THE Oberon Visitor Information Centre (VIC) has been busy once again in encouraging people to visit the region.
The VIC has launched the Field to Forest festival in April 2019 - a month-long array of activities in and around the Oberon region that will explore the delicacies and rare finds that one can forage and discover.
The activities will include specialised forage tours for wild mushrooms, secluded forest lunches, a newly launched wine trail and workshops with experts passing on their forest foraging skills.
F2F came about due to the VIC seeing an increased demand for food and wine options in the Oberon region, in particular the annual surge of visitors seeking out wild mushrooms.
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Most of the visitors are chefs, photographers or experienced foragers on their annual pilgrimage to Oberon, so their time, experience and spending in town is limited, and this is something the VIC wants to change.
Tourism and economic development manager Mathew Webb said the aim with F2F is, of course, to keep the visitor in Oberon longer and in turn support local businesses through increased tourism spending.
"Early interest in the festival has been strong, with Urban Forager Diego Bonetto’s Mushroom tour already selling out and tickets for the April 6 and 27 Wine and Beer Trail coming through steadily.
"Local tour operators have also embraced the format by developing customised foraging tours during April ranging from three-hour forest picnics to four-wheel drive experiences around Kanangra Walls, national parks and Jenolan Caves.
"Even celebrity chef Matt Moran has embraced the concept by endorsing the event and providing us with his signature mushroom dish - Wild Mushrooms with Poached Duck Egg, Parsley, Pancetta and Hot Pockets.
"Mr Moran said as he lives by the beach in Sydney, Oberon is a great contrast to enjoy some time away from it all - everything from the amazing landscape to the national parks and, of course, the distinct seasons which provide thriving ingredients for cooking.”
Mr Webb said it's not just mushrooms causing a stir, as the Oberon Wine and Beer Trail has created some interest. This will be a rustic experience showcasing the region's unique producers, vineyards and brewers.
Watch this space or contact the VIC for more details.