Loo With a View

An Uncommon Campground Solution

Picture this 1980s Aussie campground scene – snags sizzling on smoking barbeques, tents pitched shoulder to shoulder, blokes wearing stubby shorts guzzling beer from tinnies, larrikinism a-plenty, and hour after hour of roaring V8 engines on the nearby racetrack.

This picture had become a common sight since motor races began happening on the Mt Panorama circuit near Bathurst, NSW in the late 1930s. It was motorsport enthusiast’s dream – except for one thing.

In those days, the campsites had no public toilets.

So, in 1987 when Peter Riley and Alf Hughes arrived at the Sulman Park campsite to view the James Hardie 1000 race, they found a solution.

Using some old fence palings, a lick of paint, plenty of good humour, and a dash of ingenuity, Peter and Alf fashioned this makeshift toilet. In true spectator spirit, they painted the dunny’s door and walls in contrasting colours, inspired by the colour schemes and numbers on the supercars of their race favourites: Peter Brock’s ‘MOBIL 05’ and Dick Johnson’s ‘SHELL 17.’

Under its pitched roof (now long gone), this dunny was nothing more than three walls, a door, and a few short palings joined together to make a seat on top of an old tin. What it lacked in plumbing it made up for with location. The campsite at Sulman Park is located at the highest point of Mount Panorama, which happens to be the perfect position for spectators to watch the race cars as they ascend the mountain. This was a loo with a view.

Today the circuit is best known for the Bathurst 1000, considered as one of the world’s most difficult endurance races for V8 Supercar drivers. However, the wind and rain that moved over the mountain during the 1987 James Hardie 1000 gave it a run for its money. Up at the campsite, Peter and Alf may have used this very dunny to shelter during the storm.