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

Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - Contents -

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!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.