Looking to our Pioneers
Last month, Premier, Mr McGowan provided some welcome news to the WA community announcing the local governments roadmap to easing COVID-19 restrictions within the state. Regional travel restrictions were lifted allowing intra-state travel to recommence.
Meanwhile, instead of sitting back in lockdown, a group of innovators from the Rotary Club of Matilda Bay have funded and designed a pioneer adventure game to be played in our Western Australian backyard. Called the "Pioneer Challenge", it is a fun pioneer heritage hunt with the aim of discovering the pioneers of our state. The game is a hybrid of a clue finding treasure hunt and a car rally that encourages people to explore our regional country towns.
Once registered, players will be issued with three surprise Pioneer towns along trip of their choice along Route 120, (Southern Highway). Within these Pioneer towns, players need to find three given pioneer graves at the local cemetery and historical clues within the township. The game is played on the player's phone and involves uploading various photos of graves and towns, and solving clues on the pioneer challenge web site.
Judy Tan who played Pioneer Challenge said that it was one of the most fun things our family did last weekend. "We visited three regional towns that we had never visited before. To our surprise, we found it so interesting to learn about local history and our local pioneers, whilst having a great day in the country.
The locals were so friendly, and we were delighted to be able to support local businesses in our regional areas. So often we are going from point A to point B and never take the time to explore beyond the Perth city. The virus lockdown has taught us that there is more to life than just being in a hurry. Spending time with our family in the country was truly wonderful. We discovered fun places and have stories and memories to last a lifetime".
The game founder, Mr Chris Oakeley said that the objective of the game is to get people to visit our regional towns. "In only a few short months, WA tourism has gone from enjoying record international and interstate visitor numbers to a complete industry shutdown. Pioneer Challenge is designed to be fun for family and friends of all age groups - it gets us out visiting our interesting regional towns in Western Australia. It is a fun way of ensuring that regional towns and businesses can get back on their feet and be operational as soon as possible".
Mr Oakeley said that the game is a non-profit venture and all funds raised will support Rotary projects, especially the refurbishment of the King Edward Memorial Hospital (KEMH) infant remembrance gardens.
"At this stage, the game covers York to Albany but depending on the success and popularity of the game, we may be looking to extend the game to all parts of the state. So, gather a team together and start your discovery, exploration and adventure today." he said
The Shire CEO of Narrogin, Dale Stewart was excited about the prospects of the Pioneer Challenge Heritage Game. "Encouraging people to visit regional country towns is a great idea and this treasure hunt game offers fun and adventure. There is a resurgence in popularity of Geo clue finding games like Pokemon and Geocaching. The Pioneer Challenge has an added advantage in that participants learn something about our local history and pioneers along the way. We look forward to the support of West Australians".
You tube - Pioneer Challenge Trailer: