Trip Report: MySwag.org National Meet, 2013 – Nymboida Canoe Centre

As we have a houseful of animals, it is often difficult for us to get away. However, a very kind friend of ours was more than happy to venture out to the country and the serenity of our home to housesit for us so after packing up, we headed off to Nymboida Friday about 11am.

All packed up and only 2 nights worth of gear? I can't wait til we have our Aussie Swag camper trailer

All packed up and only 2 nights worth of gear? I can’t wait til we have our Aussie Swag camper trailer

We decided to take one of our dogs with us and so we needed to stop a couple of times along the way to give us all a break from the 4+hr journey.  Pépe, the Jack Russell, was so excited, he could barely contain himself.  Living on a small property, we rarely take the dogs off the farm, with the exception of the vets, so he was more than happy for a different trip.

We arrived at the Nymboida Canoe Centre, where the meet was being held, about 4pm and after introducing ourselves to the registration team, we set up our tent (amongst all the other camper trailers) and immediately got to talking with the couples camped near us.  Everyone is so friendly 🙂

No mobile reception, an unpowered site (which meant no computer) and no watches made for a very peaceful weekend.  I, for one, didn’t miss technology at all.

Nymboida Canoe Centre entrance

Nymboida Canoe Centre entrance

Campsite set up under the trees and near the river

Campsite set up under the trees and near the river

Some of the other campers around us.

Some of the other campers around us.

The Nymboida Canoe Centre is situated on the banks of the Goolang Creek, 35km South West of Grafton on the Armidale Road.  Whilst this centre usually caters for white water canoeing, kayaking and white water rafting, unfortunately, the floods in January caused a fair amount of damage to the gates from the power station which meant that there is not enough water to partake of these type of activities.  However, that said, no one cared in the slightest.  We all enjoyed the wonderful camping facilities that this centre has and quite a few of us took advantage of sitting and paddling in the beautiful cool creek just below our campsites.  Dogs and kids alike enjoyed the gentle running water.  (See our review of the facilities here).

Pépe enjoying the creek

Pépe enjoying the creek

Pépe and new found friend, Ebony

Pépe and new found friend, Ebony

Damian and Pépe enjoying the cool of the creek on this warm spring afternoon

Damian and Pépe enjoying the cool of the creek on this warm spring afternoon

The organising committee had arranged for everyone to meet up by the huge campfire to enjoy a sausage sizzle, so we headed up to the main area to meet new people and enjoy their company.  The camaraderie was evident and we quickly felt at home with this new group of friends.  Other dog owners seem to gravitate towards each other, and before we knew it, there was a group of three families sitting together with their dogs.  No doubt about it, dogs seem to help break the ice.

Next day there were a couple of activities organised, which we could either join in with or not – it was entirely up to each family.  We decided to head off with Mark to the Nymboida Coaching Station and the Museum of Interesting Things.

Nymboida Coaching Station

Nymboida Coaching Station

After a short drive in convoy from the Canoe Centre, we arrived at the Coaching Station where we admired the view, enjoyed coffees and hot chocolates from the cafe and then headed into the Museum to enjoy what they had to offer.  There was no rush, everyone took their time and enjoyed friendly conversation with each other.

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Nymboida Coaching Station

Nymboida Coaching Station

View from the Coaching Station - showing the erosion caused from the January floods where the water came up to the viewing bridge

View from the Coaching Station – showing the erosion caused from the January floods where the water came up to the viewing bridge

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MySwag.org National Meet 2013-7

Outdoor sculpture

Outdoor sculpture

The Bar inside the Coaching Station Inn

The Bar inside the Coaching Station Inn

Inside the Inn

Inside the Inn

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After spending some time at the museum, the majority of the group headed on with the drive, but we were in need of some supplies from Coutts Crossing, so we drove back and then spent the afternoon having some lunch and relaxing by the tent.

About 4pm, a group photo was organised and I was hoisted up onto Brett’s 4WD to take the photos.

The entire group

The entire group

The billy lids

The billy lids

Those who organised enough to purchase the Meet shirt :)

Those who organised enough to purchase the Meet shirt 🙂

and those who were at the last National Meet

and those who were at the last National Meet

After the photo session, some wags suggested the only way for me to get down from the 4WD was for Brett to drive near a low hanging branch – hmmm. Anyway, I eventually was helped down from my spot, and we all headed off to make dinner and get back to the main area for the evening entertainment, the raffle draw and the auction.  Steak, chips, mushies and onions went down well made on the Webber Q then we all headed back to the main site.

The entertainment was provided by a bush poet, Bill Kerns who told some tall yarns. Reminded me of dad 🙂  After this, the raffles were drawn and the auction was completed.

Bill Kerns - bush poet

Bill Kerns – bush poet

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This just about sums up the evening

This just about sums up the evening

A selection of prizes up for the win in the raffles

A selection of prizes up for the win in the raffles

Brett and Jill :)

Brett and Jill 🙂

Pépe enjoying the entertainment

Pépe enjoying the entertainment

After the night’s entertainment, I headed back to my campsite with a couple of the kids and we had a play with my camera doing some light painting.  Thanks to Lachlan and Imogen for their help 🙂

Lachlan's image

Lachlan’s image

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Imogen's efforts

Imogen’s efforts

Time to head off the next morning, packing up and saying goodbye to newfound friends took a couple of hours and we left in the knowledge that we had indeed happened upon a very good thing.

Three of the kid's camped next to us and our dogs.  L-R: Hunter, Ebony and Pépe

Three of the kid’s camped next to us and our dogs.
L-R: Hunter, Ebony and Pépe

Hunter

Hunter

We enjoyed ourselves incredibly and can’t wait to see what the next 12 months and more brings us once we have our Aussie Swag up and running.

Cheers

Vanessa and Damian

Our map:

Round trip to Nymboida for the National Meet

Round trip to Nymboida for the National Meet

3 Comments on “Trip Report: MySwag.org National Meet, 2013 – Nymboida Canoe Centre

  1. Great to read what is going on up there, I was at the 2011 meet but couldnt get to this one because of a back operation.

    Keep up the good writing

    Trevor

    • Thanks so much for your comment. I am pleased that you like my blog and my writing.
      Cheers

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