Domestic holidays are the order of the day now, and regional stays are ready to welcome travel-hungry city folk wanting to spend their money where it counts.
After the massive 2019-20 bushfires devastated many rural and regional parts of Australia, effectively cancelling the important summer tourism season, the hashtag then website #buyfromthebush was born to directly connect city consumers with small country businesses.
Now the campaign’s founder, Grace Brennan, has created a sister hashtag and website: #stayinthebush. The website offers an online directory of excellent bush stays across Australia, while the popular hashtag has already clocked thousands of uses in Instagram, having been used by the public and accommodations since October 2019.
“We know the bush has a lot to offer,” Brennan said at the launch. “Our new website makes it a little bit easier for people in the city to discover that. If you are looking for cheesy holiday snaps and ticking monuments and museums off a travel to-do list then this site probably isn’t for you. We want to inspire people to wander off the beaten track, stay a while and connect with the true spirit of Australia.
“Now, more than ever, rural communities invite you to stay with them, taste their food, buy their art, wander their streets, fish their rivers, take in the open sky and have a yarn by an open fire. Enjoy the peace, the space, the characters.”
The directory covers a wide range of stays, from farmstays to glamping, romantic B&Bs to family vacation spots. A few highlights include a converted woolshed in Cowra in New South Wales, a breathtaking converted granary in Tasmania that offers three bedrooms for families or groups, and a luxury stay on an outback Queensland station. You could also try staying in a converted century-old tobacco kiln on a walnut farm in Victoria’s High Country, or head outback for a station stay in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges.
The #buyfromthebush movement proved to be a genuine and effective way to bring a whole new demographic to spend their money with Australia’s most seriously drought- and fire-affected communities. It received widespread approval and media attention, and #stayinthebush looks to repeat its success.
“Stay In The Bush offers enormous potential for rural tourism providers and could lead to significant income generation, job creation and greater opportunity for diversification in small, isolated communities,” said Brennan. “By staying in the bush, people are directly investing in local economies that have endured a very tough few years.”