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Calling Creative Kids 

Young artists from across the Coffs Coast are invited to pick-up a pencil, a paintbrush or even a crayon, to create a portrait for the Young Archie competition, now open in Coffs Harbour.

The Young Archie is the junior version of Australia’s most famous portrait competition, The Archibald Prize, coming to Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery in January as part of its much-anticipated 2019 regional tour.

Cash prizes from ANZ are on offer for winners in each age category from 5 to 18 years, plus the chance to have their work exhibited at Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery, right alongside the 2019 Archibald Prize finalists.

The Young Archie has a proud tradition of inspiring and showcasing the next generation of Australian artists. It’s a real boost for kids of all ages interested in art and is an exciting opportunity for teachers to get creative in the classroom. A free online education kit provides plenty of engaging activities to enthuse both primary and secondary students.

Like the Archibald Prize, young artists can create their portrait entry by ‘painting or drawing from life’ while their subject has a sitting, or a photo is taken for easy reference. Entries are to be A4 in size and of someone who is known and special to the artist.

The Regional Gallery can’t wait to see what students create and the faces of many Coffs Coast residents are expected to reach the Gallery before entries close 20 November.

To enter the Young Archie Coffs Harbour, download the entry form including all the competition details. Also spread the word with your friends, family and school community. Poster, education kit and more information on the website:




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Market on this Sunday!

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Our Trip to the Cold – Part 3

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Originally we were going to stay 2 nights in Guyra then return home to Coffs. But it was unanimously decided we head to Glen Innes and stay one more night before returning home.

It’s only about 40 minutes between Guyra and Glen Innes, but we took a little detour and first headed South towards Black Mountain in search of Thunderbolts Cave (around 17 mins from Guyra). Probably a little more appreciated by older kids, we had a brief history lesson (thanks to Google) in the car on the way there about the bushranger, Captain Thunderbolt.

The cave was a hideout of Thunderbolts and the kids were very impressed. You bend over to get inside and it’s a pretty neat little cave! The walk there is pretty rocky and uneven surface (def NOT pram friendly) but it was a fun little way to start our day.

After that, back on the New England Highway heading North.

We had a few stops along the way and I made the kids look out the window as the scenery is quite interesting and very different to the coast.

We stopped at Stonehenge where we had a bit of a wander around the VERY strange rock formations. Then onto the Super Strawberry which is just outside Glen Innes. I let the kids have dessert for lunch which they thought was the best thing ever! And I had scones for lunch, which I thought was the best thing ever! The Super Strawberry is a cafe with sit-down eating but it also has a cool little shop with interesting nik naks, yummy food, clothing etc. I bought some chai tea in a tin and some local olives.

Glen Innes is a gorgeous little town, I LOVED the old buildings. So we had a little wander down the main street and came across a cute little second hand bookshop. Of course, it’s always a game for the kids to find the most expensive item in the shop! I sure would love this edition of “Through the Looking Glass”!

We also visited the Australian Standing Stones then went for a short drive out of town towards Invervell. My eldest wanted to have a look at the wind turbines (the photo below is one arm of a smaller one!)

The Glen Innes Tourist Information Centre is a great place to pop in and visit. The lady there was super friendly and helpful. Made me realise how badly we need one back here in Coffs!

The next morning we headed home via the Gwydir Highway, through the Gibrator Ranges. We stopped off and had a quick little bushwalk from Mulligan’s Hut. There’s a lot of different bushwalks you can do, so check out this website if you’re interested –

Then onto Grafton where we stopped off at Hank’s for a yummy pie.

Glen Innes to Coffs via Grafton is just under 3 hours without stops, but it took us most of the day because we stopped so much!

So all in all our “Trip to the Cold” was such a lovely and fun little three night getaway. The kids are already begging to go back! Definitely a trip we will all remember.

Categories : Alison's Blog
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It’s been called “Australia’s Strangest Theme Park” – and it certainly is a very different place. Saying that, we all LOVED it and it will go down as one of those family memories that we will talk about for years…

Green Valley Farm is located 10kms out of Tingha, so 3 hours 24 mins from Coffs via Dorrigo/Ebor and Guyra OR 3 hours 43 minutes via Grafton and Glen Innes. We were staying at Guyra, so it was roughly a 50 minute drive.

And yes, it is out in the middle of nowhere on a sheep farm!

Green Valley Farm feels like you’re stepping back in time, to the days of my childhood. The rides there and they are no fuss, no frills, just plain old fun. No shiny signs or machinery, just very cleverly built handmade metal rides. Green Valley Farm was built in the 1980s and thankfully, nothing much has changed.


There are 3-way see saws, a giant spinning cage, pile of HUGE tyres, a very cute yet noisy hand-made rollercoaster, giant rocking giraffes, various swings, a big tin slide and lots more of interesting welded creations that the boys ran between. It was awesome to see them having so much fun and trying to figure out what the “rides” did and how they worked. Oh and I almost forgot! A giant jumping pillow.


And wow! The animals. There were peacocks wandering around, ducks following us around, a wombat, monkeys, an ostrich, kangaroos, a goat, a deer, very large black pigs – all very friendly. We had purchased two little bags of feed (50 cents each) for the animals.


For an area currently in drought, the gardens are just gorgeous. So well cared for and lush.


The food was surprisingly good. VERY cheap (especially compared to a “traditional” theme park), fresh and yummy. I had steak sandwich ($9) and it tasted like real food. They have kids meals for around $10 which include a popper.


You first enter Green Valley by walking through the very cold and dark museum. There is all sorts of odd things here. Hundreds of old bottles, crystals, a 2 headed sheep (I kid you not!) various snakes and animals in jars of  formaldehyde and other pieces of history.


Soooo cheap! $10 each for the whole day.


There is a waterpark with a massive slide which was closed for winter, but friends have been there in summer and tell me it was lots of fun.

They have 18 hole mini golf and peddle bikes as well, at an extra cost.

AND you can stay there… they have camping and various cabin options.

Find out more via their website:

And Facebook:

I cannot recommend this place enough. A lot of the rides are for kids 10 years plus but you can still have plenty of fun with the littlies.

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