THE Finlay family from Western Australia have never been to Tamworth before, but it’s already made quite an impression.
They arrived in the city the week before the country music festival began, after eight weeks on the road in a caravan, and now have plans to stay on for at least the next few months.
Jeremy and Raelene, with children Luke, Liam and Lily, left their home of Burekup, near Bunbury, in November, spent Christmas in Tocumwal and decided to aim for Tamworth after hearing so much about the festival.
Fans of country music, they’ve liked what they’ve seen and decided with the school term about to start, they’ll enrol their children in school and both will look for work.
Currently calling the festival campgrounds home, they’ll relocate to a local caravan park and continue to live in the van, which so far has been a very successful “home-away-from-home”.
Raelene described the trip to date as “an adventure” and said it had always been something she and Jeremy had wanted to do with their kids before they got too old.
“It’s been lovely meeting new people and just getting away from the ‘9 to 5’,” she said.
They admitted it had been somewhat daunting leaving the security of a full-time jobs and packing up their lives for an indeterminate period of time (they’re renting out their Burekup home), but it felt good to be doing what so many only dream of.
“A lot of people say they’d love to do this, but when it comes to the crunch, no-one actually does,” Raelene said.
They had travelled extensively before their children were born, she said, but not to the places on this trip’s itinerary.
They’re not sure how long they’ll remain in Tamworth but said they’d liked what they’d seen so far and it reminded them of Bunbury, which is a similar size.
In the meantime, they’re keen to soak up the festival atmosphere and get to know their new home a little better.