Written by Sarah Davis:
With Christmas a distant memory and the new year well and truly marching past we were eager to bring the Drive Against Depression community back together for another day out. Autumn is perfect for a Mornington Peninsula Drive, so we took advantage of the stunning views and engaging roads to welcome everyone back on Sunday 4th March for a leisurely cruise and lunch with a view.
With mental illness affecting 1 in 5 Australians, connecting our mission to support people through a shared enthusiasm for motoring with car clubs is a natural fit. Earlier in the year I met with the President and Central Chapter Captains of the Mazda MX-5 Club of Victoria and Tasmania where, over a cuppa on a rainy day, I learned about the club and explained our intentions. The idea to connect the club with our Mornington Peninsula Drive was quickly adopted, and we’re very grateful for the support from the club and promotion of our cause through their network.
As a result of the MX-5 Club’s partnership we were joined by 30 of their enthusiastic members. To see the carpark filling up with new and old friends from the MX-5 Club and DAD communities was equally thrilling and humbling, and an example of how many people are seeking non-confrontational opportunities to enjoy their cars, great roads and the company of like-minded people.
For an extra element of fun for the day, our Ambassador Paul Maric and Mazda Australia kindly arranged for us to drive the brand new Mazda MX-5 RF Limited Edition for the weekend, and wow, did it draw attention! With its eye-catching looks, agile steering and impressively fast roof retraction the new MX-5 had us grinning all day. This pearl white beauty was swiftly added to the wish list of several guests, with chatter heard throughout the day about how it would be a great addition to an existing MX-5 collection.
With registration and a participant briefing completed, we packed up the workstation which had been assembled on the RF LE’s boot (a handy precedent set by DJ’s Porsche at the last drive) and headed for Frankston-Flinders Road towards The Esplanade, keeping an eye out for local fauna and enjoying the sights. Deciduous trees were showing early signs of changing colour with the cooler seasons ahead. The sun gave us enough warmth while the breeze cut through the lingering feelings of summer warmth. It was a perfect roof down day for a leisurely Sunday cruise.
While we didn’t set strict convoy rules for the day, the group stayed enjoyably in sight of each other, adding to the fun of seeing a friend up ahead or in the rear view mirror at an intersection. The fun of White Hill Road, Shands Road and Main Creek Road lead us to Arthurs Seat Road for a morning tea break at the top carpark and a catch up about cars and life while enjoying the view back towards Safety Beach.
Comfort break over, trip metres zeroed and crews back in their vehicles, we headed down the famous Arthurs Seat Tourist Road. DJ went ahead to capture photos (which you can view in our gallery) and many stopped to take in the view…and collect the first of their treasure hunt answers!
Lunch was in mind as we meandered the interesting way to the Flinders Golf Club via Golf Links Road. This stunning stretch of road took us along the back of the golf course along the cliff top and provided another perfect opportunity for photos and chatter.
Over lunch DJ challenged our lateral thinking as we muddled through David Henry’s treasure hunt questions, suitably more challenging than the last event and with laughter and banter in equal measure. Our treasure hunt prize was kindly donated by Dean Sammut at Evolve Driver Training, who’ll be taking our winner for a complimentary day of defensive road safety instruction at Sandown Raceway.
Lunch concluded the formal part of our day with several participants heading off to make their own way through Flinders and surrounding towns and enjoying the afternoon at a winery or two, while Adam and I hung back to chat to the remaining guests. It’s perhaps this time of the day that I enjoy the most, where the schedule is finished and there’s an extra cuppa on the way to sit back with and enjoy the view with the company of those we haven’t caught up with in a while.
That’s really the essence of these days – the pleasure of a great drive with great company, and the opportunity to reconnect amidst the busyness of life. We’re so proud of the community that’s building, and since we’ve now held a few events we’re seeing the camaraderie building and just how much these days are now looked forward to.
We are truly humbled by each person’s participation, generosity of donations and willingness to engage in the intention of the day – to connect with people, and yourselves, in a welcoming environment over a shared enthusiasm for motoring.