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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 🙂
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.
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.
Vanessa and Damian