Yes, you can go to Holland and make clogs or you can be a part of Amsterdam right here in Australia!
John Hartsuyker and his father Thomas moved to Coffs Harbour in the 1980s to run a caravan park. For the first six months, the rain just didn't stop and they had a rethink about their camping business and wondered what sort of indoor activity they could venture into.
What better for two genuine Dutchmen than to open a factory showing tourists things from their homeland without the long trip to Holland.
They discovered some old clog making machines in Cooma which were no longer being used and bought them.
A trip to Holland inspired Thomas to have a Dutch-inspired barn … and so the clog barn was born.
The barn is brightly coloured with flower boxes on the outside walls. Around 100 pairs of clogs hang from the ceiling along with a display of the famous blue and white Delft pottery. A pair of metre-long clogs is a popular spot to have a photograph taken at.
As far as John knows, his is the only clog-making machine in Australia and he starts his demonstration with a block of wood. A machine cuts the outside shape and then some of the interior is hollowed by hand, just to show how hard it was for early day clog-makers. The rest is removed by machine.
In the Netherlands, good quality poplar is used to make clogs, or they just don't last. Australian poplar is grown for matchstick production and just isn't right for clogs, so John has to import.
The model village is made up of buildings you would see in various Netherlands destinations such as Amsterdam and Rotterdam. It is on a scale of 1 to 20 and has three model trains running through it. Thomas has made all the models; every brick and tile has been lovingly made from scratch and held together with Tarzan's Grip.
Big Oma's Coffee House serves typically Dutch dishes, and with the name Oma, which means grandmother, you can expect family-style meals.
Coffs Harbour, halfway between Sydney and Brisbane.
Clog Barn model village entry costs $4.50 for adults and $3 for children.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.
The Clog Barn
215 Pacific Highway, Coffs Harbour 2450
Ph: (02) 6652 firstname.lastname@example.org
Qantas: Ph: 13 13 13