The Porsche File Porsche-o-phile

PCV Tassie Tour - March 2009

We are just back from a six day driving tour of northern Tasmania with 40 odd, like minded souls in 23 cars from the Porsche Club.

It started with an overnight sea journey on the Tasmanian Ferry across Bass Strait. A first for us and also the Boxster! After some initial lumpiness at sea, a nice dinner and Tassie Riesling was had before we retired to our cabin and rested well for the early arrival in Devonport. A brisk drive across the north via a Raspberry Farm (breakfast) and a seaside resort (lunch) we arrived at the breathtaking Freycinet Peninsula for a two-night stay at the famous Freycinet Lodge at Coles Bay. Dinner in the evening was a 'formal' dinner in a private room at the lodge. All fairly tired, we retired (reasonably) early. Well, most did.


Wineglass Bay

Next morning was 'free' with a strong recommendation to walk up to the Wineglass Bay Lookout. I had packed most of my camera gear expressly for this purpose so with camera, battery packs, lenses and tripod, I set off on the trek up the hill. The summary will record that I made it while the longer version may indicate that I struggled on the 'climb', and needed various 'sherpas' to get my kit to the 'summit'. Once there along with lots of children and some octogenarians (!), the views and the pictures were spectacular. The walk down seemed easier.........


Shoutten Island

The afternoon consisted of a boat tour around Coles Bay and out to the Tasman Sea to explore various coves, caves and spectacular volcanic outcrops. Afternoon tea was spent in Wineglass Bay as the boat skipper shucked Coles Bay oysters to be washed down with a local 'sparkling' wine. From the queue of folks chasing the oyster tray and the wine server, they were both well received! But Crew Member of the Day was 'Rastus', a dolphin spotting dog who would do strange and remarkable things when he sensed sea life was nearby. And he slept the rest of the time!


Rastus

Dinner that evening was a BBQ on the deck at the Lodge overlooking Coles Bay. An excellent spread IMHO. I learnt on this trip that Blue Eye (or trevalla, or Blue Eyed Cod) is a fantastic eating fish.

Next we were off to Launceston via a couple of Targa Tasmania stages and arriving at Symmons Plains Raceway for a tasty BBQ lunch followed by 'open' track time at Tasmania's premier motor racing circuit. What great fun, whipping the little Boxster around and trying to keep up with it's bigger, stronger 911 (and Cayman) brethren. I was seriously surprised at how well it went only to be let down by the ancien pilote who couldn't get some braking marks and corners correct. Even better was Robin being able to share the car and experience some lap time in the company of other more experienced female club drivers. This enhanced her comfort level and subsequent enjoyment of her track time.
Twins!

That evening was an Italian dinner at the Launceston Club Villas which included a charity auction. Having started the 'evening' in the late afternoon in the bar watching the Grand Prix, I am reliably informed that the rest of the evening was excellent..........

I can't report on the quality of breakfast (!) before we set off to the town of Beaconsfield where an old-fashioned morning tea in the church hall awaited us. I was informed that the local ovens were fired up at 4AM to create the cakes, scones, cakes, sandwiches, quiches and pastries. Thanks ladies! After this stop, we were off for some spirited driving on more Targa stages. I was asked if I wanted to be in the 'fast' group or the 'slow' group. My new found sense of maturity and responsibility kicked in and I 'volunteered' for the 'slow' group. Slower than the speed of sound comes to mind on a couple of straights........


The Conga Line

The final stop for the day was Rosevaars wine tasting in the Tamar Valley. The quality of the wines (which was excellent) paled into insignificance compared to the quality of the oratory of 'Richard' who led the wine tasting and was most effusive, ebullient and exuberant regarding the taste and quality of the wine from his establishment. We then adjourned for a tasty grill of salmon, quail, prosciutto and smoked pork. The associated potatoes, salads and breads were of a particularly high standard.

After an easy drive back to town, the evening was 'free' and four of us struggled to the Launceston Casino for a buffet dinner at 6PM, and were subsequently tucked up in bed in readiness for the next day at 8.30PM!

The next morning we checked out again and queued in formation, ready to sprint off to our luncheon stop at Barnbougle Dunes Golf Club. This wind-swept course is rated in Australia's Top Ten and the World Top 50 golf courses. As rated by masochists it appeared to me! A most pleasant buffet was followed by closing speeches before returning to the Devonport Ferry Terminal again via a couple of Targa Tasmania stages.

What a fabulous tour. Great roads, great company and well led by our Tour Director, Michael Bailey. By somebody's reckoning he made mistakes every day but getting 99% of stuff right, 99% of the time seemed a damn fine effort to me. And he kept his dignity and good humour. Well he mostly did. Nearly. Thanks Michael, well done sir!

After the event, one does look back and count the cost and check the value. It met my criteria for high class entertainment at a fair price. But that pales into insignificance at the potential cost of these events when you look around at the vehicles on display - pristine 993S's, mid 80's 911 Speedsters, 997 Turbos, refurbished early 911s, original 911 930 Turbo's and apologies to all whose pride and joys I have omitted. They are all worthy. I think the actual medical term is upgraditis. It is one of the attributes that make the Porsche marque so engaging and so enjoyable!