21 March 2015

Easter at the Nundle Go For Gold Festival

If you've ever been to Nundle NSW, you'll know it's an old gold mining area. Tucked into the rolling hills between the coast and Tamworth, it's a beautiful area with a lot to offer driving tourists. If you're looking for something to do on Easter Saturday and Sunday, look no further than Nundle. That is the weekend of the Nundle Go For Gold Festival.

While you're there, pop in and treat yourself by looking through the wonderful Odgers and McClelland Exchange Stores, one of my favourite stores.  Megan and Duncan have been to Sydney buying at the wholesale fairs and the shop is full. "We always aim to have the store looking fantastic for the festival. We prepare a special traditional boiled lolly stall out the front of our shop with tall glass jars filled with Red Backs, Butter Balls, Aniseed Balls, Raspberry Drops, made in South Australia," Megan said.

Megan sorting through lollies at the front of their store.

The Nundle Go For Gold Festival, started as a Nundle and District Lions Club activity about 18 years ago, is now the second largest festival in north west NSW, after the Tamworth Country Music Festival. And it is hosted by a small community of 300 people and organised by half a dozen volunteers.

The Chinese theme was introduced to highlight the population of Chinese migrants attracted to the goldfields after gold was first discovered at Hanging Rock in 1852. The Chinese made up the majority of the population at that time.

Over the Easter weekend the quiet streets of Nundle are transformed with the noisy percussion, colourful costumes and acrobatic movement of the Chinese Lion and Dragon Dances. Performed by the Australian Yau Kung Mu Association from Sydney, the troupe of about 40 dancers and support crew perform twice daily and put a LED light show on Saturday evening. 

Panning for gold.

Another highlight of the weekend is the gold panning. If you need evidence that gold fever is alive and well you'll find it at Nundle at Easter. At last year's festival more than 600 people panned for gold in tubs filled with gravel and peppered with gold, including four nuggets, worth more than $1000.

The street market attracts about 100 market stalls selling fresh produce, preserves, honey, homemade cakes, clothing, food, toys, plants and the ubiquitous takeaway espresso. Live music will feature the Sax Summit, Dylan Hartas, the Blues Martyrs, Nundle musician Jeff Gibson, and traditional Chinese music by David Wei and Eva Timms. 

If you're inclined to stay overnight or for the weekend, there is a range of accommodation such as tent and caravan camping, motel, bed and breakfast, cabins and a self-contained cottage. More details are available here. It looks like a great weekend.



  1. It looks like a great festival to visit.

  2. Sounds wonderful, although I really can't imagine 16,000 in such a sleepy place as Nundle.

  3. That looks like a great festival, Rhonda. I have never been to Nundle. I would love to visit the Odgers and McClelland store. I am sure their wares would bring back so many childhood memories.

  4. We will be there, looking forward to it.


  5. I've pan for gold although didn't become rich doing it,
    Coffee is on


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