TAMWORTH and district residents flocked to parks, pools and campgrounds to make the most of the last day of the long weekend yesterday, before it's back to the beginning of the working week today.
Sunshine and blue skies were the main public holiday attractions across the New England North West as people spent their Mondays enjoying the fine spring weather.
A cold and rainy start to the long weekend quickly cleared, with holiday makers having their pick of the many activities scheduled across the region.
Country music fans turned out in droves to see American star Joe Nichols take to the stage at the Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre on Friday night, kicking off a full three days of activities.
A Tourism Tamworth spokesman said the country singer had definitely boosted the occupancy rate at Tamworth hotels and accommodation venues and that those "out-of-towners" had settled in for the weekend.
With trucking and school reunions in Tamworth, those looking for some sports action had the mototrials at Bendemeer or the Tamworth junior cricket carnival for plenty of thrills and spills.
Keen fishers took advantage of the trout season's official opening with the Walcha Bowling Club's annual fishing competition seeing 66 competitors taking part.
Six-year-old Abby Marshall proved herself the princess of the Apsley River, bringing back four trout to earn herself the title of champion girl fisher.
"It was a terrific weather and a terrific weekend," fishing club president Graham Partridge said.
Tamworth's Anzac Park was full of those who decided a quiet barbecue and visit to the playground was the perfect way to spend the public holiday, with hundreds of people staking their picnic rug claim on the park.
Campgrounds at Chaffey Dam were also overflowing with happy campers taking advantage of the sunny weather, with tents and camper vans filling the popular recreation ground.
Camper Kristy Barratt said it was a regular family tradition to come to the dam every year with the kids, caravan and a tinnie, even though the fishing had been a little below par this year.
"Five days and no fish," laughed the Moore Creek mum.
She said Friday night was a test for the hundreds of campers, as plenty of rain and wind battered tents and drove campers to seek refuge in cars, but the mood lifted as the storm passed.
"Everyone had a ball. The kids love it here, they look forward to it every year," she said.
The wet weather paled in comparison to packing up six kids' and five adults' camping equipment, however, with Kristy saying the five-day trip ended with nearly four hours of packing up.
Today's return to work will be accompanied by sunny temperatures of about 24 degrees Celsius across the region.
It looks as though the sunny days are here to stay, with the long-range forecast predicting highs in the late-20s by the weekend.