Sunday, August 28th
Tour group enjoying morning tea at Elliotts.
Tour group on the spectator hill at the start/finish line.
It was another mammoth weekend for the Sea Lake Off Road Club. The Tyrrell Downs Short Course rally was held on Saturday, August 27, followed by the Biennial Scenic Drive around Lake Tyrrell on Sunday, August 28.
With a steady stream of keen participants wanting to do the Sea Lake Mallee Rally track at a leisurely pace, the numbers grew. Total participants ending up being 103, with six workers. Food was a plenty with contributions of cakes and slices from dedicated Sea Lake Off Road Club members.
This year there were two buses (thanks to Peter Kelly from Mallee Off Road Adventures who took the extra travellers on his own bus which saved the Off Road from having to hire a second bus). There was also 19 4WD vehicles tagging along. A huge convoy – what a sight to behold.
Everyone arrived at the ‘chookshed’ by 8.30 a.m. for sign in, which is legal requirement for insurance. A quick briefing of the rules of the day and the tour was underway by 9.00 a.m.
On leaving the town the tour headed to the corduroy (the original Tyrrell Creek crossing before the new Robinvale Road bridge). Up and over the road jump and out to the Site 1 salt stacks (which is the original mining site of Cheetham Salt) for a photo opportunity.
On the way again, destination Elliott’s for morning tea. But a call comes over the radio for a snatch-strap (tow rope) looks like the bus is bogged! Good old Mac gets through the bog and the tour arrives for morning tea. Thanks to the Elliott family for allowing access through their farm for morning tea. The catering excelled with the billy boiled and the platters ready. Morning tea and toilet stop was enjoyed by everyone.
On the road again, the tour took off on a wet track, leaving the catering team to wash and pack up and race the tour to the next destination for lunch.
Thanks to the Powell family for allowing access through their property. Lunch was all set up waiting for the tour to arrive when another call comes over the radio, this time the bus needed a tow. Okay for the 4WDs, they took the high road (the safe option) but not for the bus, it was bogged to the delight of the passengers on board. Towed out and away they go again, with a smooth run into Box Clump.
Lunch consisted of a two course meal. Salad rolls, all individually made, followed by an icy pole. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed this break. Thanks to Karen McArthur from the supermarket for cooking the bread rolls on Sunday morning, so they were fresh.
Away goes the tour again, this time heading south down the east side of the lake, the destination the start/finish line of the Sea Lake Mallee Rally for afternoon tea.
What sort of a tour would it be if it didn’t include the hill! The tour did deviate through the ‘sheep yards’ loop, which is part of the Mallee Rally track.
Afternoon tea was served to the delight of the crowd again. Group photos taken and speeches made which ended another fantastic scenic drive.
From all reports the day was a huge success with many participants wanting to come back again. So it is farewell and see you all again in two years for another trek around the picturesque Mallee Rally track at Lake Tyrrell.
A huge big thank you to Mac McClelland for driving the bus, George Bailey for his knowledgeable commentary, Gavan Stacey for opening gates and tagging them with pink ribbon, Neil and Sam Bowles for carting the bread rolls and closing all of the gates, Peter Kelly for the use of the spare seats on his bus, Paul and Tamara Allan, Brent Prange, Ross Allan, Alison McClelland and Jane Stacey for the wonderful spread and towing the toilets.
Thanks everyone who participated, cooked, cleaned, towed toilets, drove buses, lent eskies and cleaned up – job well done!