A convoy with a difference will roll into Gunnedah at the end of the month when more than 50 members of the High Wheeler Register of the Veteran Car Club of Australia descend on the town for the 16th National Rally of the organisation.

The proud owners will arrive in 20 very unique vehicles which will carry them around the shire and beyond using the back country roads of the district in a week of fun activities and sightseeing.

Organiser Robert Duffy, who is based in Mudgee, has been on his second visit to Gunnedah over the past week to finalise arrangements for the rally.

“We have a very busy program organised with our members arriving this Sunday and undertaking five tours utilising their veteran vehicles before enjoying a farewell dinner at the band hall on the Friday evening,” Mr Duffy said.

“Our reception by the Gunnedah community has been exceptional with locals keen to ensure that our week in Gunnedah is an informative and enjoyable one.

“We have five days of tours planned so that our visitors can see as much of your wonderful shire as possible,” he said.

The tour itinerary on the first day includes a town tour with visits to the Gunnedah Rural Museum, Gunnedah High School, the Mackellar Centre and Water Tower Museum, Julie Mammen’s collection and Pensioners Hill.

On day two, the visitors will enjoy a trip to Keepit Dam for a barbecue lunch via the Orange Grove Road and return via the Bulga Road.

On the third day the historic village of Carroll will be the venue for morning tea hosted by Carroll Public School and then a visit to Carroll Cotton Gin for a tour and lunch before returning to Gunnedah.

On day four, the group will visit to the historic Mackellar family property, Kurrumbede, for morning tea before journeying on to Boggabri for lunch at the RSL and returning via the Grain Valley Way, Goolhi and Quia roads.

On day five, the group will travel to the property Wandobah where host John Sumner will demonstrate his impressive model trains and provide morning tea before the group travels via Avoca Road to Curlewis Public School and the Curlewis pub for lunch and back to Gunnedah via Preston and Wandobah roads.

“We have chosen these routes as due to the vehicles’ age and speed limit of around 30kmh, it is best to stay away from heavily-trafficked main roads and we also want to show them as much of this interesting countryside as possible,” Mr Duffy said.

“The vehicles were made between 1900 and December 1918 and were some of the very first powered vehicles, so they are very historical – but slow – similar to a horseless carriage. “They were designed to handle the rough roads of that period with their wheels between 700mm and one metre in diameter.”

Mr Duffy said the reception in Gunnedah has been “terrific” whether it be from moteliers, food suppliers, property owners, visitor information centre staff or motoring enthusiasts.

“So, we think we have made a great decision by choosing Gunnedah as the venue for this year’s rally,” he said.

“We have 20 vehicles and more than 40 people booked for the event already so we can expect a good turnout and hope that the weather is ideal for that week in October.”

The vehicles will be on display outside The Civic on Monday, October 23, from midday until 1.30pm for those who are interested in looking at these veteran machines.”

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