Hit the road for Australia
Almost never before has helping those in need been so much fun. Travel locally to drought-stricken areas and your tourism dollar is gold
Travel to drought-stricken areas and help those in need
take your holiday pick: devouring exquisite cheese and truffles, locally grown olives, fresh trout and tropical fruit while sipping on world-class wines as you watch the most spectacular sunset Mother Nature can deliver. Perhaps you’d prefer to enjoy luxurious safari lodgings under a blanket of stars, just metres from zebras, giraffes and roaming buffalo. Or maybe perusing stunning art galleries, heritagelisted buildings and sites that overflow with historic importance is more your cup of cultural tea.
These activities all sound like the makings of an extravagant jaunt through Europe or Africa. But they’re actually examples of how you can help support drought-stricken Australia which, incidentally, offers some of the most incredible holiday experiences.
More than half of Queensland is drought declared, with some shires without rain since 2013. The entirety of NSW is rain-starved and Victoria had its driest autumn in a hundred years. The drought is devastating local communities right across the country.
While we are urged to donate to drought-relief charities, domestic tourism will, in fact, help to ‘drought-proof’ small towns.
As Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud says, “If you want to do your bit for farmers and regional and rural communities, get off your arse and get out there.” The NRMA, one of Australia’s biggest tourism and transport providers, says, “Australians have long had a love affair with the great Aussie road trip and there has never been a more crucial time to boost our domestic tourism industry. The money you spend on accommodation, food, drink and entertainment will have an immediate benefit for local economies that may be struggling right now.”
Our tourism dollars will help communities until the drought breaks and beyond – so where to now?
In New South Wales, larger towns such as Dubbo are at the epicentre of smaller agricultural communities and serve as incredibly friendly meeting places full of vibrant food and accommodation offerings, and family-friendly attractions. Dubbo is most famous for the Taronga Western Plains Zoo, with its award-winning safari lodgings nestled among more than 700 animals that call it home.
In Victoria, the Silo Art Trail, stretching 200 kilometres through the Wimmera/mallee region, is a perfect way to connect with the local drought-stricken farming communities. Stop for lunch at the pub in Brim, stay the night at Patchewollock or extend your visit into the Wyperfeld National Park.
Up in Queensland, there’s a tourism industry exploding beyond the beaches. There’s a smorgasbord
of food trails to pick from in the
This is investment in Australia’s food bowl... FIONA SIMSON, PRESIDENT NATIONAL FARMERS’ FEDERATION
Southern Queensland countryside, offering incredible farm-to-table food tours. Pick cherries, apples or strawberries as you drive through the Granite Belt, or dig into quality prime cut, locally produced beef in one of Toowoomba’s many welcoming pubs.
Our country has incredible destinations and experiences to offer, right in our own backyard. Wherever you go in regional Australia, know that you are directly helping to support local communities battling one of the worst droughts
in living history.
You can see all manner Taronga of animals at the Western Plains Zoo. Walk magnificent beaches in Lake Gairdner, SA, ringed by ancient hills.
The Silo Art Trail in the Wimmera/mallee region has received international acclaim. Gotta love a family holiday in Goondiwindi, Queensland. It’s the perfect spot!