Land Rover 70th @ Cooma

Choook

Well-Known Member
#1
WARNING: This post contains Land Rover porn.

Our trip to Cooma for the 70th Anniversary of Land Rover celebrations was a memorable affair and one that I hope to take again. There is talk of a 75th but there will definitely be an 80th.

The first night out was in Girraween National Park (Qld) at Bald Rock Creek campground. This is quite a nice place and although we arrived later than planned (just on dark, thanks SWMBO) I had a quick look around in daylight before we left. There are a number of tent and camper trailer sites with and without fire facilities. The flushing toilets/showers appear clean and the showers have hot water on a timer. As with many park facilities these days, TAKE IT IN, TAKE IT OUT, there are no bins or drinking water so you need to be somewhat self-sufficient. Access is easy along a winding bitumen road with lots of kangaroos around at dusk so caution is advised. If you are coming from the North don’t miss the turn off from the Highway like I did, there is a sign that says 500m but I think is it more like 300 or less. Rates are $6.35/per person/night or $25.40/family/night, tent or camper site booking through QPWS at https://qpws.usedirect.com/QPWS/Customers/Login.aspx?logout=1 . As we were only overnighting we did not avail ourselves of any activities in this area but I believe there are a number of walks and bike rides that can be undertaken.

Our second night was at the Wooldridge Recreation and Fossicking Area not far outside the small town of Uralla (NSW). This area is free to camp and has very limited facilities. Only two pit type toilets and non-potable water, there are however, a couple of bins. Only one or two fireplaces are available but there are a few rings of rocks left behind to establish a campfire in, use caution in extreme weather.

Snakes are present in the area and we did see what appeared to be a tiger snake which was close to some people in a caravan. A sandy beach on a bend in the river will allow for a cooling dip if that is your pleasure or as most do, dig in and pan for gold and gems, sapphires I believe. I did see a young local bloke come in and try his luck fishing (NSW licence required), he said there were red fin in the river. Access is easy on bitumen then gravel roads, camper trailer and caravan friendly. If your GPS directs you in from the north this is incorrect access is via Devoncourt Rd from the south. This area was once frequented by the bushranger Captain Thunderbolt so Uralla itself has a number of tourist sites and things to do, see https://www.visitnsw.com/destinations/country-nsw/tamworth-area/uralla for more information. Autumn is a good time to visit as the trees change and display their colours. Remember you are on the New England tablelands at approx. 1000m so take the appropriate clothing.

From here we had planned to camp at Polblue in Barrington Tops National Park but SWMBO decided that we would spend two nights with our daughter instead of one so this was bypassed and straight to Sydney we went. From here it was down the highways to Cooma.

We had five nights in Cooma at the Alkira Motel which is a clean and comfortable establishment a short walk from the town centre, the owner is lovely lady, friendly and helpful. We were also a short walk to the showgrounds which housed the festivities we were in town for. There were many and varied Land Rovers from the Series 1, some of those in attendance were actual veterans of the construction of the Hydro-electric Scheme, right through to the latest Discovery and some variations.



Saturday saw many take part in tagalong trips that had been organised to various locations around the area ranging in return distances of 100 – 300 km. I myself went to the Cascades on the upper reaches of the Tuross River which has a delightful swimming hole that no one was game to use, was a bit cool. From here, there is also a walk to Tuross Falls (about 1.5hrs return) that some in attendance took part in, myself and few others returned to Cooma


Sunday morning was the Grand Parade (through Cooma) and Grand Display (at the showground) with judging of awards for the various models and other categories.


This is not the best video, my Disco is nearest camera at 42:37
It is estimated that there were about 800 Land Rovers in Cooma over the weekend and almost 650 took part in the parade. Sunday night was the Gala Dinner which for me was the only disappointment of the weekend. SWMBO was not well and decided to stay in the motel room and I was going to stay too but she insisted that I go as we had already paid for the tickets. So once she was comfortable I walked to the function room at the showground where proceedings had already commenced. Unfortunately I couldn’t find one seat, never mind two, and did not partake in any of the delicious smelling food, so I had a couple of beers and left after the intermission. Not impressed is an understatement.

Monday was departure day for most but not having a rushed timetable and not planning to leave until the next day, we took a trip to Perisher Valley and Charlottes Pass followed by a sausage sandwiches on the shores of Lake Jindabyne for lunch before returning to Cooma. The mountains are very different this time of year without snow on them. There are so many things to see and do in this part of the world and you can find something to do at anytime of the year. Check here https://www.visitnsw.com/destinations/snowy-mountains?nst=0

We departed Cooma on the Tuesday morning heading out through Adaminaby where we stopped for breakfast. The Bakery does good coffee and bacon and egg roll as well as other breakfast menu items. From there it was continue up the Snowy Mountains Hwy through Kiandra where you can stop and walk the historic sites. Just after the Yarrangobilly Caves turn is the turn off to Long Plain Rd on your right which was the start of the next few hours of dirt roads and tracks. PM me if you want the gpx file.
https://motionx.com/ext/gps/maps?id=26730c2b808fd7718432ad8f39464c96
This is a beautiful yet somewhat rugged area, wild brumbies can be seen, however, the bird life including Black Cockatoos are a bit illusive. From open grass to wooded areas the landscape here changes constantly. The route above gets you from the Snowy Mountains Hwy to Brindabella Rd, which way you go from here is your choice. Note: this area is closed from July to October.

The sign at the turn on to Broken Cart Trail states “4WD Dry weather only” and some of this track and Bramina Rd would be very slippery and difficult to traverse in the wet. There are hills in the area with deep wheel ruts and erosion runs that can be straddled in the dry but would be hard to stay out of in the wet. We made a stop about an hour or so in to boil the billy (no open fires) and to just stand and realise that it is soooooo quiet is something many don’t get to experience. The amount of background noise in most peoples lives is astonishing, you can’t get this quiet just anywhere. Along the way you cross the head waters of the Murrumbidgee River which at this point is more a creek than the mighty life line that it becomes. With many blind corners and crests in this area caution is advised. There are campgrounds in this area if you wanted to base yourself here for a day or two. See NSW NPWS for more details http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park/parks/kosciuszko-national-park . You could get a camper trailer through in the dry and possibly a small caravan with care but wet weather would most likely see you stuck. I think Tumut Visitors Centre would be the closest for the most up to date information. There are gates on the route which I'm sure NPWS would not hesitate to lock if the conditions warranted, even during summer.

At Brindabella Rd we turned right to head into Canberra via Cotter Dam, this starts as a two lane gravel affair which deteriorates a bit toward the turn off to Brindabella and the climb out from there is narrower with many blind corners and corrugations, it is really quite amazing how even a dirt road changes at the ACT border, which soon becomes bitumen. After several hours on dirt, corrugations, ruts and gravel we had ourselves a night in 4.5 star luxury at the Canberra Rex Hotel, fabulous and included a buffet breakfast.

The next day saw us up the Highway back to our daughter’s place, via a visit to my parents in Wollongong, which is where I will conclude this report as SWMBO was still a bit under the weather we stayed there an extra night and bypassed our planned camp sites on the way home staying one night in a dodgy motel in Kempsey. I must say that with the improvements that have taken place on the Pacific Highway in NSW, the Sydney – Brisbane trip would be almost bearable in a truck now.

Thanks for reading, hope it is of interest to someone. I'll put some more photos up after I process them.
 

Choook

Well-Known Member
#3
Here is the parade from my point of view, well my roof rack anyway.
I have made it 4x faster and cut out all the stopping and waiting that I could, but it is still 6m40s of your life you want get back.
Enjoy the music.
 

discomatt

Well-Known Member
#4
wow 800 landies in one town, the roads must have been like a oil slick;)
I am allowed to say that given how many I have owned and still have 2 and for the record only 1 has a oil leak at the moment and its a swivel hub on the D1:)
Wish I could have made the trip up:(
Maybe the 80th celebration
 

Choook

Well-Known Member
#5
wow 800 landies in one town, the roads must have been like a oil slick;)
I am allowed to say that given how many I have owned and still have 2 and for the record only 1 has a oil leak at the moment and its a swivel hub on the D1:)
Wish I could have made the trip up:(
Maybe the 80th celebration
:D Yeah the oil slick remark was heard many times over the weekend. Something let go in the parade if you watch the video above at the 4:10 mark as I am about to enter the second roundabout. :eek:
I think it is a "must do" for any Land Rover enthusiast, at least once. There was talk at the Gala Dinner about a 75th so you may not have to wait too long.
Still processing photos more Land Rovers to follow.
 

Choook

Well-Known Member
#6
As promised here is some more Land Rover porn for those interested.

This fully restored Series 1 (amended see reply below) is one that has probably seen more of this area than most of us will as it was an SMA fleet vehicle. Note the PTO capstan winch.


There was about 6 of the Game variants on display and if you can find a genuine one in this condition buy it.


These Lightweights were the first Land Rovers specifically designed for military use, there wasn't many of these around.


Can anyone else run a pump from their rear PTO?


Another beautifully restore Land Rover, this time the Forward Control version.


There were a number of Perentie ex-military vehicles present both 4x4 and 6x6, but this earlier Series version just looks fabulous.


Let's just call this one "in progress", why not go 6x6 in a bit of luxury.


And don't forget the more modern candy that was there as well.


Here is a painstakingly hand made miniture of a Series 1 that works and can be driven (not on a road of course). This thing is detailed.


And then there was this.
 
Last edited:
#7
As promised here is some more Land Rover porn for those interested.

This fully restored Series 2 is one that has probably seen more of this area than most of us will as it was an SMA fleet vehicle. Note the PTO capstan winch.
Actually, that is an 80" Series 1. Technically the capstan winch is not a PTO, as it's driven off the crank shaft pully on the front of the engine, not from the PTO.




Here is a painstakingly hand made miniture of a Series 1 that works and can be driven (not on a road of course). This thing is detailed.
This thing is amazing. From memory it's around 3:8 scale. He even created a 3:8 scale 4 cylinder Land Rover engine for it! He cast the block and head then machined up all the internals!
 

Choook

Well-Known Member
#8
@cmurray I'm no expert but was of the belief that the Series 2 brought the headlights out from behind the grill and put the marker lights in the guards. Anyway happy to stand corrected.

That miniture though.....:cool:
 
#9
@cmurray I'm no expert but was of the belief that the Series 2 brought the headlights out from behind the grill and put the marker lights in the guards. Anyway happy to stand corrected.

That miniture though.....:cool:
It looks to be a 52 or 53 80 inch. The series 2 was where the hips were introduced on the sides, ( the curve a bit below the side windows ). All the Series ones are straight up and down along the sides. The easiest way to pick an 80" is by the doors, as the back of them is angled up, where as the rest are straight up and down, like the rest of the Land Rovers up to the last Defender.

This is an 80" Series 1. You can see the back edge of the door is not square.

This is an 86" Series 1. You can see the back edge of the door is square.


This is a Series 2.
 
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