Visitors hope to unwrap a surprise
By Helen Jack
NADIA and Natasha Layton are not really sure what Easter is all about but they are sure it means something about chocolate.
"I want a bunny," said Natasha, three years. Natasha's mum Janina Bruyn, of Lismore, said she looked forward to Easter because it was a chance to relax with family and have fun.
"My partner, Corey, and me have our birthdays at Easter, so it's a chance for us to have parties and gather with friends and family and eat chocolate Easter eggs," said Janina.
And it seems Easter is the perfect time to visit the Northern Rivers. Lismore City Council's tourism services co-ordinator, Mitch Lowe, said autumn's cooler temperatures made visiting our region a less hot and sweaty affair than at Christmas time.
"Traditionally Easter is our busiest time with family and friends of Northern Rivers residents coming to visit," he said
"It's a time to catch up.
"Christmas is hot in Lismore so people flock to the coastal areas but at this time of year our climate is very pleasant so it's a great time to come here for a visit." Mr Lowe said inquiry numbers were similar to past years.
"On average we have 51,000 visitors to the centre each year," he said.
"We are expecting 200 visitors to the centre each day over Easter."
There were similar reports from other regional visitors centres, including Byron Bay, Ballina and Casino. At Richmond Valley Visitor Information Centre at Casino, staff and volunteers were flat out with visitors asking about places to see over Easter.
"There are a lot of grey nomads coming in and, surprisingly, we have a lot of international tourists," said a volunteer. "Just this week we had visitors from Singapore, The Netherlands and Germany.
"We think the tourists like to come here because it is an alternative place to be and we have a lot of world heritage areas they can get access to from here.
"We don't see many families; it's usually retirees, couples and backpackers."