SYDNEY Harbour may be synonymous with New Year’s celebrations, but for Carroll painter and decorator Paul Davidson there’s only one place to be to farewell the old year, and welcome the new.
Last night he and up to 50 family and friends spent the last hours of 2012 and the first of 2013 camped on the Namoi River in a “secret” spot near Carroll.
Mr Davidson, 52, estimates he’s spent at least 25 New Year’s Eves at the place he’s been coming to since he was a child.
The group set up their camp on Boxing Day, returning to town for a few days, before reconvening at the river yesterday afternoon.
Fishing has been one of the main pastimes, the group catching about 50 cod and yellow belly since Boxing Day, with the kids out and about in kayaks and a variety of dryland sports also on the agenda.
Pop-top campers, tents and communal shadecloths form the basis of the camp and Mr Davidson said “between everyone, we have everything we need”.
An expanse of flat ground, large shade trees and a “grassy knoll” make the camping spot near perfect.
“You wake up in the morning and look straight out on the river,” he said.
“It’s the coolness and just getting away from it all.
“I deal with the public every day but you come out here and you can just forget about the books, forget about the stress ... it’s the serenity.”
They were planning on making some noise at midnight last night though, with firecrackers on hand and a few verses of Auld Lang Syne belted out around the fire.