The Museum recently digitised a collection of photographs of Woolgoolga Adventure Village in the 1980s. A tourist attraction aimed at children, it contained miniature houses from fairy tales, a working miniature railway, a lake and a large park.
When we shared the images, we received a reply from someone who remembered that every Woopi kid had their birthday party there at some point. Not only that, but her parents now lived on the site where the Woolgoolga Adventure Village once stood. Here at the Museum it definitely pays to ‘know someone who knows someone’!
The residents of the area kindly gave permission for our staff to visit the site and take photos of what the Village looked like now. Here are some standouts!
Miniature cottage, 1980s
Miniature cottage, 2020
This miniature cottage had a new coat of paint, a brightly decorated front door and a great big tree tucked into its roof!
Model Sepik village, 1980s
Remains of hut, 2020
Anything in the Village made of wood was destroyed by termites. Residents were forced to remove the damaged houses, but cleverly repurposed what remained. The remaining section of a Sepik hut has been repurposed into a chicken coop.
Miniature castle, 1980s
Miniature castle, 2020
The mini castle has been repainted and is still used by the residents’ grandchildren to play in.
Tree stump house, or ‘The Fort’, 1980s
Tree stump house, or ‘The Fort’, 2020
The tree stump house still has its original paintwork, including the bright red front door. Our correspondent said both her and her own children liked to play on this, and almost all of them fell off it at one stage.
It was heartening to see the spirit of preservation shared by the residents living on the site of the former Woolgoolga Adventure Village. Rather than knock the buildings down, they were lovingly refurbished and repurposed.
The site is now privately owned and is not open to the public. We received special permission to visit and photograph the area. You can still enjoy the trip down memory lane by viewing the entire collection of images from then and now for free on Coffs Collections.
I would like to thank the residents who live on the site of the former Woolgoolga Adventure Village for letting me traipse around taking photographs. Thanks also to the original lender of the 1980s images. You have all made our collections and local knowledge richer!