Evie Farrell has travelled all over the world with her daughter Emmie in tow but her most recent adventure has provided them with a hidden gem.
The pair - known widely via their Instagram page @mumpacktravel - has been driving through the Central West this week, exploring locations like Canowindra, Molong, Carcoar, Millthorpe and Orange, as well as the region's "off the beaten track" surrounds.
Miss Farrell said it's her first trip to the Central West in about two decades, only this time she's venturing west with Emmie and a few more of her friends.
Lot's more, in fact.
The pictures and videos Miss Farrell's uploaded to her Instagram page highlighting the beauty and locations of Orange have an audience of about 120,000 followers.
The Farrells have been travelling full-time for eight years and Evie says Orange is "an amazing holiday option".
"We like use Instagram to share our travels, and right now we're able to share our own country, not just with people we know but followers from overseas who will eventually be back here," Miss Farrell said.
"We're seeing all these amazing places and they are too. There's so many reasons to travel in our own backyard."
My followers, they're in the same situation and looking to travel in our own backyard ... and the more we can share these fabulous towns, food and wine, the better.- Evie Farrell
Miss Farrell and her daughter were in Asia before the pandemic hit and have been at home in Cronulla since, and the first chance they got to hit the road again they took.
The initial plan was to head south, but that idea changed when Emmie, 10, broke her arm on day two of the trip.
Avoiding the sand and the surf, the pair have been driving through our region since, with the Age of Fishes Museum in Canowindra a highlight, as has been the food, wine and activities for the kids in Orange.
"My favourite parts have been meeting lots of nice people, the steak at the pubs for dinner, going to The Sonic and learning about the Aboriginal culture and the colonial people," Emmie said.
Miss Farrell, also an author, said she "feels so lucky that we did" decide to venture inland, and her ability to share their trip with such a wide audience makes it a unique one for businesses and tourists destinations in the region.
"My followers, they're in the same situation and looking to travel in our own backyard ... and the more we can share these fabulous towns, food and wine, the better," Miss Farrell said.
Orange360 general manager Caddie Marshall said social media is a huge driver of domestic tourism for the region.
She urged businesses and tourists destinations in Orange to push their own spectacular spots to lure the wide, social media audiences to the region.
"I think the mantra in tourism is if it's hasn't happened on Instagram then it hasn't happened. People travel across deserts to get those shots," she said.
"And certainly during COVID we saw the number of people hitting our website increase, and the number of people following us on social media grew.
"We're close to get up to 10,000 followers, which is a great benefit to the region."
In the short term, the Farrells are off to Mudgee to visit friends before heading back to Sydney via the the Blue Mountains.
Miss Farrell also has a book about travelling called 'Backyard to Backpack: A solo mum, a six year old and a life changing adventure'.
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