Bush businesses need a flood of support

Under threatening grey skies, Kim Burnheim's four young children go exploring in a kayak, collecting snails, spying on tadpoles and trying to spot magpie nests.

The shimmering water that has captured their imaginations is the same that's stopped the family from leaving their property near Quambone, in northwest NSW, for more than a month.

Many people living in rural NSW have long been isolated, after historic rainfall flooded the river systems and damaged the roads.

The Burnheim's farm, where they run goats and grow crops, sits at the mouth of the Macquarie Marshes and is prone to floods that slowly stretch out across the landscape.

"We've been kayaking over areas of our farm that are usually crops," Ms Burnheim told AAP.

"I'd say 95 per cent of our farm was underwater for about a week.

"But there is also something really remarkable about it: we've seen our farm really come to life.

"The beauty of having children around is that any time we've felt under pressure, they make us stop and enjoy it."

The family has been relying on the State Emergency Service to fly in essential supplies, and Ms Burnheim has been homeschooling the children.

At the same time, she's trying to run her online business, stationery company Note Couture, ahead of Christmas.

Her sister and business partner Amy Smith, who lives in flooded Condobolin, in central west NSW, has been sending out orders when she can get into town in a tinnie.

"This time of year is really important to us, with Christmas cards and Christmas orders," Ms Burnheim said.

"It's not impossible, but it is a challenge."

Grace Brennan, who founded the Buy from the Bush movement during the peak of the drought in 2019, said stories like these show the complexity of disasters and the need to support rural communities long term.

"There's a spectrum of impact from these floods, from being airlifted out and not knowing if your house has survived, to the relentless experience of being isolated," Ms Brennan said.

"People are homeschooling children and also trying to run an online business, but can't get to the post office.

"It's an unusual event where farms and off-farm businesses are being hit at the same time.

"Many in the Buy from the Bush community were really counting on Christmas trade to set them up for next year and it's heartbreaking to see that disrupted."

Ms Brennan said Australians can help flood-affected communities by supporting their shops at Christmas and beyond, while also acknowledging the barriers business owners face.

"This crisis has been going on for months," she said.

"That long-term impact is just as profound as the horrendous tidal wave that takes away everything in a moment.

"We're asking for a bit of patience and understanding and commitment to the cause.

"There's more reason than ever to buy from the bush."