Auszcar Thredbo Trip Review Feb 2009

and filed under:
First Nissan 370z in Australia Z34

Auszcar members recently enjoyed a trip to Thredbo allowing members of NSW, ACT and Victoria to meet and greet and show off their cars in the sunshine. Nissan had contacted us prior to the event and asked if they could bring the one and only 370Z in Australia along. Of course we were happy to oblige. Read about the full story here!

Day 1

{mosimage}A small contingent of Zeds (4) gathered in Lilydale at 8.45am Friday morning looking forward to a driving holiday with a difference. Sulio, Lurch, Warren and myself (Craig) set off for Yarra Glen with some trepidation regarding road closures due to recent bush fires.

Despite the Melba Hwy being open only hours earlier we were informed at Yarra Glen that it had been closed again due to tree's over the road. Ahh crap! that means taking a long detour via Eltham to get to the Hume Hwy. Luckily Warren’s wife Kay was pretty handy with the melways (not bad for a woman) and we made it to the Hwy with little effort apart from lot's of gear changes which I hate in the Zed.

We cruised up the Hwy and it quickly became apparent how serious the recent fires had been as we saw plenty of scorched land and even a few recently burnt out houses. As we drove along the Hume our first pick up was Wes & Maggie at Euroa only an hour late. I kept them informed of our progress and little fuss was made as they joined the convoy of Zeds. We caught up on the 2-way radio and continued the journey without stopping trying to make up some time.

We stopped at the BP/Maccas for some refueling of the cars and body around the Glenrowan area. There was plenty of chatter over lunch in anticipation of the trip ahead. We had a few drops of rain as we continued on through Wodonga and onto the Murray Valley Hwy which is a lovely stretch of road. Our attempts to rendezvous with some of the ACT boys, came up short by 15 minutes after nearly 5 hours of driving. I managed to keep them informed of our progress by phone at being an hour late etc. But unfortunately both our phones lost cover up in the hills and I only got a message via SMS that they had only minutes earlier left as we filled our tanks with fuel at Corryong in readiness for the final leg.

Light rain became more consistent as we headed off onto Alpine Way. I guess I didn’t mind since I hadn’t seen anything like it for months. Sulio had to take it a little easy as his tyres were only average in these conditions. We stopped for a look at the Murray 1 Power Station, fixed some cameras in various cars and drove off on some great winding roads for some 60klms. This section of road was magnificent. Well sealed, good views and a couple of nice little canyons to be driven through. Somewhere along this leg I got two wheels off the road while trying to find my mike to reply to Lurch on the 2-way. Lesson, it doesn't pay to take your eyes off the road when driving on a wet windy road. Luckily my "R" spec tyres saved me when I was back on the black stuff. Looks interesting on the video.

As you approach the Village the road really widens with orange snow poles to mark the way in the winter snow. Truly a great place to be. We cruised into Thredbo around 5.30 and quickly met up with the NSW guys who had just arrived. The ACT people were already there. Plenty of discussion was had on arrival and much looking over various cars.

We all met up in the local Bar an hour or so later after booking in. Plenty of drinks were consumed and the crew split up for dinner with most ending up in the Pizza restaurant. Nice meal too. I got a call from James in the 370Z saying he was running a little late. They had taken the car on a detour to Mt Buffullo for some pictures and as it turned out they arrived around 1.30am the next day. We returned to the bar for more chat and people slowly drifted off to a well earned sleep over the course of the night.

Day 2

A perfect warm morning greeted us with blue sky. Ideal for a small concourse on the Village Green in the heart of Thredbo. A bit of a car wash before hand and we all slowly made our way to the Oval around 9am. What a sight 16 Zeds in a row. Now all we had to do was wait for was the 370Z’s grand entrance with their 350Z Roadster as well. True to form they arrived fashionably late, well 15 minutes. But what an entrance. I must say the 370Z looked far better in real life than the photo’s showed. The crowd gathered and people jostled for position for their pictures and a seat in the first 370Z in Australia.

We were rapt to have the car attend our humble gathering and we recorded 18 Zeds in a row and later got another 350Z to join our lot on the oval. This must have been a record number of Zeds in Thredbo I reckon. I wonder if we can beat that in 2 years time. Ha. Much chat and looking over all cars was had. Some truly magnificent Zeds from interstate I must say. It was a relaxed atmosphere and we all drifted off for lunch with a plan to meet back at 2pm for a short drive along the Alpine Way. Around this time James wanted to take his 370Z for a cruise around the roads with a few other Zeds for filming and a couple of early / late model photo's. A number of NSW guys were able to accommodate him and Warren even got to go for a drive in the new vehicle as a passenger. With this complete James and his crew had to set off for home after their brief stay with us.

After some lunch at the local bakery we set off along the drive on what was now perfectly dry roads. (A little different from the drive in the day before). Everyone enjoyed themselves in the sunshine as many came in from the opposite direction.

Later that night the NSW people headed back off the mountain to their accommodation in Jindabyne while the rest of us gathered at a local restaurant for a great meal. As usual some went back to the bar while others retired early.

Day 3

Next morning a few of us awoke a bit under the weather after either over indulging or some dodgy food. The jury was still out on that. Sore heads and all we gathered at the foot of the Chairlift around 10am for a trip up the mountain.

At the top of the lift we stopped in Australia's highest cafeteria for some coffee and cake (or a water). From there most of us set out along the walk towards Mt Kosiosko. Some walked a few 100metres, some did a few klms and a small contingent made it the furthest to a lookout over the lake.

I don’t think anyone had intentions of going all the way to the top. But everyone was happy to go at there own pace and wander as far as they liked. Back down the hill we decided to do a BBQ for dinner.

Being a Sunday night many of the NSW & ACT people had gone home a day early so they missed a spectacular setting for dinner in the great outdoors.

The weather was perfect, warm and sunny around 26deg at 5pm. After a quick shop at the Supermarket and $15.00 a head we put on a great spread. We fired up the two BBQ’s by the river for an assortment of meat,& salads, oh and some beer. Even the ducks scored some leftovers. As usual later that evening we viewed some of the video footage from the day on TV before retiring in readiness for the drive home.

Day 4

We woke up to another perfect day, donned the shorts and T-shirt, quick wash of the cars and Sulio, Lurch and myself were ready to go around 9am.

Wes & Maggie were heading in the other direction to NSW and Warren & Kay left 30minutes earlier since Kay had to work later that evening.

It was funny how we had started with a small contingent which grew to 18cars & 27 people and now we were back to the 3 hard core group. Ha. That was fine, we had our CB’s at the ready, topped up with some oil and we were off. Cruising along the Alpine Way for 20mins or so in the middle of know where my car just stopped. Hmmmm A quick analysis and I concluded the electric fuel pump had stopped. This had happened before so before I could say anything Lurch was under the car giving it a good bash with the shifter and she fired up again. Off again and sure enough it did go again 15 minutes on.

It seemed to be stopping as I backed off on a decline in the road. A quick bash and we were on the road again, I was a little concerned it might die permanent on this leg but as it turned out that was the last we saw of the problem. We stopped at a great Lookout which gave us a rear view of the mountains from where we had come from. A couple of happy snaps and we drove on to Lake Hume where we stopped again for a few arty shots with an old railway bridge in the back ground. Lunch at the usual BP before the final leg.

The weather was warm so we pulled into a rest area some time later beside the Hume for a cool drink from my eski. Sulio complained his car smelt of rotten egg. In no time Lurchos was over there, under the car then lifting the bonnet. Conclusion was that Sulio's battery was nearly cooked. Turns out we added over 2 litres of water to his dry cell's. Incredibly his relatively new battery was still functioning. After drinks all round for us and the battery we were off again. We decided not to chance the Melba Hwy so we drove all the way into town, across the Bolti Bridge, tunnel and then home.

Summary

Wow what a road trip. It was a huge success. We all had a ball and it was fantastic to meet all the interstate Zed freaks. The highlight for me was the gathering on the Oval with all the Zeds in prestine condition with a special thanks to the 370Z’s attendance.

It was a great hit. I hope we see some of you interstater fellas on the Tassie trip next year in Feb’2010 if not maybe Thredbo in 2011 and see if we can beat that 19 Zed lineup. I reckon we can. Till then happy motoring comrades.

Craig

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNKEzTNRWuw]