Austin Healey Owners Club of Qld. Inc.

Background, preparations then off we go

by Raoul Kennedy


Raoul has a daughter living in Brisbane for many years and 2008 when we were going to Australia for the first time we asked the Austin Healey Owners Club of Queensland in Brisbane if they were interested in getting information about the 2008 European Healey Meeting in Halmstad. There were some members of the Queensland club who were registered and might want to know a little about the European meeting and other things. It resulted in Cecilia and Raoul Joining a meeting at Jolly's Lookout have since then met and created relationships with a number of club members in Queensland. We have also attended the National Club's annual "Rallies" on four occasions.

A number of our friends in Queensland travel a lot and bring their Healeys to Europe. During the European Healey Meeting 2018 in Rust Germany we met some of them for the 3rd time in Europe with their cars.

One of the last evenings in Rust, Cecilia and Raoul were offered to borrow a Healey by David Leybourne to drive from Brisbane to Perth for the 2019 National Meeting. We asked if we could come back with answers. We had not planned or decided at that time whether we would go to Australia at all in 2019. This was in June 2018. We pondered and came to the conclusion that it would be fun to have a reason to visit Perth. In addition, the experience of driving from Brisbane to Perth was tempting.

We started by signing up for the National Meeting in Perth and answering David that we were interested if his offer was still there. Dave replied that it did. However, the car in question was put up for sale. So if it wasn't sold, we could borrow it. We then started planning travel by informing our other friends that we started planning to come to Australia and the National Meeting in Perth. And we intended to borrow a car and drive from Brisbane to Perth and back.

Discussions with David L. continued and we explored how we could calculate the cost and risk of borrowing a car from David. Unfortunately, we ended up not being able to take out rescue insurance that covered the route we were planning. The longest distance we were able to salvage on insurance was 50 km which is a short distance compared to the distance we was going to drive. We felt compelled to refuse the offer to borrow a Healey to drive around Australia. We couldn't predict the final cost. Buying the car wasn't an option for us either.

By that time we had gotten so far into the planning of the trip so we went for the alternative solution, renting a car. We were so determined to make the trip and cancel due to car was not relevant.

During the planning, there were suggestions made that a group would drive back from Perth via Darwin. It is really the only, alternative road, from Perth to the east side of the continent to, the road over Nullarbor and Port Augusta. Now it is not necessary to drive all the way up to Darwin. It is enough to turn right into Katherine 310 km south of Darwin. From Darwin it is 960 km to the take- off road towards Brisbane. Missing it is the next paved road east in Port Augusta another 1750 km south. This is just to give some perspective on the opportunities to get around Australia on paved roads.

A number of our friends have reported an interest in returning from Perth via Darwin. A couple of excursions were added. Some jumped off. In the end there were 6 Healeys and we in a rental car who booked us with hotels and excursions. 12 people. Two drove alone in their Healeys. When we got away on March 30, two couples had no confidence in their Healeys so they chose the everyday cars instead. In the end, 4 Healeys and 3 utility cars started the trip.


Cecilia and Raoul arrived in Brisbane on March 21 in the evening and the rented car took us to Raoul's daughter, Caroline, in West End. Spent time with her and grandchildren over the weekend. Then we started to prepare for the trip. Complementary medicines and other stuff that is good to have on a long trip. We would be traveling for 45 days and stay in 23 hotels. Drive 14,000 km. Only bitumen roads and with good service at varying distances. We met some friends who would not be on the trip or at the national meeting in Perth.

Off we go

Austin Healey Owners Club of Qld. Inc.
1376 Old Cleveland Road Carindale QLD 4152
Phone 0405 150 859
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