Nimbin to Casino New South Wales 13 to 15 July 2007
25 Jul 2007
We left Nimbin and took the longer road to Kyogle, we had travelled part of this route last night but it was beginning to get dark so we did not see the last part of the journey. We eventually reached Kyolge and then onto Highway 91 and headed to Casino.
The town of Casino stands on the Richmond River and its situation at the junction of the Summerland Way and the Bruxner Highway provides easy access to both the coastal beaches, national parks and mountains. It is the centre of the beef industry in New South Wales and each year in May holds a 'Beef Festival'
Our decision to visit Casino was from descriptions we had heard from other motor home people and from what we had read in the 'Wanderer', the magazine of the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia (CMCA). CMCA (Casino Village ) Ltd is a purpose built campsite for motorhomes opened in 2003, but now also allows caravans on site and has some permanent cabins. It was built on an old air field and is known as the destination for all RV travellers, so we just had to visit as we were so close.
When we were checking in Jeff specifically asked for a flat site, following our rocky mountaineer experiences in John's garden. The staff member said that she would give us a gravel site and this would cost an extra $1, a whole 43p. Jeff must have really wanted a flat site as there was no discussion he just said he would take it. As CMCA members we got a discount so overall we paid a fee of $16 per night, nearly £7. We were given a welcome pack which included a weekly activity sheet listing all the happenings on the site, a leaflet telling us about the park, a news letter and a competition about the park. Once registered the lady asked us to drive through the barrier and would be met by a gentleman who would accompany us to our site and assist us on to it. After a tour around a one way system, passing another two Jayco Vans, (they are a little more common over this side of Australia) we arrived at our site on Tea Tree Road. This reminded of our stay in Adelaide with Margaret and John who live at Tea Tree Gully.
We got installed, put the kettle on, it has to be in that order as we need the power to use the electric kettle and read all the information given to us. Our next door neighbour came around to say 'Hello' and during the conversation told us he would introduce us to a New Zealand couple later on. Peter and Gael had bought their Jayco van to take back to NZ, but with the tax system over there, had decided to leave it in store at Hervey Bay to await their return to Australia next winter. We had thought they may have been able to give us pointers for taking our van over, but instead we just compared Jayco stories. We hope to meet with them again in Auckland.
Tonight, Friday, there was a free film show in the large green hut, and it was a film we had not seen. So after an early tea Jeff took me out for the evening. There was a fair number attending the activity and the queues at the toilets afterwards were testimony to that.
On Saturday morning, mindful of early closing day, we walked into Casino, via the park and river area, to have a look around and do a bit of shopping. I decided to buy some fleecy jimjams (Jeff calls them passion killers) for these cold nights and we found a nice café selling freshly cooked doughnuts. Suitably stocked up we headed back to the site along the road as we wanted to call in at the tourist office for information. We had also been told that when we crossed the bridge over the river to look down at the platypus carvings in the rocks on the river bed. They were certainly bigger than we had expected and looked good. Further up the road we crossed a large grassy area and it looked as if an Aboriginal group were having an outing. One man was barbequing a pile of sausages and two of the ladies were organising children's races. Once back at the site we had lunch.
In the afternoon we set off to undertake the competition we had been given with our welcome pack. There were 38 questions and we would have to walk all around the park to discover the answers. We passed the nursery where all the plants and trees that decorate the park are cultivated. Then we were directed to the duck pond and along the dam wall where one question asked how many squares were on the drain cover. As we were taking this competition seriously, I sent Jeff went down to count and he ended up in the water, so he completed the task with one soggy foot.
Our journey took us past where the big motor homes are sited through the non-powered site to the bush camping area, so on this site there is something for everyone. We then found ourselves walking down the main runway keeping an eye out for any low flying aircraft who had not realised the airport was closed. Next we were sent to the pool, the activity room and then on to the pitch and put golf course. Around this area are permanent cabins, so that when members no longer whish to drive about in a motor home they can come and live here and still swap travellers tales with other like minded people. The quiz took us about 3 hours and gave us a really good tour of the site. It also necessitated looking at many plaques naming people who had donated a tree to decorate the park. To all our friends that we have met who are CMCA members we want to know why we did not see your names there? With our quiz completed we handed it in and now await a phone call to inform us we are winners. Our prize will be a tree with our name on.
On Sunday we decided to have a quiet day so read for a while then went to join the disc bowels game scheduled on the activity sheet. It seems we had read the list wrong and Sunday is the only day this doesn't take place, it is something called eight ball instead. Never to be thwarted we got the key for the shed where the disc bowels were kept and had a game ourselves. Some one must have told the local ducks how bad we were as they cleared out of the area double quick. We must have been bad as none of the passing people offered to take us on. I won't tell you who won but I was none too pleased with the results. After an hour we gave up and went to the café for a coffee and a cookie. Returning to our van I got a chair out and sat in the sunshine watching all the goings on. New neighbours came onto the site opposite us, as they were backing in I thought I recognised them as a couple we had met at both the Sea Bird rally and again at the one in Binningup in Western Australia, way back in Jan and Feb. Denis and Maxine had been over this side of the country to attend the National rally in Queensland and after a trip around Queensland where on their way to Sydney to relatives. What a small world to meet someone we know in Casino, NSW, who would have thought it? We shared a long 'happy hour' with them catching up on all their news and our travels since our last meetings.