Located between Guyra/Armidale/Uralla and Inverell in the Northern Tablelands, the pet friendly and peaceful Tingha Gems Caravan Park is like a breath of fresh air to the traveller, boasting 26 powered sites and many more unpowered sites, with room for big rigs, satisfactory amenities (and already funded extension plans), with work about to start on a BIG new Camp Kitchen and meeting area.
The Managers, Craig and Rebel Bright, are not just friendly and on the ball, they are great cooks and by arrangement for groups they can turn on a magnificent spit roast or BBQ, and a trifle to die for (with plenty of seconds usually available, and you will want to line up for them), at a very reasonable price. It is great when the Park operators treat you like a favourite cousin! Call them to book on 0267 233 234.
More about what to see and do in a little place like Tingha in a moment. Just how much to stay in this little Nirvana in the bush? Well, for touring ACC members looking to overnight, there is a 10% discount off the (current) normal fee of $20 for a powered site … that is only $18 a night. A group of six or more vans arriving by arrangement for a Branch muster scores a 20% discount. How good is that? If you plan for a day or two, and love it so you decide to stay another week, there is a special weekly rate of $90 for singles, which is now discounted by 10% to just $81 for ACC Members, and just $108 for couples ($120 - 10%). Yes, that is for seven days. Of course, unpowered sites are cheaper, but if it is mid- winter or mid- summer you might appreciate the aircon.
OK, but what could you do to amuse yourself at Tingha? Well, for a starter, if you like fishing you can drop a line right next to the Park, or at any number of fishing holes close by. The Wing Hing Long Museum and Old Store has a lot to look at, for just a small admission fee, and the volunteer ladies turn on a beaut homemade scones, jam and real cream Devonshire Tea. If you like a bit of fun the Green Valley Farm is just out of town, a particularly good spot for kids. You enjoy a drop of wine? Toppers Valley winery and vineyard is only minutes away, and for a real treat head to Gilgai to the New England Woodturning and Didgeridoo factory. Proprietor Rob puts on a really entertaining (for groups) demo of didge playing, shows and demonstrates a big range of didges, including some you are unlikely to ever see elsewhere for small cost. Then, after a cuppa and bickies (maybe a fresh homemade cake, if you are lucky) you can have a look at some magnificent wooden pieces, including a fully operational wooden clock. The ladies at Tingha’s Red Rose Café make a mouth-watering steak-burger with the works, and have a range of essential items in their small grocery section. A great evening meal is available on Friday nights only, from the Tingha Bowls (Sport and Recreation Club), run by volunteers, and they all do know how to cook.
There is a pub, Post Office, fuel station, and a couple of other places in Tingha, but the real attraction is the Tingha Gems Caravan Park and the Managers, Craig and Rebel. Don’t just drive through Tingha, because while you might not have guessed it, it is well worth planning a stop over and enjoying more of the attractions of the area, in fact Tingha is a great place to plan a week-long stay, enjoying a relaxed and economical visit to an historic location. I will be back, for sure. Ralph Jordan, ACC Member
Just a note about Tingha. The people here are very supportive of travellers, and are proactive about maintaining the facilities available. Much effort is directed towards keeping the place looking inviting too, and as a matter of fact, volunteers manage and maintain the Caravan Park, volunteers operate the Bowling Club Friday night dinners, volunteers operate the Wing Hing Long Museum, and volunteers organise and manage the various special events such as the Tingha Tin Festival, which for 2018 is on 16th and 17th of November. I will be there, especially for the magnificent Chinese Dinner! This is one little town which needs and truly deserves support from ACC members.