The starting venue for this excursion was McDonalds at Narellan although some members would join the convoy at different points in the planned route. First impressions were very encouraging – a substantial number of members and guests were gathering and enjoying either breakfast or morning tea.
The continuing inclement weather had unfortunately defined some of the attending vehicles . Those feeling that their “pride and joy” Zeds would be safer at home brought a variety of alternative vehicles although there was still a good representation of Z cars present. James upped the ante by bringing his Porsche Carrera 4 which added some extra prestige to the event.
At precisely 9.45 am Jamie indicated that it was time to commence the excursion “Gentlemen, start your engines!” The convoy turned onto the Old Hume Highway and took the turn to the Northern Rd. As is usual , with all excursions, the convoy got segmented at the traffic lights and with nowhere to stop – the lead cars had to keep going. Fortunately, it was merely a case of following along the Northern Rd so none of the members got lost. Eventually, the stragglers caught up with the main body of the convoy and the rejuvenated group headed towards the Wollondilly Heritage Centre.
The weather was still very unpredictable, however, and alternated between dry spells and sometimes heavy downpours. In spite of the rain it was a relaxing drive through Theresa Park and The Oaks with a mixture of older and newer buildings and pleasant views. Just after 10.00am the convoy arrived at Wollondilly Heritage Centre and, it had stopped raining! The Zedders then joined the other group of members who had gone directly to the Wollondilly Heritage Centre.
As the group assembled at the main entrance, John Hyland, one of the Heritage Centre’s volunteers gave an interesting overview of the history of the Burragorang valley and the establishment of the Wollondilly Heritage Centre itself. The Zedders then commenced to inspect the Heritage Centre’s displays. There were some impressive and interesting historical displays in a number of buildings scattered throughout the grounds.
A video was shown of the preparation for the building of the Warragamba Dam This entailed the flooding of the Burragorang Valley, which unfortunately involved the removal of a number of generational families who had lived in the valley for more than 120 years and the destruction of a number of historical buildings (including the local church). An attempt was made by the Government to remove some of the gravestones from the local cemetery and to save some memorabilia from the site.
At this time, the rain had commenced again. The next part of the excursion was to visit the Burragorang Lookout. This was a short drive of about 10kms from the Wollondilly Heritage Centre. The weather worsened on the way, but the real concern was the fog which had started settling in to the area. The Zedders parked at the lookout but were disappointed to observe that the fog had completely blocked the magnificent view over the Burragorang Valley.
The next stop on the excursion was the Picton Hotel for lunch. On arrival, a head and car count was conducted (this was the first real opportunity to do this). Twelve cars and eighteen people (including guests) was an excellent response considering the formidable weather. Meals were of a good standard and reasonably priced and this rounded off an interesting and enjoyable day.
The success of this excursion was due to the meticulous, step by step planning by Jamie, the participation of so many wives of members (which provided an excellent balance) and the overall contribution of genuine friendship by all those who attended.
Footnote from Jamie: PS it took a bit of persuasion to get the keys of the Blue 370 back from Corey who was starting to get very comfortable in the cockpit. If you know anyone who would be interested in this vehicle it has 900 km’s on the speedo and is heavily discounted at 49K drive away. If you can help find a home for it, Moss Vale Nissan will donate $500 to the Z car club as a donation. Contact Jamie 0426 191 900