Bathurst 1000: Campers set up sites on the Mount

THE sights, sounds and colour of the Bathurst 1000 have hit Mount Panorama, with the Wobbly Boot Bowling Club group among the thousands of campers.

Campers started arriving at the Mount last week and many have set up sites that include all the luxuries from home.

The Wobbly Boot Bowling Club are a dedicated group of race fans from across the country, and this year they will have around 100 people camping on 32 separate sites.

And, forget leaving creature comports at home, this group have brought them along.

The Western Advocate was invited in to take a look at the group’s extensive main marquee.

Leaving the dusty ground of nearby camp sites you are welcomed onto carpeted floors in a main bar area, with a huge flat screen television and a full kitchen.

The Wobbly Boot also has another bar, but this one fronts onto the the street so they can take in the passing parade of race fans and on-track action at the Reid and Sulman areas of the track.

Thirsty? The Wobbly Boot site has its members covered with an esky built into the bar and a slushy machine.

With two of the group's members plumbers, they also have hot water on tap, thanks to a network of pipes that run from a fire in a 44-gallon drum that is not only used for heating the site but also the water.

Wobbly Boot leader Robbie Christian, who comes from Batlow, said he and the group are truly dedicated race fans.

“We've been at least 20 years on this site,” he said.

TOP OF THE MOUNT: Zane, Thomas and Tarnia Gray with (standing on right) Shaun O'Connell at their camp site. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 100317camprs2

TOP OF THE MOUNT: Zane, Thomas and Tarnia Gray with (standing on right) Shaun O'Connell at their camp site. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 100317camprs2

“It’s right on the front line, you don't have to carry any of your stuff.”

Over on the western side of McPhillamy Park are a group of campers from Newcastle and also Rockhampton in Queensland.

Ford fan Shaun O’Connell has travelled to Bathurst from Newcastle for the Great Race every year since 1996.

“I love it, it’s the people, it’s good fun really and it’s a good break,” he said.

“You never get this many campers together having a drink and having fun.”

Tarnia Gray, along with her husband Zane and son Thomas, drove their bus 14 hours south from Rockhampton for the event.

She said the Bathurst 1000 was no excuse for not eating the best food possible.

“It’s all about good food, lots of food. We had prawns last night and we’ve had ribs,” she said.

Mr O’Connell may be familiar to many race fans for his stop/slow sign and handing out free sunscreen.

“If I see someone coming towards me I’ll say ‘stop and put on a hat or take some sunscreen’,” he said. “Don’t let skin cancer take you from the best race in the world.”