After a tough couple of years grappling with the effects of
the drought and the COVID-19 pandemic, Armidale Regional Council is on track to
help rebuild the local economy, with a number of exciting tourism initiatives
in the works.
From launching a new self-guided walking tour app around the
city to holding large-scale events set to draw thousands to town, there is
plenty happening in the tourism space.
With the region’s stunning scenery and breathtaking
landmarks, Council’s General Manager James Roncon said attracting visitors to
town is the key to getting the region back on its feet.
“The only way to get people back on the road and exploring
our beautiful area is through giving them a reason to visit,” he said.
“Things like the Big Chill Beer and Barbeque Festival and
the Armidale Spring Games are great examples of large-scale events that will
attract huge numbers to the area, which will undoubtedly have positive flow on
effects for local businesses in a variety of sectors.”
The Big Chill Beer and Barbeque Festival will kick off in
just over two weeks, and will be a celebration of fine meats and boutique brews
amongst Armidale’s iconic Autumn scenery.
With barbeque cook-off competitions, a huge range of vendors
and a stellar line-up of entertainment, the festival is sure to draw visitors
to the region.
“This festival has something for everyone, and is a
fantastic way for people from all over the country to be introduced to the New
England and everything it has to offer,” said Mr Roncon.
“People will come and stay in local accommodation, eat at
restaurants and cafes and spend money in our shops, which is the key to
rebuilding our economy.”
Live music acts will include headliner Rai Thistlethwayte
from Thirsty Merc, James Bennett, Charlie Fittler, Ash Hall Trio, Vinnie
& the Cuban Missiles and Rough Justice. Tickets are $15-$25 and are
available through www.bigchill.com.au and Eventbrite.
In addition to the Big Chill Beer and Barbeque Festival
which was made possible by an $80,000 grant from the NSW Government’s Bushfire
Community Resilience and Economic Recovery Fund, Council has organised the
inaugural Armidale Spring Games to be held over the
October long weekend. The event is expected to draw more than 50 sports teams
from all over the country from hockey, football and cricket, and will take
place at several venues across the city. This bushfire recovery initiative is
funded by a $145,000 grant from the Australian Government through the Regional
Tourism Bushfire Recovery grants program.
“Not only will businesses in Armidale see a huge influx over
the four-day event, but smaller surrounding towns and villages will receive a
boost in tourism numbers,” said Mr Roncon.
“As part of this event we want to encourage visitors to
enjoy the long weekend by exploring the area’s top destinations, while also
watching and participating in the sporting events.”
This will be made easy, with the New England High Country’s
Regional Map Guide recently launching. Despite the rise in digital maps
technology, the paper-based Hema maps are hugely popular for highlighting all
of the region’s hidden gems. The New England High Country Map & Guide is a
joint initiative between Councils in Armidale, Glen Innes, Inverell,
Tenterfield, Uralla and Walcha, the map guide highlights the region’s local
eateries, wineries, distilleries and museums and other attractions.
Armidale was also recently added to the ‘Cya on the Road’
mobile app with a virtual self-guided walking tour featuring the city’s
historic landmarks. A joint project between Council and the Armidale District
Historical Society, the tour provides fascinating insight into some of the
city’s key historic sites dating all the way back to the 1860s. The tour is
estimated to take around 35 minutes, with the itinerary including the Hanna’s
Arcade, Smith House, the Town Hall, the old Armidale Courthouse, and the
To find out more or to download the app, visit the ‘Cya onthe Road’ website or download the app and search for ‘Armidale Self-Guided
Heritage Walk’. The app is compatible with both Android and iOS devices.
If you would like a copy of the New England High Country
Regional Map Guide, drop into the Armidale Visitor Information Centre.
Published on 29 Apr 2021