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Local adventures in Camden Haven

October 23, 2014 - The Camden Haven

It’s our last full day on the #mylegendarydrive trail and we decide to make the most of our fantastic accommodation by sleeping in. Kerry and Peter, owners of Diamond Waters Treehouse Retreat, have made us feel so comfortable and relaxed we can’t help but zen out. We wake up and shuffle out of bed, I head down to the Garden Nursery as Peter explained there would be great coffee on offer in the morning. Boy, was he right!

I find Debbie working away in the Garden Nursery followed closely by resident duck, Jimmy. He waddles behind her like a puppy, his orange feet and fluffy white butt waddling along. Debbie is also the artist who has created the vibrant, eye-catching artworks hanging in the Treehouses. Kerry and I chat as she makes me a coffee then I retreat back to the Treehouse to tuck into our breakfast hamper with Claire.

The Treehouses are eco-friendly and every detail has been well thought out. The fire burns wood fallen from surrounding trees and off-cuts of timber used to build the retreats. All the lighting and appliances are energy friendly and, as Peter explains, each Treehouse uses only $5 of electricity per day. All water supplied to the retreats is from a water tank, or as Kerry says, “It is freshly squeezed.” Guests are encouraged to pick fresh herbs and flowers from the kitchen gardens to use for cooking and the timber used to build the retreats is the same as the trees surrounding them. It’s a thoughtful approach to providing luxury accommodation without negatively impacting the environment.

Later, we set out for a drive heading out of Camden Haven to the town of Kendall a few minutes down the road. We stop in at Miss Nellie’s Cafe  for a cup of tea and cake. The vibe at Nellie’s is welcoming and relaxed, a table of retired women next to us are enjoying their delicious lunch with champagne and it makes me smile, imagining how close they all must be coming from such a tight knit community. Our tea and cakes are divine and it’s all I can do to stop myself from ordering more.

We drive the 2 minutes around the corner to the Kendall Craft Co-Operative in the Kendall Railway Station. It is a quiet space packed with beautiful arts and crafts that remind you of your childhood. Everything is handmade with so much care and skill, things you couldn’t buy in a shop. Claire buys a beautiful lion hand puppet for her niece, it’s the kind of toy you would have as a keepsake for a long time to come.

The sun has set a little and the afternoon is cooling down so we drive up to the North Brother Mountain Lookout and sit on the fresh green grass taking in the stunning views of the beautiful coastline and Camden Haven river system. We point out all the places we’ve visited and marvel at how beautiful and blue the water is, the view seems to go on forever.

After spending quite a bit of time at the lookout we drive to Dunbogan Boatshed to meet owners Sue and Jason. We’ve heard they make the best coffee in town and we’re eager to try it out, turns out… the rumours were true! Jason makes us one of their fantastic coffees and we grab a tub of fish food each to feed the swarm of bream jostling for position in the water at the back of the shop. It’s a feeding frenzy!

Hiring a boat from Dunbogan Boatshed is a great way to spend the afternoon in the area, floating up the river system and seeing the town from a whole new perspective. For those in the mood to make a day of it, Jason suggest the Fun Float, a slightly larger flat boat with lots of seating and a BBQ. Perfect for lunch with an incredible view. There are also tinnies and kayaks for hire too, which will provide hours of fun for the whole family.

After another big day of meeting locals and enjoying the area, we head back to our Treehouse for our last night in Camden Haven and Port Macquarie, tomorrow we set off home back to Brisbane. It has been a memorable trip and we’ve met so many great people and had so much fun.

The common theme from our time spent here has been how genuine, friendly and kind the locals are. We have felt so welcome and had great conversations with many people eager to make sure we are having a great time in their town. Another thing we’ve noticed is the awareness on sustainability, conservation, making eco-friendly choices and using local resources and produce. There is a huge focus on preserving the environment and using what is local to the area so as not to waste resources.

We’re sad to be heading home tomorrow but so happy we were able to visit Port Macquarie and Camden Haven, it has been fantastic.

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