Sculptures by the River - Welding Workshop

Sculptures by the River - Welding Workshop

By Liz Johnston on 25 July 2016

Last week I learnt to weld!!

We held our first Sculptures by the River workshop for 2016 which focused on building metal sculptures and learning the basics of welding and joining metals. Shane Alderdice led the small class of 9 at St John’s College and worked closely with all participants to create 9 amazing Sculptures. I’m pretty sure everyone could agree that the workshop was a BLAST!

The Sculptures by the River was the first of two workshops being held in the lead up to our Sculptures by the River Exhibition at the end of October this year. All of the Sculptures created in the workshop will form part of the exhibition and be on show for everyone to enjoy on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 October 2016.

The next workshop is focusing on using recycled wood found on the banks of the Macquarie River and will see students build a life sized horse!

Call 6882 2111 or email events@lazyriverestate.com.au for more information or to book your place!

Images are on our Facebook page

Category: Events

My Island Home

My Island Home

By Liz Johnston on 23 June 2016

With over 70mm of rain on the Estate and MUCH more up river, Lazy River has turned into an island! Ok, maybe I’m over exaggerating…  There is still plenty of access and we are not an island. However, it has been fun and exciting watching the river rise over the last few days.

So far, the river has risen around 3m (this is me estimating – we do not have a measuring stick). But our Hippo Beach landing is completely underwater!


Images - clockwise from top left : image 1 - June 20 looking downstream, image 2 - June 21 looking upstream, image 3 - June 23 looking towards the river, the swing chair is usually here, image 4 - looking downstream directly at Hippo Beach (completely submerged(

Good luck to all those downstream!

Category: The Office

A Market de-brief!

A Market de-brief!

By Liz Johnston on 20 June 2016

Lazy River Estate Outdoor Pop-up Markets, held Sunday 12 June 2016 – the 3rd notch in our pop up market belt.

So, I organise over 300 events a year BUT the two market days are my most stressful events by far. There are SO many things that are out of my control. The quality of stall applicants, the weather, how many people attend and where people park (even with a parking management plan and a team of parking coordinators) is ALL out of my control!

This year was no exception; with a wedding the night before, 85 stall holders, an earlier bump-in time and rain forecast for 2 weeks we were in with a treat!

The fun all started on Friday while trying to mark out the stall holder sites and running into a few problems. Mainly, it was raining (as it had been for the 10 days prior) and the spray paint was water based and yellow (let me remind you, it was raining!). The last thing I wanted to do was walk around spray painting sites in the RAIN! All that kept going through my head was ‘we should cancel – no one is going to walk around in the rain, on wet grass’. We persisted, hoped the rain wouldn’t wash the paint away and waited to see what it look like the next day.

Saturday, the sun came out, it went away, it came out and then it went away again. There was a thought of rain but we crossed our fingers (and toes) and hoped it would go away.

The big day was finally here. Arriving at 5.30am with an ice covered windscreen I looked over the pitch black grounds and could already see the frost had set in. Great, more moisture; just what we needed. The sun was rising, we were trying to make out the stall sites (now covered in frost; note you cannot see yellow paint in a frost) and stall holders were arriving, we were on! Before we knew it, it was 8.30am and visitors were arriving. We had our parking coordinators in place and the stall holders were ready for a big day. With bumper to bumper traffic at 9am we knew we were in for a big crowd.

With over 3000 people through the door we couldn’t have asked for a better day. The sun was shining, the weather was warm (ish) and Sydney Youth Orchestra was amazing! A few hiccups like people getting bogged in the exit gate and a bus unable to get up the hill created some entertainment and issues but unfortunately we can’t prevent everything!

To be honest; opening a beer at 5pm, on the deck, watching the sunset over the stall holders packing up was definitely one of the highlights for me.

Bring on DECEMBER 11!!

Category: Events

The year is just travelling way to fast for us here at Lazy…..

The year is just travelling way to fast for us here at Lazy…..

By Liz Johnston on 4 May 2016

Well that was April! Now into the first week of May and we have had a huge “eventful” year so far.

We have had lots of brides and grooms through over this wedding season, with still a few more to go before the end of June.  Which is pretty unusual, the wedding season normal ends around the close of April.  With this warm weather continuing we may not even notice our winter weddings being too cool.  With over twelve years of hosting weddings at Lazy River, winter weddings are always special in that it is nice to see the contrasting colours of a winter wedding in the vineyard and cellar!

It is also comforting to know that our decision to put in accommodation two years ago to offer an added service to brides and grooms has been worthwhile.  Probably eight out of ten weddings utilise the Boathouse for their wedding. A lot of brides stay on the Friday night before with their bridesmaids and then on the Saturday they use the Villa to have their hair/makeup and pre wedding photos.  Then the best part is that the bride and groom stay on their first night as husband and wife! They normally see their own guests out and are the last to leave the reception before they head off to the Boathouse.

To be honest, when I look back at the initial inception of Lazy River it never occurred to me at the time that we would one day be a premium wedding venue for Dubbo.  We always planned to build a premium cellar door venue and it was our architects who encouraged us to expand the building so that we could cater for more than just a building to retail wine!

Obviously now many years later, weddings is just one part of our core business of a premium events centre. 

Just to digress, it would be remiss of me not to mention the very successful Red Hot Summer Tour that we hosted on a very hot day in March this year.   Again, if someone had told me back in the early stages of planning the vineyard that one day Lazy River would host a Jimmy Barnes concert with 4000 people I would have said they were mad!

Ok, the weather wasn’t perfect but from all accounts everyone had a great day and the music was sensational.  The good news is that we are in the process of planning the 2017 event and at this stage all I can say is keep the first Saturday in March next year free for another Red Hot Summer Concert.  Musicians and all other details will be released in the coming months.

Stay tuned….


Categories: Events, The Office

More than ‘JUST’ a function centre.

More than ‘JUST’ a function centre.

By Liz Johnston on 31 March 2016

I have now been at lazy River for 18 months, in that time 6 months was finding my feet and working out the background of Lazy River Estate. I found out that the current owners Peter and Pam built the business from bottom up including planting all of the vines, living in the shed while their home was being built and carefully designing the now ‘Function Centre’. It was a big learning curve for me, finding out all of the small things about the business that just showed the passion and enthusiasm both Peter and Pam share for the hospitality industry and how they want to take Dubbo to the next level as a food destination!

A massive decision made around 3 years ago was to close the café doors and open purely as a function centre.

I found for the first 12 months when people would call trying to book for lunch or wine tasting I would be saying – “No sorry, we are no longer a café we are JUST a function centre’. But are we JUST a function centre. I think we can proudly say we are more than JUST a function centre.

There are not many functions we have not hosted; Weddings, Gala Dinners, large corporate conferences, outdoor concerts, engagements, birthdays, christenings, Yoga retreats and the list goes on!

Not only do we host other people events we frequently host our own from Markets and Sculpture Workshops to Outdoor luncheons highlighting local producers. Seriously – how could I have said we are JUST a function centre?

Event Coordinator/self-appointed venue manager

Kelly Reynolds

Categories: Events, The Office

I really wanted to say a huge THANKYOU. While I was at uni I was a wedding coordinator for a function centre in the Newcastle/Nelson Bay area and in the five years that i did that, never did i work with a catering business that was as accommodating and personable as you and your staff were. Your ability to put up with my crazy organisation was a god send and I can't thankyou enough...
Dubbo College Senior Campus - School Formal (435 people)

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