Think you've never heard of us? You're probably wrong... it's just our new destination brand name.
Are you curious about our name?
We get it; you're confused, maybe even a little skeptical, maybe even a little annoyed at another change when you're feeling nostalgic and craving stability.
So here's the deal.
Everything that you’re familiar with has grown: The thin coastal strip that you’ve holidayed on for generations; the cosy country valley with those curious cows; the winding river bend with the perfect campsite; the high forests with waterfalls tumbling into mist; plus those sandy trails beneath the cabbage palms along coastal lake shores.
They’ve all grown up and become part of something bigger than before: the Barrington Coast.
No, it’s not named after a rural village (sorry Barrington)
And no, it’s not named after a coastal city (sorry Coffs Coast) and not a cold hard gem (sorry Gold Coast and sorry Sapphire Coast) and not a non-specific position on a map (sorry Central Coast, sorry North Coast and sorry South Coast).
Instead it’s named after the highest point on our vast coastline, world-famous Barrington Tops: famous for world heritage Gondwana wilderness; famous for being the highest point of the country outside the Snowy Mountains; and famous for seeing snow close to the coast.
Yes, that’s about 75km from the sea, did we tell you that we are big, very big?
How big is the Barrington Coast?
The Barrington Coast region spans 10,053 kms² on the lower mid north coast of New South Wales: from world heritage Barrington Tops wilderness to the glittering Pacific Ocean.
And it’s the new tourism destination brand for some very familiar destinations within it: the Great Lakes, Manning Valley, Gloucester and the Barrington Tops plateau.
Why not just Mid North Coast?
Yes, we’re still located on the mid north coast of New South Wales. But there's always been confusion about where our region fits on the north coast because we don’t own the mid north coast name.
From a tourism perspective MidCoast Council is the southernmost local government area of the NSW north coast. (Port Stephens is considered in the Hunter region). And we share the mid north coast subregion with the LGAs of Port Macquarie-Hastings, Kempsey, Nambucca, Bellingen and Coffs Harbour.
Our correct geographic location of lower mid north coast also covers Laurieton, Port Macquarie, Kempsey, South West Rocks, Macksville and Nambucca Heads. Meanwhile the upper mid north coast covers Urunga, Bellingen, Sawtell, Coffs Harbour and Woolgoolga.
So how about we use Lower Mid North Coast?
Yuk. That’s a really long and clunky brand name. More importantly, it just doesn't work for websites, social media or any type of digital marketing: it's just too long.
And the question for our target markets would still remain: the mid north coast of where? New South Wales or Queensland or Western Australia? New Zealand or California?
So we’re sorry-not-sorry to say that Mid North Coast was not a good brand name for us. It is misleading for our past customers and for prospective customers too.
The research and strategic analysis conducted for the MidCoast Council Destination Management Plan (adopted November 2017) states the case for a single new brand name and in August 2018 MidCoast Council adopted the recommended tourism destination brand name of Barrington Coast.
The Sapphire Coast
And for comparison, the last time a new tourism destination brand was created from scratch by a local council was in 1981 when the newly-merged Bega Valley Council created the Sapphire Coast brand name: something strong and unique for the New South Wales coastline that didn’t rely on a town name.
And that's been a raging success story!
A unique identifier for our vast region
Our destination name is inspired by the Aboriginal description of our region - “the place where the leaves touch the waters from the mountains to the sea.” Our longest river is the Manning River and its journey from high in Barrington Tops to the Pacific Ocean at Harrington is 261km plus our destination is very big at 10,053 kms².
So it’s important to include all our region beyond the thin strip of "on the coast" that makes up just 9% of our destination.
The new destination name Barrington Coast is a unique identifier, which no other destination in Australia can own in the marketplace. While it’s a small part of the overall brand strategy, the name provides us with an opportunity to bring increased attention to our region with a clean, uncluttered starting point on Google and other search engines.
In a 21st century era of digital marketing this huge benefit cannot be emphasised enough… it means we didn’t have to buy our way onto the first page of Google search results. This was an immediate saving for ratepayers.
Our new destination name also leverages our two best-known attributes in a perfect marriage: our 191km coastline from Port Stephens to Crowdy Bay with the world famous mountain range of Barrington Tops. Barrington Coast offers the ability to connect and bring to life the stories of all the places within a diverse and vibrant region.
Importantly, Barrington Coast doesn’t replace the use of existing names such as Great Lakes, Manning Valley, Gloucester or Barrington Tops. Instead it provides an umbrella name that sits across all four.
Social media stars
Since the brand name launch, we’ve become exceptionally popular on social media. Here’s proof:
- Facebook followers grew from 59,193 at April 2019 to 75,851 at August 2021 (=28% growth)
- Instagram followers grew from 14,283 at April 2019 to 41,378 at August 2021 (=190% growth)
So our total social media audience at August 2021 is now over 117,000 people. That gives Barrington Coast the 2nd biggest social media audiences for any tourism destination on the north coast (after Byron Bay).
Now that's impressive for a new destination brand.
So we hope that your confusion becomes curiosity. And we suggest you indulge your curiosity, seek the road less travelled and take delight in the wonders of our region.
Adventure is calling. See where your curiosity can take you in the Barrington Coast.