Regional Roaming

n late May I had the pleasure of going on a promotional book tour in Wagga Wagga and the surrounding Riverina region. I visited six schools in Henty, The Rock, Ashmont, Junee, Coolamon and Wagga Wagga, as well as doing some media and an in-store event with the tour organisers, Gateway Bookshop (if you’re ever in the area, you have to visit this lovely store).

One of the perks of doing this type of tour, is managing to squeeze a little bit of touristy sightseeing in between events. On this occasion I got to visit the Monte Cristo historic homestead (a beautifully restored building and supposedly “Australia’s most haunted house”), the Junee Licorice and Chocolate factory (where I spent too much money), the Museum of the Riverina, the Victory Memorial Gardens and the many beautiful buildings within the main area of Wagga Wagga (their library is AWESOME).

I’ve done a fair few regional tours and festivals over the years, and I never tire of them. Australian is such an amazing country and it is a pure joy getting to visit its more out-of-the-way areas.

The further out from the main cities you get, the less common school author visits become. Many of the schools I’ve spoken at rarely get these sorts of visits, and a few have never had one before. The excitement in these schools is palpable. The kids are so delighted, enthusiastic and appreciative. And I get such a buzz out of speaking to these audiences.

Aside from this latest trip, past visits have included Mackay (see blog post), Goulburn (see blog post), Gippsland, Newcastle, Minyip (where The Flying Doctors TV series used to be filmed), Rockhampton, Ballarat, Portarlington, Drysdale and the Pilbara (see blog post). I’m hoping to add a few more locations to the list before the year is out. Hunter Valley and Central Coast NSW, here I come!