With the original excursion planned for the Taralga Hotel cancelled due to Police warnings about road closures due to weather conditions, there was an impressive amount of last minute reshuffling and rescheduling by Craig to implement Plan B – an excursion to the Tarana Hotel. And, with the temperature making a valiant effort to struggle over 0 degrees centigrade, many of the Zedders in the “burbs” who had parked their pride and joys outside would have faced the prospect of de-icing their windscreens. Unlike, one Zedder (who shall remain nameless) trying to shuffle vehicles around and finding that the hose had snapped off in his hands due to hypothermia. Never mind, Zedders are tireless and tough no matter the challenge.


On the way to the phase 1 section of the trip with the Hydro Majestic Hotel as the designated LZ (Landing Zone) – the temperature was starting to nudge 2 degrees celsius – almost a heatwave. It was revealed later that some of the older Z cars didn’t have heating in their vehicles – after querying some members on their “Eskimo Nell” appearance (not mentioning any names, Barbara). After some thawing out with coffee at the Hydro Majestic – it was time to face the elements again.

In spite of the weather and the change of venue, there were twenty souls present – consisting of some Auszcar members, Z car members and guests. They were supported by 12 genuine Z cars and one pretender (MaZda).

All Cars

Phase two commenced with a quick sprint to the waiting cars (Le Mans like) because of the brisk weather.  Craig had planned an extended scenic route to include some impressive views of the local area. The convoy headed off along the Great Western Highway. The heavy traffic split the convoy on start-up, which meant pulling over to reform, a few kilometres up the road. Craig had informed the group that there would be a “comfort stop” on Duckmaloi Rd – and with the inclement weather – it would be sorely needed.

Jenolan Caves Rd hove into view – comfort stop only 23.7 kilometres away!

There it was – Duckmaloi Rd. Shading their eyes the Zedders peered through their windows looking for the ablutions block. Nothing. Wait! There was something in that clearing! Something metallic! “Bird, plane, building?” Looks more like a heap of sheet and scrap metal! Well, in the wilderness you take what you get!


Most of the male group kept walking until they reached the line of sparse bush at the edge of the clearing. The females of the group (made of tougher stuff) entered the “building”. Here they discovered what appeared to be a toilet seat suspended over a disused mine shaft. Oh, well – any port in a storm!

Now, this is where the real story begins…..

Craig strode to his 350Z Track and blasted off into the distance. A burgundy coloured 370Z was in hot pursuit. The third member of the convoy (the world’s worst navigator) thought he’d better get the hell out and keep up – or risk getting lost. The scene so far consisted of Kamikaze Craig slightly ahead in his 350Z with two haemorrhoidal 370Zs glued to his tail. This scenario continued for about 30kms with the rest of the convoy somewhere back there. A brave 240Z made a valiant attempt to catch up but lost ground as the triumvirate scorched around the bends.

Hotel 1

Then Albion Street came up and a certain calm settled over the scene. On the left hand side of Main Street was the Tarana Hotel. And ….it was packed to the rafters!

Craig sidled up to the counter and despite citing that he was a returned , wounded war hero, that he was high on the BRG rich list and knew important politicians on a first name basis …The response was “Sorry, love, we’re double booked – you’ll have to eat outside!”

The Zedders returned to their vehicles to secure another layer of clothing while awaiting lunch to be served. Tables were cobbled together to accommodate the massed members. You could tell when someone was speaking by the clouds of steam being emitted. The temperature had now peaked at three degrees.


Now, the good stuff:

The meals were excellent at the Tarana Hotel. It had proven to be an invigorating drive (although the scenery had slipped past rather fast – so can’t comment on the Duckmaloi Rd scenery). There were some nice views before and after “warp drive” was engaged. The company was terrific and everyone got on very well.

Overall, apart from the weather – a very enjoyable excursion.