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Support Bungendore and Braidwood small businesses—and win $20K in prizes

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You may recall at the start of 2020 (remember, when all we had to worry about was bushfire recovery…?) the Treasure Trail campaign was launched, encouraging Canberrans to explore fire-affected towns along the Kings Highway.

Well, our beloved sister-region is asking for your support again—and this time, they’ve sweetened the deal to the tune of $20,000. As if you needed more of an excuse.

The premise of Shop & Win is simple—when you spend $20 at over 90 businesses across Bungendore and Braidwood, you’ll have a chance to share in an enormous prize pool, with $10,000 of gift vouchers up for grabs in each town respectively.

The Gathering Cafe, Bungendore.

The hope is that Canberrans will see the towns as more than just a pitstop en route to the coast this spring, pouring their tourist dollars into local businesses that need all the support they can get.

To say that it’s been a shocker of a year for the region is an understatement, says Tracey Lamont, Placemaking Coordinator at Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council (QPRC).

“It has been a challenge with the fires, then COVID. This promotion will provide a real boost leading into the summer trading period.”

The Royal Hotel, Bungendore. Credit: Adam McGrath.

Keen for some travel inspo? The Treasure Trail puts the spotlight on the hidden gems of the Queanbeyan-Palerang region, giving Canberrans all the excuses they need to head out to Bungendore and Braidwood for a meal, a day, a weekend or even a week.

Perhaps you’ll duck out for breakfast at Bungendore’s The Gathering Café and a stroll through the Suki and Hugh Gallery?

Suki & Hugh Gallery, Bungendore.

Or maybe a day trip to Braidwood’s historic streets and excellent coffee is more your scene, where you can browse antiques and pick up award-winning sourdough on the same block?

Whatever you choose, you won’t be short on suggestions, with most shops, attractions, galleries, restaurants and pubs now operating at full capacity—within COVID-safe measures, of course.

“We have the perfect mix of experiences here; there’s something for everyone and the more you dig, the more treasure you find,” says Ryan Deebank, Economic & Tourism Coordinator at QPRC. “People stop for a drink, then stay for a weekend.”

Ryan urges Canberrans to think outside the box when it comes to these familiar towns—and to keep local’s wellbeing front of mind.

“A simple overnight stay has multiplier effects throughout our economy and benefits businesses across many sectors. We are establishing this region as a highly desirable short break destination. Building our visitor economy is critical to the recovery and renewal of local commerce.”

For Coordinate Director Warren Apps, whose team developed the Treasure Trail as a way to give back to the community after the Black Summer bushfires, it’s about providing a long-term solution to the countless revenue lost across the last 12 months.

“The opportunity here extends well beyond a ‘recovery’ campaign,” says Warren. “The opportunity here is more long-term—to reframe the way people think about these villages by building that level of awareness about what’s on offer and encouraging people to seek out a new experience.”

“Canberrans think they know these towns pretty well. They’ve been a regular pit stop on trips to the coast for as long as any of us can remember but when you look a little deeper you find a collection of villages that are bursting with great food, unique shopping, art, history, natural beauty and welcoming people.”


What: Shop & Win on the Queanbeyan-Palerang Treasure Trail
When: 1 October – 26 November
Where: More than 90 businesses in Bungendore and Braidwood
Explore the Treasure Trail at treasuretrail.com.au

Feature image: Dojo Bread, Braidwood

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