Four farming families swapped dusty paddocks for sand and surf last week courtesy of the Northern Beaches Council.
The Gavels, Roses and Martins from Mullaley, and the D'Hudsons from Goolhi were treated to a few days at Manly to give them a brief break from the ongoing drought.
Northern Beaches Council set aside $7000 for the holiday after mayor Michael Regan heard about the shire's plight from Gunnedah mayor Jamie Chaffey at the Australian Local Government Association annual conference.
Angela and Peter Martin and their four kids were part of the country contingent and enjoyed the cool change.
"It was really good for children's well-being because they're taking on a lot of pressure from the drought," Mrs Martin said.
"They were thrilled to be so close to the water ... the first thing they wanted to do was hit the beach."
They had the chance to learn how to surf and local lifeguards taught the kids about water safety.
Members of the yacht club also volunteered their time to give the group sailing lessons.
"That was absolutely fantastic. That was the first time my children had ever been in individual sail boats," Mrs Martin said.
"It was incredible how friendly they were with the children. They were trying to engage them in conversation about their lives and school work."
Royal Far West put the families up in Drummond House and supplied meals, and four pubs donated vouchers for meals and drinks.
"I do feel refreshed. The conditions haven't changed at home and the reality sinks in again [but] for the children, I feel it's giving them a little bit of headspace," Mrs Martin said.
She said her children had been questioning where God was in the situation and there had been talk that a lot of properties would go on the market if it rained significantly.
"I think they do worry. I think they do have to cope with more than the average kid and that's sort of just the reality," she said.
"Children want to know there is a backup plan because there's no real sense of security knowing that there's no plan.
"I think it helps if parents can talk to them straight."
Mrs Martin said all of their crops were cut for hay this season and they kept a keen eye on the weather forecasts.
"We haven't planned past the next few years. We are optimistic. My husband keeps watching the storm forecasts ... we don't like to think about the fact what if it doesn't rain again this year," she said.