A new set of online maps pulls together arts and cultural experiences in Central NSW.
Culture Maps Central NSW uses maps and pop-up images to pinpoint museums, heritage sites and trails; galleries and artist studios; places to shop for handmade things; Aboriginal cultural places and experiences, and a comprehensive regional map of public art.
Locals are being encouraged to use the new maps - online at centralnsw.com - to discover cultural gems in their own backyard these school holidays.
The new resource was launched in Bathurst by Arts OutWest, Central NSW Joint Organisation of Councils and Regional Development Australia Central West.
CEO of the Central NSW Joint Organisation of Councils, Jenny Bennett, said art and culture are rated as the top things for visitors to see and do when travelling throughout regional NSW.
"The maps reveal the diversity of these experiences available in our own backyard," Ms Bennett said.
"It's a great resource for locals to familiarise themselves; ready for when their visitors can safely return or for exploring places close to home."
Some of the 400 pinned places in Culture Maps Central NSW include the new large scale works of public art in Forbes' Somewhere Down the Lachlan sculpture trail; Bathurst's brand new Rail Museum; bushranger history and tours in Eugowra, Canowindra and Forbes; Orange's booming art galleries and artisan shops; the huge silo art murals in Portland and Grenfell; Cowra's history told through a mobile app; and places to connect with Aboriginal culture like the Wiradjuri Study Centre in Condobolin.
Cabonne: There's more than 100 places in the Cabonne Shire to be found, from the popular Animals on Bikes and Eugowra Murals artworks, to bushranger stories, museums and craft shops stretching from Yeoval to Canowindra.
Cowra:These more than 20 places in the Cowra areaincluding half a dozen significant pieces of public art, the Cowra Regional Art Gallery, all the key sites connected to Cowra's POW story, craft and retail spaces, and a link to the Cowra Voices app.
Forbes:The 35 places in the Forbes Shire include all our amazing pieces of public art, but also places to dip into our bushranger history and all our local craft shops where you can buy local, handmade reminders of Forbes.
Parkes: So far there's 35 places in the Parkes area from our unique public art, our multiple museums, and places to explore in Peak Hill, Trundle and Bogan Gate.
Weddin: The Weddin Shire has, so far, 21 different places including lots of history, plenty of public art and alongside our Grenfell Art Gallery there's a number of artist studios to visit.
The map also includes destinations in Lithgow, Orange, Bathurst, Lachlan Shire (Condobolin), Blayney and Oberon.
Tourism boost for future
RDA Central West CEO, Sam Harma explained that Culture Maps Central NSW will also play an important role for the local tourism economy in a post-Covid recovery.
"This is a region that is full of art, culture and history; but those assets are not just fascinating to explore, they are a really important part of the regional economy," Mr Harma said.
"In 2018 cultural and heritage visitors spent $14billion in NSW, with a not-insignificant portion of that being driven by regional NSW."
Arts OutWest executive director Tracey Callinan added that the maps also highlight the increase in public art making.
"There's nearly 300 items of public art pinned to the map, showcasing the real boom in public art making in the last decade," she said.
"The public art map on the site is great inspiration for photographers, eye spy adventures or learning more about the art and artists in our communities."
The maps also feature 130 museums, heritage sites and Aboriginal experiences plus 80 art galleries, artist studios, craft shops and other places to buy handmade items.
The maps are themed so you can search by category, for example heritage or Aboriginal cultural experiences, or location including Bathurst, Blayney, Cabonne, Cowra, Forbes, Lachlan, Lithgow, Oberon, Orange, Parkes and Weddin Local Government Areas.
The site works on mobiles, tablets and desktop computers.