Many of the over 1,700 people who have called the Bingara Showground home for the past week have moved to the banks of the Gwydir river to extend their stay in Bingara.
Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia Manager of Operations and Events, Richard Barwick, said 1008 motorhomes were registered, which brought 1798 people to town for the rally.
Motorhomes, campervans and a series of marquees took up most of the
Bingara Showground last week. Photograph by Kerry Mitchell.
Rally organiser, David Fricke, said the rally was an outstanding success. The work done by the Bingara SES, he said, was "phenomenal".
On the first night of the rally, Tony and Helen Cornish performed in the big marquee, and ended up playing to a full house.
"All the entertainment has been fantastic, including the local entertainers from within the Gwydir Shire, coordinated by Rebecca Mack," David said.
Members of the public were invited to the rally on Saturday. "Saturday blew us away, over 700 visitors came, and were impressed with the market in the marquee. "Overall, people were very positive, and enjoyed the hospitality shown by the people of Bingara," he said.
Village by the river:
Scores of motorhomers moved house from the Showground to the River on Monday.
David noted that many of the people who had attended the rally had not gone far. "People who left at 6.00 am on Monday morning did so so they could get the best spot on the river," he said.
Bingara businesses reported a pleasing increase in trade for the week leading to the rally, during the week, and continuing into this week.
Catherine Egan said she had visitors in every day. She said people from as far away as Cairns and Mornington Peninsular had called.
"We had a lot from Grafton, Port Macquarie, and Newcastle, a good coverage of places," Catherine said.
All very pleasant and good. We loved having them in our business."
Robert and Judy Northcott, at H. Roy Miller, reported they have had enquiries and some inspections of properties.
"The most interest is in commercial buildings, from both motorhomers and traders," Judy said.
The Bingara Pharmacy has had a busy week.
"All went smoothly," Pharmacist, Bronwyn Neate reported.
"Leonie went down each morning to collect prescriptions, for the convenience of rally members.
"However, many preferred to come up to town themselves.
"All were very easy going, very nice people. We thoroughly enjoyed their chats," Bronwyn said.
Susanne Hughes at Boutique had a shop full of visitors when the Advocate called on Monday morning.
"I am still flat out, the week was huge, fabulous, tremendous," Susanne said as she rushed to assist another customer.
Sales of the Bingara Advocate increased at the Advocate office and especially at the Bingara Newsagency, which was also kept busy with other sales.
Coffee and meals were in strong demand at the Imperial Hotel. The RSL Club did a rearing trade in meals, with over 400 meals being served on one evening alone.
Others to enjoy brisk trade were the Bingara Fruit Market, Wades Butchery and the Bakehouse.
"Most people were thrilled to find a bakery, butcher and greengrocer in such a small town, without having to go to a major supermarket," Fiona Boyle of the Bingara Fruit Market said.
On Monday morning, Fiona was busily preparing cones to sell frozen yoghurt, a treat discovered by the CMCA visitors.
Friday was the busiest day for the Bingara Bakehouse.
Manager of H. Fay and Sons, Rick Hutton said his staff had been busy. "We doubled our normal trade in grocery and liquor, and other areas were a little bit up," Mr. Hutton said.
June Forster, of June’s Jewellery Creations said that business picked up as the week went on, particularly after a jewellery workshop.
The Radiance Club reported that a visitor, after reading about the Radiance Club in the shop window, gave a $50 donation to go towards a bathroom renovation project.