The dry heat of the Riverina is one of the hallmarks of summer, but it is not enough to keep holidaymakers from exploring its hidden gems.
According to Destination NSW, visitors spent more than 2.8 million nights across the Riverina between July 2016 and June 2017.
Despite this number having decreased 0.4 per cent on last year’s total, Destination Riverina Murray general manager Richie Robinson said the region was still as popular as ever.
He said an eight per cent increase on tourists arriving on “day trips” was important to note, with almost 30 per cent of visitors, arriving for “a holiday”.
“The increase of day-trip visitation is pleasing to see,” Mr Robinson said. “Across the board, more people are searching for things to do in regional areas.”
On average, visitors spent close to $129 per night, an increase of more than two per cent on the previous year.
Mr Robinson said DRM would work toward increasing numbers this year.
“There’s plenty to do across the region,” he said. “We are the national food bowl here … with great local produce and food and placed to adventure around the mountains.”
Check out the region’s top ten hidden gems.
For residents and visitors keen to go beyond The Beach, here are six of the most popular boredom busters.
Altina Wildlife Park
A personal tour-guides provide a series of “unforgettable” and “breathtaking” encounters with creatures of all shapes and sizes. Bookings are essential.
Batman enthusiasts can become explorers when they venture into one of six 440-million-year-old limestone caves at Kosciuszko National Park.
Hunt for gold and discover the historical gold-mine ruins nestled just 20 minutes from Tumut.
Junee Licorice & Chocolate Factory
For those with a sweet tooth, the historical factory adds a spoonful of sugar to the summer holidays.
Lake Talbot Aquatic Park
If cooling down on hot summer days is a priority, the aquatic park at Narrandera should be on the hit list.
Coolamon Cheese Factory
Enter a world of cheese, 20-minutes from Wagga, with hand-crafted cheese tastings, tours, lessons and inspired meals.