CAMP OVEN COOK OUT

Last weekend we had the absolute pleasure of being a part of the annual Andamooka Camp Oven Cook Out. The event has been running for 6 years and features some of the best tucker made in the most Aussie way, on the camp fire. 

Charlie and I were asked to cook the vegetarian dish for the night (Kurt you made a lasting impact here) and we had a little freak out as we don't own a camp oven (shock horror). Staffy (long time Andamooka resident and all round great bloke) quickly rectified the situation by purchasing us a magnificent camp oven for an absolute bargain and after closing the shop we we headed over, vegetables in hand to take part in one of the biggest cook ups (I have) ever seen!

18 camp ovens bubbling away on a long line of coals, was the first thing we saw as we approached the old cottages, excitement set in. To the smell of curries and pulled pork, we found our own section of hot coals and joined the crew of cookers and onlookers. 

Bill, Staffy, Nugget, Wog, Crowey, Smurf and Tim talked us through the intricacies of camp oven cooking. As the rookies of the group, we gratefully took on their advice, when it came to stirring, tasting and heating our vegetable curry. After many a beer and tall story, it came time to eat and the camp ovens were paraded to the eating area. 

With Terri holding her iPhone torch as high as she could, for maximum light, the feast began. 

We ate like kings that night and then went back for seconds and some went back for thirds. Then the desserts were brought out and the Malt Wine.  We went home while we could still walk but the festivities carried on late into the night. For a small desert town, these folk sure know how to have a fancy feast and put on a party! 

A huge thanks to all the legends that organised this amazing event. With all proceeds going to charity this Camp Oven Cook Out is defiantly one for next year's diary. 

 

 

SALA at the Andamooka Yacht Club

The South Australian Living Artists (SALA) Festival is a state-wide festival of Visual Art run every August in South Australia. The aim of SALA is to promote and celebrate the many talented visual artists in the state and this year The Andamooka Yacht Club has had the pleasure of exhibiting the art works of three incredible South Australian artists; Debbie Warren, Yvonne Dalton and Heather Gordon.

The art works on exhibit include sculptures, mosaics, jewellery and fabric landscapes. The exhibition is free for all and can be viewed in the Andamooka Yacht Club and also outside in the Andamooka Community Garden. 

To kick start the South Australian Living Artists festival, Yvonne Dalton (a internationally recognised textile artist) hosted three workshops at the Andamooka Yacht Club to share her skills in sculpture and basket making. Participates worked closely with Yvonne during the workshops and each workshop goer left with their own handcrafted sculpture or basket. 

A huge shout out to all those that came together and made it possible for SALA to come to Andamooka for the first time since the festival began in 1998.

 

 

WINTER OPAL COLLECTION

Timeless. Elegant. Simplistic. 

These are the words that guide us when we are designing our Andamooka Opal collections. Our gorgeous ring designs fuse classic elegance with modern simplicity; reflecting the beautiful women that wear them. We work very closely with our local jeweller to ensure quality and that the upmost care is taken with our beautiful Andamooka Opal. Once our rings have arrived from the workshop they are such a delight to behold. When the sun hits the rose gold, and the gems it holds, you can see all the colours of the rainbow. 

To live amongst the opals mines, that these magical jewels come from and then see them as a finished product, gives us such joy. The contrast between the dust and desert scape, where these beauties are buried,  reminds us of the long journey each opal has taken to get to their owners hands. Its nice to be reminded of this process each time we step outside and see the pastel mullock heaps that surround our home in Andamooka. 

We hope this collection radiates beauty, warmth and our appreciation of the magical and unique place we now call our home. 

All rings are available in store at the Andamooka Yacht club. 

DELICATE OPAL RINGS

These past few months Andamooka Yacht club owners, Pip Stafford and Charlie Sim have been slowly sourcing Andamooka opal and working on refining ring designs that accentuate the beautiful local opal found in the area. This first collection of 9ct rose gold rings have been hand crafted and focus on simplicity and grace. "We wanted to create pieces that could be worn for all occasions. Pieces that stand out on their own, but can also be paired beautifully with stacking rings for a different look", explained Pip. "We are really excited to finally have this first collection finished and available for purchase at the Andamooka Yacht Club". 

"Pick the right track and follow the camel shit"

According to Bernadette, "picking the right track and following the camel shit" is a pretty easy way to track her and husband, Rob, as they travel with their 6 camels through Australia's most remote terrain. 

Both Bernadette and Rob are pretty interesting and unique people. I met them back in 2010, whilst they were on their camel trek from Gympie (their home town) to Melbourne and back. Bernadette and Rob had the pleasure of sleeping in our hay shed in the middle of a Hunter valley winter. My Dad, Alan Stafford (self appointed Mayor of Segenhoe), proudly offered up his hay shed, with a few frothy tops that kept the un -likely group up chatting until the early hours.

Mainly the conversation centred around how and why two people pack their lives up and travel, via camel, over thousands of miles. As the conversation continued we realised that their was no particular reason why Rob and Bernadette did these trips, they just did them because they could and they found joy in them.

Once you get past the fact that they are riding camels across the country (covering approximately 25 kilometres each day) and you settle in for a chat, you realise that they infact don't think they are doing anything special at all. And I guess for me personally, thats what made them so special. Bernadette and Rob are more interested in other people's stories than they are about talking about their own unique experiences.

I decided I needed more time with them, and so that night I asked Rob if perhaps I could join him and Bernadette on the next leg of their adventure. They were to ride a further few kilometres to Gundy NSW, a ride that would take a day. I was surprised when Rob replied that he would be happy to have me ride with them. The next morning, I was directed to Black Jack, the biggest camel and the leader of the camel train. Once I was settled in, Rob gave the signal, black Jack and all the other camels rose and we headed north towards Gundy. 

Fast forward to 2017. My partner, Charlie and I had just moved to a small opal mining town (Andamooka) in South Australia to run the Andamooka Yacht Club. We were 4 months in to our own little cafe adventure and we were loving the slow pace of outback living. One day a few of our regulars arrived in a very excited state. They explained that they had just come across a couple with 6 camels walking towards Roxby Downs. I instantly thought of Bernadette and Rob, but it had been 7 years since I had seen them and I wondered aloud if they were still travelling.

Australia is a big country, surely it could not be the same couple?  Co-insedently our customers found the cameleers on their way home and re-told them that they had coffee out at the Andamooka Yacht Club that was run by Pip Stafford. Bernadette remembered my name and remembered that I had rode with them years ago. With the bush telegraph at its best, we ended up locating Bernadette and Rob's camp site at the Roxby Downs race track and that very night we sat around the fire with them marvelling at their journey and the fact that we had run into each other in the vast SA outback. 

It was incredible meeting up with both Rob and Bernadette after having met them in such random circumstances all those years ago. They truely are an inspiration and by doing what they love they have given me the encouragement to push the boundaries of my own life. Thank you and we'll see you guys somewhere on the road. x

- Pip Stafford

 

MOTHERS DAY WORK SHOP

 Last Sunday a select group of people came together at the Andamooka Yacht Club for the Mother's Day Art Workshop. Run by Halley Argue, the work shop focussed on capturing the native flora from the surrounding desert scape and playing with vibrant colours. The workshop age group ranged from 7 upwards and produced a variety of beautiful artworks, each with their own individual flair. Andamooka Yacht Club co-owner, Pip Stafford, and local fine art's student, Halley Argue first came up with the idea of running their own art work shop when they met last year at Lauren Webster's (a Sydney based artist) art class, also hosted by the Andamooka Yacht Club. The workshop was organised for Mother's Day so that loved ones could come together and engage in something that would not normally be on offer in this area. "We wanted mother's to create memories with their kids on mother day and I think that defiantly happened! It was such a beautiful, positive and fun afternoon and we just hope that the locals continue to support us so that we can continue to offer something thats a little bit different" (Pip Stafford, co-owner of the Andamooka Yacht Club). 

Ethical buying

At the Andamooka Yacht Club, we like to support and promote artists who create one of a kind pieces. Environmentally friendly, recycled and ethical, are words that jump out at us when we are discussing what will be displayed at the Andamooka Yacht Club. So on that note, it is such a treat to be now selling SLEEPY SNOOGUS at the Andamooka Yacht Club. These knitted bunnies are not only absolutely adorable they also allow women in Cambodia to access stable income. Each bunny is knitted by a Cambodian women and provides a month of education costs for her children. Supporting women in developing countries has never been so easy! So get on board. 

PIP & CHARLIE'S STORY

After travelling abroad, Pip and Charlie, a young couple from NSW,  decided to explore the vast landscape that they call home, Australia. Packing everything into their troop carrier (including Shultz, their adorable sausage dog), they set off on an epic journey that took them to The Whitsundays, The Daintree Rainforest, Cape York and through the guts of Australia.

“When we were overseas we kept running into people who had travelled Australia. They showed us so many epic photos of a side of Australia that we didn't know and we were totally intrigued!” said Charlie. 

The idea behind the open ended trip was to explore, appreciate and find a new and interesting place to call home for a while. And find a home they did; in a very unexpected way. 

Whilst Pip and Charlie were exploring Uluru in Central Australia, they decided to contact two friends who were currently living in Andamooka; a beautiful ramshackle opal mining town with a population of two hundred people south east of Coober Pedy. Their friends, Kurt and Till had (in 2015) opened a tourism hub, featuring a cafe and gallery curiously naming it Andamooka Yacht Club.

Pip and Charlie were immediately intrigued by the opal mining town and The Andamooka Yacht Club. They found themselves drawn to the cosy space and their stay extended from days to weeks. After many a fabulous meal Kurt and Till revealed that they were both interested in setting up another business in Tasmania and that would mean them stepping away from the Andamooka Yacht Club. 

It seemed that the perfect opportunity arose between long term friends. In the new year, Pip and Charlie will be returning to open and run the Andamooka Yacht Club. 

“We are very excited for the opportunity to run a beautiful cafe in such a magical setting. Kurt and Till have put so much of themselves into this place and it really shows. We know we have big shoes to fill, but we are definitely up for the challenge” said Pip. 

 

2017 & BEYOND

The AYC lives on! When we first made the big move from the city to the desert we were full of energy and excitement for the unknown. Neither of us had lived in such a small town before, nor had we lived more than 500km from the nearest killer cafe, Bunnings or Ikea. The desert has taught us so much about so much. There’s been trials and tribulations, lots of blood, sweat and tears (literally) and we are absolutely stoked with what we have achieved, what we have learnt, and where that has lead us to in the future.

It is time that we make tracks in the red sand of the desert and head for the leafy jungle of Tasmania - from one extreme to another. We are moving to a small town called Goulds Country at the base of the Blue Tier mountain. Its lush and beautiful, and full of rain, giant ferns and mountain bike trials. We have a nice piece of land hidden amongst trees and divided by a stream. We have big plans. 

As for the Andamooka Yacht Club - our baby, our first business, our dream that was brought to life - we can’t just leave him in the hands of just anyone. Our friends, Pip and Charlie, are from home and have been captivated by Andamooka as much as when we first laid eyes on this dreamy oasis. They have lived with us in town for over a month, working in the shop and exploring the surrounds. During this time we have taught them everything we know about making the AYC what it is, and we think they’re ready to take the wheel and lead it into the future. These two love birds will be reopening the Andamooka Yacht Club in early February next year as new owners. We will still be as much a part of it as they will allow us, like new parents handing over their child to their first babysitter - except this time, it’s for real. 

We don’t want to say ‘we wish them all the best, good luck with it all’ because we know they’re going to kill it. You guys are going to love them and the things they have install for the AYC. So don’t be shy, fill your tank, hit the highway, and come say hi. 

BENNY & AL

Crazy, unbelievable and absolutely inspiring stories around a desert fire. These two dudes are on a 5 week dirt-bike trip around Australia. They thought they'd fly through Andamooka, but they couldn't get enough. After three days of serious hang time Benny & Al are back on the road to continue their journey. 

SA Regional Awards

So honoured that the AYC was awarded with the 'Mayor's Choice Award' at the 2016 SA Regional Awards. Thanks to everyone who has given us so much support over the past year and a half! Couldn't have come this far without all the love we've received. It was an amazing night with so many inspiring finalists. Congrats all round x

Thanks to our local newspaper, The Monitor, for the front page story.

PIP & CHARLIE

Pip & Charlie are these epic legends on an adventure around Australia in their Troopy. They've been on the road for seven months and we're so excited to have them hanging out in Andamooka. We've been exploring a different part of the desert every night. Here we are at the old Airstrip just out of time, watching the sun set and the stars shine!

REGIONAL AWARDS

One year ago we opened the doors of the Andamooka Yacht Club! It has been a crazy desert adventure since then, meeting and working with so many amazing people in this ridiculously cool little town. We’ve been nominated for the Outback Regional Awards, and we’re so honoured!

Get on board and vote for us at HERE! 

FANNY LUMSDEN

Fanny Lumsden and Dan Freeman are towing this epic little yellow caravan around Australia playing gigs in peoples backyards, verandas and living rooms along the way. They were heading down to Adelaide from Alice and we dropped them a line to come play a session for us and a bunch of locals. After an awesome set of songs and some Andamooka trivia, the night ended around the fire.

Fanny was called a "breath of fresh Country air" by Rolling Stones Magazine. With two songs on her latest album reaching #1 on the Country Music Channel, she presented a CMAA award alongside Paul Kelly and won CMC New Oz Artist of the year. Andamooka was a little bit giddy with excitement! We are very much looking to their recently announced 4th Country Halls Tour - we know a little town with just the perfect hall. Come back Fan and Dan!

Click HERE to find out if these two are playing near you! 

CULTIVATOR INC.

We’re very excited that we’ve been asked to present at Cultivator 2016. The event brings creative minds together and aims to stimulate connections and dialogue between youth, community and promote innovative thinking in our regional areas, a very important initiative! Cultivator officially kicks off on Friday 21st of October and we will be running some work shops over the days leading up to the event. Pretty keen to spend the week chilling and exploring Mildura. 

Read more, get updates and buy tickets at Cultivator Inc