A host of notable Australian celebrities are set to act as virtual guides for visitors to Bathurst courtesy of an emerging mobile phone application.
The Bathurst-Step Beyond app launched in October last year to provide tourists with virtual tours of Bathurst's most cherished locations under the narration of notable figures associated with the region.
Grant Denyer, one of the featured celebrities, was on hand to officially promote Bathurst-Step Beyond yesterday in the town square; the area he has provided narration for in the app.
"While most visitors know Bathurst for Mount Panorama, there's so much rich history and heritage in this region that tourists need to hear," Mr Denyer said.
"For example, the story of the Ribbon Gang has 'Hollywood blockbuster' written all over it, and I could see the Hemsworth brothers doing their story justice."
Mr Denyer, who has lived in Bathurst for six years, is well known for his career as an Australian television personality, as well as for his involvement in motor racing.
He said the app will help enhance Bathurst's credentials as a tourist destination.
"If we can give tourists more when they're here, we've got a better chance of them returning and staying longer."
"Bathurst is often the first taste of country NSW for most people travelling from Sydney, and if they know more about our region, they're bound to feel a greater sense of connection."
Along with Mr Denyer, the app includes a GPS-tracked tour of Mount Panorama narrated by motor racing legend Craig Lowndes and a guided journey around Mayfield Garden with celebrity horticulturalist Graham Ross.
Bathurst mayor Bobby Bourke said he was excited to see the app continue to grow.
"This app is a first for Bathurst, and we're keen to open up our storied history and culture to mobile phone users nationally and internationally," Cr Bourke said.
"We have the possibility to travel anywhere in Bathurst with this app and once more guided tours are added, we hope to have virtual guides covering all corners of our region."
The app's tours have been accessed 3382 times since its launch.
Bathurst-Step Beyond was developed as a partnership between Bathurst Regional Council and multimedia developer Acoustiguide, and further virtual tours are currently in development.