was Kalgoorlie. We drove to the Super Pit for a look. It’s amazing how big it is. We visited the famous lolly shop full of lollies from all around the world. A very friendly couple who own the store told us how they came to Kalgoorlie four years ago for a holiday and decided to stay. They spoke about their love of gold prospecting and how they have found about $30,000 worth of gold during this time. The boys left the store wide eyed wanting to go out prospecting. Maybe someday! Out of curiosity we drove down the ‘famous’ street in Kalgoorlie that night. On seeing the Limo the girls standing in the many windows waived profusely, beckoning us to stop. It was priceless to see the looks on their faces as we passed a second time with the tinted windows lowered and three young boys hanging out waiving.
After passing through the town of Norseman twice (which is enough) we headed down south to Esperance. That afternoon as the boys went to say ‘hello’ to Sammy the Seal, I was lucky enough to have a massage. Before travelling to Albany we visited the Cape Le Grande National Park. What a beautifully scenic place. I’ve never seen sand so white and the water was crystal clear. In Albany we went for a walk through town and visited some historic sites. We stopped at the treetops and walked the suspended bridge through the forest. Time got away from us a bit and we still had to get to Margaret River for the night. Dusk was setting in and we had the worry of kangaroos jumping out in front of the car. Luckily we made it safely to Taunton’s farm for the night. The owner was very impressed with the Limo and he took many photos of it in front of his cabins. We may feature in his next brochure!
We were amazed at how much attention the Limo received on our trip and wished we had a dollar for every photo taken. After a leisurely morning in Margaret River we drove to Busselton for the start of the All State Run.
The WA Club organized a fantastic event and it was great to see a good turn out from members of the EHCCV.