Why you should book a post-COVID holiday in Richmond Valley
STATE borders may not be opening but the NSW premier will allow regional holidays from next month to capitalise on regional tourism, even as the border to Queensland remains closed.
While Byron Bay may be the obvious holiday destination, a post-COVID-19 holiday in Richmond Valley or Kyogle Shire is a better bet.
Kyogle mayor Danielle Mulholland welcomed the announcement but urged caution.
"While we always welcome tourism across the entire LGA, it's still important that we continue to practice social distancing and good hygiene while people are visiting our area," Ms Mulholland said.
"We have an ageing population who are most at risk of coronavirus and while I recognise that people are bored being cooped up at home, we want our area to continue to remain covid-free.
"I'm all about health before wealth, so while we can now travel within the state, we still need to be careful because we're not at the end of the coronavirus journey just yet."
Richmond Valley Council through its Discover Richmond Valley team is encouraging residents and visitors to "come out to play".
The team has been keeping interest alive via its website, as well as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.
Nothing beats face-to-face contact with a local, so the reopening three visitor information centres in Casino, Woodburn and Evans Head will happen on June 1.
Mayor Robert Mustow said the tourism industry was a lifeline for many locals and he welcomed visitors from across the state, as long as they practised social distancing and good hygiene.
Richmond Valley was known for its quiet towns and villages, peaceful waterways and top beaches, as well as being the Beef Capital of the World, he said.
"As a long-time local, I guarantee visitors will get to experience a variety of adventures," Mr Mustow said.
"If you're looking to avoid the crowds, don't make a beeline straight to Byron Bay, consider making a few stops along the way to see what our small towns and big adventures are all about.
"Trust me, those who discover us, always come back."
He said by doing "touristy" things, residents would be help local businesses get back on their feet.
"It would be great to see those planning on taking a break around the July school holidays to consider a 'staycation'," Cr Mustow said.
VISIT RICHMOND VALLEY
To find out where to go grab a copy of the Richmond Valley Visitors Guide, or visit discoverrichmondvalley.com.au.
In Kyogle Shire there are a number of World Heritage-listed national parks including rainforests, waterfalls, bush walks and spectacular views. The Border Ranges National Park encompasses over 30,000 hectares along the NSW/QLD border and is easily accessible.
Go camping or see the views at Pinnacle Lookout, or enjoy a bush walk or picnic at one of the many picnic areas. Toonumbar Dam is popular for camping, fishing and water sports.
Check out the scenery by car, there are a number of scenic drives in the region. Go to the Kyogle Visitor Information Centre website
For those seeking active adventure, check out the Kyogle Mountain Bike Trails in Boorabee State Forest on the fringe of town.