The much-anticipated opening of Eden's new Welcome Centre is becoming close on the horizon, and you could be one of the first people to wander through the purpose-built space.
The landmark building at Snug Cove will officially be opened on April 30, followed by two community open days on May 1 and 2.
The building is set to become the new home of the Eden Visitor Information Centre, and manager Clair Mudaliar said the community open days are all about bringing the whole area alive and activating the space.
"We really want to share it with the community before anyone else, it's an invitation to give locals the opportunity to see the space first," Ms Mudaliar said.
A creative and family-friendly program including arts, entertainment and market stalls has been programmed across the two days to mark the special occassion.
Headed up by Port Authority and with local construction company Rankin Builders on the job, the project has been in the pipeline since funding was first announced by Andrew Constance in August 2018.
The design of the new centre was drawn up by award-winning architectural firm Cox Architecture and with Neil Rankin and his team on the job since February 2020, it has been full steam ahead since then.
"We want to get the community excited about this amazing new space we are so lucky to have in Eden," Ms Mudaliar said.
A collaboration with Bega Valley Regional Gallery (BVRG) has led to the exciting news a dedicated visual arts space is a feature of the new centre.
"We are excited to have a gallery in the space. It's wonderful BVRG can now exhibit in the southern end of shire," Ms Mudaliar said.
"It gives the locals a changing exhibit to visit and is a great addition for visitors as well."
Ms Mudaliar said the EVIC team were all really excited about moving to the new location and emphasised she believes the increased traffic to the building would have a positive impact on the overall sustainability of EVIC which is run by non-profit group Eden Tourism Inc and staffed by volunteers.
"It's putting us ahead of the game by placing us where the people are, rather than being reliant on them to coming to us," she said.
"EVIC enlisted the help of specialist architect and design firm Studio S2, along with local Eden based joiner MAW Design to design and construct a unique visitor's centre that will be very EDEN-centric, and were able to do this thanks to a grant for design work funded by the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal.
"This is also a great opportunity to work collaboratively with Port [Authority] for the future of cruise ships visits and we thank them for funding these open days."
Carefully designed for when cruise ships come in, the majority of the front face of the building is openable, and all under cover, connecting the building to the environment and providing ideal space for market stalls.
The program for the community open days is as follows:
Saturday, May 1
- 10.30am Fling Physical Theatre FLASHMOB (EVIC Foyer Area)
- 9am - 2pm Cruise Eden Markets (Welcome Centre Colonnade)
- 11am - 2pm Buskers (EVIC Foyer Area and Welcome Centre Colonnade)
- 12pm-2pm Tilly from Flowidity (Roving Hula Hoop Entertainer)
Sunday 2nd May
- 10.00am-12.00pm Kameruka Bush Orchestra (EVIC Foyer Area)
- 12-2pm Melanie Horsnell & Band (EVIC Foyer Area)
- 10am - 2pm Pop-Up Artists Studio (Welcome Centre Colonnade)
Food available at Snug Cove Saturday and Sunday
- Fry Daze Fish & Chips (Fresh Local Fish & Chips)
- Le Crepe Mobile (Sweet & Savoury Crepes)
- Banjo's Oysters (Oysters, Crayfish)
- Sapphire Coast Eats (Pizza)
- Coffee Van available both days