My Recap of the 2016 Australian Camp Oven Festival
This year on the Queen’s Birthday weekend, over six thousand visitors travelled to a little town, one-hour drive southwest of Toowoomba called Millmerran, for the biennial 2016 Australian Camp Oven Festival, the largest of its kind in Australia and definitely well worth checking out.
Camp Oven Ally – Camp Oven Cooking Competition
The 2016 Australian Camp Oven Festival celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, which saw 15 teams of all levels competing in competitions in camp oven ally. Also in camp oven ally was Andy and Barb’s Heat Beads cooking workshops, the judging tent and damper throwing competitions.
Camp Oven Judging Tent
The judging tent showcased all the entries for the competition. Also in the tent, this year was a big display of camp ovens and included in the collection was Ned Winter’s iconic Australian-shaped camp oven with a damper cooked by Ranger Nick still in it. He had also donated one of his homemade 38″ tractor rim camp ovens.
Ned Winter’s Australian Damper Camp Oven
Ned Winter made this Australian-shaped camp oven to be known for something big. The iconic camp oven cooks a damper that is 1.5 meters wide! To make the damper, 45 kilograms of flour and 30 litres of water was used, plus a pinch of salt and the most important bit, know how.
38″ Tractor Rim Camp Oven
This tractor rim camp oven was donated to the festival by Ned Winter. On the tractor rim camp oven it says, “Oven was Tractor Rim, 38 inches (97cm Wide) Cap. 27 Gal. 131+ Ltrs. Curries or Stews or 7-8 Large Silver Sides or 7-8 Legs of Pork or 22kgs. Damper. King George, George St Feast. Cooked Beef Week 91, 94 for 1400 – 2000. It always took 2 good women or 3 to maneuver it ’round the shed. Women of such calibre are scarce. It’s been donated to Aust.-Camp-oven-com. Millmerran next fest 1 & 2nd OCT 2016 – Ned Winter the Camp Oven Cook.”
If you fancied a feast of camp oven tucker you could purchase food from the festivals camp oven kitchen. There also were some other food vendors present.
Whilst the festival is about camp oven cooking, it also features two stages of entertainment; the main stage featured bush poetry and an array of music throughout the weekend, and the second stage featured daily demonstrations by Ranger Nick and Roothy, plus children’s entertainment by Kangagang children’s show.
Market stalls, vintage engines and more
The show also features lots of other things to see like:
- Working blacksmiths
- Hand shears collection
- Eggbeater collection
- Axe handle making demos
- Old chainsaw collection
- Pig races
- Car show and shine
- Vintage tractors
- Roving entertainment
- Market stalls
- Packhorse demonstrations
- And more
My Final Thoughts
Wow, what an awesome festival! I have been to the last two festivals and this one was the best one yet. There was so much to see and do to keep you busy all weekend and to make the most out of the festival, I would definitely recommend you to camp at the festival. For more details about the camp oven festival visit their website here