Featured / News / Community / Business / 5th July 2020
Tourism spikes in Baradine
As large numbers of people headed to the Queensland border recently, the small community of Baradine has experienced a timely surge in visitation.
When COVID-19 restrictions eased several weeks ago and travelling was again possible, the number of tourists visiting the Warrumbungle Shire noticeably increased.
During the recent school holiday period an unprecedented number of caravanners and other visitors descended upon Baradine eateries and supermarket and visited local attractions.
Camping grounds have been booked out throughout the area and those wishing to stay at camp sites now havetobookinadvance.
The Camp Cypress holiday camp recorded triple the number of visitors compared with the same two-week period last year.
“Most people seemed to have come inland from the coast and many stayed for up to five nights,” said Janet Fitzgerald, secretary/ treasurer of the Camp Cypress management committee.
“It has been a great boost for us, as well as the regular bookings for cabin accommodation.”
Data released by the Pilliga Forest Discovery Centre shows that there has been a dramatic increase in visitors.
“We have seen some excellent numbers during the school holidays, with a visitation increase of 149 per cent compared with the same period last year; the centre has been busy every day,” said Kathryn Olsen, information retail assistant at the Pilliga Forest Discovery Centre.
“We had over 1000 people visit over the two- week period and we have been inundated with enquiries from people all over the state wanting to visit our region. Most of them want to spend some time here and explore the Pilliga. Many of them were on their way north now that restrictions have eased.
“However, anyone wishing to stay at NSW national park camping sites are being asked to pre-book; there is no charge to stay at either Dandry Gorge or the Salt Caves campsites, but there is a new booking fee. We are also asking those wanting to camp out in the bush to complete an online Trip Intention form to comply with COVID-19 requirements.
“It is wonderful to be a destination for so many people who would not normally consider coming out this way - it is great for the Discovery Centre and great for the town.”
Baradine and District Progress Association president, Ted Hayman said after supporting or instigating many tourism initiatives over the years it’s pleasing to see this boost in numbers.
“The Warrumbungle Shire and the NSW Government have contributed considerable amounts of funding to tourism in both the Warrumbungle Shire and Western NSW - and we are pleased to see it finally paying off,” Mr Hayman said.
“It’s great to see record numbers of holiday makers looking outside the box and moving away from the usual drawcards nearer to the coast to experience the west of the state.
This is a great boost to the local economy. Let’s hope that many of those record numbers return in the future.”