My 2600km journey over New Years'
I went down to the Falls Festival in Lorne, Vic over new years. Since my mate's VL was having a dummy spit it was decided that we take the LTD. And since we had 4 people taking the trip I decided to take the trailer as I didnt want to turn packing the car into an intense game of Tetris every morning.
We took the coast road and the round trip was 2600km (from Sydney). Firstly, I really think that VicRoads deserve some praise, especially when you compare them to the shit we drive on in NSW. I really noticed it when driving through Melbourne. I expected to be battling through traffic for a fair while but nothing of the sort eventuated. The M1 is a bloody masterpiece. A road with a 100km/h limit (except over the bridge) that runs right through the city. We have nothing of the sort in Sydney. Getting from South Sydney to North Sydney is a nightmare in comparison and if you aren't familiar with the roads then you could easily spend half a day battling your way from north to south or vice versa.
I have to say that I was lucky to be warned about the automatic toll system in advance otherwise I would probably be trying to scrape up money for two fines right now.
The speed limits in Vic also seem a lot more reasonable...at first I was paranoid about your unmarked speed cameras but then I found that driving at the speed limit there is comfortable as opposed to pain staking.
As for the Great Ocean Road, it is one of the nicest stretches of blacktop that i have driven on. We have plenty of roads that offer corners which are just as nice but the scenery is absolutely awesome. I didnt get to fang it as it was dusk, it was drizzling, the LTD was loaded and towing a trailer and there was a long row of cars in front of me who were also on their way to the festival.
It would also appear that Melbourne drivers are also a lot more considerate and less aggressive.
Your Highway Patrol cars in the country areas offered some amusement. They way the decals are done on them make them look like racecars.
I also had a rear tyre shred itself whilst travelling down the Princes Freeway just outside of Melbourne. I'll post a pic of the tyre and the damage caused.
On the way back, as soon as we crossed the border back into NSW it seemed like the roads deteriorated considerably. Your roads are definitely in much better shape.
Overall it was an awesome trip and i'm really happy about the LTD's flawless performance over such a distance and with such a load on board...it didnt skip a beat and returned an average fuel consumption figure of 11.6L/100km for the trip which is considerably lower compared to what I get around town. There was even a Lancer that couldn't keep up with me on the uphill overtaking runs. I was really surprised at the way it pulled up hills at speed, considering the combined weight was around 2400kg (2100kg empty with 2 people + trailer according to my local weighbridge).
As for the Falls Festival...let me just say that it was the best new Years' ever. I'm just curious as to whether any of you guys ended up going down to the festival, let me know.
Normality is the most common form of insanity