A great way to spend a winter’s day
Words by Giles Cooper. Photos by Giles Cooper and Gloria Wade.
I think Colin and Robin McKay found the perfect way to spend a Queensland winter’s day when they arranged a drive out through the Queensland hinterland on the 9th July. Not only was the weather superb, but the roads we followed were some of the most scenic in the region, and to cap off the trifecta, our lunch at Mavis’ Kitchen was excellent, both food and company-wise.
The day started out with a drive of about 60 km out to Beaudesert where six cars met up as the sun came up on a cold but sunny morning. Colin and Robin already had the roof of their immaculate Elan packed away, and were looking decidedly chilly. Once Giles (Europa), Tony and Dawn, Clive and Gloria, Geoff and Bev, and new club member Chris had all arrived in their various Elise’s, and most of us had refueled at the adjacent service station, we set off down the Mount Lindesay Highway towards Kooralbyn.
26 km later we arrived at the Valley Kitchen for a brief coffee and breakfast stop. Luckily, we had been placed at a table in the sunshine, which enabled us to warm up a little. After breakfast, all those with soft tops “de-roofed”, and we set off once again down the Mt Lindesay Highway.
We then headed 50 km down through some stunning NSW countryside with the impressive 1194m high Mt Lindesay straight ahead of us. Just before Woodenbong we then turned east on the Summerland Way towards Kyogle and on some of the straighter stretches of road Clive exercised his Honda engine, ostensibly so that Gloria could take some photos while he passed us. Oddly, I never saw Gloria’s camera lens pointing out of the window as he went past!!??
With the Macpherson Range on our left, we continued on down to Kyogle where we again turned left before heading North to Cawongla. This really is a beautiful part of the world, and today it was a real pleasure to be able to enjoy our cars in such a great environment.
We continued on for another 45 km past interestingly named Mt Misery and Clarrie Hall Dam, before arriving at our lunch destination at Mavis’ Kitchen. This classic old Queenslander building was moved here from Brisbane (presumably in several pieces!) and is now a top restaurant and accommodation venue just south of Murwillumbah and nestling at the base of the 1156m peak of Mt Warning. (So-named by Captain James Cook in 1770, it was originally called Wollumbin (“Cloud Catcher”) by the local Bundjalong people).
The official car park was already pretty full on this sunny Sunday afternoon, but Colin and Robin had thought of that, and had got permission for us to drive straight through and onto the private lawn below the restaurant where Gloria finally managed to get some photos of the cars in an idyllic setting. We then moved into the restaurant and to our reserved table on the verandah where for the next 2½ hours we ate some superb food, enjoyed some great chit-chat, and passed a very pleasant afternoon. What a perfect end to an excellent winter Queensland day – and an excellent introduction to Lotus Club Queensland’s newest member Chris! May all future Lotus runs be as enjoyable as today’s!