The rural appeal of NSW

By | Category: Travel rumblings
Blue Mountains

Blue Mountains and beyond

When many visitors arrive in NSW they see Sydney, maybe visit the Blue Mountains some sixty miles away and then fly off to another state or return home.

Just this one Australian state is huge and yet most international visitors either have little time to explore due to their busy itineraries or choose not to do so.

Australian state of NSW has been trying to promote the rural parts of the state to holidaymakers for a year or two. Primarily the campaign is aimed at domestic holidaymakers who head off inland to see the landscape of this huge country. Smallish grants of up to $A20,000 (say £12,000) are available to boost these smaller communities. The deputy head of the government in the state, Adam Marshall – who is also the minister for tourism – says the $43 million sent on rural and regional tourism in the last six years has safeguarded 290 rural events.

I have met people who are driving over 1,500 kilometres to get to some of the mountain ranges as part of a two week break. To drive from Sydney just to the Queensland border will take you at least eight hours. To go west to the far flung mining town, Broken Hill, takes almost a day by train. Driving to Melbourne is a six to seven hour journey depending on which route you take. Is it any wonder that most people fly?

It is only those who deliberately set out to see the country that drive because who can afford a couple of days on the road just with the intention of getting to one place? I am one such person. Over the next few days I will be driving some 2,000 kilometres, or “k’s” as Aussies put it, and I will only be travelling through one triangular part of the state in search of some of the prospecting areas. Over two thirds of the state I will be missing including the south where heavy snowfall has resulted in a bumper end to the skiing season. Many people still don’t realise that parts of Australia have snow or that a ski industry exists.

The New South Welsh government’s investment in rural tourism may open up some of the rural areas to international visitors. In the meantime the campaign to get more locals to see their own state and to safeguard that very different way of life that exists from a city and suburban lifestyle is important.

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