A quick trip away led me away again to a great new destination in conjunction with work. The plan was to find a location central to all of our area manager’s stores. Several locations were put forward for this ‘get together’, and as they all had to meet a criterium the list was short but sweet. Some of the ‘must have’ requests included, must be able to have a fire, include a conference centre, have hot showers and be easy access. 

The decision was made to book ‘’Riverwood Downs’’, which is located near the World Heritage Listed Barrington Tops. This valley resort is located several hours north of Sydney and around 4 hours south of Coffs Harbour. The plan was to meet around lunchtime on day one, have a short meet and greet, set up camp with a variety of tents, swags, a central tarp area and cooking facilities.

Travelling south from Coffs we turned off south of Taree, headed to Gloucester where the hills had seen some good levels or rain fall as the hills were green and the rivers were flowing- hard to believe it snows here. Several kilometres out of Gloucester we turned off onto a well kept dirt road which led us to Riverwood Downs. After our camp setup it was time for a quick lunch before the scheduled talks started with managers from Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Newcastle area, the Central Coast, Sydney and two managers from South Australia. It was defiantly a casual setting where several work areas were discussed, with questions, answers and comments thrown around. A feature of this place is that it has several dams stocked with local native fish. With an hour to kill we all attacked several dams, but due to 201 reasons the fish decided not to play the game today. Late in the afternoon several reps from Coleman arrived, setting up a Montana tent and highlighting a range of products that Coleman are known for. Coffs was responsible for dinner on the first night, so it was decided that we prepare a 3 course meal, hoping to set the standards for the weekend. Camp oven meatballs with rice followed by ice-cream and fruit salad was on the menu, there wasn’t much left as everyone enjoyed the meal by the campfire. The Coleman reps continued their show and tell into the night explaining several lighting facts with dual fuel lamps and several LED lamps lighting up the campsite. A great night was had by all.

 Riverwood Downs was originally built for a music festival around 30 years ago, featuring large timber style buildings, surrounded by acres of fertile land with mountain views with boarded by the upper reaches of Karuah River it is an ideal spot for weekends away, conferences or even a base to explore the surrounding areas. Facilities here include swimming, horse riding, fishing, bushwalking, photography and canoeing- defiantly something here for everybody. The next day it was an early breakfast, ready for a long hike around the property to bring the team together and to enjoy the morning sunrise. Very enjoyable for all! The morning session was filled with talks from H.R. and R.I., very informative talks with an insight into another section of the Super-Cheap Group. The afternoon left us with a break, so it was time to see if the Karuah River held any wild Bass which frequent these upper reaches.

Lures were thrown wildly around, some found their mark, others just wallowed freely on the far bank. It seems any fish were frightened off by the ‘plopping’ of a dozen lures hitting the water. But late in the afternoon, Lady Luck soon hit the jackpot when several Bass were caught, a little under size, but a Bass is a Bass in anyone’s language. Back at camp a great Bbq dinner was prepared, and soon we were enjoying the warmth and relaxation that you can only find around a camp fire. The cool night was a pleasant change to the humid nights that we are used to on the coast and this was evident by the heavy dew the next morning. With another early morning big breaky BBQ it was all hands on deck for a hassle free pack up. The drive home was again through Gloucester, which is shadowed by The Buckets Range, a group of pinnacle type mountains which are a spectacular sight. A great way to spend a few days relaxing –yet learning more about BCF’s policies and procedures.

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