Tourists take time out in Warwick
HOLIDAY-MAKERS travelling through Warwick this Christmas are stopping to smell the roses - quite literally.
Instead of opting for a day visit , many are choosing to spend a few nights enjoying the Rose City and taking in all it has to offer.
Visitor Information Centre supervisor Charee Aspinall said the past few weeks had been the busiest in a long while.
"We haven't been that busy this year, with the floods and road conditions and everything, but it's been really good lately," she said.
This year, 55% of travellers passing through Warwick at Christmas time chose to stay longer compared to the 45% in 2009, with an average of around a three-night stay.
Mrs Aspinall said it was families that were flocking to the Rose City.
"It's not just one family, but they're bringing three or four with them," she said.
Mrs Aspinall said the region had received a fair bit of attention from the media lately, which could be the reason for the increased numbers.
"A photographer, May Richards, took a picture of the sunflowers and now we've got another professional photographer coming out just to take photos of them," Mrs Aspinall said.
"The amount of publicity we've got from her putting it on her Flikr account is just great.
"And two weeks ago we had the Great South East up here doing a local story and the Sunday Mail did a spread on Allora and the Queensland Weekender has shown a lot of interest in the area," Mrs Aspinall said.
Owner of Mango Camping Keith Hartshorn said he had noticed a number of tourists stopping in and deciding to lengthen their stay.
"A lot are going out to the dam and other sites and camping grounds," Mr Hartshorn said.
"It's more about the whole family going away, not just Dad going on a fishing trip, but taking the whole family and other families too."
The O'Brien family chose to swap the hustle and bustle of Redland Bay for a quiet few days on the Southern Downs.
Jimmy and Elaine decided to bring their children Michael and Janis, and dog Jess out to Killarney for five days.
"It's about getting away from work and home because we work from home and we wanted to show the kids the country and show them the stars, because you can't see the stars in Redland Bay, there's too many lights," Mr O'Brien said.
"The thing I like is it's only two hours from Brisbane, but a million miles away."
Mrs O'Brien said she was attracted to the activities on offer over the holiday period.
"We were also looking for a place where we could bring the dog and we heard about the Yangan Rodeo on New Year's Eve which we will go to and take the kids there," Mrs O'Brien said.