See Gladstone region with visitor’s eyes this winter
BEING a tourist in your own backyard is an excellent way to support local tourism and get a fresh look at what's on offer in the Gladstone region.
After readers asked for a story on what people can do this winter, The Observer hit the streets to ask the public and posted on its Facebook page for suggestions on what people should try if they're looking for inspiration.
Numerous comments suggested day trips, with Steve Roberts rating visiting the Many Peaks Grand Hotel for lunch, Kroombit Tops and the Mt Larcom climb.
Wendy Roscoe suggested Cania Gorge, as it is "very pretty and lovely walk" - although it was a two-and-a-half hour drive - and Hayden McDonald recommended Agnes Water for a day trip.
Many said that as the temperature did not drop dramatically in the region, there were options all year around for various activities.
"Winter? What winter? With 350+ days of beautiful weather in Gladdy, you can do anything," Brigette James posted.
Discovering what others come to see in your home town is a fun and rewarding all-season activity, so here's an insight from Gladstone Area Promotion and Development Ltd senior project executive Kim Williams.
Ms Williams said tourism was a fluctuating market, with trends changing year on year, depending on prevailing conditions, such as weather.
When asked whether a lot of tourists who visited the region from further south were coming to Gladstone to escape the cold, Ms Williams said, "very much so - mostly visiting friends and relatives".
"We are seeing an increase in the international and visiting friends and relatives market for the 2014 year to date," she said.
Ms Williams suggested some of the popular attractions that tourists took up during the cooler months included Boyne Valley drives, Lochebar Station, Kroombit Tops Farmstay, Banana Shire and historical sites.
Ms Williams said water-based activities, such as stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking and fishing, continued to be popular year round.
Rediscover the Gladstone region by exploring these options and the many more available.
- Clubs and volunteer organisations are always looking for new members. If you would like to take part in community activities by volunteering, join Gladstone Region Volunteering at http://www.gladstone.qld.gov.au/volunteer.
- Hide from the elements and learn a thing or two by heading to your local library or the Gladstone Regional Art Gallery & Museum.
- Explore the Tondoon Botanic Gardens, a nature track or nearby national parks. The Parks Discovery site, at www.nationalparks.queensland.com will really inspire you to visit new locations and try out new activities.
Look out for special deals for winter by local tourism operators such as the following*:
- 1770 Liquid Adventures are holding a May/June Special - Book online for 4 or more people and receive a 20 per cent discount. Three or less people receive 10 per cent discount. This offer is available for online bookings through 1770 LiquidAdventures during May and June only.
- Agnes Water Beach Club - Three night stay and SUP deal - Three nights accommodation in a one bedroom apartment for two guests for just $145 per night. Includes 2 x 1hr Stand Up Paddle Board Hire (with instruction). Valid for stays to September 1, 2014
* Check with operators for validity