Ken Philp and good wife Marg have organised a day run through the Rosewood-Gatton-Toowoomba District. It should be a top day out.
Date: Sunday, 27 April
Time: 8:30 for 9:00am sharp (to suit our lunch booking)
Meet: BP Purga Amberley, on the Cunningham Highway
• BP Purga – fill up cars and have nervous pee.
• 55 min drive – via Rosewood, Grandchester, Laidley, Blenheim to Gatton Apex Lake Tourist & Community Centre.
• Gatton Apex Lake Tourist & Community Centre morning coffee – Nice spot for a Merlo coffee and cake. The Museum of Transport is also here. $7.50 admission.
This will not be a complete rev head day so long-suffering wives and partners stay with me. I thought maybe spend 45 mins tops there to allow everyone to get their caffeine and machinery fixes.
• 1 hour 45 min drive to Preston Peak Winery – via Ma Ma & Heifer Creeks across the range to the New England Highway. Then north toward Toowoomba via back roads.
• Preston Peak Winery – Cellar Door Restaurant for set menu lunch.
If time permits, we can also go some extra side roads to Preston away from the New England Highway. Also, en route, if anyone wants to see Steele Rudd’s selection/slab hut family home we’ll try.
• After lunch – approx 50 min trip to Gatton via South Toowoomba, down the range through Flagstone Creek, Lilydale & North Ma Ma Creek. Just a tad more exciting than the main highway.
• After Gatton – home via Warrego Highway.
Preston Peak Wines is on the edge of the range and all the dining areas have fabulous views out over the mountains and the valleys. To quote: “Marg and I didn’t try the food but the menu looked good and the setting is great. There is very big open sided area that is well roofed with a nice breeze that will fit everyone in as well as other dining spaces”. Do some wine tasting while you wait.
I have run all roads in the Europa, so there is no excuse not to bring a Lotus or other sports car. Surfaces are almost all good, and in most cases very good. There is a lot of fast twisty stuff, fast long corners, fast short corners and very fast straights, all done at 100kmh, so there are no worries about prying eyes.
There are a few hairpins (or close to them) mixed in. There is fair bit of mountain road. Ken has tried to find the best Lotus roads he can and he thinks they measure up. In his words: “Some of it is just brilliant. Wish we could shut some off completely for special stages or hill climbs. The scenery, in just about all the places, is pretty damn good too. We have tried to keep off highways for almost all the run proper.” Ken will print a colour map set and typed instructions, so it should be very bloody hard to get lost (but we’ll try).
So all we need now are numbers and some fine weather.
To minimise serving delays Ken must get an idea of numbers by 4th April at the latest, so he can book morning tea and lunch reasonably far ahead and ensure we get enough seating and be fair to the venues.
If people could RSVP by 4th April on Ken’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org