An authentic taste of farm life is on the holiday menu for Queensland tourists with the launch of a $2 million campaign to attract visitors to farms and help farmers diversify their income as part of the state’s Economic Recovery Plan.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said the Queensland Government’s ‘Taste farm life’ agritourism campaign would encourage tourists to get off the beaten track or take a day out of their usual beach holiday destination to discover new experiences in rural and regional Queensland.
“Queensland’s handling of the COVID threat means there are opportunities for tourists to explore more of our great state and experience innovative and unique offerings from agricultural businesses that have diversified into agritourism,” Mr Furner said.
“Many agribusinesses offer a variety of food and farm experiences including farm gate sales, food and wine sampling, farmer’s markets, pick-your-own fruit and veggie experiences, farm stays, and food and farm festivals and events.
“These exciting and memorable holiday adventures are often within easy driving distance of coastal communities and the time has never been better for people to get a real taste of where their food comes from.”
Ryan and Annika Anderson are fifth-generation owners of Henderson Park. Mrs Anderson said her parents branched out into agritourism in the 1990s when drought impacted income to their cattle business.
“The drought was the impetus for our family-owned commercial beef cattle property to add a secluded accommodation and function venue,” Mrs Anderson said.
“Agritourism has been a gift that allows us to share our stories with our guests that we would otherwise have not had the opportunity to get to know and that we now call friends.
“Henderson Park is a short 30-minute drive from Rockhampton and visitors can enjoy a range of activities including guided educational property tours, bushwalking, canoeing, swimming and birdwatching.
“Our guests also get the opportunity to experience our unique lifestyle, and the fantastic bits that go with it – stunning sunrises and sunsets, campfires, flora and fauna and the great outdoors – nature’s gifts.”
Mr Furner said the two-year $2 million initiative was part of Queensland’s Economic Recovery Plan, and with the first phase designed to entice visitors to state’s coastal cities to extend their stays and venture inland as well.
“There is so much of Queensland to explore, and many farmers have a lot to be proud of and experiences to share,” Mr Furner said.
“This campaign is good for our farmers, good for the Queensland economy and especially good for the visitors who will get to enjoy these experiences.
“We know that Queensland farmers are struggling and looking to diversify their income sources to survive economic downturn due to COVID-19-induced export interruptions and labour shortages, natural disasters and drought.
“That is why we are supporting agribusinesses looking to diversify and back the Queensland Government’s agenda to support jobs, back small business, and grow our regions.
“I encourage holiday makers to taste farm life and support rural and regional communities.
“I also urge those agribusinesses looking to grow and diversify their business to embrace agritourism opportunities to make contact with the department and learn more about this initiative and the support available.”