The 33rd Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia (CMCA) National Rally in Gunnedah has been dubbed “the happy rally”.
“Everyone is calling it The Happy Rally, right down to the CEO,” rally co-organiser Anita Flynn said.
Anita and her husband Paul were at the helm of the massive event, which saw the Gunnedah Showground complex fill with about 700 motorhomes, 65m by 25m marquee and people from all over Australia.
The annual event consisted of eight packed days of entertainment, tours and activities in the Gunnedah shire, with plenty of locals getting involved in different ways, whether it be on the barbie, teaching knitting or running a pamper day on Pensioners Hill.
The rally wrapped up on Saturday and almost 250 volunteers were up early on Sunday to dismantle the “small village”.
It is the second rally the Flynns have hosted, with their first in 1995 and Anita said there was “no comparison”. She said she “didn’t cry once” and Paul joked that “we are still married, so it’s a happy result”.
It went exactly as we planned it. All the volunteers did a top job and the members enjoyed the rally.- Paul Flynn
Anita said they wanted the rally to “run smoothly” and for everyone to have a good time, and they accomplished that.
“We’ve really enjoyed [this rally],” Anita said.
“We’ve had so many people come up and say it’s one of the best rallies they’ve been to [and] our Facebook site has gone crazy. It’s been amazing. We’re really happy.
“It was a real team effort.”
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“It went exactly as we planned it. All the volunteers did a top job and the members enjoyed the rally,” he said.
“We had a big dinner last night [for the volunteers] and we just about had to kick them out of the hall at the finish.”
Paul said there were more than 300 “first-time attendees” and the “overall attitude” of the members was positive.
“There are quite a few that are staying an extra few days,” he said.
We’ve had so many people come up and say it’s one of the best rallies they’ve been to.- Anita Flynn
Anita said seeing members have a good time was “one of the best things” and they went out of their way to keep them happy.
“If we had a queue for anything, I just went down the line and gave them each a chocolate koala and they loved that,” she said.
“It was the little things like that that helped make it a good rally.”
The rally came at a good time for Gunnedah, which has been struggling with the ongoing drought.
“The town was rapt with us – all that extra money going into the community,” Anita said.
As Paul told the NVI on Thursday, “if they’ve had a good time, they will come back”.
After living in Gunnedah for a month, the Flynns are preparing to fold up the stairs of their motorhome on Wednesday and hit the road for Sydney to see their son who will be visiting from Japan.
They will be absent from the 2019 rally in Victoria as they have a well-deserved rest, travelling to Singapore and Darwin.
“It’s time for a break,” Anita said.