WELCOMING: The new statue which now greet visitors to the Columboola Country Veterans retreat.
WELCOMING: The new statue which now greet visitors to the Columboola Country Veterans retreat.

Three veterans stay at local veteran retreat during lockdowns

RESIDING from Western Australia, one veteran and their partner found themselves stranded as border closures meant they were unable to travel.

With current restrictions in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus, it meant that the couple would have had to travel through the whole Northern Territory in 48 hour period.

Towing a caravan, they thought it might be a bit, so they have decided to wait until the borders opened again.

However after spending the last four month alongside two other veteran couples at Columboola country veterans retreat, it has been quite a pleasant experience for them all.

Enjoying the 260-acre property meant that they could go on bush walks, enjoy the quiet away from the hustle and bustle of town and mingle with other veterans.

Owner of the property Collin Jackson put them to work to improve the site while they waited for the borders to reopen.

“Why they were here ANZAC DAY came around, and with that day they help me build a cellotaph with laser-cut soldiers to stand on the cellotaph, and we did our own little ANZAC DAY ceremony,” he said.

“Each couple stood in a corner.”

During isolation, the retreat has also gotten a welcomed addition to welcome people as they drive-in.

“Peter Van Den Langenberg was bored and was a veteran himself, so I asked him if he could build me a soldier to stand at the letterbox,” Mr Jackson said.

“So, he built me one and didn’t muck around building it seven foot tall and greets everyone.”

With Mr Jackson having a brother who served in the gulf war and a next-door neighbour serve in the Vietnam War, he decided he shift away from the tourism side on things and focus more of making it a veterans retreat.

Away from the traffic and will plenty of space to walk around, the site is still open to the general public; however, is targeted to veterans with a 25% discount on the rates offered to them.

“It was hard before the restrictions where in place before I advertised the retreat and veterans were excited to come but then due to COVID-19 I had to tell them they couldn’t anymore,” Mr Jackson said.

“With the restrictions now easing we are unsure what they mean for us but would encourage any veterans even young ones with families to plan a getaway out here.

“It’s a lovely place.”