Home' The Australian Senior Traveller : November 2010 Contents 4 THE SENIOR TRAVELLER November, 2010
THE residents of areas affected by
Victoria's worst bushfires are a
resilient bunch. When localised flooding
hit the Marysville area in September one
wag put a board outside his business read-
ing Fires (tick) Floods (tick), Pestilence.
But the area is fighting back and wooing
tourists with some innovative events and
Just last month the richest fishing com-
petition ever held in Victoria saw keen
anglers and fishing novices vying for the
chance to share in $200,000 in cash when
four specially tagged fish, each worth
$50,000, were released into Lake Eildon and
the Goulburn River.
When the February 2009 bushfires
struck, the shires of Murrindindi and
Mitchell were among the hardest hit.
However, special Government funding led
to the formation of a co-operative market-
ing body, the Murrindindi Mitchell
Bushfire Tourism Recovery Group.
The group's mantra -- Watch Us Grow --
aims to get tourists back to the regions and
to proactively help tourism-related busi-
nesses to rebuild and recover from the
downturn in business.
The group enlisted the help of
Melbourne-based agency Tyrrell Publicity
and Promotions, which specialises in
tourism and hospitality.
One of the first things managing direc-
tor Leanne Tyrrell did was to enlist the
support of fellow members of the
Australian Society of Travel Writers, and
publications like The Senior Traveller, to
support the embattled region's tourism
Ms Tyrrell said visitors need not be con-
cerned that they would be intruding on
people's privacy by returning to the region
while rebuilding was still occurring.
"There are 300 beds in the Marysville
region alone and businesses such as re-
opened cafes and coffee shops waiting to
welcome visitors," she said.
"They really want you to come back and
visit. They'll welcome you with open arms."
In fact, Marysville is gearing up for
Australia's only sparkling wine festival.
The week-long festival began on October
26, but the highlight event will be on
November 2 in Marysville Central Park.
The fun-filled day of entertainment, food
and wine will include a big screen broad-
cast of the Melbourne Cup.
The Shire of Murrindindi is north-east of
Melbourne and takes in the townships and
villages of Alexandra, Buxton, Eildon,
Flowerdale, Highlands, Kinglake, Lake
Mountain, Marysville, Narbethong, Strath
Creek, Taggerty, Thornton, Toolangi, Yea
Mitchell Shire is less than an hour north of
Melbourne in the heart of Victoria and
includes the townships of Wallan, Kilmore,
Broadford, Beveridge, Wandong, Heathcote
Junction, Pyalong, Tallarook, Seymour,
Puckapunyal and Tooborac.
Marysville Visitors Information Centre,
Natural disasters can have consequences well beyond the immediate, affecting residents' livelihoods and quality
of life for many years. Inevitably, tourism is one of the first to suffer. The Murrindindi Mitchell Bushfire Tourism
Recovery Group is using some creative bait to get tourists back to the once hugely popular Victorian region
following the Black Saturday bushfires almost two years ago.
SUE PRESTON looks at their tactics, as well as the impact of the Goulburn River Valley region floods and how
Christchurch, New Zealand, coped with its recent earthquake.
ANGLING IN ON A GREAT IDEA --
Victorian Tourism Minister Tim
Holding, television host Geoff 'Coxy'
Cox and Andrew Embling from the
Alexander Tourist Association at the
launch of the BIGFI$H competition.
THE Goulburn River Valley region, hit
by the worst floods in 15 years, has bro-
ken free from one of Australia's worst-ever
While the floods may have looked like a
disaster for the area, the flooding rains
were just what it needed and the record
rainfall has dramatically changed the land-
Unfortunately, tourism businesses
across the region from Euroa to
Shepparton have felt the financial impact
of the floods.
Tourism Greater Shepparton deputy
chair Sonya Boaden said to have had a
flood on the cusp of the September school
holidays impacted on everyone, from hote-
liers to retail businesses and restaurants.
Ms Boaden said business owners and
residents had dealt magnificently with the
tough conditions and were keen to show off
the region's natural beauty.
With the warm weather approaching
conditions are perfect for fishing, waterski-
ing and other activities. Lake Eildon is at
its highest point since 1997 and the
Goulburn River is higher than it has been
The Goulburn River Valley region is two
hours north of Melbourne up the Hume
Highway. Tourism Greater Shepparton
Visitor Information Centre 1800-808-839,
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