The Back O’Bourke Gallery has shaken off the downturn after COVID-19 restrictions and has launched a new and innovative tourism product.
The first ‘Jenny Greentree Art – Bourke Air Tour’ was fully booked on Monday, and Jenny and Steve Greentree said the first flight was ‘fabulous’.
The Art Tour follows the Darling River to Gundabooka National Park, a place close to Jenny’s heart and the subject of her most recent exhibition.
Jenny provides commentary about the geography and cultural significance of the region during the two-hour flight.
“Steve and I are chartering the Air Link Airlines plane that is sitting on the ground between the incoming and outgoing regular air service schedules,” Jenny said.
“We have a two-hour tour that begins inside the gallery, transfers to the airport two minutes away, a one hour guided sightseeing flight and then back to the gallery.
“The tour group had many experiences and stories to share back at the gallery as I told them the stories of my painting that we flew into – ‘Towards Gundabooka’,” she said.
Jenny and Steve are optimistic about Bourke’s tourism season, which although shortened by the travel restrictions, still promises to be a busy one.
“It was good to have the Back O’Bourke Gallery and the new Air Tour ready to go for the surprisingly early post COVID-19 revival,” Jenny said.
“It is so exciting to be welcoming tourists to Bourke and the Air Tour has given me a whole new way to showcase our wonderful part of Australia.”
One of the tour party was Kevin Rasquinho, a man who claimed to have travelled ‘two thirds of the world’.
“It was mind boggling, one of the wonders of this world,” he said.
“It was worth the money and the commentary and information was expert. It was incredible to see Bourke from the air and it shows you don’t know what you don’t know until you try something like this and I would recommend anyone to go and do the tour.”
The art tour is a welcome addition to Bourke’s tourism product, according to Bourke Shire Council Manager of Corporate Services Leonie Brown.
“It’s another opportunity for visitors to stay overnight in Bourke and see what the town has to offer,” Leonie said.
“It’s a good plan, it’s thinking outside the square and getting people out to Bourke.
“We wish Steve and Jenny well and hope this tourist initiative is very successful.”
The Jenny Greentree Art – Bourke Air Tour is currently scheduled to the end of July.
“It is a work in progress and now we are fully up a running we will have time this week to extend the schedule to Christmas,” Steve said.
“This will allow passengers to find a time that suits them for their tour experience.”
Managing Director of Air Link Ron O’Brien said the Air Art Tours offered something special for tourists as they began returning to Bourke for the delayed season.
“We’re really excited to be involved,” he said.
“They’ve got organised and decided to do something to promote the area and give people something to do and we’ve been happy to give them some assistance.
“Steve and Jenny are making it all happen, and making it possible, I’m just enabling it to happen – they are doing an absolutely wonderful job, they’ve been really positive, they’ve put together a good product and I think they’ll go very well.”
Visit www.backobourkegallery.com for tour details and bookings on Bourke Art Tours.
Source The Western Herald