Doing Dunbogan


Where  would you expect the inhabitants of Chez ‘Abulous to vacation ( on the rare occasions when Dadabulous can be prized away from his office)? A spot of skiing in Aspen? Diving in Bora Bora? Gallery hoping in NYC?* Nah – we went somewhere far more exclusive – Dunbogan.

For those of you who are unaware of this up and coming glamour destination, Dunbogan is on NSW’s mid north coast, an hours drive south of Port Macquarie. It is not populated by dumb bogans as the name suggests. Rather its an entree to heaven for well to do retirees. Indeed the most common mode of transport in the district is the personal mobility scooter. This Mumrades is a very good thing. There is nothing that cashed up retirees enjoy more than a good stoush with evil property developers. As a result the place retains its sleepy fishing village feel but here’s the clincher – you can still get a decent cappuccino.

We were invited by some family friends (lets call them the Happy Campers) to join them on their annual camp at Crowdy Head National Park. We unwisely attempted this when P1 was 15 months old. It was a rain sodden disaster. This time around we took the family friendly option of renting a holiday house and driving out to meet the Happy Campers by day. This way we got the best bits of the camping experience but could return home to a hot shower and a comfortable bed for the evening.

We stayed in Dun Good. Its  a place with loads of character, if character means clutter.  We postulated that the owners had only purchased it as a reservoir for their junk. Clearly someone in the family has a shopping compulsion. Pretty much every available inch of wall space was covered with hanging rugs and miscellaneous art work. I’d never seen so many side boards and display cabinants outside an antique store. All of them were crammed full of objet d’arts, including one  devoted to Australiana kitsch. Dadabulous counted over 20 teapots and 10 clocks.  The spacious verandah was fortified with day beds. I don’t know how it was possible to accrue so many.

Dun Good at Dunbogan. A witty play on words.

Still I can’t complain, its better to be over supplied than under supplied and the location was magnificent. We were a 2 minute walk from a glorious, pristine stretch of beach. Just about every place in the area is only a short walk away from beachy paradise. I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

In this place you can live out your deserted beach fantasies.

Only Michael Fassbender could improve this view.

We rocked up at the campsite on the Sunday of the long weekend to find the normally tranquil area more like a shanty town with every square foot of tent space taken up. There were four families in our group soaking up the sun whilst the kids went free range. We smiled at some light hearted jibes about us being “soft” and me being a” princess” but the group leaped at the chance to watch that night’s NRL Grand Final at Dun Good. When the pack converged on our accommodation, there were queues for the showers – all three of them.

The crowds thinned out over the following days and I got to enjoy some brief periods of relaxation. Although the sun is aging, I couldn’t stay out of it. All I wanted to do was defrost and now I have tan lines to show for it.  The group’s choice of reading materials included biographies of Mawson and Ivan Milat as well as That book. (Not that 50 Shades was of much use when you are sharing a tent with two kids). Of course I had to go high brow. I found a copy of Andy Griffith’s Bumageddon – The Final Pongflict at the house. Clearly there’s an 8 year old boy inside of me wanting to get out as it had me snorting and cackling.

Happy Campers

The girls had a ball on the beach  but by far the greatest highlight for them was the campfire. They got to toast mega – mallows from Aldi which were almost the size of toilet rolls. As always the higher the sugar content the more fun is had. Likewise the adults consumed a lot of sugar but mostly in the form of alcohol. I discovered a sweet yet cheekily dry rose from local winery Bago as well as Devils Corner an “elegant” sparkling from Tassie (so said the label).

The girls hard at work.

And God invented fire to toast marsh mallows.

Naturally we left  the best beach day travelling back to Sydney in the 35C heat. I was sad to go.  I would have been content to potter around Dunbogan indefinitely. Perhaps if our superannuation does OK ……

As the novelty beanie at the Dunbogan boatshed says ” You aint dun nothin’ til you’ve dun Dunbogan”.

Hope you had a happy school holidays.


* That’s what Mrs Woog does.

One of the friendly locals.

22 thoughts on “Doing Dunbogan

  1. Oh you’ve just made me homesick. My folks lived at Dunbogan for 12 years until about 2 years ago. They lived across from the boatshed and I have many wonderful memories of fishing with my dad across the road, watching the mist settle over Big Brother Mountain. I’d forgotten how much I loved it till reading this post. As a friend of ours used to say, “you haven’t done bogan till you’ve done Dunbogan”. But that’s not at all true 🙂

  2. I thought you’d been quiet. This explains it! I love your humour, but it does look like a pretty fab place for a family trip – especially with young kids. My girls are dying to toast marshmallows, but we just aren’t a camping family. Not yet anyway! It may all change now that we’ve discovered Dunbogan!

  3. OMG I laughed til I almost spat out my wine. I just read this my fabulous family…..who also found it highly amusing!!!!! LOL I reckon we need to do Dunbogan too!

  4. Oh how awesome! I am so dying to go on a family holiday with my niblets. Every year, hubby and I plan too, but it never seems to happen. How gorgeous are those beaches! I am glad you had a fun time! x

  5. Good to see you back, Mumabulous! I am in complete agreement with your camping style – e.g. camp by day, shower by night, it’s one of the reasons I love day walks, or day trips, including … to Devil’s Corner, when I used to live in Launceston … such a good wine. Janz’s Winery (and its sparkling wine) was also a good day tripper idea from Launie … and the taste is DIVINE.

  6. Looks like a fabulous place, I love being near the sea. Swinging by from #STBS over at The Surprise Beginning

  7. We toast marshmallows over open fires in posh holiday cottages in the Blue Mountains for Xmas in July. Places we can only afford to stay in for a few days.

    I do not camp. If I was a man, I would BE camp, but I do not actually do it.

    My boys are going camping whilst I go to Byron for a girl’s weekend. Phew. Got out of it again!

  8. How gorgeous! I am deeply envious.

  9. Looks and sounds like a wonderful holiday – love your wit as always! x

  10. I can’t believe that these dumb bogans have been to Port Macquarie many times but have never done Dunbogan. Looks beautiful.

  11. Hey it looks just perfect. I really want to find a nice holiday spot like that within an hour or so from home. Maybe need to investigate Northern NSW more. Mum lived for ages in a place called Woodgate, near CHilders. It is the most beautful sleepy beachy spot but just that bit too far from us for regular visits. x

  12. I love camping except for the shower/toilet situation which means I am often getting hubby to drive to the nearest beach with facilities to “freshen up” ha ha..Dunbogan looks anything but bogan

  13. Couldn’t agree more! This place looks awesome. Have done the Sydney-Qld drive heaps of times but the funniest name we’ve encountered is Kew, home of the Far Kew bumper sticker. I’d have remembered anything with Bogan in its name.

  14. That looks awesome – tranquil and nothing but beach – a lot like Hawks Nest which is my beach holiday of choice. WHen I grow up I’m going to get me a mobility scooter, and run slow people over.

  15. What a beach!! I’ve not been there, but even without Michael Fassbender, I’m tempted to go…

  16. Gorgeous! I love letting the kids go free-range it’s good for them and good for us too.

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