Bathurst museums have enjoyed a welcome rush of visitors over the post-Christmas period, with many flocking to see the region's important historical and geological collections.
Over the two public holidays [Monday and Tuesday], Museums Bathurst's three facilities [Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum, Bathurst Rail Museum and National Motor Racing Museum] welcomed around 2600 people, with plenty more stopping by on Wednesday to explore Bathurst's cultural attractions prior to the new year.
Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum co-ordinator Penny Packham said the visitation indicated plenty of visitors are eager to explore the Bathurst region.
"Plenty of visitors are travelling just to see Bathurst and what we have in store, and the figures show that our museums are playing their part to attract tourists," Ms Packham said.
"Each museum caters to an entirely different demographic, but together, they effectively cover not only the story of Bathurst, but society as a whole; from prehistoric life to contemporary motor racing history."
"There's also the strength of the Bathurst Regional Art Gallery [BRAG] and Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre [BMEC] and their respective pulling power to attract visitors for art exhibitions and live entertainment."
Ms Packham said Museums Bathurst has a number of programs in the works for 2022 and beyond, but are treading carefully with COVID-19 still creating plenty of hurdles for the planning process.
"We have plenty of plans in the works around educational museum offerings, but we're hesitant to reveal anything just yet with COVID still uncertain," she said.
"Our staff and visitors have adapted to the times incredibly well, and it has been especially comforting to see visitors display the same care towards public health orders that we do, which has allowed us to stay open."
Ms Packham said a new feature at the Fossil Museum is the Local Stories cabinet, which was introduced in December with a view to invite local schools to display projects for greater public exposure.
"The cabinet is currently displaying dioramas created by MacKillop College students on the topic of ecosystems, and we're keen to get other schools involved in the new year," she said.
"Local Stories is giving Bathurst students the opportunity to express their concerns for the future of our planet, and it's important for them to have a voice as they are the future."
For more information on Bathurst's museum sector, visit museumsbathurst.com.au.
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