Up until Christmas, there hadn’t been a lot of fires in the High Country, either in Tasmania or on the mainland. That all changed on New Years Eve. Lightning storms triggered fires across Tasmanian, Victoria and NSW. What followed has been nothing less than an absolute disaster as huge areas of the mountains have burnt – and continue to do so.

With large areas evacuated, the economic impacts on local economies has been devastating. This is peak tourism season, yet entire areas are under evacuation orders, businesses are closed and events are being cancelled. The flow on effects on many people’s income will continue for months. 

I am seeing many people who are struggling because their region or business is closed. Even where a town is open, the ever present smoke in many places is not very enticing to tourists.

So once the fires are under control, please have a think about doing a trip to the High Country. Aim to head off with your wallet full and your stomach, esky and food basket empty.

There are various hashtags you can use to find high country businesses – eg #holidayhere #spendwiththem#buyfromthebush #emptyesky

And this is a great resource: Shop 2 Support bushfire communities > https://www.facebook.com/groups/S2SBFC/

This is really useful for planning your trip: Road Trip For Good.

Details on how to support local breweries: https://www.brewsnews.com.au/2020/01/15/support-local-breweries-urge-as-bushfire-closures-continue/

Here’s a couple of businesses that I know and value that I’m sure would welcome your support:

Blizzard Brewing in Dinner Plain has been closed for weeks due to the fires. 

Likewise, Everest Sports in Bright is impacted. But they do have an online store and are offering discounts at present (hint hint).

Mountain Kitchen at Dinner Plain is one of the mountain businesses that stays open year round. The closure of DP will have hit them hard, so please drop by and eat some big breakfasts when you can. Website here.

Wilderness Sports in Jindabyne is open for business.

Tom’s Outdoors, Tumut > https://www.tomsoutdoors.com.au

Rocky Valley Sports, Mt Beauty > https://www.rockyvalley.com.au/contact.html

The legends at The General at Mt Hotham have been around all through the fire season, feeding firefighters. When this is all over you should go and offer to buy them a beer!

And why wait til the mountain towns reopen? Check out the Beer for Bushfire Relief, a day of fundraisers across the country on January 18 for breweries impacted by the fires (including the following mountain breweries: 



Crank Handle, 

King River, 

Mitta Mitta, 


Details here.

And check the Shop to Support Bushfire Communities facebook page for lots of ideas of businesses to visit.

Basically, most businesses will be hurting. Once this is all over, please get up there and buy up as big as you can. 

Please free to send through additions for inclusion here: cam.walker@foe.org.au


IMAGE: fire at Dinner Plain, Jan 3.