{The Nest Reads} Take a trip down outback roads

You know what is awesome?

When local women do good things. Like really good, clever things.

I have always dreamed of writing a book, but here is a fantastic lady who has actually done that. Well, to be fair she has done a lot of them!

Alissa Callen is an author you need to add to your booklist.

Her books are written with the inspiration of our local area, and that makes them just a little bit more special.

You need to grab a cuppa, ignore the phone and read Alissa Callen’s Down Outback Roads TODAY. down outback roads

Alissa writes beautifully and you will escape to a world that seems a little familar because it’s rural but will take your heart places that make you smile and cry and laugh and live.

You definitely won’t regret finding this book!

Happy reading Nesters x



{Locally found} Toot toot ride the big steam train

Jump on board the steam train!

The Great Western Tour is heading our way and you should hail a ride.

No matter how big or little you are EVERYONE loves a steam train.

Tickets are available from Transport Heritage NSW and you better get to it quick!

It’s on for two weekends only:

Dubbo // Sat 15 – Sun 16 August 

 Bathurst // Sat 22 – Sun 23 August


Toot toot Nesters x

{Locally Found} Fully Engaged – The Event

If you are planning a wedding, know someone organising a wedding, or even if you just like weddings then this is for you!

A one of a kind event is taking place in Orange on May 30 and it is the place to be.

You might be engaged, but are you fully engaged? line4

We recently spoke with Henry Paul who is the mastermind behind this fantastic idea to find out where the idea came from, why we should go and who is involved!

The Nest: We love this idea Henry! What is Fully Engaged?

Henry: Fully Engaged is a cross between a wedding expo and a mock wedding. We’re inviting people to take part in this one of a kind event to experience, interact and ENGAGE with some of the best wedding vendors from the Central West. Not only will you get the chance to ask questions, but also you’ll literally be attending a wedding (just with no official-ness).FLORIST

The Nest: Sounds fabulous, where did the idea come from?

Henry: The idea actually came to me on Christmas Day last year! My sister had just gotten married and my brother’s wedding was 10 days away. The whole family was in some kind of wedding head-spin. After hearing some of their frustrations of planning a wedding, I thought to myself ‘there must be a better way of getting to know your wedding photographer before hiring them’. I mean, websites are great and Facebook is good, but none of that compares to actually experiencing somebody’s work ethic to help you decide if they’re worth it and I think that applies across the board for every wedding vendor. Whether you’re looking for a florist, a decorator, or a photographer it is great if you can build a relationship before your own big day!

The Nest: Why should people attend Fully Engaged?

Henry: I put out to all those hipsters out there: In five years this kind of thing will be mainstream. Don’t you wanna be the person that went before it was cool?

Seriously, Fully Engaged has never been done before. This is exciting and scary at the same time. I think everybody loves to be a part of something new and bold, and this time it happens to be raising money for an awesome cause!LOLLY

The Nest: So exactly, what makes Fully Engaged different to the other bridal fairs?

Henry: There are so many things that set Fully Engaged apart from your typical bridal fair. One of the biggest things people will notice is the limited number of vendors who are involved. This allows for an intimate experience with our  Fully Engaged Team. We have about 13 different businesses contributing to the event. At bridal fairs, there’ll often be 19 different photographers all competing for the same clients, and couples can often feel a little overwhelmed. At Fully Engaged it’s not a competition. It’s a wedding.mayfield

The Nest: We love that this is local, what vendors will be there?

Henry: Through Fully Engaged I have had the privilege of getting to know some of the best in the business! Of course we have Mayfield Vineyard on board, that’s where the event will be hosted! But the list of businesses involved keeps growing!

Here are some of the vendors available to meet on the day:

Venue: Mayfield Vineyard

Photography: Henry Paul Photography (Parkes) & Danni Evans Photography (Bathurst)

Video: Typography & Photobooth: Calicove Creative Studio (Dubbo)

Decorations: Bombira Weddings (Mudgee) and All Sorted Party Hire (Forbes)

Florist: The Meadow (Dubbo)

Bridal Gown: LMH Couture (Bathurst)

Millinery: Julie Herbert Millinery (Orange)

Suit: Bent Threads (Bathurst)

Celebrant: Tanya McDonald, Building Forevers (Millthorpe)

Entertainment: Renate Jane Music (Bathurst)

As you can see, this is an extremely regional effort, with vendors coming from at least 8 different towns to make this happen!borrowed

The Nest: Tell us a little more about you Henry, what is your background?

I grew up in Canberra with an incredible family! Through every life decision and business decision I made they have always been supportive, and are always looking for ways to help. Two years ago I made the decision to leave the nest and move to Parkes, and I’m sure they all thought I was a little crazy! But nevertheless, they supported me. It is now two years on, and I am running an exciting and thriving wedding photography business in the Central West, and I love every moment of it!FLOWER

 The Nest: Well welcome to the area! So why wedding photography?

Henry: When I was in high school, I had a friend from church who was a wedding photographer. He offered to train me as his right-hand man. Before then I had never touched an SLR camera, let alone shot with one. But, as my friend said, I had a major creative personality that was just dying for a way to express itself.

When I moved to the country I also moved away from the photography business. And funnily enough, I had absolutely no intention of returning to the industry! But, of course, I was still in love with the art of photography. So with my newfound freedom I began exploring a whole range of other styles and types of photography.  Last Easter I was asked to stand in as wedding photographer for a couple in Forbes, and I fell in love with weddings all over again. Thus Henry Paul Photography was born.table

The Nest: Money raised from the day will go to Ronald McDonald House Charity in Orange, why is this an important charity to you/ why was it chosen?

Henry: To be honest, this is what gets me most excited about Fully Engaged: $30 from every ticket sold will be donated to RMHC in Orange!fully engaged

All our vendors are donating their time so that most of the ticket sale price can be donated directly to Ronald McDonald House. If you spend even just 5 minutes in a Ronald McDonald House you’ll understand why we’ve partnered with them. Fully Engaged is all about ‘spreading the love’ to help provide hope and healing to seriously ill children and their families.

The Nest: Okay Henry, so tell us the details!

Henry: Fully Engaged will begin at 3:30pm on 31 May at Mayfield Vineyard in Orange.

Tickets are available for $35 and can be purchased from www.henrypaul.com.au/fully-engaged-tickets/

The Nest: If our beautiful nesters have any questions how can they get in contact?


Henry: If you would like more information, would like to partner with us, or perhaps just make a donation, then please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am best contacted via email, henrypaulproductions@me.com, or through my Facebook page. MASTHEAD

So get to it nesters, not only are you supporting a brilliant cause you can also be part of something completely new for this area! Happy wedding planning Nesters x

{Locally Found} Flix in the Stix – The Best night in the bush

This is exciting Nesters!

That gorgeousness that is CommBank Flix in the Stix is back!flix

Flix in the Stix is Australia’s only film, music, comedy and arts festival that comes to us ol’ fellas in regional Australia.

Let me break it down for you Nesters, basically the night consists of you and your love (or perhaps your girlfriends) enjoying a night under the stars indulging in food, entertainment, laughs and pure enjoyment. ORANGE 2014

Currently in its fifth year, the 2015 tour features one of our ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE Australian celebs, the fantastic Deborah Mailman (think ‘The Sapphires’ and the loveable and hilarious ‘Cherie’ from ‘Offspring’). This year she is involved in a brand new collection of short films for your absolute viewing pleasure. Hello, anything that involves her is always going to be brilliant (yes, I am sure you can smell the stench of our colossal girl crush!)

If films aren’t your thing (weirdo) then they also have you covered! Flix in the Stix offers live music by ARIA award winning artists My Friend The Chocolate Cake and a brilliant comedy performance from the ever-entertaining Tripod!ORANGE 2013

Of course for you foodies out there, one of the best features of Flix in the Stix is that offer local gourmet food and beverages on the night!

Now, Flix in the Stix tours to a whole bunch of places around New South Wales but close to home you can find them at Lazy River Estate Dubbo on Friday 20 February 2015 and in Orange at the Botanic Garden on Saturday 21 February 2015!

To purchase tickets or for more information head over to www.flixinthestix.com.au


The generous team at Flix in the Stix is offering one very lucky Nester the chance to take their special someone to Flix in the Stix for free! You can even choose whether to go to Dubbo or Orange!

To be in the running just comment below or on Facebook or shoot us an email to centralwestnest@outlook.com explaining why you should win!

(Winner will be drawn 14 February 2015)

Good luck Nesters!

{Locally Found} You don’t need to go to the big smoke to have some family fun

Okay, so I have found a way to entertain the whole family, that’s not in the big smoke, that is entertaining, informative and pretty bloody exciting.

The Western Plains Zoo at Dubbo is the perfect destination for your next family day out.

We recently went to the Zoo for the four-year old’s birthday – to say that she had a brilliant day is a massive understatement.

We gave her the gift of experience which is SO much better than any other birthday present she has ever received.

I am so hesitant about going to places where animals are held, simply because sometimes it just seems so inhumane. Western Plains Zoo is the furthest thing away from that. The animals have so much space and land to roam and genuinely seem happy.

We saw elephants, giraffes, gibbons and one very adorable baby hippopotamus! Plus there are so many more animals. The toddler-bird asked questions, we answered (READ: googled).

The zoo offers specialised keeper talks where you can get a deeper understanding and knowledge of the animals in front of you. We especially enjoyed zoo keeper Nick’s talk on the Galapagos tortoises.

There is also so much to keep the little-birdies entertained, our little ones particularly enjoyed the extensive playground that allowed them to burn off some more energy.

Plus, they especially loved the chance to get up close and do the walk-about with emus, koalas and wallabies. You can even pat some of them!zoo1


There is a few food options around the zoo for your bellies. You can buy lunch from one of the zoo’s delicious eateries or you can do what we did and pack your own barbecue.

We took our own barbecue supplies and had some lunch half way around. The barbecues are free and it is a perfect reason to stop and enjoy your surrounds.

There is also plenty of inviting grassy areas for picnics.


The zoo is about 6kms all the way around. Most of the exhibits you can see from the road, but a couple you need to actually walk a short distance to.

The smartest thing we did was to hire one of the zoo’s cart for the day for $99. You can take your bike or use your car, but we found the experience of the wind blowing through your hair so much for exciting. Plus, you can attach the baby-bird’s car seat to ensure your littlest cargo is the safest. You should book before you go because they sell out FAST! zoo2


Entry to the zoo is $47 for grown ups and $24 for little-birdies aged 4-12.

This is for two days entry.

We really cannot recommend a trip to Western Plains Zoo enough.

Pack up the fam-bam and get there!

If you need any more information please contact 02 6881 1400 or twpz@zoo.nsw.gov.au

This brave, beautiful woman is a fighter who needs your help to win this battle

This is a story about a girl who is a survivor. When all else seems against you, put on a smile, stand strong and fight for your life.The beautiful and brave Kate

Kate is a country girl, from a little town in western NSW called Trundle. She spent her childhood playing her brothers & sisters before moving to Dubbo to attend school at St John’s College at the age of 16.

Kate worked as a lifeguard at the local swimming pool, at the Information Centre and at Western Plains Travel. She made the big decision to move to Canberra to undertake study of Social Welfare at Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT). This opened up the world for Kate. She found the job that her family says ‘she was destined to do’. She spends her time helping people who are less fortunate than herself and is always the first to lend a helping hand to those in need.kate3

Kate has an audacious spirit, she loves travelling and is always up for an adventure. Kate lights up any room she enters and is always up for a challenge. Together with her loving boyfriend Dean they live life to the fullest and love to keep fit and exercise. She is fiercely in love with her family, especially her niece and nephew and has a beautiful network of supportive friends.


Her beautiful life was shattered on Tuesday 9 July 2013. Kate was diagnosed with a 5cm carcinoma in her left breast. This news rocked Kate and her family to the core. She is so young. She is so fit. How could this happen?

Kate’s fighting spirit took over and she braced herself for what was to come. This would be the fight for her life.

Kate confronted cancer straight on. She bravely opted for a double mastectomy and is still undergoing chemotherapy. Her bravery and strength shines through every day.

Kate’s family and friends are holding an auction and fundraiser for Kate at Trundle Golf Club on 5 October 2013. They are seeking donations of any kind to be used as prizes. If you can help, please contact Kellylee Dunn on 6892 5318 or Jenny Allen on 6892 5271.

Please take some time to help this beautiful girl. How would you feel if this was your sister, daughter, friend?



If you can help please email us at centralwestnest@outlook.com and we will put you in contact with Kate’s family.

Support some local cows!

Isn’t it great when you see locals taking on the big-boys. Little Big Dairy is a family-owned & run, single-source dairy farm in Dubbo, NSW who are taking milk to a new level.

The Chesworth Family run Little Big Dairy on the Macquarie River and are able to trace down to exactly what cow your milk came from! Talk about close to nature!

While only still available for purchase in Dubbo hopefully one day we will see them on the supermarket shelves adding some decent competition and choice!

Grab some Little Big Dairy

Grab some Little Big Dairy

In the meantime if you are in Dubbo grab some Little Big Milk!