A Return to Country

Next in our series of highlighting FreeGuides Super Guides, is Ben Summerell. You may recognize the name if you’ve explored his Graffiti Art Tour of Redfern or his Sydney Opera House to Harbour Bridge experiences; but the country boy from Junee, NSW is looking to expand the range of tours to include, the much more regional, New South Wales. Having kicked off his foray into the world of exploration in his younger years, uniquely intertwining it with his history of competitive line dancing.

“We would have all these different people coming from regional Western Australia and Queensland, all these regional centres would collate and connect. We even had people from the UK come to our events, and every time a new person would come over we would give the grand tour of Junee.”

Later in life, Ben would continue his exploration of regional New South Wales in his role of assessing bank branches across the area. Combined with his hobby of GeoCaching and being an avid Pokemon Go enthusiast, Ben would use his time to see as many of the various towns as possible, collating interesting and new experiences. This is all reflective of his love for Junee and the surrounding area.

Ben and his friend on an experience with Ben's dog

“I’ve very much been a community orientated person, I’ve spent a lot of time volunteering with the youth and the elderly. I was a dancing teacher at the time, and I didn’t have career goals then, so I thought to myself what could I do, and chose to invest my time into the community. To me, small country towns are a hub of life, and there are so many things in these small country towns that nobody knows about.”

Ben is looking once lockdown ends to encourage further tourism to regional New South Wales by Sydney residents, highlighting the unique gems only available once you leave the city. There are numerous opportunities to discover what makes country towns such a special place in the heart of those who live there, and with FreeGuides, there is an opportunity to create experiences and allow for tourism to grow.

Going on an experience with Ben's dog

“...It’s not until apps like FreeGuides, apps like Geocaching or even Pokemon Go that you identify that there are some gems that people in Sydney miss out on. These apps can help increase tourism, boost the economy and encourage regional travel. It’s about bringing people together.”

Despite grand ambitions, Ben still wishes to encourage others to use FreeGuides to highlight their passion, and what their home means to them. Ben has provided us with some incredible advice that he’ll be applying to his future guides that we think may help you as well. The acknowledgement of different learning styles is important for Ben, in so much that there is not one distinct way people take in the sights and sounds of a destination, whether it be visually, audibly, or through written text. Using the features within the app, you can customize your experience to bring the most to new users keen to learn in different ways.

“What I’ve learned from my experience in education is that people learn in different ways… I haven’t just created experiences with 3 stops either, some have more than 30, creating a choose your adventure. It lets people choose which stops they’d like to see and creates more of an event rather than just the standard few stops.”

We wish Ben the best of luck in bringing FreeGuides and new users to regional New South Wales, and we hope any reader tries out a few of Ben’s tips to see how they go for you!


We look forward to bringing you new content on all of the amazing guides here on FreeGuides. If you would like your story to be heard, simply contact partnerships@freeguides.com.au and we’ll be in touch!

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