Cobden visitor hub drawing in crowds

Here to help: Cobden Visitor Information Centre volunteer Frank Martin is ready to assist visitors to the region. Picture: Rob Gunstone
Here to help: Cobden Visitor Information Centre volunteer Frank Martin is ready to assist visitors to the region. Picture: Rob Gunstone

A community push to draw in more visitors is paying dividends for a south-west town.

Since opening in April, the Cobden Visitor Information Centre has had more than 400 tourists through the doors.

The visitor hub was the brainchild of Progressing Cobden and found a home at the former restaurant attached to the town’s service station on the Cobden-Camperdown Road.

Volunteer Frank Martin said Cobden’s location near the Great Ocean Road and Lakes and Craters regions made it well-placed for a tourist centre.

The town’s geography makes it easy for people driving through to bypass the CBD.

Mr Martin said the centre was encouraging visitors to make the small detour, spend money at local businesses and stay at least one night in the town.

“The key purpose is to ensure that people who get that close to Cobden actually come into Cobden,” he said.

“It’s been going really well. Up to the end of June we’ve had about 400 people through.”

Visitors from as far away as Canada and England have called in at the centre, which also sells a range of local arts and crafts and offers maps and information on Cobden and the surrounding area.

The centre is open seven days a week from 10am-3pm and has a pool of about 40 volunteers.

But with many grey nomads among their number, Mr Martin said the search was on for more helpers.

“We’re actually struggling at the moment and endeavouring to recruit more volunteers across the town’s service clubs to increase numbers,” he said.

People wanting to volunteer can drop-in to the centre, email cobdenvic3266@gmail.com or phone 0456 150 899.