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Motorcycle Restorers Club rally sees troves of two-wheeled treasures

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 03/06/2022 - 7:07am in


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Col Sunderland from the Taree and District Vintage & Classic Motorcycle Club with his prestigious BMW K75 parked up at Sawtell’s Big4 caravan park before setting off on the big ride.

NOW in its 38th year, the Motorcyle Restorers Club of Coffs Harbour attracted some 80 riders and pillions for their three-day rally last weekend, 27 to 29 May.

Meeting at Sawtell’s Big4 camping and caravan park, riders from as far as Newcastle/Hunter Valley to South East Queensland gathered for the main event on Saturday to choose between the long ride to Dundarrabin, near Dorrigo or the short ride, through Nana Glen to Coutts Crossing.

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“All the riders join up in the afternoon at Coutts Crossing,” Rob Popplewell, President of the Coffs Harbour and District Motorcycle Restorers Club and Rally Convenor, told News Of The Area.

Rob joined Coffs’ motorcycle club in 1996 and has ridden in most of the rallies.

“It’s great to see people with their historic bikes and ride together,” he said.

“The rally is more for the other clubs to experience our region.”

Amongst the group was Don Sonter, the first Rally Director for the Coffs Harbour Motorcycle Restorers Club back in 1984 when the rally began.

One of a few women riders, Coffs club member, Lara, aka ‘Bonnie’, was heading out for the long ride.

Gary Mackay from Coffs was on his fourth Motorcycle Restorers rally, opting for the short ride.

“I do it for camaraderie and making friends, and looking at all the old bikes, some of which go back to the 1930s,” said Gary.

Geoff Newton has been a member of the Coffs club for fifteen years and has done numerous short rides in past rallies.

“I enjoy the friendship of the club; I go out riding several times a week on the different social rides,” said Geoff.

Visitor Col Sunderland from the Taree Motorcycle Club has what many considered to be the most prestigious bike in the rally; a V-twin JAP in a BSA frame.

JAP (J.A.Prestwich) is an English engine manufacturer who made engines for many English bike manufacturers.

“It’s a treasure,” Col told NOTA, “very much so.”

“It’s very rare, in fact unique; I put a 1951 racing engine inside a 1954 BSA frame.

“It’s a 1100cc which has a lot of torque; it’s very economical and a quiet runner.”

Saturday’s rally riders gathered at Coutts Crossing to view all the bikes.

Trisha Herraman, Motorcycle Restorers Club Secretary and Club Membership Officer, had the fun job of organising the judging and awards.

“The categories include age and originality…all the good stuff,” she said.

Dinner was taken in the Coutts Crossing Community Hall, prepared by the ladies of the Hall Committee.

Day 1 of the rally saw riders head out to Ulong and on Day 3 they rode to Stuarts Point.


Coramba Community Hall welcomes Music in the Regions project

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 29/05/2022 - 5:48am in


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Guitarist Andrew Blanch and harpist Emily Granger bring Suite Mágica to Coramba Community Hall for Music in the Regions. Photo: Lyss Photo Stories.

MUSIC in the Regions, a project funded by Create NSW to take classical music into regional areas, brought a “wonderfully magical afternoon” to Coramba Community Hall on Saturday 21 May.

Guitarist Andrew Blanch and harpist Emily Granger took to the stage, delighting a large crowd of captivated classical music lovers with their performance of Suite Mágica.

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Emily told News Of The Area, “Andrew and I spent the afternoon driving along Orara Way from our accommodation at the CBD Motor Inn in Coffs Harbour to the historic town of Coramba.

“We were traveling here for the first concert stop on our tour for Music in the Regions.

“Our program, Suite Mágica, combines our instruments of classical guitar and harp in a recital program full of beauty, versatility, and energy exploring music from Granados and Ravel and new works by Australian composers Elena Kats-Chernin and Ross Edwards.

“Our performance took place at the lovely Coramba Community Hall built in 1914.

“For me as an American, this building looked like pure Australiana.

“With the misty mountains in the background, the open valley with cows grazing amongst the pasture, and the kookaburras laughing, I was just waiting for a wallaby to bounce by.
“I was told by the locals it wasn’t the first time a harpist has performed here.”

According to the Coramba local, an Australian harpist once graced this same stage playing country-western on her harp.

Andrew and Emily gave their performance to a packed house, getting their ten-day tour off to a great start.

“The warm and receptive audience was so thankful that we had traveled so far to their small community to bring them such high-quality and exciting classical music.

“The Orara Valley Axemen were behind the bar serving the audience refreshments between sets, and a couple of harpists traveled from far and wide to attend the concert.

“It is always a treat to meet musicians.

“After our performance, we were invited to the local pub, The Coramba Hotel, for a couple of pints, outside again with the fabulous view overlooking the valley.

“We were joined by Music in the Regions Artistic Director Janine Collins, who came all the way from Sydney as well as Producer Annabelle Swainston and Marketing Olivia Deskoski.”

When in Coffs, Andrew and Emily spent the afternoon in Sawtell with Stephanie Sims’ Ukulele group, Uko Ono.

Steph told NOTA, “We weren’t sure how the workshop session was going to go – the only thing we knew we had in common was strings.

“In addition to an intimate performance from Emily and Andrew, we received some great tips for playing and got to perform three songs together.

“We chose songs from our repertoire which have quite sparse arrangements to allow space for the harp and classical guitar to shine through.

“I think the best message we received was to really listen to each other.

“We have so many beautiful voices in our group it was lovely to hear it all come together,” said Steph.




Something for everyone at the Coffs Harbour Show

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 18/05/2022 - 10:00pm in


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Liz Knoblock and Wally Gately from Coffs Harbour and District Banana Growers Association with tasty ripe bananas to give away at the Coffs Harbour Show.


FOCUSING on children’s entertainment and a fast paced schedule of events, the Coffs Harbour Show was a hit with families last weekend, 13-15 May.

News Of The Area (NOTA) caught up with Christopher Pearson, President of the Coffs Harbour Show Society in the exhibition pavilion at the produce table where he was musing over the Decorated Vegetables category winners.

“This just demonstrates how diverse the Coffs Show is,” Chris said, pointing to a little display of winning vegetables decorated as famous politicians: Clive Palmer, Pauline Hanson and Scott Morrison.

“We’ve had good attendance over all three days; there’s so much free entertainment.

“The circus has been full every performance and the Wheel of Steel has amazed people.

“Our emphasis was on good clean family fun and people have enjoyed it all.

“From the circus, they can go to see the Working Barru Dogs rounding up sheep, to the venomous snakes demonstrations and the animal petting zoo,” said Christopher.

And then there’s the arts and crafts workshops going on all the time in the pavilion to participate in, you can wander round all the displays of winning crafts…and get a free banana at the Banana Growers Association stand.

“With all the children’s activities we have had good support from local schools – with thirteen schools participating this year with entries,” said Christopher.

“They also give us feedback on ways to build the show, like adding sheep classes to the agriculture competitions section.”

Woolgoolga High School brings its own-produced honey to the show and Bowraville and Bellingen High Schools bring their cattle to compete.

“St John Paul College senior students join the Coffs Show Society members’ team in setting the show up, for work experience contributing to their event management course studies.

“These students participated all last week learning how to set up an event; putting up the circus big top, working with the light and sound engineers, public relations, meeting sponsors and they’ve also learned about occupational health and safety requirements.

“This work experience is a pilot program and has been a great success this year so we hope to build on that for next year’s Coffs Show.”

Speaking of next year, Christopher reveals the Coffs Show Society members have mooted the idea of having a Spring Show rather than an Autumn Show.

“We’re looking at proposed dates of 13-15 October for 2023.

“There’s the advantage of having flowers in bloom, the cattle would have calves at foot, the poultry wouldn’t be moulting, the horses wouldn’t be growing their winter coats so they would show better and we’d also get onto a circuit for the teenage sideshow rides: Taree Show, then us in Coffs and then they go on to Lismore.

“The weather in spring is usually better than the autumn rain that’s plagued the show for years.”

The proposed dates have been released on the Coffs Show Society website with a questionnaire which asks for everyone’s feedback and comments.

To participate in the survey for 2023 see:

Here’s a round-up of some of Coffs Show highlights for 2022.

Old MacDonald’s Petting Farm

Old MacDonald’s Petting Farm welcomed patting hands for three days straight.

“We have pigs, goats, sheep, an alpaca, ducks, chickens and a rabbit,” Sonia Dillon shared.

The most popular pet?

“Probably the alpaca, Coco, she’s got a lovely nature and the kids are surprised that she is softer than the sheep.”

Reptile World

Reptile World from the Big Banana ran a series of demonstrations.

“For our snake awareness shows we discuss what you do if you come across a snake,” said Adam Strickland from Reptile World.

“The purpose of the educational part of the show is to build respect with the snakes.”

Between shows, Adam showed off a black headed python.

“He’s ten years old and very used to being handled – he’s called Chino because he looks like a cappuccino.”

Barru Working Kelpies

“We’ve seen surprisingly large audiences for our show,” said Scott Amon from Barru Working Kelpies in Valla.

“People love to see the dogs shifting livestock; it’s that interaction between the human, the dog and the livestock completing a task.

“People are enthralled by it – they love the relationship between me and the dogs.

“We breed for that inherited shepherding then we put command over instinct.”

It’s a team effort, he says.

The Barru Working Kelpies were sponsored for the second year by Highgrove Bathrooms.

Rod Baldock from Highgrove Kitchens said, “We’re always looking for ways to support the local community and this worked well last year so we did it again.

“Scott puts on such a good show – it’s great to see large audiences for each show.”

The Banana Growers Association

Lovely local bananas are a Coffs Show favourite and even better when the Coffs Harbour and District Banana Growers Association members are giving them away.

Wally Gately, a many-year regular of Coffs Show said their Association’s presence is about awareness and connecting with the community – there’s no competitions anymore.

The ripe banana flavour this season?

“It’s always good in Coffs Harbour,” he smiled.

Commenting on the wet weather, Wally is philosophical, saying, “If you look back over time, it’s happened before.

“We had this much rain back in the 1950s.

“The rain makes it awkward; harvesting can be tricky – our neighbours in Macksville can’t get onto their plantations.”

Liz Knoblock from the Banana Growers Association said, “You have to take what Mother Nature gives out.”

Coffs Orchid Society

Growing orchids is a thriving interest in the region and the local Coffs Harbour Orchid Society has a booming membership of around 50 enthusiasts.

Orchid fan Bruce Hall worked the Sunday morning shift on the Society’s plant-filled stand answering questions and “hopefully exposing people to growing orchids…what it takes in care and attention,” he said.

Questions ranged from what fertilisers to use to the general care of different orchids and all about how to look after them.

“The orchids we have on display – some of them are winners from recent past events – come from different places around the world.

“Every month there’s a different orchid that will flower.”

Horse events

“Well, we had tons of mud but the rain held off and we had happy riders,” Horse Ring secretary Alice Rehwinkel said.

“Competitors have ridden to the conditions.

“We’ve seen quality riders, a good atmosphere and everyone’s been very patient.

“We had to split the events between three areas because of the muddy ground in parts.

“Unfortunately, the show jumping was cancelled owing to the weather and ground conditions.

“Yesterday was good with all the breed classes: brumbies, thoroughbreds, Arabians, Australian ponies and more.

“While it wasn’t a big show, we saw competitors score personal bests and gain great achievements.”




Sawtell Swimming Pool closed for rebuild

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 08/05/2022 - 9:07pm in


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Sawtell swimming pool at 5.30am weekdays sees kids swim squads hit the water before school.

A POIGNANT mood pervaded the poolside atmosphere at Sawtell Swimming Pool as squad training finished on the last day before closing for the facility’s rebuild.

Now, with nowhere to train, having not been granted training lanes at the space-pressured Coffs Harbour Olympic Swimming Pool, Sawtell swimming coaches, Kim ‘Kimbo’ Roach and Sharen ‘Shaz’ Hackfath, couldn’t give their club members an answer to their questions about when and where their training will commence for next season.

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Coaches and members of Sawtell Swimming Club are urging Council to either start the rebuild immediately or allow them back into the pool in September to continue training until the rebuild has a start date.

“When asked if I could share some achievements, experiences, and memories of Sawtell Pool as it closes for the possible rebuild, my mind went into overdrive,” Shaz told News Of The Area.

“I have been blessed with countless and rewarding hours at Sawtell Pool and have many memorable moments as a Mumma, swim instructor, coach and recreational swimmer.

“Sawtell Pool has provided opportunities on so many levels for our rapidly growing and thriving seaside community.
“Sawtell Pool was where my kids trained and competed.

“Their poolside breakfast treat after training was a Sawtell bakery-bought croissant, before going off to school.

“Sawtell Pool was where I trained to become a swim instructor many years ago and most recently moved into coaching with Sawtell Swimming Squads.”

Sawtell Swimming Squads have trained weekly five mornings and four afternoons under the direction and leadership of coach Kimbo.

Adult squads have been coached by Dean ‘Deano’ Hancock and Kim three nights a week.

Kim and Shaz describe themselves as coaches with passion and compassion.

Sawtell Swimming Squads train for all levels, abilities and ages, “For our elite competitors, for stroke correction or fitness, and for our little surf groms needing the swim experience to handle themselves in the ocean,” said Shaz.

The Squads filter swimmers into the Sawtell Swim Club held on Wednesday nights.

“We are still hopeful this will continue at the Coffs Harbour Olympic pool in the interim.

“Unfortunately, our Sawtell Swimming Squads have been hard hit with the season closure of Sawtell pool on April 30 and for a possible rebuild.

“We haven’t been allocated lane space at the Coffs Harbour Olympic pool for the winter season and the rebuild has left us with an unsure direction for Kim and me as well as the Sawtell community.

“It was an emotional goodbye at our last training session being unable to provide our families with a venue to train.

“We would appreciate any help or guidance from local government or the community…we need a pool.

“It is our belief that it is essential that the current Sawtell Pool reopens in September if the rebuild hasn’t commenced,” urged Shaz.

Sawtell Pool hosts many local school swim carnivals and school Learn to Swim programs and without this facility, many people are going to miss out on life saving skills, social recreation and fitness opportunities.

“With a population of close to 80,000 in our area, Coffs Olympic Pool is going to be under the pump accommodating for the closure of both Sawtell and Woolgoolga Pools whilst the rebuilds are in progress.

“I hope they can have these new pool facility rebuilds finished quickly for these two rapidly growing communities.”

Sawtell Pool has also been home to Aquafit for over 20 years, where Simone Saunders has led the group for the past five years.

“It has brought the Sawtell community together at least several mornings a week at 8 am,” Simone told NOTA.

“Aquafit is a non-impact exercise which means less stress on your joints.

“It’s great for cardiovascular fitness, strength and general health.

“But most of all they all have fun while doing it.

“It gives me great joy to teach in Sawtell, I hope we don’t have to wait too long for it to return.”

A Council spokesperson told News Of The Area, “Sawtell Pool has closed and Council is preparing to go to tender to secure a suitably qualified contractor to build the new facility.

“The construction is scheduled to take twelve to fifteen months with a tentative reopening of the pool in October 2023.

“The reopening will be subject to timeframes established and confirmed during the tender process.”


Toyota Star Maker finalist Billie-Jo Porter plays Coffs show

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 18/03/2022 - 7:15pm in


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Fan Brian Clarke, David Gregory from 2AIRFM, Billie-Jo Porter and Howie Richards, 2AIRFM.


A POP-UP gig from country music singer Billie-Jo Porter from Coffs Harbour saw the Toyota Star Maker talent search finalist perform in a free, mini concert in Coffs Toyota showroom on Orlando Street, last Friday, 11 March.

In the lead-up to the Grand Final, held during the Tamworth Country Music Festival in April, the regional pop-up concerts are a great opportunity for finalists to meet their fans and get a bit of showtime in front of an audience.

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Country music fans David and Howie, presenters from 2AIRFM, Coffs’ local radio station, popped down for the show and had a chat with Billie-Jo.

“I kicked off with ‘Eyes Wide Open’ and then I got a request from David, (to play) ‘Head Full Of Honey’,” Billie-Jo told News Of The Area.

“It’s a popular country music song that I co-wrote with Andrew Swift – he got to No. 7 on the Australia-wide Country Music charts with it.

“I hadn’t thought about playing it but when David asked, I thought…OK, and played it.”

Set up in front of a shiny new Toyota Hilux, Billie-Jo laughed, “I couldn’t get too excited and scratch it.”

Michael Ruff, Coffs Harbour Toyota Sales Manager told NOTA that despite the weather not being conducive to the planned outdoors performance, Billie-Jo put on a great performance and the locals who came along enjoyed being up close and personal.

“To have reached the top ten as a finalist in the Toyota Star Maker talent contest is such an achievement and if she wins, well, the world is her oyster really,” Michael said.

“This region is a bit of a breeding ground, with The McClymonts, Troy Cassar-Daley and Slim Dusty all coming from the Mid North Coast.”

With five weeks to go until the Grand Final in Tamworth on April 19, Billie-Jo has a line-up of gigs in and around Coffs.

On Sunday 20 March, Billie-Jo plays The Hoey Moey and Great Southern Nights GIRL PWR event.

It starts at 12-noon and is a free ticketed event, celebrating a full day of live music showcasing an all-female line-up.

Scotts Head venue, Scotts Hub, welcomes Billie-Jo on Saturday, 26 March 6:00pm to 8:30pm.

See all Billie-Jo’s concert dates at




Dorrigo producers truck silage up to Northern Rivers

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 13/03/2022 - 9:44pm in


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Dorrigo Plateau beef and dairy producers ready for the silage run to Northern Rivers: John Carey, Alan Jarrett, David Gibson and Michael Thompson.


“IT’S hard not to feel emotional when you see how badly affected they are up there,” David Gibson, Gibson Pastoral Company, Dorrigo, told News Of The Area, after he’d spent the day delivering silage to flood-devastated farmers on the Northern Rivers.

David was one of five local beef and dairy producers on the Dorrigo Plateau who got together to see how they could help their rural friends whose farms have been flooded out during the catastrophic floods in Lismore and surrounding areas.

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“I’ve got two good mates in Lismore, Darryl Boyd, a baling contractor and Dwight Wyatt, an AI breeder, and in chatting with them they asked for direct deliveries to their farm.

“And we thought if we’re going to do it, we must do it quickly, and deal direct with the farmers who are in desperate need.

“We rallied in two days with five of us leaving on Sunday morning (6 March) in our trucks loaded with 180 donated silage bales and headed up to Lismore and surrounds.

“We just went straight to the farmers.

“A couple of our trucks went to the area between Casino and Coraki.

“These guys were nearly in tears when they saw us.

“As we were with them, seeing their plight.”

With more silage pledged the Dorrigo Plateau farmers hope to target Coraki again during the week.

“It’s amazing how people are supporting each other.

“Some of them are wiped out, but we experienced the good old Australian way of having a laugh together…the resilience of people is amazing.”

David Gibson can be contacted on 0427 571 183, in and out of reception, but leave a message.

The Dorrigo Plateau group are looking into ways of people donating the price of one bale and will release details of how to do that once it is set up.

If twenty people donate to buy a bale each, that’s a load bought.

For further information see Dorrigo Lions Club Facebook page where Sue Francis is posting updates.




Sawtellians of the Year 2021 announced

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 13/03/2022 - 4:12pm in


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2021 title holders – Young Sawtellian of the Year, Joe Clarke and Sawtellian of the Year, Ton Huybregts. Photo: Jenny Malloy.


YOUNG Sawtellian of the Year and Sawtellian of the Year have been presented to inspiring locals, Joe Clarke and Ton Huybregts.

“This year would have been the 102nd Sawtell Super Fun Day had it not been called off due to COVID, but recognising Sawtellian and Young Sawtellian for 2021 was important for the Sawtell community and was celebrated on Saturday 5 March with a brief presentation at the Sawtell Surf Club,” Organising Committee Chairperson Keith Bensley told News Of The Area.

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“Young Sawtellian of the Year Joe Clarke was recognised for his amazing achievements in lawn bowls championships at age 17 and Sawtellian of the Year Ton Huybregts was recognised for his long history of volunteering and fundraising for the community.”

Anyone in the Sawtell Community can nominate a person they see as making an important contribution to the community in terms of their achievements in their particular interest or their contribution to benefiting the community.

The awards are decided by the Fun Day Organising Committee and anyone in the Sawtell community can join when the new committee is formed in April of each year.

“The judging is by secret ballot on-line and all that is known is the number of votes each nominee receives,” said Keith.

Joe Clarke told News Of The Area, “It is important in anything you do to constantly seek improvement; in my bowls achievements that’s what it’s been all about, seeking improvement day.

“The drive to win is an extremely important aspect of my life as it enables me to set targets and try and achieve these targets of winning.

“I find community service to be so important in society and helping out is something we should all take up.

“To me it’s a calling, it’s something that brings me joy beyond the satisfaction of winning an Australian Open.

“I’m also honoured to be Vice Captain at Saint John Paul College, a school that has a great sense of community and has been instrumental in how I live my life.

“Saint John Paul College is the perfect example, they provide community service and enable platforms for people to take part in community service, it is a privilege to be associated with such a great school.”

With numerous successful fundraising events to his name, Ton Huybregts told News Of The Area, “Coming up with ideas to raise funds for different causes is a passion of mine.

“For example, from just sitting at the bar having a beer with mates after a day of volunteering at the golf club, the idea grew for a way to raise money to build more cart paths.

“Selling lineal metres of concrete paths to members for $50 a metre became surprisingly successful.

“People ask why do I volunteer?

“The simple answer is, because I enjoy it, and find it very satisfying.

“But none of this is achievable without the help of family and friends.

“There are too many names to mention but without my wife Christine none of this would be happening.

“Thanks to everyone.

“What a great decision it was to move to this area all those years ago.”




Awards galore – Coffs Coast collects awards at NSW Tourism Awards

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 12/02/2022 - 11:04pm in


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Urunga’s Riverside Holiday Resort was inducted to the NSW Tourism Awards Hall of Fame.


A CORKER of a night for Coffs Harbour tourism businesses saw Coffs Coast operators win one induction to the Hall of Fame, three gold medals, plus silver and bronze honours in the NSW Tourism Awards 2021.

These Awards are presented in partnership with the NSW Government and Destination NSW and occurred as a virtual event last Thursday night, 3 February.

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In its 31st year, the NSW Tourism Awards celebrate business excellence, acknowledge business innovation and reward exceptional customer service across 25 categories.

It provides the opportunity to publicly recognise and showcase the State’s tourism operators.

Category winners will go on to represent NSW at the national Australian Tourism Awards on Friday, 18 March 2022.

Riverside Holiday Resort Urunga was inducted into the NSW Tourism Awards Hall of Fame.

Rebecca Beaton, Resort Manager and the Federation of Community, Sporting & Workers Clubs (FCSWC) Group’s Marketing Manager told News Of The Area, “Entering the Hall of Fame is our highest achievement.”

The business also won Gold in the Self-Contained Accommodation category and Gold in Excellence in Accessible Tourism.

Read more in NOTA’s story on Riverside Holiday Resort in this issue.

Winning Silver for its Self-Contained Accommodation offer was Observatory Holiday Apartments, Coffs Harbour.

Lydia Crossingham, Manager at Observatory Holiday Apartments told NOTA, “After a very challenging twelve months it is very rewarding to be recognised at the NSW Tourism Awards.

“We are focused on providing excellent service for our guests and continue to look for innovative ways to improve and this was the main focus of our submission.

“The award is a testament to the hard working Observatory team and I thank all of them immensely.

“Even though the live Sydney Awards event was cancelled, in true Coffs fashion our local operators came together for the Virtual Awards event to acknowledge all our achievements over the last two years, which was fitting as many of our achievements have happened by working together collaboratively.

“Critters Distillery, a finalist in the Awards, hosted an excellent event and it was great to be able to celebrate together when the awards were announced, along with friends from Coffs Coast Tourism.”

The Excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism category saw Coffs win Gold and Bronze.

The Gold winner was The Giingan Experience by Bularri Muurlay Nyanggan Aboriginal Corporation, Coffs Harbour.
The Bronze winner was Wajaana Yaam Gumbaynggirr Adventure Tours, Coffs Harbour.

The Adventure Tourism category saw Coffs Skydivers, Coffs Harbour win Bronze.

Kerry Weldon, Administration/CFO told NOTA, “We were thrilled to be recognised as serving our community and the greater community through tourism excellence.

“Our highly qualified team members are passionate about skydiving, loving life, having fun and making human connections.

“Being a small boutique operation allows us the time to provide our customers an exceptional and personalised experience.

“We create an environment that allows them to dive into their souls by flirting with the unknown whilst having the time of their lives.

“Our instructors guide them into places within themselves, they may only ever have dreamed of.

“With group workshops being the focus in 2022 we are dedicated to support you and/or your teams to fly again after Covid-19.”

Michael Thurston, General Manager, Destination North Coast told NOTA, “The North Coast continued our legacy of achieving a high volume of award recipients at the NSW tourism awards with the Coffs Coast having a particularly exceptional night.

“These awards are secured through years of dedication and exceptional service and the breadth of awards received by operators across the Coffs Coast is a fantastic endorsement for the region.

“The Coffs Coast dominated multiple categories including Excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism, Self-Contained Accommodation and Adventure Tourism.

“A special mention for the Riverside Holiday Resort Urunga that won two awards and the much-deserved induction into the NSW Hall of Fame.”




New Mayor Cr Stephen Allan presides over Bellingen Shire’s Australia Day Awards Ceremony at Dorrigo

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 03/02/2022 - 11:12am in


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Cr Allan presented Violet Preston with the Arts Award for her creative art and craft work and her desire to help others.


BELLINGEN Shire’s 2022 Australia Day Awards Ceremony was held at the Dorrigo Community Hall when wet and foggy weather ruled out an outdoor event at Dangar Falls.

Hosted by the Dorrigo Lions Club and supported by Bellingen Council, the Awards Ceremony began with a Welcome to Country, followed by the presentation of awards by newly inducted Mayor, Cr Stephen Allan.

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Cr Allan said the Dorrigo Lions Club’s Australia Day Awards Ceremony offered a fantastic opportunity to acknowledge local heroes who work tirelessly to ensure we remain a connected, sustainable and creative community.

“The seven awards presented acknowledge our local farmers and volunteers’ efforts to protect our natural environment and celebrate the achievements of our local artists and sports stars”, he said, adding “and they also thank the people in our community who are simply changing people’s lives for the better”.

A new Community Resilience Award was added this year to recognise the combined efforts of local medical and health professionals who worked tirelessly to establish a COVID-19 Clinic and provide care and support to ensure the community remained safe and healthy.

Cr Allan concluded by thanking all involved, saying, “All nominees should feel extremely proud of their achievements, and I would personally like to thank and congratulate them all for their individual contributions towards making our community and our Shire so special.”

Guests then wholeheartedly accepted the invitation to enjoy delicious refreshments, including damper and lamingtons, prepared by Lions Club members.

Individual Category Award Winners

Active and Healthy Award: Abby Raymond

Arts Award: Violet Preston

Karma Award: Bernard (Spot) Swales

Leading On The Land Award: Georgina & Sam Baker (Levenvale Farm)

Environment Award

Winner: Dorrigo Volunteer Environmental Groups
Highly Commended: Bellingen Riverwatch Volunteers

Community Champion Award

Winner: May Smith
Highly Commended: Sri Popuri

Resilience Award

Bellingen Shire’s local medical and health professionals, represented by a group of health and medical workers from across the Shire.

Neighbourhood Care Network (NCN) was also acknowledged.




2021 Review of Musicians and Performers on the Coffs Coast

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 21/01/2022 - 7:41pm in


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Winners of the Woolgoolga Talent Show with guest judge Jack Thompson. Photo: Photography of Musicians and Performers on the Mid North Coast.


DESPITE the pandemonium from the pandemic, musicians and performers on the Coffs Coast have been a shining light bringing entertainment and joy to the community.

Here are some of our favourite photographs and moments in 2021.

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The talent show at C.ex Woolgoolga set the scene with an impressive and diverse display of local talent that left celebrity local judge Jack Thompson with one of the toughest roles of his career trying to choose the winners.

OAM John ‘Swanee’ Swan from Coffs Harbour raised the roof at a charity gig in aid of Hope for the Homeless at Red-C Events.

Coffs Coast Pipe and Drums celebrated St Paddy’s Day with a bang, good craic and plenty of the black stuff at the Coffs Hotel.

The Coffs Harbour Regional Conservatorium classical junior and senior music performances went from strength to strength with shows every term and throughout the year.

At the end of August the NSW government announced a snap lockdown which was another setback for the industry to overcome.

After the lockdown ended, The Moonee Beach Hotel quickly brought back live music as the Orlandos rocked the crowd.

Fire dancers and a haunted house spooked everyone out at the Coramba Hotel over Halloween and the Hoey Moey hosted an all-day Bluesfest featuring some of the region’s most talented performers including Kailey Pallas, Nathan Beretta, Cold Caller and Slim Pickens.

New bars and venues opened in the region including the Woopi Brewing Co, King Tide Brewery and the Jetty Beach House which brought hundreds of jobs to the area.

The new venues provided more stages for local performers to entertain and more reasons for Coffs locals and tourists to immerse themselves in the thriving entertainment scene that is traditionally more associated with Sydney, Byron Bay and the Gold Coast.

The new venues benefitted local businesses through increased demand for local produce and new business opportunities arose.

A new start-up was launched as The Barrel Run Custom Tours, providing experiences to locals and tourists, showcasing the venues in the region.

In December The Woolgoolga Performing Arts Studio capped off the year with a giggle from their rib-tickling satirical performance of the Naughty or Nice Christmas Special.

The talent on the Coffs Coast continues to rise and we look forward to sharing more moments in 2022.