Explore Central NSW with New Culture Maps

A new set of interactive online maps that pulls together all of the amazing arts and cultural experiences in Central NSW has been launched today at centralnsw.com.

Central West locals are being encouraged to use the new maps to discover cultural gems in their own backyard these school holidays.

The new resource was launched in Bathurst by Arts OutWest, Central NSW Joint Organisation of Councils and Regional Development Australia Central West.

Culture Maps Central NSW uses maps and pop-up images to pinpoint museums, heritage sites and trails; galleries and artist studios; places to shop for handmade things; Aboriginal cultural places and experiences, and for the first time – a comprehensive regional map of public art.

This is the first time most of these items have been mapped together in a regional way.

CEO of the Central NSW Joint Organisation of Councils, Jenny Bennett, said art and culture are rated as the top things for visitors to see and do when travelling throughout regional NSW.

“The maps reveal the diversity of these experiences available in our own backyard,” said Ms Bennett.   “It’s a great resource for locals to familiarise themselves; ready for when their visitors can safely return or for exploring places close to home.”

Some of the 400 pinned places in Culture Maps Central NSW include the new large scale works of public art in Forbes’ Somewhere Down the Lachlan sculpture trail; Bathurst’s brand new Rail Museum; bushranger history and tours in Eugowra, Canowindra and Forbes; Orange’s booming art galleries and artisan shops; the huge silo art murals in Portland and Grenfell; Cowra’s history told through a mobile app; and places to connect with Aboriginal culture like the Wiradjuri Study Centre in Condobolin.

RDA Central West CEO, Sam Harma explained that Culture Maps Central NSW will also play an important role for the local tourism economy in a post-Covid recovery.

“This is a region that is full of art, culture and history; but those assets are not just fascinating to explore, they are a really important part of the regional economy,” said Mr Harma.

“In 2018 cultural and heritage visitors spent $14billion in NSW, with a not-insignificant portion of that being driven by regional NSW.”

Arts OutWest executive director Tracey Callinan added that the maps also highlight the increase in public art making.

“There’s nearly 300 items of public art pinned to the map, showcasing the real boom in public art making in the last decade,” said Ms Callinan.

“The public art map on the site is great inspiration for photographers, eye spy adventures or learning more about the art and artists in our communities.”

The maps also feature 130 museums, heritage sites and Aboriginal experiences plus 80 art galleries, artist studios, craft shops and other places to buy handmade items.

The maps are themed so you can search by category or location within the Central NSW region that includes the Bathurst, Blayney, Cabonne, Cowra, Forbes, Lachlan, Lithgow, Oberon, Orange, Parkes and Weddin Local Government Areas. There’s also a growing selection of behind-the-scenes stories. The site works on mobiles, tablets and desktop computers.

Culture Maps Central NSW was produced by regional arts development organisation Arts OutWest in partnership with the Central NSW Joint Organisation of Councils, Regional Development Australia (RDA) Central West and the tourism teams at the 11 local councils in the region.

The project cost approximately $20,000 to develop, largely in staff time, research and web development. Website design and development was by Orange-based Sauce Design.

Arts OutWest also welcomes additions or updates to listings on Culture Maps Central NSW. Email artsoutwest@csu.edu.au.

Photo Caption: (L-R) RDA Central West CEO Sam Harma, Arts OutWest Executive Director Tracey Callinan, Arts OutWest Chair Fran Charge and Mayor of Cowra and Chair of the CNSWJO Tourism Group, Bill West.