President’s Column | January 27, 2018


As the holiday seasons draws to a close, businesses have reported overall good trading during the period with a steady stream of holidaymakers and day trippers. All of this contributes to the local economy! Accommodation houses reported consistent bookings however campers and recreational vehicles were certainly out and about with families looking for cost-effective holiday options.

Newly opened Dungog Contemporary confirmed an increase in visitation over the Christmas / New Year period, which resulted in an increase in gallery visits and trade. Notably, a number of the 700 plus people who follow the gallery on Instagram visited from Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Port Macquarie, Sydney and Armidale. Some mentioned they were on day trips, specifically prompted by their Instagram interactions and others were staying in the area, either at local accommodation or with family. The owners of Dungog Contemporary were delighted and encouraged by these results. “We are glad we stayed open for business, it was certainly worth our while”, commented Sarah.

With the successful establishment of The Dungog Shire Regional Tourism Board, it’s to be hoped that we can build on all the hard work already done to position Dungog Shire as a must-go destination on the Hunter Valley tourism trail. It’s clear that with the decline of traditional industries, that Dungog must turn to other options for economic growth in the future.

Imagine a Dungog with a mixed economy of tourism, accommodation and niche, boutique horticultural and agricultural industries. Come to Dungog and enjoy great food, coffee and shopping on the main street, spend the night in delightful accommodation then visit a beekeeper or learn about sustainable forestry for example. Enjoy a visit to a regional botanic garden or glamping in the forest by a pristine river. There are endless possibilities if we put our minds to it to develop a region with sustainable industry and tourism. We live in an area untouched by mining with endless vistas of natural beauty. Building a tourism industry will create jobs and a vibrant, active community with greater conveniences for all of us.

We are pleased to announce of first dinner network meeting for 2018 will be on Thursday 22nd February at Carriageway Dungog. For booking please contact Colleen Duffy on