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Vol 71

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Contents:

 

 

   

 

Day 1

Day 2 Day 3
  Days 4 & 5 Day 6 Day 7

 

On the 13th June 2021 a bunch of adventurous men and women will leave Brisbane on 20 of the great little scooters and head north via the outback roads for the main gate at the RAAF Base at Townsville.  We chose the 50cc scooters as you don't need a motor bike licence to ride them on the road, a car licence is all you need.

 

The journey, which will cover 2,100 kms, will take 13 days and those who dare to be a part will have a helluva lot of fun and a holiday to remember for a long long time.

 

The journey will take us through Kingaroy, Mundubbera, Biloela, Emerald, Barcaldine, Longeach, Winton, Hughenden, Charters Towers and finally into Townsville. We’re recently driven the route, checking accommodation, meal supplies, toilet/showers, breaks in the journey etc and found the generosity from people and firms along the way to be outstanding. I approached IGA and Woolworths in the towns in which we’ll overnight to ask for assistance in obtaining food for breakfasts and on-road “snacks” and their responses were outstanding. IGA stores are owned by individuals and Woolies have store managers in each store and on all occasions I found them most generous – all offered to provide sufficient food for our trusty cook(s) (Bait Layers) to provide breakfast for all of us and also enough “snacks” for our long hauls up the road.

 

Many of the RSL Sub-Branches along the way have, where practicable, agreed to provide facilities and morning and afternoon teas, likewise, the various Councils and Show-ground managers have also been generous and very considerate and have offered to waive the hire costs of their Show-ground pavilions and allow us to overnight in their facilities FOC.

 

The reason for the trip?

 

As we all know, next year is the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Air Force and as many will remember, we did plan on holding an event in Melbourne but for various reasons we had to cancel those plans – good thing in hindsight as the Virus would have put paid to them anyway. As there were many people who wanted to party on and take part in those Melbourne plans, we thought we should look for another way to celebrate the occasion. Some years previously, “Jake” Jacobsen organised a similar event where a number of people rode these little 50cc scooters across the Nullarbor. We approached Jake to get his knowledge of that event and after he’d passed on all he knew, we knew it could be done again so we went ahead and planned it.

 

Reason 1 – to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the RAAF.

 

 

As the Radschool Association, which is now a registered Charity, has expenses helping many people obtain the help for which they are due, has many costs associated with attending reunions all across the country, has to maintain the web site and produce this magazine and cover normal day to day expenses, we need to raise funds. To date, our only source of funds has been membership fees but they don’t go anywhere near covering costs. We have organised two Bunnings sausage sizzles which raised much needed funds, but not enough. There are many people who need help but we’re not financially secure enough to provide it. That has to change.

 

Reason 2 – to raise funds.

 

 

Most of us are now approaching 4 score years, some of us are already there, yet for most of us, that is only on the outside. On the inside we’re much younger and we still know how to and can still enjoy having a good time with a bunch of other great people. Some of us only served the minimum period while others stayed in for many years, yet all remember those years in uniform as some of the greatest years of their lives. For most people, their oldest (long time) friends are people they met while serving. Some of us have had friends for 50 or so years – it happens, these are people you lived with, worked with, borrowed from and in some cases fought with. That’s why there are hundreds of squadron/unit/base reunions held every year – for people to get together again and to continue old friendships – and to feel good.

 

Reason 3 – to get together and enjoy each other’s company.

 

 

Kedron Wavell RSL Sub-Branch have agreed to also join us and a couple of them will bung on the helmet, hop on a bike and be a part of the event. They have also generously agreed to provide a small bus, a ute and also a mobile kitchen (the Chuck Wagon) as well as a cook who will look after our breakfasts and smokos along the way. Two of the days will be long, unfortunately there is no way we can avoid that, but the kitchen will head off ahead and set up along the way to provide a bit of relief.

 

You will find the proposed route HERE and this is what’s planned.

 

 

Day 1.

We leave Amberley early on the morning of the 13th June 2021 and will travel over to Kilcoy via Rosewood, Fernvale, Lake Wivenhoe to Esk, stopping at Esk for morning tea. From Esk it's via Somerset Dam, Hazeldean to Kilcoy where we’ll stop for a while, meet the people from Kilcoy and where the Sub-Branch has offered to provide lunch. Then it’s up the hill to Yarraman where we’ll meet Leigh Norgaard, who is ex-2Sqn and with the RSL. It’s then onto Nanango for afternoon tea at the RSL, once again provided by the Sub-Branch.

 

From there it’s onto Kingaroy to stay at the Showgrounds. Craig Lucas, the boss of the showgrounds has offered us the two pavilions below on the left in which to stay. Showers and toilets are just a short walk across the grass. Run your mouse over the overnight pavilions to see the interiors. Our support people will have gone ahead and made everything ready for our arrival.

 

 

 

Dinner and a bar that night have yet to be arranged (we’re talking with a couple of providers) but it will be at our cost in one of the pavilions that we will be allowed to use as our Mess (below). The idea is it will be catered for, you pay for what you want and we’ll invite the other campers (there are lots) at the showground to meet and to get to know us – as we’ll do each night. Run your mouse over the pic below to see the ablution block.

 

 

Day 2

The IGA at Kingaroy has agreed to provide us with food for our breakfasts and also a few snack items for our trip north. Breakfast will be served at the showground (above), prepared by our bait-layer (BL).

 

 

 

The Kedron Wavell RSL Sub-Branch chuck wagon.

 

 

 

 

From Kingaroy we head to Wondai. Shaz Birkett, the lovely drive-time announcer from Crow FM will meet us a few km out of Wondai and will ride one of the scooters into town. The BL will have gone ahead and set up a brief smoko in the car park at the information centre coming into town. Then it’s onto Murgon for more smoko at the Services club (right) – provided by the Sub-Branch.

 

We’ve offered the Police at Murgon the opportunity to meet us a few Km out of town and ride one of the scooters into town.

 

 

 

 

 

After Murgon it’s a brief stop at the Grand Hotel in Goomeri to say hello to the people and to buy a cold drink.

 

 

 

 

 

After Goomeri, the BL will go ahead and set up a refreshment stop 58km from Goomeri in a gravel area on the left side of the highway, 500m after the Welcome sign below.

 

 

From there it’s onto Gayndah for lunch at the RSL Club, once again, provided by the Sub-Branch.

 

 

After Gayndah it’s onto Mundubbera for the night where we’ll stay at one of the pavilions in the showground. (below). Wave your mouse over the pic to see the inside.

 

 

Dinner that night will be provided by the sub-branch, (at our cost) who will provide a meal and bar facilities at their club rooms, below, once again inviting the public to come along and meet us.

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3

Breakfast will be prepared by our BL in the "Mess" area at the showgrounds, with food provided by the Mundubbera IGA which has also offered to provide snacks for the trip north.   (Wave your mouse over the pic above to see the Mess area.

 

 

 

 

 

Morning Tea will be provided (at cost) at the Eidsvold Cafe, owned and run by Andrew Roth – ex Army.

 

Andrew is also the local RSL Sub-Branch president.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Eidsvold it’s onto Monto where the BL can pick up supplies for lunch and the trip further up from once again the very generous IGA store (right).

 

Lunch can be set up in the Lions Park, on the right entering town.

 

 

 

 

From Monto it’s 96 km to Biloela so the BL will scout ahead and set up a rest stop on the highway, after which it’s onto Biloela for an overnight stop at the Biloela showgrounds.

 

We've been reliably informed that the Army has, on several occasions, used this building as a sleeping quarters. Things must be looking up in the Army, normally they don't qualify for such salubrious facilities, they're all turning soft. 

 

 

Dinner for the night will be at the Biloela Anzac Memorial Club (below), at cost – you order what you want.

 

 

 

 

Day 4  & 5

The Woolworths Store at Biloela has offered us enough food to cover our Breakfasts and for snacks on the long day tomorrow. The BL has only to see the store manager to pick up a gift card and can then select the food as required.

 

Run your mouse over the pic above to see the breakfast area at the Biloela showground. This is a long day so breakfast will need to be served early.

 

 

 

 

The BL would have gone ahead and set up morning tea at Dululu, food supplied by Woolworths at Biloela. There are no toilets for the next 80kms.

 

Being a long leg, the BL will also set up a brief stop at Dunphy Park – no toilet.

 

The Duaringa Police Station (below) has arranged for us to stop at the local primary school where there is plenty of shade and seating and room for us to park the scooters. The BL will have gone on ahead and set up – an invitation has been delivered to the station for the police to join us for lunch and to ride one of the scooters to the school. We can give the kids a ride on the scooters.

 

 

Next break is at the Blackwater Country Club, below – at cost, after which it is a long ride until Emerald.

 

 

 

 

There is the possibility that Ken O’Dowd, the federal member for the area (Flynn) could join us a few kms out of town and ride one of the bikes into Emerald.

 

Following the long ride from Biloela, we stay 2 nights in Emerald, with overnight accommodation provided by the Council at the Emerald showgrounds (below).

 

Run your mouse over the pic below to see the inside. At present the pavilion is being used as an indoor cricket ground, the nets will be removed before we get there,

 

 

 

The Emerald ablution block.

 

 

 

Dinner first night will be held at the Emerald Bowls and RSL Club below (at cost)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breakfasts to be prepared and served in the Mess area at the Showgrounds, (below) by the BL, with food supplied by the Emerald Woolworths.

 

Run your mouse over the pic below to see the breakfast and Lions dinner area.

 

 

We are discussing with the Emerald Lions Club for them to cater for dinner on the Friday night which would be provided in the building above – at cost. Lions would run a bar as well as a kitchen and the townspeople would be invited to join us.

 

 

Day 6

After an early breakfast held in the building above, and prepared by our BL, from food supplied by Woolworths at Emerald, it will be off for another long day to Barcaldine.

 

After breakfast, the BL will head off ahead and wait for us at Bogantungan where we will stop for morning tea and rider change. Bogantungan is just off the highway, to the left.

 

Kerri Johnson, ex-Army lady, will meet us, arrange for the little railway museum to be opened and tell us some of the history of the area

 

 

 

 

Lunch will be held in Alpha, which is just off the highway to the right. The BL will set up for lunch next to the railway station below, opposite the hotel.

 

 

 

From Alpha we continue north until Jericho where we’ll stop for afternoon tea. The BL will set up on the northern side of town, beside the Jericho monument. Run your mouse over the pic below to see the smoko area.

 

 

 

From Jericho, it’s onto Barcaldine where we’ve been allowed the use one of the pavilions in the showground (below). Run your mouse over the pic to see the ablution block

 

 

 

Dinner that night will be provided by an elderly citizens group – at the showgrounds, at cost.

 

 

The "Tree of Knowledge" monument in Barcaldine.

 

 

 

 

Breakfast will be prepared and served up by the BL. We’ve asked the Barcaldine IGA whether they would sponsor us sufficient food for breakfast and for the short trip to Longreach.

 

 

Day 7

After breakfast, we’ll have a look over the Barcaldine Workers Heritage centre – where we’ll be treated to an early brunch before heading off to Longreach. Run your mouse over the pic below to see some of the interior of the Centre.

 

 

 

We've arranged to stop at Ilfracombe for afternoon tea - at our cost. This is a must stop, first up to have a coldie in the Wellshot hotel and secondly to check out the old machinery that lines the road for a thousand miles. 

 

 

 

 

After Ilfraville, it's only 27 km to Longreach where the generous Council has allocated us a pavilion on the Showground.

 

Longreach sleeping donga - run your mouse over the pic to see the interior.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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