IT has one of the best – if not the best – views in the Shoalhaven and now the iconic Cambewarra Lookout is under new management.
After 10 and a half years running the cafe and lookout, Bill and Robyn Povey are set to leave on their next adventure.
The popular proprietors are taking a short break before heading off around the country as relief managers at caravan parks and motels.
“It is one way to see Australia,” Mrs Povey said.
But it has been hard for the couple to farewell their stunning work location.
“How couldn’t you fall in love with that?” she asked, looking at the incredible view over the Shoalhaven.
“We came here with a five-year plan and stayed 10 and a half,” Mr Povey said.
“We originally wanted a change from the banking and building industries and we certainly got it,” Mrs Povey said.
“It was a big learning curve for us but we wouldn’t change a thing, it’s been the best 10 years we have ever had.
“An amazing experience.”
The couple oversaw the lookout’s centenary in 2009, have hosted countless weddings, including two of their own daughters, and have lost count of the parties or special celebrations over the years.
“The centenary was a special time,” Mr Povey said.
“We didn’t think we would make it.”
For Mrs Povey the centenary coincided with her birthday celebrations.
“I spent the day preparing a three course meal for 86 guests,” she said.
“It didn’t matter, it was just such a great day.”
As well as the view and meeting some incredible customers over the years, one of the charms of the lookout was the changing weather.
“There are days you can be shrouded in mist or actually be in between the clouds, we called that mystical,” Mrs Povey said.
“Then you can have beautiful sunny days, or you can see the rain showers coming over – it changes from hour to hour.
“You never get sick of the view and at night-time it is just stunning with all the lights.
“And to be able to live on site was incredible.”
“We’ve seen everything,” Mr Povey said.
“We have been through three major wind storms, including one where winds were up to 170km/h, had snow twice, sleet, massive hail and then breathtakingly clear days.”
There have been bushfires, which the couple have reported over the years from their vantage point.
Mr Povey was captain of the Beaumont Rural Fire brigade for a number of years before transferring to Cambewarra.
“During the big fires back in the early 2000s we had an endless stream of cars coming up to look at the blazes, especially at night,” he said.
“I would go down with the last cars at night to lock the gates and a dozen more would come in.
“It was an amazing scene – there was just a red glow from as far west as you could see all the way to Jervis Bay.”
Just for the record, Mrs Povey estimated that in her 10 and a half years, she made 94,500 of her famous scones.