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Do you own a VW Kombi? Or just love these iconic vehicles! Well, this event is for you! If you do own a Kombi this is the place to show off your vehicle in style. And if you don’t have one, this is the best place to get up close and personal with them. Old Bar Beach Festival – is one of the best Kombi events, said to be one of the biggest congregations of Kombis to gather in one place!
What’s the festival all about?
Kombis of course! But it’s also about the community, the festival, the town, the markets, and the Kombi convoy (also known as the ‘Kombi cruise’ and the ‘Kombi parade’) – which turns this event into one fun Kombi festival.
Where do you stay?
Lani’s on the Beach Campground. This site is adjacent to the fair, markets and the beach. It’s the perfect location for this festival, especially if you’re travelling in a Kombi, as the majority of Kombis camp here for the festival. And if you’re not keen on staying in a vehicle, book one of the campground’s self-contained cabins.
What do you do?
Stay for the weekend (the festival event occurs in October/long weekend). Wake up Saturday morning and walk to the fair or markets, or town, or all three places. But don’t miss the Kombi convoy, this is the main event! And begins in the afternoon. The convoy is an amazing moment, it seems the whole town gets together and gathers to watch the hundreds of eye-catching and unique Kombis that travel along Old Bar Road.
While the public wait for the Kombi convoy, the vehicles assemble on the Old Bar Air Strip (top feature photo) and prepare to meet their audience! Once on the main road adults and children excitedly cheer and wave at each passing Kombi as their drivers and passengers obligingly way back! Audience, drivers and passengers absorb the excitement as the colourful assortment of vintage Kombis cruise past a variety of crowds.
On Sunday, enjoy a more mellow day and view the hundreds of Kombis that line the field (adjacent to the campground), here you can take a closer look at them. Talk to the owners about their prized possession, take a photo or two, or just have a pleasant stroll around.
With the main locations neighbouring each other; the campground, the beach, fairground, markets and town, makes everything easy, as it’s all within walking distance (10-minute walk to restaurants, cafes and a supermarket). Families can keep their little ones busy for hours at the fairground, which includes an assortment of rides and fun carnival games.
There are a variety of products for sale, from hats, clothes, Kombi items such as paintings, and a variety of food stalls. And enjoy entertainment such as live bands and fireworks.
If you’re travelling solo, or with your partner, or the family – and would like to meet like-minded Kombi enthusiasts, this is an easy place to start a conversation and chat with a variety of people.
Where can you go?
If you camp at Lani’s on the Beach, head to the beach – it’s at your doorstep. Feel like a meal and drink head to Club Old Bar, or the Flow Bar. Many who visit for the weekend take bicycles with them and cycle to the bars from the campground.
Or prefer to walk and have a meal and drink – head to Sai Thai Table and Tea, a lovely Thai restaurant which holds a prominent place in the community, while offering quality fresh meals, provides a wide range of charity events too! If you’re thinking of visiting, you may like to make a booking, especially on this busy weekend!
This is a fun event, and if it had been around during the popular production years of the Kombis; the 60s and 70s, it probably would have been called – The Festival of Peace, Love and Happiness!
Keep in touch!
Shelley has published a variety of online articles. With a master’s in special education, this has allowed her to write in the area of education, through platforms such as The Huffington Post. Being an outdoor enthusiast, she has written for The Weekender Travel and currently writes for Kombi Lifestyle. She is keen to share her knowledge and enjoys writing informative articles that help the discerning traveller prepare for road trip holidays in Australia. Shelley is the founder of Kombi Lifestyle.