New attraction for Alstonville
JUST over a month after the opening of the Alstonville bypass took passing traffic away from the village, a new tourist attraction launched last week is set to bring visitors back into the CBD.
House With No Steps last week announced that the Wardell Road site – complete with cafe, children’s park, gift shop, macadamia and avocado orchards, as well as fruit-packing sheds – has been rebranded as Summerland House Farm, with plans to have more features as an agritourist venture.
The new attractions will include an area where visitors can pick their own strawberries and tomatoes, gather their own free-range eggs from a chicken enclosure, take a farm tour on a trailer hooked up to a tractor, and children can enjoy a new playground area.
Regional general manager Brett Lacey said the new venture was likely to open up 15 to 16 employment positions for people with disabilities. The House already employs 88 people.
Mr Lacey said he expected the new-look Summerland House Farm to draw people to Alstonville.
And, importantly, many would have to travel through the Alstonville CBD to get to the Farm.
“We think it will be a great thing for the Plateau and for the wider region in general,” he said.
“An agritourism business really complements what we’ve got here already.”
It is expected the new attractions, to be built on land fronting Wardell Road, would be open to the public in November.
The project is being funded by various grants.
Mr Lacey said there had been a “lot of exciting” changes at the site in the past five or six years – all of which aimed to provide more employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
Summerland House Farm was set up 39 years ago by Lionel Watts.
“The journey at House With No Steps, first initiated by our founder Lionel Watts, has been inspirational and has made such a difference to so many individuals, their families and indeed the Northern Rivers community,” Mr Lacey said.
“It has changed lives, changed perceptions of people with a disability and has provided the community with a vital resource for entertainment, education and the growth of the region’s farming industry.
“This year we need the support of businesses and the generosity of individuals to grow our site as a major tourism attraction to provide these opportunities and continue to meet the needs of the Northern Rivers community.”
To help, phone Lisa Murphy, marketing manager on 6628 0610.