Wedderburn’s ‘wow’ weekend
Published on 04 March 2014
Visitors to Wedderburn for the annual Minelab Detector Jamboree will have the opportunity to hunt for more than just the usual prized metal tokens.
They may also pick up a bargain at one of the town’s many garage sales, catch up with an old schoolmate or find the house of their dreams.
The Jamboree will be the main drawcard in Wedderburn over the Labour Day weekend, again organised and run by Wedderburn Tourism Inc. at the Hard Hill Tourist Reserve.
Sponsored by Loddon Shire, among others, the Jamboree is a major attraction on the Shire’s tourist calendar, with up to 2000 people gathering in Wedderburn each year to try their luck.
Other features on the program include a Junior Detector Token Hunt aimed at young people 16 years and under, gold panning for juniors, detector demonstrations for beginners, live entertainment and children’s activities.
The Coach House Gallery and Museum will be open on Saturday, Acacia Lane Archery will run demonstrations and the reserve’s eucalyptus stew pot will be operating both days.
Catering will be provided by the Wedderburn Lions Club.
A charge of $45 for the weekend covers breakfast, entertainment on the Saturday evening and full access to the busy program. Non-participants are free.
Prizes this year include a new Minelab CT3030 detector, an X-Terra 705 Gold, Coiltek coils and a gold nugget valued at $200.
Council’s Tourism Manager, Robyn Vella, said the outlook for the weekend was good, with “the caravan park and motel already full”.
“We’ve had plenty of interest in the event and this year, for the first time, we will welcome a representative from major sponsor Minelab coming over from South Australia,” Mrs Vella said.
“Gold is a big thing in this area and we have large numbers of people visiting all the time to try their hand at prospecting.”
On the Saturday (8 March), a town-wide garage sale trail will offer visitors an extra point of interest, with maps available from the Loddon Visitor Information Centre from 9am.
The weekend will also see a major reunion of former students and staff of the Wedderburn Higher Elementary School, which operated from 1948-61.
The program includes a lunch and dinner, church service on the Sunday morning and time for local sight-seeing.
Organising committee member Pam Jackson said this week there were more than 100 people registered for the lunch and 80-odd for dinner.
“We’ve been surprised at the interest,” she said. “Our primary target group was those who were at the school, from 1950-61, but we’ve also had inquiries from people much younger.
“We think we have four or five of our old teachers coming and don’t believe there’s been any reunion of this size for many years.
“We’re quite excited about it.”
Visitors who like what they see in the town will be able to gather more food for thought through a new initiative from Wedderburn Tourism Inc., which has arranged for a number of vacant shops and houses to be open for inspection.
Various shop buildings in the main street – many of which date from gold rush days – will be unlocked on Saturday (8 March) from 9am to 5pm.
Wedderburn Tourism hopes people might consider setting up new businesses there.
In addition, two estate agencies will have up to eight empty homes open during the day.
For more information, phone the Loddon Visitor Information Centre on 5494 3489.
CAPTION FOR SUPPLIED PICTURE:
A participant in last year’s Jamboree on the hunt for tokens at Hard Hill Reserve.