AS Australian tourists look for ideas for their next domestic trip, the dairy industry is hoping to capture that audience while also sharing positive messages about dairy and its place in the community.
Recently-launched campaign Dairy Destinations has Dairy Australia partnering with accommodation company Airbnb to showcase traditional dairy-producing regions as potential tourism hotspots.
Three SA locations - the Barossa Valley, Fleurieu Peninsula and Adelaide Hills - are among the 12 dairy regions highlighted across Australia, which also include Margaret River, WA, the Great Ocean Road, Vic, the Sunshine Coast, Qld, Tas, and the South Coast of NSW.
The website highlights dairy "experiences", such as Blessed Cheese in McLaren Vale, which offers matched tastings using local cheese and wine, chocolate brands Fruchocs and Melbas, ice creameries and Adelaide Hills-based artisan cheese brand Udder Delights.
Udder Delights' Sheree Sullivan said it was thrilling to be among the "many stops" in the Adelaide Hills dairy itinerary.
"Our talented makers are excited to share their dairy passion with visitors, and to show them the expertise and care that goes in to creating our artisan produce by hand, with top quality and locally-sourced dairy," she said.
The website also suggests accommodation options in the region. Both suggested options in the Barossa Valley are linked to dairyfarmers - Moppa Bush Retreat, owned by the Nietshckes, who supply milk to the Dairy Destinations-highlighted Barossa Cheese Factory and the Woolworths Farmers Own milk label, and The Dairyman at Lyndoch.
The Dairyman's Michael Wohlstadt has a long-standing attitude towards connecting his guests with the food production happening on the same property.
"When people come to stay I always invite them to join in the afternoon activities, so feeding pigs and getting the cows in, and they can observe the milking," he said.
"It is a lovely experience and they've never seen it before.
"They might have never been that close to a cow, and all our cows have names and can be petted and touched.
"It's a nice thing to do to show people and let them learn about their food."
Mr Wohlstadt milks Jersey cows, producing butter and cream on-farm, as well as milk-fed pork and veal - all of which can be tasted by guests, creating another connection. He also sells his produce at the Barossa Farmers Market - another site on the local dairy experience trail.
Mr Wohlstadt said there was a definite trend for people looking for experiences within Australia.
"I've been running accommodation for seven or eight years and I've never been as busy as in the past five or six months," he said.
Dairy Destinations is the latest instalment of a year-long campaign, rolling out throughout 2021, called 'Dairy Matters: Buy, Support, Enjoy Aussie dairy', to promote the health benefits of dairy as well as the societal benefits of a healthy Australian dairy industry.
It is included as one of the five core commitments of the Australian Dairy Plan, which promises to increase efforts in marketing and promotion to build greater levels of trust and improve dairy's value.
At the Dairy Matters launch in February, DA communications strategy manager Glenys Zucco said the goal was to help consumers recognise the impact buying locally-produced dairy products could have on regional communities and to showcase the people and places behind these products.
DA spokesperson Emily Coulson said the tourism campaign would display the country's "world-class dairy industry".
"Dairy Destinations takes the guesswork out of planning memorable road trips throughout our incredible dairy regions," she said. "You don't have to go far for great dairy, and Dairy Destinations is a testament to that."
Airbnb Australia and New Zealand manager Susan Wheeldon said the partnership was a great way to encourage guests to discover new pockets of regional Australia and spend their precious tourism dollars in those communities.
- Details: Plan a dairy discovery road trip at dairy.com.au/dairy-matters/buy-support-enjoy-aussie/dairy-destinations or airbnb.com.au/dairydestinations
Start the day with all the big news in agriculture. Sign up here to receive our daily Stock Journal newsletter.