A Ballarat footy legend has added his weight to a new and fun way to get people touring the region.
John Northey, who owns the Mount Elephant Hotel Motel at Derrinallum more than 80km from Ballarat, has joined the hay bale art trail with his own take on the summer beverage of choice.
The creative talents of the Corangamite Shire are on display in a new hay bale decorating competition aimed at getting visitors back into regional towns after COVID-19.
The incredible 38-stop Aussie Hay Bale Trail boasts fun and colourful creations by Corangamite Shire residents, including an amazing 18-sculpture effort by the Skipton community.
Mayor Ruth Gstrein said the trail was a fun way to celebrate everything Australian and kick off 2021 with a welcome dose of hay bale art fun and colour.
"We're inviting everyone to take a road trip and check out the artworks," Cr Gstrein said. "This is a fun way to get out and about and rediscover some of the great places to visit in our own backyard. The kids - big and small - will love it.
"Why not make a day of it and have lunch, or coffee and cake, and check out the shops in a town you haven't visited for a while.
"This is a great excuse to reclaim our freedom after months of staying close to home."
Janine Davis from the Derrinallum Progress Association said it was a good way to get visitors back to the shire after COVID-19 lockdowns.
Locals created a 'VB stubby can' and 'Aussie Dunny' in the main street.
"The hay was locally donated and we had them decorated in about a day," Ms Davis said. "It's a way of saying we're all still here and we're trying to put a bit of a smile on everyone's faces.
"We hope to get visitors back and spending locally."
The best creator/s will receive a $500 voucher, announced on January 26.