Naracoorte tourism gets a boost over holiday period

Tourism and venues coordinator Vicki Modistach and Information Centre volunteer Carol Ross at the Naracoorte Visitor Information Centre. Photo: ELISABETH CHAMPION
Tourism and venues coordinator Vicki Modistach and Information Centre volunteer Carol Ross at the Naracoorte Visitor Information Centre. Photo: ELISABETH CHAMPION

While international travel is off the cards, and state borders remain closed, Naracoorte tourism is booming.

Travellers from all around the state stopped into Naracoorte to part with some of their hard-earned money, injecting thousands back into the local economy during the festive season.

Tourism and venues coordinator Vicki Modistach said COVID-19 had meant South Australians had stuck closer to home, and it paid off for the town.

"In comparison to the same time last year, we are up by about 300 to 400 visitors," she said.

"The number of people that are staying for two nights or longer have doubled.

"A lot of them are South Australian country people, and they are getting out and about and seeing their state.

"So many people are staying for longer, three nights or longer, basically basing themselves here and then going out and about."

She said that in the first 11 days of this year alone, the Visitor Information Centre had helped 210 visitors.

However, she said there weren't just more people visiting the town, but more people were enjoying the local attractions.

"The museum entries have gone up, they have more than doubled from the same time last year," Ms Modistach said.

"I think what people are doing now when they go on holidays is they are going to every attraction that they can go to - before they sort of went 'oh no, we're in a hurry' but now they stop and think 'oh actually, we will go to the museum.'

"In the past few weeks, I have had three couples come into the museum that have come back the next day to finish it off and one couple spent a total of about nine hours going through the museum."

Ms Modistach said visitors were of all ages, and mostly from South Australia, although there were some from Queensland and New South Wales as well.

"People haven't had the opportunity to go over the border, so they have had tro plan to look in their own backyard instead of heading off interstate," she said.

"People are champing at the bit to get out, they can't pack their bags quick enough.

"We've spoken to many people who have said 'We are meant to be in Italy this year' or 'we're meant to be on a cruise'."

As always, the Swimming Lake proved to be the biggest hit with visitors.

"Everyone has been very positive, and we always get so many comments about the Swimming Lake - we get more comments on that than we do the caves," she said.

"It is one of the biggest draw cards in the summertime because it is free.

"We are so so lucky to have that."

Also bringing some new, local faces into the Information Centre was the the Business and Tourism Christmas Trail.

"I was told from the locals coming in that they absolutely love it and they are hoping it will be back next year," she said.

"Lots of people said they liked it and said "gee I can't remember the last time I came in here', which was the whole idea of it."

With two weeks of the school holidays remaining, there is still time to enjoy some of the amazing attractions on offer in Naracoorte including the Naracoorte Swimming Lake, Naracoorte Caves (which has one of the top ten playgrounds in the state), the Naracoorte Art Gallery and the Sheep's Back Museum.

If you are looking for something to do, pop into the Visitor Information Centre and find out what's on.