A massive number of Dine and Discover Vouchers have been left unspent – and there are just two days remaining to use them before they expire.
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The NSW Dine and Discover vouchers expire at midnight on Thursday, but Service NSW announced last week that over $100 million worth had been left unspent by residents across 10 LGAs alone.
Over four million vouchers, worth a total of $103,857,300, had been left unspent from those in the Central Coast, Blacktown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Northern Beaches, Sydney, Parramatta, Sutherland Shire, Cumberland, Wollongong, and Liverpool LGAs.
All up, it’s estimated some $300 million worth of vouchers have yet to be spent.
The program was announced in March last year, designed to stimulate the state’s local businesses which had been rocked by the COVID pandemic.
Since then, more vouchers under the scheme were announced and the deadline was extended, but now the stimulus program has reached an inevitable end.
More than 5.4 million customers registered for the program, receiving three $25 Dine NSW and three $25 Discover NSW Vouchers.
“The program has been a game changer for local businesses and families,” Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government Victor Dominello said in a statement.
“My message to the community is simple – don’t miss out. Check to see if you have any vouchers remaining and spend them now.”
There is still an array of ways to ensure the incentive funds find their way to local businesses, even if you won’t get a chance to spend the vouchers in person before they expire.
From booking tickets in advance to buying gift cards, or donating the voucher to an organisation in need, we’ve put together a list of all the places you can redeem the offer.
Here’s everything you need to know.
Booking in advance
Whether you’re heading to the movies, the wax museum, or a live performance or panel discussion, you can book online for a range of future events.
Head to the movies
If you don’t have time to head down to watch a movie at the cinema before your voucher expires, some venues will allow you to redeem vouchers online for any available session in the near future, with some offering gift cards.
Hoyts will allow you to use your voucher to purchase a Hoyts e-voucher that is valid for three years
If you prefer an independent cinemas, The Ritz can place your remaining voucher on a gift card for future use, but can only be processed in person.
A day out in Sydney
Some of Sydney’s best school holiday activities are available to book in advance online using Dine and Discover vouchers.
Sydney Zoo, Taronga Zoo, SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, Madame Tussauds Sydney, and the Sydney Tower Eye all accept Dine and Discover vouchers for future booking made online for months in advance.
Book an escape room with your friends by emailing The Cipher Room with your voucher before it expires, or booking online for a future session with Social Escapeor calling Next Level Escape before making a future booking in the next two days.
Humanitix is an online ticket and booking service which offers a percentage of the proceeds to a charity of the host’s choice.
It accepts Dine and Discover vouchers online, and you can use them to buy tickets for future events that are currently available on the website.
From Aboriginal Bush Tucker Tours ran by the Royal Botanic Garden, to a winter school football program, Fleetwood Mac cover band show, woodwork workshop for women, and a LGBTQI+ panel discussion – there’s a fascinating range of upcoming events.
You’ll also find charity events on the site, including the fundraiser for 15-year-old Kaiwho was born with “profound” disabilities” and is desperate need of a new wheelchair which his family can not afford alone.
How to donate
There is a large range of organisations that will accept Dine and Discover vouchers and pay forward the gesture to a good cause, or use it to continue the charitable work they do themselves.
Green Connect This sustainable farm in Wollongong employs former refugees and runs educational programs. A donation to the organisation will allow people in need to visit for free.
Ngalaya Indigenous Corporation is the peak body for First Nations lawyers and law students, and is committed to First Nations Justice. A donation to this organisation will allow First Nations community members to visit their annual ball for free.
Soul Lift have been offering support services to victims of the recent Lismore floods. A donation to the continuation of this effort will fund everything from counselling and cleanups, to therapeutic massage and house moving services.
This mobile animal farm visits special needs and aged care persons in the Wollongong area. The organisation said the vouchers “literally kept us afloat during COVID”. A donation to the group will continue to support the work they do.
These wildlife and reptile parks have all respectively teamed up a with a selection of children’s charity organisations.
A donation here will be paid forward in the form of free park entry for a child in need involved with the following organisations: Kids with Cancer Foundation, Camp Quality, Run DIPG, Ronal McDonald House Charities, Barnardos Australia, Challenge Community Services, Canteen, Starlight Children’s Foundation, Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation, Variety, and Kids Wish.