How one country town is reimagining their welcome to make visitors feel the love
MUDGEE’s new visitor information centre isn’t just bricks and mortar: it shows an increasingly SOPHISTICATED regional destination COMING OF AGE.
MUDGEE’S new visitor centre has set a new standard for the welcome experience: maintaining the authentic country hospitality the Mudgee Region is known for, while capturing the contemporary appeal of this regional NSW gem, recently recognised as Australia’s Top Tourism Town.
“Our new visitor centre is a beautiful space within the new MUDGEE ARTS PRECINCT, for visitors and our community to immerse themselves and engage with local experts to elevate their exploration of the region,” says Leianne Murphy, acting CEO of Mudgee Region Tourism.
The Mudgee Region has cultivated a reputation as a sophisticated food and wine destination. The challenge in designing a new welcome space for visitors was showcasing the breadth and depth of the region’s offering, from the heritage villages of Gulgong, Rylstone and Kandos, to its accommodation offerings and wellness experiences, to the packed calendar of local events. But it also had bigger ambitions: to make visitors feel the love from the region.
“Over time, new experiences started to grow across the region. We knew we had to create an environment for visitors and locals that truly reflected the region’s offering. It was time to think big and fill the space with love from every corner of the region,” says Murphy.
A quintessential part of Mudgee’s success as a destination is its people and they’re positioned at the forefront of the new centre. All guests are greeted by ‘experience experts’; passionate local advocates for the region who offer a concierge-style service, whether it’s recommending a bushwalk in the surrounding national parks, pointing out a historic hamlet a short drive away or even helping you find a place to listen to music in a local venue.
“It’s about genuinely welcoming people and making them feel that love,” says Murphy.
They aim to offer a sense of authenticity; something the region is renowned for. “As local ambassadors for the region, our community has always embraced visitors, making them feel welcome or having a yarn about their favourite places to explore,” she says.