Ever arrived in a regional town the day after the quirky local race meeting, antique fair or agricultural show and thought, If only I’d arrived yesterday?
That’s where TruBlu Travelling can help.
I came across TruBlu Travelling while I was at the NSW Caravan, Camping, RV & Holiday Show. (I nearly ran past them, as my husband was waiting impatiently for me halfway down the stairs when I stopped, but I’m so glad I did.)
TruBlu Travelling has been set up by a Narelle and Ian Rowe, enthusiastic Aussie travellers themselves, who realised the need for an online resource consolidating all the information travellers need to ‘plan, stay, play and discover’ while touring Australia, with the added benefit of tips from fellow travellers.
When you’re on the road it can be extremely disappointing to turn up in town the day after the farmers’ market, a free workshop, a local festival or quirky country event, which is what happened to Narelle and Ian when they arrived in Bylong just after the Bylong Mouse Races. “If only we’d known,” says Narelle. That was her light bulb moment and inspiration for the website, which was launched in March this year.
TruBlu Travelling is geared to people exploring Australia, with a strong focus on regional and local towns. “It’s about matching people’s interests with relevant locations,” says Narelle. “We’re about relationships with travellers, tourism centres and local businesses.” The site is also a networking hub, with travellers able share their experiences, give feedback and offer testimonials.
Originally from Dubbo, Narelle is passionate about the Australian landscape and its people. “You can take a person from the country, but you can’t take the country from a person”, she says, hoping that TruBlu Travelling will have the added benefit of helping regional economies. “If a traveller stops and spends $50 it makes a difference to local businesses,” she says.
The website, which is free to join, presents a snapshot of what’s available at a regional level, with links to relevant local websites offering more detailed information.
When travelling in regional Australia I come across so many wonderful museums, galleries, tour operators, local guides, visitors’ centres and the like, that have little or no money for advertising or their own website. Often, there are multiple tourism websites for the one region, so researching an area can be laborious. If all of this information can be collated on TruBlu’s website as they hope, then it will be an extremely valuable resource for travellers.
Because of the sheer scale of their goal, TruBlu Travelling is a work in progress, and they are still sorting out some teething problems. But do head over to their site for a look around, and if you know of any quirky local events or interesting local attractions that aren’t listed, send them an email. Narelle will be happy to hear from you.