Like so many towns in the Central Western NSW region, Gulargambone was hit hard by drought and low commodity prices. The banks left the town and businesses closed. When the post office left the town in 1999 it was the last straw.
The locals were left with no choice but to fight back.
We’ll leave the rest of the story to the volunteers who run Gulargambone’s Two Eight Two Eight, a building which hosts a cafe, landscaped courtyard, gallery 7 craft shop selling local art, craft and produce, function centre, catering service, monthly movie nights, library and storytelling, secondhand bookshop, visitor information.
We developed a strategic plan for the town and quickly recognised the need to diversify Gulargambone’s economic base.
We felt tourism could be a potential saviour and in 2002 we purchased a dilapidated building in the main street to turn into a tourist information centre.
Following several community working bees, the building was repaired, renovated & freshly painted and the Tuscan-influenced colours have brought a new lease of life to the main street. The adjoining block has been transformed into an attractive courtyard and over the next few years the project grew into something much more than just a tourist information centre.
And Two Eight Two Eight has been quite a success, as well as helping the town become a popular tourist destination, it has also won the town many awards including the 2006 Australian Tourism Awards General Tourism Category and the final of the Department of Family & Community’s Can Do Community NSW award in 2003.