Story By Terri Cowley

When government tourism bodies told the founders of Outback Beds, an industry-based tourism network in outback New South Wales, that they wouldn’t be taken seriously, it simply gave the determined group another reason to try and succeed. Now, five years later, Outback Beds is a partnership of 26 members that offers accommodation as diverse as river camps, farmstays and luxury hotels, and it has also won two prestigious regional tourism awards.
What started off as a way to improve business income – particularly useful for those on farms suffering with the drought – quickly became much more than that. “It has been so rewarding,” says Liz Murray, Outback Beds media and marketing officer and co-owner of Trilby Station at Louth, 100 kilometres south-west of Bourke. “It has really improved my self-confidence. I’ve realised I’m actually good at something other than cleaning windows.”

This story excerpt is from Issue #50

Outback Magazine: Dec/Jan 2007