Woolgoolga Curryfest 2009
This year's Curryfest, the fourth, will be held on Monday April 13, coinciding with the festival of Vaisakhi, which celebrates the Sikh New Year festival and commemorates 1699 when Sikhism was born as a collective faith.
Curryfest will also coincide with the end of the Sikh Games, also being held on the Coffs Coast over the Easter long weekend.
Curryfest is a non-profit incorporated organisation which is a sub-committee of the Woolgoogla Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism.
Some 10,000 people attended Curryfest in 2008 and organisers are hoping that those numbers will swell to around twice that number with people already in the area for the Sikh Games.
Around 60 vendors will be at Curryfest where you can eat your fill of yummy curries (not just Indian), see cooking demonstration, enjoy the music, dance and entertainment from many cultural groups.
Organisers are promising that this year's performers will be hotter than ever. Some to keep an eye out for include:
- Circle of Rhythm - Heralded as Australia's most exciting rhythm trio and taking their inspiration from Japan, Polynesia and India, Circle of Rhythm's show pays homage to multi-cultural Australia.
- Boom - Five highly talented and fun loving guys make up this Bellingen based percussion group. Boom's music is a "creative melting pot- a combination of original songs and grooves, ancient rhythms, inspired improvisations and funky flute rhymes".
- BhangraNights - "Bhangranights began as a team of 2 in 1997 with a main goal of providing the local community in Brisbane with an entertainment portal for people with similar backgrounds and roots to keep in touch with each other and their love of Indian music."
- Headland - An Australian group based around Woolgoolga. They describe their music as "a mix of traditional and more recent Irish songs, lively jigs and reels, original compositions and contemporary music."
Other highlights include the finals of the FutureStar Competition and bike race through the main street.
As you arrive in the seaside town of Woolgoolga, you cannot help but notice the Guru Nanak Sikh Temple and the Indian complex.
Woolgoolga's population is around 25 per cent Sikh and is famous for its two Gurdwara's (temples). The Sikh Temple Woolgoolga was Australia's first purpose built Gurdwara.
Sikh settlers first arrived in Woolgoolga in the 1940s and many of them worked on banana plantations. Around 90 per cent of Woolgoolga banana plantations are now Sikh owned.
How do I get to Woolgoolga?
Woolgoolga is located 586km north of Sydney on the Pacific Highway and 28km north of Coffs Harbour. Other than driving, your options for getting to Woolgoolga include catching a train or plane to Coffs Harbour and then a bus to Woolgoolga, or a bus the whole way.
CountryLink runs three daily train service between Brisbane and Sydney with a stop at Coffs Harbour. Adult tickets start from around $66 for an economy ticket from Sydney to Coffs Harbour. You can check train times and book your tickets through the CountryLink website, or by calling 132 232.
If you want to fly to Coffs Harbour, you can choose between Qantas, Virgin Blue and Brindabella Airlines, depending on your point of origin.
Once you arrive in Coffs Harbour, Premier Motor Service runs a bus to Woolgoolga twice a day at a cost of $16. You can find out more information on the Premier Motor Service website or by calling 13 34 10.
Ryans Bus Service also runs buses from Coffs Harbour to Woolgoolga, but as they do not operate on Sundays or public holidays, unless you are travelling outside of the Easter long weekend, you may not be able to use them. You can visit their website or call them on (02) 6652 3201.
If you are coming from further afield and want to take a coach, both Greyhound and Premier Motor Service run long-distance services to Woolgoolga. You can check their timetables through their websites or call Greyhound on 1300 473 946 and Premier Coaches on 13 34 10.
Where can I stay?
With both the Curryfest and Sikh Games being held in Woolgoolga on the same weekend, it would be advisable to book your accomodation early.
Here are some suggestions for accomodation in the Woolgoolga area:
The Waterside Cabins at Woolgoolga
Located 2km south of Woolgoolga, prices start from around $105 per night.
Located 2.5km west of Woolgoolga, prices start from around $125 per night.
Woolgoolga Beach House
Located on Woolgoogla's Main Beach, the beach is literally at your front door.
Safety Beach Ocean Bungalows
Located 2km north of Woolgoogla
While you're there..
While you're in Woolgoolga, why not take the time to check out some of the attractions in the area.
- The Big Banana - Coffs Harbour's very own 'big thing'
- Guru Nanak Sikh Temple
As it is autumn, the weather will be starting to have a cool edge. Don't forget to take some warm clothes in case.
And, of course, don't forget your toothbrush.
Are you going to Curryfest this year? Have you been in the past? Tell us your thoughts on Curryfest - leave us a comment below.