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Coolaman dirty weekend

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Coolamon is in some of the richest agricultural and pastoral land in New South Wales. Its name is taken from the Aboriginal word for "a vessel for holding water", and the area has a series of naturally-occurring holes which regularly fill. Fat lambs, wool, turkeys, wheat and chaff are responsible for a large part of the local economy.

The town has a beautiful main street which is listed as a heritage precinct. It has relaxing gardens, well-preserved heritage buildings with wrought-iron balconies, country stores and a rich cultural history. Spring is celebrated with the annual Canola Festival when the countryside is emerald green and bright yellow. The Coolamon Hootenanny is a traditional Australian country and western event, drawing people from towns near and far.

Coolamon has a population of just over 4000 and the town is mostly harmonious until it comes to one thing — is it or is it not the "dirty weekend capital of Australia"? Some residents feel that that name has a sleazy tone to it, but others think it is a bit of fun and attracts people to their town for a quiet weekend.

It all started when a few locals trying to work out ways to attract more visitors to the town came up with the idea of the "Dirty Weekend Capital". They hoisted a huge bed on a 6.5m pole outside the steelworks in the main street and there are now bumper stickers saying "Follow me to the Dirty Weekend Capital" for sale.

The issue has certainly divided the town and Getaway decided to visit to show you some of the things they have on offer in Coolamon. You can decide if it's sleazy or just good fun.

Nanna Moloney's B&B & Cottages opened in 2004 on the main street in what was the Bank of New South Wales building, erected in 1907. Its pressed metal ceilings, open fire places, claw foot baths and classic furnishings are reminiscent of times gone by. The three bedrooms and ensuites provide country luxury.

There is a guest lounge, breakfast room and two self-contained cottages overlooking a garden courtyard. The Me & Josh Café serves regional food and wine by the fire or alfresco.

Lavender Cottage B&B is a quaint one-bedroom cedar cottage, decorated with handcrafted furniture and embroidered soft furnishings. It offers privacy, tranquillity and a charming cottage-style garden.

If you prefer pub-style accommodation, The Coolamon is the shire's longest established hotel, operating since 1880. You can enjoy a quiet drink on the wide verandah and counter-meals any day of the week.

Avondale Station B&B is just out of town and offers a taste of farm stay with all the warmth and peace of country life. Accommodation is in three renovated train carriages and a small cottage. Great for a family, there are cows, sheep, birds, crops, gardens and forests. It has a bush tennis court, shearing shed and games room.

Coolamon Caravan Park is a lazy walk from the town's main street and is surrounded by Redgrave Park, tennis courts, pool and bowling club. It offers fully powered caravan and camp sites, barbecue facilities, sullage dump point and other amenities.

Location

The Riverina area of New South Wales

Cost

Nanna Moloney's B&B & Cottages rooms start at $110 a night. Breakfast is included.

Lavender Cottage B&B rooms start at $95 a night.

Coolamon Hotel rooms start at $15 a single.

Avondale Station B&B is $60 for a single room and $100 for a double room, per night.

Coolamon Caravan Park sites start at $7.70 a night.

Please note that the prices listed are valid at the time of filming.

More information

Nanna Moloney's B&B & Cottages
130 Cowabbie Street
Coolamon 2701
Ph: (02) 6927 2222
meandjosh@hotmail.com

Lavender Cottage B&B
91 Wallace Street
Coolamon 2701
Ph: (02) 6927 3282

The Coolamon Hotel
Cowabbie & Wade Streets
Coolamon 2701
Ph: (02) 6927 3028
Fax: (02) 6927 2312
coolamonhotel@bigpond.com.au

Avondale Station B&B
Rannock Road
Coolamon 2701
Ph/fax: (02) 6927 3055
AvondaleStation@aol.com

Coolamon Caravan Park
Bruce Street
Coolamon 2701
Ph: (02) 6927 3013

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