IN his continuing search for the more weird and wondrous in the world of travel, David Ellis says that if you ask local tourism chief Steve Rosa how the NSW Southern Highlands are enjoying a boost in tourism in 2015, he’ll tell you you’re talking garbage.
But he’s not knocking his region that’s half-way between Sydney and Canberra, nor his own role as Manager of Tourism and Events with the local Wingecarribee Shire Council. What he’s saying is that the swelling visitor numbers to the picturesque central towns of Bowral, Mittagong and Moss Vale with their grand dining, antique stores, gardens, galleries and historic attractions – and the many quaint, almost yester-year little villages around them – can be put down to fair dinkum garbage.
With the Council having to truck the Highlands’ daily tonnes of domestic and commercial waste and recycling to a major waste management centre at Camden 65km away up the Hume Highway, when a new contractor came aboard in July of last year it agreed to a suggestion from Steve and his team that it paint a couple of its semi-trailers with colourful depictions of Southern Highlands attractions.
Today three of these huge semis make a dozen round trips a week up the Highway, a major artery on which their brightly painted tourism messages are exposed to the drivers and passengers of a potential 17,000 other vehicles every day.
And they show-off plenty the Southern Highlands has to offer: Bowral’s Tulip Time Festival, Bundanoon is Brigadoon, spectacular Fitzroy Falls, the world-famous Bradman Museum and International Cricket Hall of Fame, colonial Berrima Courthouse and Gaol and other historic sites, the year’s four seasons, gardens, galleries, wineries, dining and more.
“We’ve had terrific reaction, particularly via hits to our website that is on all three of the trucks, and visitor numbers are up nicely since launching the idea a year ago,” says Steve Rosa. “We’re probably the only place in Australia able to boast using our garbage to attract tourists.”
For more details about visiting the Southern Highlands go to southern-highlands.com.au or phone (02) 4871 2888.