Little town prepares for big campfire

CRACKER: The Kelly family will be back again this year to show off their whipcracking skills. Photo: Sam Woods
CRACKER: The Kelly family will be back again this year to show off their whipcracking skills. Photo: Sam Woods

The Boggabri Drovers’ Campfire committee is preparing for another cracking year on April 26-30.

Founder of the annual award-winning event, Geoff Eather, said similar numbers to last year were booked in and good weather was holding.

“Everything’s on track for another good event,” he said.

Each year, the popular event draws caravanners and campers from across NSW, with many coming from the Hunter Valley and Central Coast.

The campfire committee are busy getting the Boggabri Showgrounds ready for the influx of visitors.

“The grounds look a picture,” Mr Eather said.

“We’ve been keeping it slashed because of the wetter weather, so we’ve got a bit of green grass over there.”

Mr Eather said the committee was encouraging more local community members to get involved and make a bit of money for themselves at the same time.

“It’s a big business now, tourism, and I don’t think people realise how many people are in the move and there’s money in it for our community if we want to step out and embrace the travellers,” he said.

He said the main supplies for the event are purchased from the IGA, Boggabri Meats and Hop Along Bakery.

“We spend as much money as possible in town because that’s what it’s designed to do,” he said.

A number of groups from Boggabri and the surrounding area are also involved, including the Rotary Club, Fairfax Public School, Baan Baa hall and Boggabri Pony Club.

Campers are set for a full schedule from April 26-30 with musical entertainment including Col Maxwell and the Two Gals, multiple displays, and numerous tours taking in Boggabri Coal Mine, Namoi River fishing, Long Horn cattle stud, Willala farm, Mount Kaputar National Park, Pilliga Pottery and Sandstone Caves.

Highlights of the weekend include bush cooking with ranger Nick, Paws Up Dog Jumping, antique machinery parade, whip cracking, and a billy boiling competition.

Paws Up.

Paws Up.

“I always look forward to [the campfire]. It’s nice, come Sunday and it’s all worked more or less as you expected it to,” Mr Eather said.

“We keep getting feedback that it’s reasonably well run so that’s really pleasing for us that people think we’ve done a pretty good job.”