A group of towns in WA’s wheatbelt have gone a step beyond the usual ‘put-ourselves-on-the-tourist-map’ methods of erecting big things, or displaying rusty sculptures, or even painting silos.
As the competition hots up to find ways to make rural destinations stand out to grey nomads, Badgingarra, Gingin, Dangin, Muntadgin, Wagin, Narrogin and Corrigin have decided to send out a message in a bottle.
Although they are located hundreds of kilometres apart, the towns all have the word ‘gin’ in their names and that, they hope, will make it the spirit of the Outback. Each community has developed a namesake gin, made with botanicals unique to each region.
Master distiller Greg Garnish came up with the concept.
“I think what we’ve done is exposed country people to a new way of marketing themselves and made them feel like they are important to the whole of Western Australia,” he said. “It’s been a way to show people that WA is a place they should come and visit.”
Leigh Ballard, the president of the Narrogin Shire, located 200 kilometres south-east of Perth, said the Outback Gin Series had been strongly supported by the local community.
“It’s not a regional WA drink it’s a Narrogin drink … it’s very specific to us and there’s a bit of pride in that, and I think that’s the same in every one of the towns,” Ms Ballard said. “Every town that’s got the gin named after them knows the other towns now … everyone is drinking gin.”