It’s been a difficult time for much of regional Australia, and nowhere more so than in Victoria. But many small towns and communities have been looking for innovative new ways to attract and entertain grey nomads once they do hit the area.
A case in point is the Pyrenees Shire west of Ballarat, which is currently launching a farm gate trail in order to cater to Australians’ desire to buy local, direct from the producers. Farm gates can be wine, fresh produce, flowers, plants, dairy, meat, jams, wine and even art … all of which is grown or created in the Pyrenees.
“The Pyrenees farm gate trail has come at a time when the paddock-to-plate movement is gaining huge momentum as now, more than ever, people are taking an interest in where and how their food is grown,” said Kate Davis, Director of Eat Drink West. “The desire to eat locally is here to stay … and people will now have the opportunity to speak to the growers first hand.”
The Beaufort Progress Association says Pyrenees growers have been incredibly enthusiastic about the project, and it expects the initiative to evolve and grow in the months and years ahead.
The association’s president, Sarah Beaumont, says the new farm gate trail will provide an opportunity for grey nomads to interact with producers in a Covid-safe way.
“It is important that as we start to rebuild after the pandemic and we provide interesting activities for the upcoming increase in caravanner visitors,” she said. “Now more than ever it is vital that we all work together to continue to promote our region to a wider audience and position ourselves as a must-visit destination … and this is especially true for our growing grey nomad market.”
Located halfway between Ballarat and Ararat, Beaufort has been highly proactive in recent years catering to the grey nomad market and boasts a free 48-hour campsite for self-contained vehicles near Beaufort Lake, as well as a free dump point.