PHOTO | LUCIA BRAHAM
When you’re a kid, camping seems pretty awesome. It’s a whole 15 metres from where you usually sleep, and your parents can’t tell that you’re still awake at 11.30pm (they definitely can). You’re a bit dirty, you’re a bit cold, but you feel alive. Multiply that by being an adult surrounded by a bunch of people you like with the excitement of fire in oil drums and distant squeals as old bikes fire up around you, and you start to get the idea of the Machine Show.
An unusually laidback affair (even by Australian standards) and now into its second year, the Machine Show is a weekend camp-out held in March at a quaint showground in Braidwood NSW. Creature comforts include hot showers and a selection of vendors spruiking such delicious food and beverages that all you need concern yourself with is all the show is about: “motorcycles, camping, and hanging out round a campfire out in the country.” The days are warm and the nights are cold; it is simplicity at its best set to a killer soundtrack (handpicked by Matt Machine himself).
If you wake up early, you can get wired with freshly brewed espresso onsite and/or saunter down 65km of meandering Kings Highway to Batemans Bay on the coast, flanked by national parks either side, with a mountain and river thrown in for good measure. It is family/pet/car/new-bike/old-bike/camp-in-a-tent/swag/sleep-in-the-back-of-your-ute/piss-off-to-your-airbnb friendly, with Saturday’s main judging event strictly a display of pre-1988 bikes, a smattering of swap meet, and a lot of gazing longingly into the distance as the sun sets over the dewy fields. Keep it tidy for the ponies.
We wouldn’t miss it for the world, and hope to see you there, 23-25 March 2018. Tickets are available here.
Jo is a buxom redhead looking for adventure. She loves her motor children equally, and if you ask really nicely, she might let you take them for a spin. Easily distractible, but also easily obsessed, she is our Editor-in-Chief, resident proof-reader, and zany ideas lady. Caffeine is her fuel of choice.