One of the first things visitors to Eden will see when they step off their cruise ships will be the brightly coloured artwork on the buses that await to show them around the shire.
What makes this artwork even more special is that it was created by local schoolchildren.
“They are so excited,” Sapphire Coast Buslines managing director Jamie Klemm said of the students whose artwork made it onto the buses.
“I think the big comment was, ‘There’s my bus’ from one of the artists!”
Her company sends buses to shuttle the tourists arriving in Eden via cruise ships to other towns in the Bega Valley.
But she said as the buses they were sending were “pretty plain and boring”, they came up with an idea for an art competition for the local students.
Thus, the Colour our Coast Bus Wrap Competition gave primary and high school students the chance to create a colourful design to be turned into a bus wrap for the cruise ship shuttle buses.
Ms Klemm said the idea was partly to make the buses look more exciting, but also to ensure the whole community stayed behind the cruise ships as they brought benefits to the region.
“We wanted to bring everyone together around the ideas of tourism and community,” she said.
This year is the second time the bus company has run the competition, as it had been time to replace the last stickers installed four years ago.
Students from Eden Marine High and Eden Primary were the winners, with their artwork turned into life-sized pieces that covered the buses.
This year, the winners were Eden Marine High’s year 8s Arlie Richardson and Matilda Henderson, as well as Eden Public year five student Keira Haenig.
Ms Klemm said her company had received “lots and lots” of entries and the winners were “outstanding”.
“They are so amazing. They are very, very bright and they represent our region,” she said.
She said she hoped to run the competition again.
Her company transported 3200 schoolchildren every day, she said, so it was great to run a project with them.
The competition was sponsored by Bendigo Bank, while Wilson’s Signs installed the wraps.