Mulwala's Easter bounce backMonday April 1, 2013 - 08:07 EDT
Thousands of tourists have flocked to the Riverina for Easter, with an influx to the Murray River despite the tornado which battered the region.
Deniliquin hosted its inaugural Blues and Roots Festival while Griffith's Easter food and wine extravaganza La Festa drew more than 10 000 visitors.
The Berrigan and Corowa Shires received natural disaster declarations on Wednesday - almost a week after the storms wrecked caravan parks and battered homes.
Penne Tregenza from Sun Country Tourism says caravan parks and motels in both Mulwala and Yarrawonga were booked out and shopkeepers enjoyed strong sales.
"A lot of them are repeat visitors and were concerned about the lake," she said.
"A lot have been phoning and we've been able to assure them through our own sources and through the maritime services that the lake is open for business and they've certainly been taking advantage of that on the water."
Ms Tregenza says the tourism boom was a perfect way to bounce back from the disaster.
"The tornado was definitely devastating and to see so many people visiting our town and coming to stay certainly helped the mood," she said.
"And the locals are happy to see that our town is back on the map for all the good reasons and not the bad reasons," she said.
Meanwhile, the Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Wagga Wagga, Gerard Hanna has been delivering his Easter message to packed congregations over the weekend.
Bishop Hanna says he reflected on the importance of hope in people's everyday lives.
Bishop Hanna says eternal life is at the heart of the Christian gospel.
"I have an Easter message this year which endeavours to address a question that most preoccupies men and women these days I believe. The question is, 'what is there after death?' And to this mystery allows us to respond that death does not have the last word, because life through death as attended to by Christ's resurrection will win through," said Bishop Hanna.
"I am really speaking from a point of view of giving people hope. An expectation that no matter what happens or how things turn out, there is always a meaning and a purpose beyond that. And that calls us to have hope in the pledge that Jesus gives us, that there is life through death."
© ABC 2013
More breaking news
Dark skies have closed in on Brisbane and the remnants of ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie are being felt along the south-east coast.
After laying waste to the north Queensland coast, ex-Cyclone Debbie has unleashed a torrent of rain on south-east Queensland, causing flash flooding and putting the region in lockdown.
Parts of south-east Queensland have been hit with more than 400 millimetres of rain, stranding people in flash flooding and causing a second day of school closures on Friday.