In 1915, 53 Ford motor cars carrying more than 300 people travelled in convoy from Ballarat to the University of Melbourne’s School of Forestry, Nursery and Arboretum, at the State Forest in Creswick.
Now, more than a century later, the Maryborough District Historical Vehicle Society will be charting this same trip on Saturday 14 October 2017, as part of the 10th Central Goldfield Rally.
Creswick Campus Historical Collection Curator Gerard Fahey says drivers and their passengers will get a chance to explore the site’s history and learn about how its research has impacted the local community. “It’s easy to see why our campus, which sits in the heart of the State Forest on 15 hectares of Dja Dja Wurrung land in Creswick, was a point of interest for the drivers over 100 years ago, and remains so today,” Mr Fahey says.
“We host Australia’s only dedicated forest ecosystem program for teaching and research into conservation, forest industries and molecular biology, and the adjacent native and plantation forests feature some of Victoria’s original goldfields architecture.”
Recent research into bushfire behaviour and management has had a direct impact on the conservation of the forest and broader community, Mr Fahey says.
“We have developed a state of the art computer model called PHOENIX RapidFire, which can quickly simulate the spread of a bushfire and determine its likely impacts,” he says.
“This model is being used by Australian fire agencies during active fires, to identify areas of highest risk and to guide the firefighting effort. “It’s just one example of the exemplary work being done by our researchers at Creswick that will make sure that in another 100 years the Maryborough District Historic Motor Vehicle Club, and others, can retrace this special journey again.”
The rally will arrive at the historic Creswick campus at approximately 11am on Saturday 14 October 2017. Spectators can relive the past with a display of some of Australia’s best preserved classic cars, including an original 1915 Ford T, in one of Australia’s most breathtaking settings.