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Winter arrives on NSW Mid North Coast as first snow of the season hoped to entice much-needed tourists

By Kirstie Wellauer and Luisa Rubbo, Tuesday June 2, 2020 - 16:02 EST
ABC licensed image
James Fleming said it has become a tradition for him and son Brayden (pictured) to come out and see the first snow fall of the season. - ABC licensed

Right on cue for the start of winter, the first snow of the season, has fallen on the Barrington Tops on the New South Wales Mid North Coast.

James Fleming and his son Brayden from Taree, camped out overnight to catch a glimpse, which came just one day earlier than last year.

"[It's] always a magical experience to see the snow coming down," he said.

"It's become a tradition to see the first snow fall."

Snow draws them to the Tops

Newly branded tourism region, the Barrington Coast, shared a Facebook post about the possibility of snow coming, which MidCoast Council's Deb Tuckerman said reached about 100,000 people.

"I guess its just an indication of the pent up demand or maybe the cabin fever that people are feeling in wanting to get out and about," she said.

Ms Tuckerman said local operators have already received lots of enquiries since the coronavirus restrictions were eased.

"Around Gloucester for example we've pretty much gone from no bookings for the long weekend and we're probably up around about the 40 per cent," she said.

"In the past, anecdotally, we get around about 5,000 people who could descend on Gloucester if it snows over a weekend.

As of this week, most NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service campgrounds are open, but visitors must make a booking.

The Gloucester Information Centre has reopened this week to take enquiries.

Visitors much needed

Accommodation provider, Trudy Schultz, said snow brings much-needed tourists to Gloucester, following the bushfires, drought and coronavirus pandemic.

"It has not been a good six months for tourism in Gloucester," she said.

"There's a quite a few places in town and accommodation providers that are really struggling."

Ms Shultz is hopeful the town will be full for the June long weekend.

"We get lots of daytrippers, but we do get people stay overnight and the economy in the main street of Gloucester benefits significantly when we do have snow," she said.

"So June long weekend is looking like it could be really good, when it wasn't looking so good [before]."

According to Ms Shultz, the best time to experience the snow is early in the morning.

"Even though when you do get the big falls of snow, you've got heaps of people up there, if there's just like a dusting and you go up nice and early, then you've got the beautiful pristine snow that no-one's been in," she said.

"If they stay overnight in Gloucester and they can leave early in the morning and get up there when it's starting to get light — it's the best time.


© ABC 2020

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