Old Bar Beach Festival 2017 | kombi owners share the love

Kombi owners converged on the Mid North Coast town of Old Bar over the long weekend to celebrate their passion.

The kombi show takes centre stage at the annual Old Bar Beach Festival.

Each year, owners come from far and wide with most making it an annual pilgrimage.

“I’ve been coming for 12 years – it’s the first thing that goes on the calendar every year,” Mark Stanek, from the Sydney suburb of Avalon explained.

He owns a 76 original kombi sopru camp mobile and regularly takes it to the beach with his four-legged friend Kirra by his side.  They sat soaking in the festival vibe, wishing people ‘happy old Bar Festival’ as they strolled past.

Mark Stanek and Kirra with their 76 camper.

Mark Stanek and Kirra with their 76 camper.

Looking less relaxed was the owner of a 1963 15-window split screen microbus.  These are rare and highly valuable.

“They’re not for the faint-hearted.  It’s like renovating a house – you get to the end of it and you’re financially and emotionally exhausted,” explained owner Scott Cunliffe from Balmain East.

For most owners it’s a sense of nostalgia that draws them in.

“When I was 17 my first car was a kombi – it takes you back, it’s that hippy beach culture thing,” Mr Cunliffe said.

Twenty years ago when she had her first child Sarah Younger from Port Macquarie was told she would not be able to fit baby seats in her beloved kombi.

“We lived in it for three years travelling the east coast,” Ms Younger explained.

So now, with two adult children, she’s pursuing that passion once again in her 74 campervan.  Her son Mitchell Turner enjoys the festival vibe just as much as his mother.

“It’s like one big giant family you don’t know actually know.  We all love the same thing.”