THE SLEEPY little town of Bowraville has recently been announced as a finalist for the Top Tourism Town Awards in the "Population Under 5,000 Residents" category.
It hasn't been an easy road, but a dedicated group from the Nambucca Valley Council, the Bowraville Chamber of Commerce, and members of the community spearheaded the effort to have the town recognised as a potential destination for tourists.
To win a place on the list required a video showcasing the destination, an itinerary of places to visit and an editorial showcasing what the area offers to potential visitors.
"It has taken a lot of passion, ambition and hard work from some very dedicated people in the community, and we hope that hard work will pay off," Nambucca Valley Councillor Susan Jenvey said.
"This has been a positive change for Bowraville, and a lot of good can come from it, whether we win the award or not."
There is some stiff competition for the top gong, with 42 other destinations across the state making the finals as well, but Gaille Smith from the Bowraville Chamber of Commerce hopes the local town is unique enough to defy the odds and clinch the title.
"Bowraville is very much a hidden gem on the Mid North Coast, we are surrounded by beautiful countryside and mountains, and there is also a lot of history here," she said.
"The town has a lot of untapped tourist potential, and that's what we want to show everyone, there is more to the Nambucca Valley than just beaches."
The winner will be announced at the end of the month, but voting is open until Friday, May 14.
Anybody interested in voting, checking out the application video, or learning more, can visit the Business NSW website here.
It's all very exciting; we want to put Bowraville on the map and get people to fall in love with it like we all have.Susan Jenvey
"Going forward, we have a lot of good ideas for the town; we are hoping to create opportunities for nature-based tourism, with members of the indigenous community leading tours through country, telling stories and bush tucker experiences," Susan said.
"It's all very exciting; we want to put Bowraville on the map and get people to fall in love with it like we all have."
Even if Bowraville doesn't win the award this year, Gaille says she hopes to enter the Top Tourism Town Awards again, and help the area reach it's full potential.
"It's definitely something to look at, and next time we would try to get more people from the community involved, we will see where things are at in 12 months," she said.
"The ultimate goal is to help Bowraville grow to reach its full potential, make the main street an active hub for locals, visitors, and reopen some of the shops."
Head over to the "Visit Bowraville" website, Facebook page or Instagram for more information.
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