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MEDIA RELEASE - Join the craze and get a selfie with a Kelpie

9 September 2018

Pic – Merino-based sisters Lexie, Portia and Roxy Northcott getting their ‘Selfie with a Kelpie’ at Casterton.

Get your ‘selfie with a Kelpie’ this Spring in Casterton and join the record number of visitors flooding to the town’s new Australian Kelpie Centre.

A social media trend has started with visitors taking a photo with the large scale Kelpie prints on the building façade which is enjoying peak visitation since opening three months ago.

The centre experienced an impressive 126 per cent increase in visitation this winter since moving into the new Henty Street home with 4614 patrons through the door from June to August, up from 2033 last year.

Glenelg Shire Mayor Cr Anita Rank said the figures had surpassed expectations.

“Our centre staff have been overwhelmed by the number of visitors, coming from across Australia to experience this new tourist attraction,” Cr Rank said.

“A highlight for many is getting the ‘selfie with a kelpie’ at the front door and sharing it on social media. These beautiful dogs, owned by Nancy Withers and photographed by local shooter Karla Northcott, have added the extra wow factor to this new facility which is helping to grow the local economy.

“Local traders are reporting a significant number of tourists in the town, stopping in at the centre and exploring local attractions during their travels.”

It was one of the busiest winter periods for visitation in years with a total of 18,116 tourists recorded across Glenelg Shire Council’s visitor centre network, a staggering 3276 increase on the previous year. This record visitation included 1107 international visitors.

The highest visitation was recorded in Portland with 10,416 for the quarter, a 5.5 per cent increase whilst Nelson reached similar growth with 3086 visitors, up 5.04 per cent.

The booming winter whale season assisted in building the growth, with the new WhaleMail website and social media pages assisting to attract more visitors to the region.

Cr Rank said this growth would continue for the shire following the filming of a new Australian Kelpie Centre commercial last week.

“We are pleased to launch this new Kelpie inspired commercial later this month which will further showcase the important connection of Casterton to the iconic working dog,” she said.

“The preview footage is amazing, showcasing the true heart of this classic Aussie town with its rolling green hills, rich pasture and of course the beautiful Kelpie along with some well-known local faces.”

The new campaign will be released on the WIN TV network this Spring. The Australian Kelpie Centre is open seven days a week from 9am to 5pm.

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