Lauren Bath in Grafton before her talk on Friday night.
Lauren Bath in Grafton before her talk on Friday night. Caitlan Charles

Finding the Valley's hidden gems

IT'S ALWAYS someone's dream to get paid to travel, but for Lauren Bath, it's a reality.

Ms Bath has been invited to the Clarence to help tourism operators understand the ins and outs of Instagram and Instagram marketing and to promote the Valley on her social media.

"I always try and check the place out when I'm driving in, so far I've seen lots of really interesting trees (in the Clarence Valley), so that's definitely on the agenda, I have been to Yamba and I love the coast ... so I know it will be pretty easy, fun shooting while I'm on the coast,” she said.

"I don't research where I am going, I like to come in and discover it the same as how a tourist would because that's my market and who I am trying to showcase the destination to.

"So I come in and do the same thing, I try to discover my own little local secrets that I love.”

Ms Bath has done more than 180 travel based campaigns in the last four years.

"There are always little gems to discover, it's always great finding a great eatery ... or a really passionate tourism operators because a great tourism operator can make or break a region,” she said.

"Often it's the things that I don't expect, seeing the aurora for the first time, that might make you feel more connected, passionate and emotional than you expected to be.”

Ms Bath said her love of travel is what made her move from a career as a chef into a career based in social media travel marketing.

"I wanted to utilise what I had, which was my Instagram account and I had a big audience and I wanted to be able to use that to travel,” she said.

"So everything I did from when I quit my old career, I was a chef, everything I did when I decided to do that was to lead me to travel.

"That's the cherry, that's what I love the most.

"I've got a business now, I run a company now, so there is a lot of other work that takes my time but when I can put all of that away and come on a trip, that's what I've done it all for.”

Ms Bath is excited to photograph her way around the Clarence Valley until March 31.

"It's all pretty lush at the moment, which I liked,” she said.