// Australian travel blog
As my newly serviced city-kid hatchback Corolla launched itself down the start of a 10km dirt track, and my phone service had dropped out a good hour prior, I knew I’d reached the middle of nowhere (- in city-kid terms; I have an Aldi 50m from my apartment). Rabbits Eat Lettuce transforms a property in Kippenduff, around an hour and a bit inland of Casino, NSW, into Doofville once a year, and I had arrived late Thursday afternoon to kick off my inaugural event.
A couple of curious cows paused to peer through my passenger-side window as I passed, and a further half-dozen gave no shits and continued to mow down their verdant pastures, eager to ensure the day’s fibre recommendations had been met, according to their smart-collars, before the sun dropped below the mountain range.
I proceeded past a few signs that urged me to use my hazard lights. Seeing neither another person nor another car, I took this as a ‘could do, should do… maybe when it’s busy’ recommendation, and drove on minus hazards.
The car bumped along past the outer gates and down the extended dirt entrance road, until I eventually arrived in the drizzly dusk at a tent manned by a couple of high-vis-vested men. They advised me to park and then check in at the top of the hill, which I did so after trudging through some sloppy mud and damp grass in my high-tops. My name was ticked off the list, and I was told to be back in a quarter of an hour for the induction talk for volunteers.
With 15 minutes to find my WOW tent (the glamping option), I rushed back to my car to head towards the camping area and locate the camp ground. Because volunteers work for a ticket, I decided to spend the funds I’d saved by volunteering on some quality canvas. I was feeling thankful for this as the darkness set in and the rain became heavier – so long as I could actually find the damn thing.
Five minutes in, I had taken a wrong turn and ended up somewhere in the artists area, where I was jokingly told to find one of the tents and go for it: ‘Yeah just pick one - sure you could have it! No one’s arrived yet!’ followed by laughter. Righto mate (but actually, if I don’t find my tent, I’ma comin’ back…)
Soon enough I had found the correct spot, and old Pommy mate, AJ, was helping me find my tent. After checking all the mini name tags attached to the front zips, mine was eventually found. It was pitched in a conveniently quiet spot well away from the main road, and also slightly behind the other tents. It backed on to a steep hill which made it impossible for any rowdy campers to set up camp anywhere in the 180 degree vicinity behind me – a great thing for a light sleeper! I took note of its location, parked my car about five metres away, and trudged back to the road and up the hill in my soggy shoes for volunteer induction.
As I approached the group of twenty, it soon became apparent I needn’t have bothered with the shoes. It was a 60/30/10 split of no shoes/ doof boots (mid-calf height, waterproof army-style lace-ups)/any other variety of footwear. One might expect a couple of smelly campers on final day of a 4-day dancing and camping festival, but it became apparent that some volunteers also viewed showering as an optional activity in everyday life. Why buy soap or a razor when you can save for a pouch and some papers?
Continued at PART 2