FORGET BALI, GO BUSH!
Dallas Sherringham and the team at Weekly Travel Feature want to support our people On The Land.
Australia’s farming communities are reeling from one of the most devastating droughts in our history and now sever bushfires, but you can help out just by swapping your normal overseas holiday for a Bush Adventure. From the coast to the outback, you will be surprised by the choice – from camping to luxury and all in between.
Even a simple weekend away in the country will make a huge difference to the hundreds of thousands of struggling families in the wide, brown land.
Our nation is full of fascinating towns, regions and friendly people. There are hidden gems to be had out there - all you have to do is find them.
As a travel writer I get to see some amazing places worldwide, but for me there is nothing better than heading out on a road heading west with not a care in the world. Australia frees the soul of the weary traveller.
NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro hit the nail on the head when he said city dwellers spending a weekend in a regional area was one of the simplest and most meaningful ways people in the city could support regional towns and cities.
“Even though we are in drought, our cafes are still brewing coffee, our shops are still open and we are still in business.
“Some of the most beautiful iconic experiences are there ready for you to enjoy today.
“Support our businesses by getting out and spending some money in our regions.
“When you spend that money in a café, that money goes around that community. It means employment remains, jobs remain.
“Our servos would love you driving by. Our cafes would love you to have brekkie with some locals. Our accommodation houses, our hotels would love to have you stay and I tell you this, you’ll get that country hospitality each and every time,” he said.
“So, if you get the chance, please, get out for the drought and spend some time and some money in our regional areas.”
Now, if you have decided to take John’s advice and head bush, I have a few simple tips for you:
Plan ahead. All regions and main cities and towns have visitors’ centres online. They also have clued up people on the phone or answering emails, so don’t be afraid to ask.
You might see a place you really want to visit such as a winery, a museum, an historic building or a homestead. It is best to contact them before you leave so that you know the visiting hours and which days it is open.
The worst thing you can do is turn up in a town at 4pm, check in to your accommodation, have a drive around and leave next morning.
As I said at the start, every town has hidden gems and it takes more than a day to see it all.
Accommodation houses always have a plethora of pamphlets (try saying that in a hurry) featuring local attractions, clubs and restaurants, but once again ask your host about them and, if he recommends it, phone ahead.
Take some picnic and barbecue gear and a fold up table and chairs on your trip. And always take a billy! Oh, and some Aeroguard and plenty of water.
You can find amazing views, quiet river spots, and hidden places far from the madding crowd. Often there will be a barbie or two in such places, so you can brew up a coffee or throw on a steak and sit back and breathe in the fresh air.
As Darryl Kerrigan (Michael Caton) famously said in The Castle: “Ah, the Serenity!”
Here are some links for your own choice, or just go to Google and put in your own search!
Words: Dallas Sherringham
Images: Michael Osborne