By Nichola Davies / LGAQ Digital Journalist
Balonne Shire Council has launched its clever new tourism ‘hook’, aimed at reeling in visitors and to explore the region.
On National Scavenger Hunt Day – 24 May – Balonne Shire Council launched an outback experience like no other with its ‘St George Region: You’ll Be Hooked’ tourism campaign, which involves a shire-wide scavenger hunt through its seven picturesque towns, rivers and landscapes.
The hunt will give visitors and locals alike the chance to go it alone or tee up with family or friends to immerse themselves in the region’s unique natural beauty, vibrant communities and rich history.
Adventure-goers simply follow the clues on the website www.stgeorgeregion.com.au/i-got-hooked and identify the nominated landmark in each of the seven unique towns in the Balonne region: St George, Dirranbandi, Bollon, Hebel, Thallon, Nindigully and Mungindi.
Once they solve the clue and find the landmark in each town, visitors snap a selfie and post it on social media with the landmark in the background and the hashtag #IGotHooked.
With each clue that adventurers solve, they’ll collect a colourful town fish token to add to the special ‘I Got Hooked on the St George Region’ keyring, on which they can proudly display their ‘catch’.
Anyone collecting all seven tokens will not only snag the ‘I got Hooked on the St George Region’ complete key chain as a memento of their trip, but also be in the running for great prizes, including return flights for two people on Rex Airlines.
Balonne Shire Council Mayor Samantha O’Toole said the scavenger hunt promises to be an adventure-filled experience.
“Along the way, participants will breathe in the fresh country air, explore the vast landscapes and enjoy the freedom of our wide-open spaces, whilst experiencing famous historic Australian pubs, homesteads and painted silos,” Cr O’Toole said.
“They’ll also be able to take time out to meander along our inland rivers and waterways which supply endless fields of produce and some of the best inland fishing in the country – don’t forget to bring your fishing rod!”
Cr O’Toole said the scavenger hunt also serves as a celebration of Balonne Shire’s resilience and recovery from recent challenges.
“By inviting locals and visitors to explore the region, the council hopes to support local businesses and reinvigorate tourism, contributing to the economic growth and development of the Balonne community,” Cr O’Toole said.
Balonne Shire Council was the winner of the LGAQ’s inaugural Time to Shine tourism competition – a partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) – winning a $10,000 marketing package from TEQ’s industry media agency IMATE.
LGAQ CEO Alison Smith visited the shire to congratulate Council on the launch of the campaign, with Cr O’Toole responding, “A big congratulations to you for creating the award and giving us the opportunity to win”.
“I think the Time to Shine Award is an opportunity for us to really showcase some of our uniqueness around the Balonne Shire,” Cr O’Toole said.
“I’m really excited for what it will do for our tourism industry as we really promote the uniqueness and the natural environment that we live in out here.”
The scavenger hunt closes on 30 September, with winners announced in early October.