16 November 2020
Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) CEO, Leanne Coddington, and key Queensland tourism officials, journeyed to Gympie, where they jumped on board Gympie’s most famous attraction – the Mary Valley Rattler – at Amamoor for a fact-finding steam ride through the region.
Representatives from Destination Gympie Region, Visit Sunshine Coast, Tourism Noosa, Fraser Coast Tourism and Events, Gympie Regional Council and local operators were at Gympie Station to welcome Ms Coddington, who – along with other speakers – addressed the issues facing the industry, as it recovers from the impacts of COVID-19.
Local hospitality was in abundance with renowned chef, Matt Golinski, producing a special plate to accompany the launch of a new beer, produced by local craft brewer Graham Kidd from Latitude 26, appropriately called Off the Rails Ale.
Gympie and Mary Valley’s rich produce was presented in a series of market-style stalls to highlight the region’s reputation as one of Australia’s most prodigious food bowls. Attendees were able to taste creations from Bauple Park Farm, Lindols Macadamias, Kenilworth Dairies, Suncoast Limes, CC’s Kitchen and Piggy in the Middle.
General Manager of the Mary Valley Rattler, Micheal Green, said it was tremendous to welcome TEQ to Gympie to meet with local operators and get a taste of what makes the region such a ‘natural’ for tourism.
“They experienced a fantastic combination of a heritage icon steam railway, spectacular countryside, wonderful produce and Matt Golinski serving up one of his culinary creations for them,” said Mr Green.
“Tourism operators from around the region have experienced a very challenging year, so to have the presence of Queensland’s most important tourism executives was very encouraging.
“We appreciated Leanne taking the time to share with local operators TEQ’s vision for the future direction for the State’s tourism, and also to hear first-hand what local operators saw as priorities.
“I think most people left with greater optimism because while we have performed reasonably strongly in recent months based on the Queensland market, the prospect of more-widely open borders by the end of the year will allow us to market the region throughout Australia in 2021.”
About Off the Rail Beer
Latitude 26’s master brewer, Graham Kidd, is a local Gympie resident whose passion for the brew saw him open up a venue just across the road from Gympie Station. With some 45 years interest in brewing – long before home brewing kits were available – he has developed a range of craft beers and ciders, and has extended that range with a beer exclusively for the Mary Valley Rattler, called Off the Rails Ale.
Based on an American Pale Ale, the refreshing beer is available at Gympie Station’s Rusty Rails Café. He has also produced a cider for the Rattler’s services. As “neighbours”, Graham sees the partnership with the Mary Valley Rattler as a great opportunity to add some liquid gold to the region’s rich gold-prospecting heritage. Further details: https://www.facebook.com/Latitude-26-Brewing-107692457735875