Nabiac Motorcycle Museum Run

31 July 2019 / Words by John Hansen, Photos by Rob Wilko & Wayne Lang

Saturday the 27 July promised to be a perfect MX-5 run day with blue skies dotted with fluffy clouds and brilliant sunshine to take the chill off a winter’s day for our Nabiac Run. The meeting point was ‘Olivers’ at the Port Macquarie Service Centre. A large group of nine cars with seventeen people had assembled with a variety of MX-5 models for the 9 am start. Run leaders Judith and John in a grey NC, Cathy and Wayne in their burgundy NB, Karla and Brett red NC, Pam and Allen red ND, Jill and Peter black NB, Gayle and Michael blue NB, Rob up from Sydney grey NB, Jill and Mike red NC and Pingky and Graham blue BMW MX-5.

The first stage of our run was to Coopernook. Judith and John led off down the Pacific Highway to the Coopernook turn off. Traffic on the Pacific Highway was quite heavy and soon our group was quite spaced out. However, as most of us were familiar with the route and we had radio contact to ensure that the turn off into George Gibson Drive was not missed. We regrouped where Cathy and Wayne took over as run leaders for the most spirited driving section. After a short detour through the Coopernook township we picked up West Street that led us to the familiar Landsdowne Road to Taree. The road meanders through towns with interesting place names such as Langley Vale, Landsdowne, Melinda, Kundle Kundle and Brimbin on its way. We also noticed that the road surface appears to becoming bumpier and provided a good test of our suspensions. Cathy and Wayne demonstrated the unexpected ‘up in the air’ technique of getting through the infamous “Keiran” bump section on one of the several railway crossings much to the amusement of Karla and Brett in the following car! The countryside is pleasant as it looks out towards the hinterland; however instead of the cattle dotted among amount green hills as it used to be on the first time on these runs, the greenery has given way to brown waving grasses with brown being the predominant color reflecting the drought conditions.

 With a large convoy there is always a possibility of taking wrong turns when taking back streets to bypass the centre of town and so we had decided to drive through the Taree CBD to ‘show off’ our cars and simply turn right onto the road to Wingham which was the morning tea spot. As we parked at Wingham were were met by the smiling faces of Susan and John standing by their green NB who had decided to come across from Foster Tuncurry to join us. With numbers now into ten cars and nineteen people our club co-ordinator did a stirling job of rounding us up and herding us to the ‘Garden Grub Cafe’ for morning tea.

The ‘Garden Grub’ was considered to be another very good eating place in Wingham and had provided us with a long undercover table in the garden section of the cafe. We all agreed that the food was excellent and conservations flowed freely. In fact we spent so much time at the cafe we were able to watch a local artist drawing a really good sketch and put the finishing touches on it before we left for our final run stage to Nabiac.

The way to Nabiac follows the Gloucester Road down to Bucketts Way thorough undulating countryside with a mixture of sweeping corners and a series of twisty ones just to keep the driving interesting. The scenery is quite spectacular with great vistas opening up from the top of hills with the added bonus that parts of the road have recently had extensive works and the surface is relatively smooth. After the turn off to Buckett’s way the road passes through small settlements such as Burrell Creek, Kundibakh and Krambach where we turned off to Nabiac. We were fortunate that there was very little traffic and soon we were navigating the large Pacific Highway overpass to make our way into Nabiac.

 Nabiac is usually quite a quiet town even on the weekend. However today was the day for the Farmers’ Market and also the Nabiac Swap Meet to the held in the grounds of the Motorcycle Museum. Cars and people as far as the eye could see. Quickly we realized that there was little point in trying to get into the museum grounds for parking at this time. We parked in a line that provided an excellent photographic opportunity, in a side street outside the Nabiac Primary School and decided that we should go and have lunch. This provided us with the opportunity to have a short walk for some physical exercise before after lunch. The ‘greenhouse cafe’ had been booked for lunch, who had provided a  long outdoor table setting under a thatch roof. The cafe has an extensive menu with plenty of local fresh produce to choose from. The table soon looked very colorful with a variety of healthy shakes and delicious meals.

 After a convivial and entertaining lunch some of us set off for the Nabiac Motorcycle Museum whilst others went exploring the shop. The museum’s collection is extensive and eclectic leading to the telling of many life stories as some of us wandered down the corridors of memories from our youthful pasts, no doubt with quite a few recollections from the perspective of “rose colored glasses”! Reluctantly it was soon time to depart and turn for home.

The day had been a most enjoyable MX-5 run with a bit of everything, some interesting driving roads, plenty of good food, an opportunity to appreciate machinery of the past and above all a satisfying collegiate experience with fellow club members. Many thanks to Judith for organising the run, the various run leaders and of course the co-ordinators Allen and Peter for handling the paper work making the cafe bookings and keeping us on schedule. Also a special round of thanks to the photographers Wayne and Rob whose photographs are on the Mid-North Coast MX-5 Club’s Facebook Group.

Click here for Rob's photo album