THE popular iKew Visitor Information Centre and Community Hub celebrated its third year of operation on Saturday.
iKew was officially opened on May 18 three years ago. The popularity of the centre has been extraordinary according to president of the iKew committee Garry Carpenter.
Thousands of people utilise the space, which includes toilets, a dump point for caravan and recreational vehicle waste, picnic areas and a local produce store.
The giant axe which adorns the stop is ever-popular with tourists often stopping to pose in front of the giant tool.
Driver reviver is also operational during peak holiday times.
It is located on Nancy Bird Walton Drive in Kew and is staffed by volunteers seven days a week, between 10am and 4pm.
Mr Carpenter explained that after a meeting with council four years ago the iKew idea came to fruition.
“We formed a committee and managed to negotiate with council over a number of months to create a community centre which welcomes tourists to the area,” he said.
“It also provides an outlet for the people in the community to volunteer their services to give back to the town.”
Mr Carpenter said the committee is now a management group with a strong roster of volunteers.
“These days iKew combines the whole Port Macquarie-Hastings area while highlighting Camden Haven,” he said.
“There are also a lot of overseas visitors. The Kendall op-shop was a great help in the initial stages with funding.:
The State Government via Leslie Williams provided a grant for the ladies toilets which has become a bit of a talk about the rest stop, Mr Carpenter said.
“They are maintained brilliantly. The next step is getting the gents toilets as well as the refurbishing and lowering of the big axe,” he said.
“That will be a bit of a draw-card for people stopping to get photos.”