'Every home is a tourist information centre': Mitch the magical mystery tour guide

MITCH Brakenridge’s  job is to sell Orange to digital natives. 

Imagine Aunty Mavis and her 10 children are coming to Orange for the weekend to visit, what do you do with them?

Mr Brakenridge wants Orange residents to jump online and ask him.

“Every home in Orange is a mini tourist information centre,” he said.

“They’re experts who might need a few ideas to show off Orange at its best.”

Visit Orange is a Facebook page which has attracted 400 likes in two weeks and Mr Brakenridge wants every resident to think about the Visitor  Information Centre but not as a building but as a way to think outside the box when it comes to visiting relatives. 

“There’s a perception that Orange is just food and wine ... there’s mountain biking, hiking, bush walks,” he said.

And he can tell you how to get there, what to bring and create a  mini-itinerary and he is only a click away. 

Mr Brakenridge took up the post of senior tourism officer six weeks ago and despite being Orange born and bred he was shocked at how much there was to see and do. 

“Orange has transformed in the time I’ve been away ... it’s a really dynamic time with fine dining and hatted restaurants,” he said. 

Over the Easter period 1584 people wandered into the Visitor Information Centre in Byng Street which was 200 people more than the same period last year.

Mr Brakenridge said they asked for a range of activities from heritage walks, to where were the leash free areas and what to do with children. 

Yoshiko Aoki from Japan walked in yesterday because she had been visiting friends in Orange and her car broke down.

“I came here looking for a mechanic,” she said.

“One of my friends stayed in Orange and told me how nice it was.”

Mr Brakenridge said people like Ms Aoki could jump online, visit Facebook or check out the Visit Orange website to find ways to pass the time while her car was being fixed. 

She was one of a steady stream of people through the doors on Tuesday with all sorts of requests and with the launch of Visit Orange, people could find information instantaneously Mr Brakenridge said.

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