The heart of regional tourism

Gerda Brack, Betty Wells and Fran Hockings are vital volunteers of the Warwick Visitor Information Centre. Picture: LUCY WALDRON

Southern Downs Visitor Information Centres (VICs) are more than just bricks and mortar; they serve as the region’s welcoming gateways, with a dedicated team of volunteers at the forefront.

These volunteers are the first friendly faces visitors encounter, playing an important role in the unique Southern Downs tourism experience.

Southern Downs Mayor Melissa Hamilton praised the VIC volunteers for their invaluable contributions.

“The VIC volunteers show the best of our community spirit through sharing their local knowledge and generously giving their time to help visitors explore the region,“ Mayor Hamilton said.

“Whether you’re a visitor or a local seeking new ideas when hosting family and friends, I encourage you to pop in to one of our VICs for some fantastic suggestions.“

From recommending scenic drives, historic landmarks, and local events to pinpointing the best dining spots, the VIC volunteers are indispensable.

“Our dedicated VIC volunteers are the welcoming face of the region and they ensure that every visitor has an unforgettable experience,“ Mayor Hamilton added.

The commitment of these volunteers is remarkable, with some having dedicated between five and twenty-seven years to supporting the visitor economy. Collectively, over 50 volunteers staff the Southern Downs VICs in Stanthorpe and Warwick, forming part of a 453-strong network of accredited visitor information centres across Australia. Recognised internationally by the iconic yellow ‘i’, these centres are trusted resources for travellers.

Even outside of National Volunteer Week, the exceptional work of the VIC volunteers deserves to be celebrated. Their efforts not only enhance the visitor experience but also strengthen the community’s connection to its rich cultural and natural heritage.

For more information or to get the best tips on exploring the Southern Downs, visit the VICs in Stanthorpe and Warwick and experience the warm welcome of the region’s volunteer ambassadors.