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NSW councils collaborate to develop new experience trails

NSW councils collaborate to develop new experience trails
September 23, 2019

The Regional Strategic Alliance (RSA) - a collaboration between Blue Mountains, Penrith and Hawkesbury councils - has developed a new tourism project offering three specially designed experience trails to boost tourism in the region.

Introducing the project, Blue Mountains Mayor Mark Greenhill advised “the experience trails cater to varying consumer tastes and include a Flavour Trail, Nature Trail and Adventure Trail.

“By focusing on a variety of experiences, we highlight the diversity of what the region can offer visitors - from hospitality, to adventure tourism, to the spectacular natural attractions of our World Heritage region, ensuring that many of our local businesses benefit.”

Each trail incorporates a three-day, two-night itinerary and is available to visitors in an attractive, easy-to-follow printed or electronic document.  The trails feature maps, distances, approximate drive times, travel tips, daily itineraries, suggested stops for food and views, and other highlights.

After achieving matched funding for the project from the Destinations Sydney Surrounds North network, a signage audit of the region was undertaken last year. This audit identified ways to enhance visitor experience and informed design of the carefully curated trails to encourage longer stays in theregion.

The trails address various issues identified by the audit, including:

  • Showing the diverse experiences of the region
  • Increasing overnight visitors by creating multi-day itineraries
  • Shifting perception of the region from a daytrip destination to a multi-night destination for Sydney residents
  • Linking key experiences in the region
  • Suggesting the best ways for visitors to move through the region
  • Identifying and showcasing lesser-known experiences to visitors
  • Dispersing visitors from overcrowded areas
  • Creating a resource for Visitor Centres, Council, and businesses to promote the region, and
  • Creating driving experiences that can easily be integrated into future marketing.

Regional tourism operators are being encouraged to get on board, with a helpful Operator Toolkit showing how operators can promote their business through social media, digital marketing and business listings.

Mayor Greenhill noted "in doing this, we will increase our visitor numbers and the length of their stay in the region, boosting the local economy and businesses, many of which rely on tourists for steady trade.”

Penrith Mayor Ross Fowler said the trails were developed in response to visitor patterns, and research identifying transport as an opportunity to grow regional tourism, commenting "transport plays a major role in growing regional tourism. We know visitors are seeking new and more convenient ways to get to, and travel around, regional destinations and the new experience trails can offer them that.

”From fresh produce to natural features and adventure attractions; these trails offer visitors a rich diversity of experiences and the short distances between locations makes our region the perfect driving destination.”

Mayor Fowler added “Penrith’s ‘Not Your Usual’ campaign with Destination NSW and the collaborative ‘Wake Up With’ campaign promoting Penrith, Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury, successfully positioned Penrith as an attractive destination to visit with family and friends and we are already seeing positive results from these activities.

“Council is committed to investing in tourism because it is vital to our local economy and we anticipate the success of our recent campaigns and activities will deliver strong outcomes for the local tourism industry.

“We are excited to welcome more overnight visitors to our region on one of the new driving trails and invite them to discover what makes Penrith such a great flavour, nature and adventure destination.”

To access the Flavour Trail, Adventure Trail and Nature Trail go to and

Image of Blue Mountains Mayor Mark Greenhill with Caitlin Schultz and Beth Coggins, at Leura Garage Café and Restaurant, which is featured in the experience trails.

Related Articles

16th September 2019 - Queenstown Lakes Council looks to invest $134 million in trail network

6th August 2019 - North Waikato trail network needed to protect recreational activities and tourism

18th July 2019 - Great Southern trail planning secures federal funding

19th March 2019 - Community consultations begin on the Great Southern Regional Trails Master Plan

2nd May 2018 - Major project to transform tourism in Kosciusko National Park

13th November 2017 - Recreation blueprint released for Caloundra Town Reserve

12th October 2017 - ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’ to transform Blue Mountains Botanic Garden on its 30th birthday

21st September 2017 - Great Walks of Australia collective adds new luxury Blue Mountains walking holiday

22nd May 2017 - Trails blueprint paves way to revitalise regional towns

7th January 2015 - NSW Government backs Northern Rivers rail trails

11th August 2014 - New facilities boost recreation in South east Queensland lakes and dams

16th February 2014 - Additional $1.8 million for Blue Mountains recovery

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