WHAT a weekend it was for the region.
Driving from Tamworth to the small town of Nundle is usually a quiet affair.
You’d be lucky to pass a handful of cars along the 60-kilometre drive, meandering through the back paddocks of farms usually filled with sheep, cattle and crops.
You’d normally pass through the tiny township of Dungowan and then Woolomin just 20 kilometres away without much fanfare.
But it was a different story on the weekend.
Thousands of campers, tourists, travellers and locals made full use of perfect weather and the four-day break to give the region’s economy a huge shot in the arm.
Campgrounds were fuller than ever, and stores recorded their best days of trade on record.
And it all seemed to stem from the Nundle Go for Gold Chinese Easter Festival, which saw the town’s population spike from just 300 to a monstrous 18,000.
It was a huge coup for the town’s businesses too, with Nundle Woollen Mill recording its biggest day of trade ever.
The festival is estimated to have fetched the community almost half a million dollars – and that is testament to the hard work of volunteers who worked tirelessly to stage such an event.
But it wasn’t just Nundle reaping the rewards of the festival and Easter long weekend.
It had a huge spin-off effect on the wider region, as thousands of others flocked to their favourite watering holes on the back of their visit to Nundle.
Chaffey Dam is at capacity and so is its campground. Again, it was local business reaping the rewards.
Woolomin Shop, just a few clicks from Chaffey, has its busiest weekend of trade every Easter.
Store owner Shane Douglas credits the Nundle festival and the campers taking advantage of the perfect weather for Easter trade being better than at Christmas time.
Keepit Dam also recorded its biggest weekend in memory with only three of the 255 available camp sites vacant.
Having a festival as big and wide-reaching as that in Nundle puts the region on the map.
It’s not just a shopfront to a town that visitors mightn’t otherwise look sideways at – but also for the wider region.