20 Oct 2021

The New England High Country (NEHC) tourism group continue to strengthen the destination’s nature-based tourism offering with the launch of four new nature Soundtrails in the region’s national parks.

Soundtrails are an immersive audio experience delivered through the Soundtrails mobile app, utilising GPS tracking technology to trigger stories on location, connecting listeners emotionally and physically to a place through storytelling.

Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce said the four new Soundtrails were made possible thanks to $230,680 funding from the Regional Tourism Bushfire Recovery Grants.

“These soundtrails will not only bring visitors to New England, but also economic stimulus for our local shops, cafés, pubs and hotels.”

“This grant was designed to assist in recovery from the 2019-20 bushfires in our region and will now also provide a boost as we aim to kickstart the local economy post COVID lockdown,” Mr Joyce said.

Locals and visitors can now experience the four new Soundtrails, including the Wollomombi Falls Soundtrail near Armidale and the Apsley Falls Soundtrail near Walcha, both in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, along with the Coombadjha Walk Soundtrail in Washpool National Park east of Glen Innes and the Bald Rock National Park Soundtrail north-east of Tenterfield.

To listen to the new national park Soundtrails simply download the Soundtrails app to your smart device (available from the App Store or Google Play), select the Soundtrail you would like to experience, once on location follow the map trail in the app and GPS will track your device, triggering stories as you walk along the trail.

The stories can be listened to remotely by selecting the shaded areas on the map.

Walcha Council Tourism Manager, Susie Crawford said, “These national park Soundtrails capture and preserve the unique local stories, and historical, geographical and cultural significance of four of our region’s popular nature trails and provide an opportunity to educate listeners in an interactive, modern way.”

“They offer a ‘Ranger in your Pocket’ experience; hearing stories from scientists, elders, rangers and artists providing a greater point of interest for the visitor.

“They are an asset for NEHC’s national parks, providing another dimension which will enable an interest, awareness, and connection with each of the sites.

“We are excited for regional travel to open up so we can welcome visitors across Australia back to our region and they can visit these incredible locations and experience Soundtrails in person,” Ms Crawford said.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service officer Mat Makeham said “soundtrails are a great addition to the parks, adding another layer to the visitor experience, one which presents opportunity for education in art, science and culture”.

The NEHC tourism group have collaborated for almost 10 years and are committed to collectively promoting the NEHC region. The group is staffed by Council marketing, tourism, and events personnel at each of the member Council’s including Armidale Regional Council, Glen Innes Severn Council, Inverell Shire Council, Tenterfield Shire Council, Uralla Shire Council and Walcha Council.

Find out more about Soundtrails, visit the NEHC Website: https://www.newenglandhighcountry.com.au/our-stories/soundtrails

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