The Dunny Run: Guided tour of public toilets
WINTON has the Outback Dunny Derby. Now, welcome the toilet tours of Stanthorpe.
In the ultimate fightback move when your tourism industry has gone down the toilet, Granite Belt folk have decided that if you can't beat them, join them by launching The Dunny Run, a guided tour of Stanthorpe's painted public toilets.
The tour is one of the quirkier components of a Granite Belt art-and-craft trail to be held over consecutive weekends later this month - Oct 19-20 and 26-27 - in a bid to bring tourists back to the drought and fire-ravaged region.
While there is a lag of several months in collating tourist statistics, the next batch of national and international visitor survey results are likely to make grim reading for the region after their peak winter season was well down on previous years.
The next batch of national and international visitor survey results are likely to make grim reading for the region after their peak winter season was well down on previous years.
Festival organiser Rosy Chapman said it had been a tough time for the region, but locals were resilient and determined to forge better times ahead.
"Stanthorpe and our beautiful Granite Belt have hit the headlines due to drought and now bushfires, but we want you to know that there is nothing sad, broken or ugly about the Granite Belt," she said.
"Spring blossoms continue to bloom and grape vines are beginning to bud - it is such a poignant reminder that new beginnings are all around us.
"We want people to come and discover the beauty of what a strong and courageous community can do for itself as our businesses artists and artisans present the Granite Belt art and craft trail."
She said the outpouring of public support since fire ripped through the region last month had been overwhelming, but more needed to be done to boost the local economy.
"The groundswell of community support continues to flow," she said.
While there are almost 30 venues taking part in the art trail, the Dunny Run is likely to steal the thunder (box).
Ms Chapman said she was braced for more toilet humour from tourists who visit the region over the coming weeks.
Local artist Laurie Astill painted portraits of movie stars Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh in a piece called 'Gone with the wind' in a perfect example of bringing the art house to the outhouse.
"I thought what an appropriate name for a mural on a toilet block," he said.