Handmade In Country

ln a world that that is becoming increasingly homogenised and dotted by mass produced goods and international brands, we’d like to position Toowoomba and the Darling Downs as a leading region in Australia, known for its high quality handmade goods and produce.

Offering visitors and residents alike, unique and real experiences and products that reflect our rich cultural heritage.

Handmade In Country

This fresh approach to economic, education and community development would help preserve our heritage trades for future generations and deliver valuable entrepreneurial skills for our artisans and local communities.

Handmade In CountryWe envisage developing an exciting network of artisans that produce high quality handmade products with the vision of developing better skills and visitor experiences.

The network could lead to projects such as visitor trails, tours, events, public art, training, retail outlets, website opportunities and even “handmade holidays”.

Whether you’re a wood worker, a blacksmith, stonema son or quilter, if you’re a n individual artisan, group or just interested in the project, we’d like to ensure you are included in our communications network and invitations.

To register is FREE. Just forward your name, address, email / website and
phone details to either:
Phone: 0421 148 098 or
Post: Krista Hauritz c/- BMO Business Centre, PO Box 180, Dalby QLD 4405

An Indigenous tourism story audit tool

This research developed a Story Audit Tool to be used in the field with Indigenous people and other key informants to collect local stories for use in tourism enterprises and marketing; established a prototype Intellectual Property agreement for commercial tourism for the use of images, film and written accounts of local Indigenous stories in tourism; and critically reviewed the Story Audit Tool as applied in the pilot projects at Groote Eylandt and Hermannsburg.

Download or order hard copy from

Great Southern Rail

The mighty Indian Pacific celebrates its 40th Anniversary in February 2010. A train acclaimed not only as an Australian icon but as one of the worlds greatest train journeys.

Great Southern RailHistory was made when the Indian Pacific departed Sydney Central Station on the first direct rail journey across the continent, forty years ago. Tens of thousands of people lined the track to witness what was said to be a symbol of nationhood; the first solid connection between the cities of the east and the isolated west coast.

More than 55,000 people now experience the vastness and beauty of the Australian outback on board the Indian Pacific each year. The train has earned its place as one of Australia’s most precious tourism entities.

“The Indian Pacific is so much more than a mode of transport,” said Commercial Director of Great Southern Rail, Russell Westmoreland. “It is a journey of a lifetime as guests experience some of the country’s most breathtaking scenery, make new friends and enjoy fine dining in the comfort of an iconic train,” he said.

Great Southern RailThe Indian Pacific provides a rare window into the outback of Australia.

From the stunning Blue Mountains with lush tree canopies and spectacular valley views the train winds through the Great Dividing Range, the salt lakes and sand dunes of South Australia and over the longest straight stretch of rail track in the world as it crosses the Nullarbor Plain.

“Australia is the only continent in the world that can be crossed coast-to-coast by train. The wedge-tailed eagle is the symbol of the Indian Pacific – its massive two metre wingspan symbolises the epic journey of an adventure that spans a continent,” said Russell.

Great Southern railThere is no better time to travel on the Indian Pacific than during its historic 40th year. To celebrate the occasion, Great Southern Rail has a special package available for travel before 31 August.

Guests booking a journey on the Indian Pacific in Red Sleeper Service, with two nights accommodation and one day of touring, will be entitled to a free upgrade to Gold Service. To avoid missing out on this fantastic offer, contact Great Southern Rail on 13 21 47 or

The Indian Pacific departs from both Sydney and Perth twice a week during the high season. During low season the journey is limited to one return service each week.

Wreck Bay Convict shipwreck heritage listed

Minister for Planning, Tony KellyThe historic shipwreck Hive in Wreck Bay is to be protected for future generations, after being listed on the State Heritage Register.

Minister for Planning, Tony Kelly, made the announcement during a visit to Wreck Bay in late March 2010, which gained its name following the loss of the Hive and another 10 subsequent shipwrecks.

“The remains of the Hive were located by the Heritage Branch in 1994 and is the only example of an early 1800’s convict prison ship wrecked in NSW and must therefore be protected,” the Minister said.

“It has considerable heritage significance as it meets all seven Heritage Council criteria for listing on the State Heritage Register.”

Hive Camp Wreck Bay NSWThe Hive was on its second voyage to Australia in 1835 when it ran aground with 250 Irish male prisoners, military guards of the 28th Regiment, ship’s crew, women, children and a cargo of coinage for the Government worth £10,000.

A crew member, the Boatswain, drowned while convicts and passengers were being transported from the foundering ship to shore.

The Hive site is unique in NSW as the only convict ship wrecked whilst transporting convicts to Sydney. The only two other convict transport shipwrecks in Australia are located in Tasmanian waters.

Wreck Bay NSWThe crew established a bush camp in the adjacent sand hills of Bherwerre Beach, in Wreck Bay, to await rescue while they stripped the vessel of anything they could salvage.

Mr Kelly said the events surrounding the loss of the Hive demonstrate early contact with local Aboriginal communities.

“The co-operation and support of the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community members and other Aboriginal peoples in assisting the survivors and in passing word to distant Sydney is a key element of the site’s significance,” the Minister said.

“I am advised Federal Heritage Minister, Peter Garrett, has asked the Australian Heritage Council to add the Survivors’ Camp to its list of places to assess for possible inclusion on the Commonwealth Heritage List.

“The camp, which is on Commonwealth land, is a very important part of the Hive’s story and history, including the role the Aboriginal community played in helping to rescue the survivors of the wreck.”

Because the Hive is buried under sand, an important sonar survey of the shipwreck will be undertaken by maritime archaeologists from the Heritage Branch and the Commonwealth’s GeoScience Australia, to determine the amount of buried hull timbers remaining.

The archaeological remains are protected by the NSW Heritage Act and the Commonwealth Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976, and there are severe penalties for disturbing the remains.

The wreck survey will be conducted as part of the State Maritime Archaeology Program and the NSW component of the National Historic Shipwreck Program. 

The Hive wreck site is representative of the period of convict transportation to Australia, and the interaction between survivors of shipwrecks and Aborigines.

The ship, its cargo, crew, military personnel and convicts were part of the later period of highly organised convict transportation. It survives as a rare example of a vessel engaged in this trade. The hull is the main surviving artefact and has the potential to provide information about the construction and fitting of one of His Majesty’s prison ships during this period.

Images Courtesy of Heritage Branch, Planning NSW

It’s official. NSW is the nation’s favourite tourist destination

New independent figures released today show NSW enjoyed a bumper end to 2009 with domestic overnight visitors to the State increasing by 7 per cent.

This follows figures released last week that show NSW continues to lead the nation’s international tourist recovery.

Minister for Tourism Jodi McKay said the latest National Visitor Survey showed NSW was the only State to see a significant increase in visitor numbers in the last quarter of 2009.

“While domestic travel by Australians saw no significant change overall, visitor numbers to Victoria and Queensland actually fell by 4 per cent and 9 per cent respectively,” Ms McKay said.

“So the fact that NSW bucked that trend with a 7 per cent increase in the number of visitors over the quarter is another clear sign that we’re leading the nation’s tourism recovery.”

Ms McKay said that the State’s share of domestic visitors increased by 3.2 per cent to 37 per cent over the quarter, compared to Victoria and Queensland, both at 23 per cent.

“NSW is the number one State for Australian visitors, visitor nights and visitor spending,” Ms McKay said.

“Our State is the nation’s favourite destination and these results are great news for the State’s tourism businesses and for the economy.

“Last week’s International Visitor Survey showed that international visitors to NSW increased by almost 7 per cent last quarter, with visitor nights up by almost 13 per cent.

“The best news is that 2010 is already shaping up to be a great year for tourism in the State with operators reporting strong bookings over the summer.”

Ms McKay said the results also show a 12 per cent increase in the number of visitors to Sydney in the quarter ending December 2009 compared to the same quarter in 2008.

“Sydney saw more than 1.8 million Australian visitors in the last quarter of 2009, an increase of around 200,000 compared with the previous year.

“Regional NSW also recorded a positive quarter with a 6 per cent overall increase in the number of domestic overnight visitors,” Ms McKay said.

A few regions in particular saw significant increases over the quarter, including the Murray (up 40 per cent), Capital Country (up 36 per cent) and New England North West (up 28 per cent).

For the year ending December 2009, NSW received 22.6 million domestic overnight visitors who stayed 77 million nights and injected more than $12.25 billion into the State’s economy.

* Tourism Research Australia National Visitor Survey December 2009 quarter.

 Discover NSW Heritage Tourism