So with the NSW government deciding that music events like festivals are far too dangerous to have around anymore, over 17 music festivals have closed down this year. This includes Dragon Dreaming, a ‘bush doof’ that we attended twice before (read about those events here and here). So considering we were supposed to be camping this weekend anyway, we tried to organise a smaller event with a group of friends that was informally called the ‘Knot-Dragon’ in a poor attempt to be clever.
We chose Wee Jasper, just outside Yass, as the location for our little camping trip. We’d actually gone down a few weeks before to find the best campsite area that would suit our purpose. Heading out on Friday morning, we tried to find a good space at Micalong Creek. We got there around 1pm and found dozens of caravans already set up there. There were some spaces available, but with so many other people in the area we decided to move back up the road to the Swinging Bridge campsite. The amenities there aren’t as good as at Micalong, but there was no one around in the large flat grassy space we found.
Ollie, Rosie and I set up camp quickly, taking up as much room as possible so other people arriving would have enough room to set up near us. We had some time before our first group of friends turned up, so we went down the steep slope to the river for a bit of a paddle. The water was freezing, and me and Ollie both didn’t enjoy ourselves. Rosie grew up with holidays on the South Coast, so she enjoyed the water much more than us.
That afternoon we had five other couples turn up and set up. Our friends have a wide range of different experience in camping, but everyone got set up pretty quickly. We had four tents, one campervan and one camper trailer all set up that first night. Dinner and drinks flowed till late and we all had a great time in front of the fire. The weather was perfect this first night.
The next morning, Ollie let us sleep in until 8.30am. Breakfast for us was bacon and eggs as people slowly got out of bed and sorted themselves out. Only one person drove down to the next campsite for a shower that morning – they know who they are.
The Saturday was spent drinking in the sun and occassionally walking down to the river to check out the temperature. A few braver members of our group actually went in. One Knot-Dragon attendee enjoyed some fishing, though the rest of us weren’t very supportive.
Some of our friends weren’t able to do two nights so they packed away and left the rest of us to stay and enjoy the day. We started to get some very light showers come through in the afternoon on the Sunday, but we had plenty of shelter to hide under when we needed to. Another friend turned up as a late arrival that afternoon and immediately caught up to the drink tally. We had some wind come through as the weather starting changing, but the tents and awnings all held up after some additional tiedowns.
That night went very late, but everyone had a great time. We had another fire, fuelled with some free firewood collected from the main Billy Grace Reserve campground. The rain came back quite a few times that night, but we just moved our chairs back and forth between the camper trailer and fire as the weather changed.
The next morning was overcast and there was a lot of sore heads and tired faces. We had some solid rain come through from about 10am, but we managed to pack away the leftover tents in between squalls. The camper trailer was left until last, but we had a few people stay behind to help pack it away.
All up, this little camping trip was a big success. I’m not sure it counts as a full festival, but we all had a great time and a positive experience. Everyone got on, the location was great and the weather wasn’t too bad. A big thank you to all of our friends that were able to make it. I’m pretty sure we’ll do it again very soon.