Heads Up NSW, the Last of Your COVID-Era Vouchers Are About to Expire

Stay NSW voucher

It’s the end of an era, as the last of the NSW government’s vouchers, designed to get people out and about again post-pandemic, are set to expire soon.

Vouchers that are part of Parent NSW — launched to reward and thank parents for their efforts in supporting learning from home in 2021 — and Stay NSW, which helps to support accommodation providers in NSW impacted during lockdowns, will expire on Sunday, October 9 — the last day of school holidays.

As of September 26, less than half of the Stay NSW vouchers issued — 636,000 of the 2,133,000 issued — have been redeemed since the initiative began in February, reports Sydney Morning Herald.

Related: NSW Parents Will Get $250 ‘Thank You’ Vouchers to Spend on Entertainment or Accommodation

Related: Fake the Millionaire Dream With These 5 Lavish Homes for Rent in NSW

“Don’t miss out – with only two weeks left, use them or lose them,” Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello told the publication. “Whether you want to book a weekend away to the coast or a rural area or take the kids to a movie or wildlife park, the school holidays are an opportune time for people to spend their vouchers.”

If you live in NSW and have yet to use your Stay NSW voucher, here’s everything you need to know about it.

Who Is Eligible for the Stay NSW Voucher?

Any NSW residents aged 18 and over qualify for the voucher, which knocks $50 off accommodation bookings.

How to Use Stay NSW Vouchers

First, you’ll need to apply for the voucher in the Service NSW app. In the Vouchers section, hit Browse and you should see the Stay NSW section there. From there, follow the prompts asking you verify your identity — you’ll need two proofs of identification – so you can apply for the voucher.

Once you’ve completed the application, you’ll see the voucher in the My Vouchers section within an hour. Service NSW will also email you the vouchers for you to download and print, if you’d like to — though this isn’t needed as the digital version should be fine to use.

Finally, to use your Stay NSW voucher, you’ll need to find a participating accommodation provider, and, when booking, tell them you’re using a Stay NSW voucher for payment. Then, in person, you’ll present the voucher’s QR code for the business to scan at payment.

Some businesses might ask that you pay in advance, in which case you would read off the voucher’s code over the phone or enter it online when booking.

What Hotels Are Eligible for Stay NSW Vouchers?

Participating accommodation providers can be found on this Find a business search tool. Note that booking and paying for your hotel through some online platforms, including Booking.com and Airbnb, will not allow you to use the voucher for your stay.

When Can You Book With Stay NSW Vouchers?

You can use the Stay NSW Voucher seven days a week, including public holidays. It’s unclear if the vouchers can be used for stays after October 9, if booked before then, so be sure to check with the accommodation provider directly before then.

Can You Use Two Stay NSW Vouchers at Once?  

Yep! If the business allows bill-splitting, you can combine your Stay NSW voucher with another person’s towards the same bill.

What Can You Use Parent NSW Vouchers on?

While you can’t use your Stay NSW voucher on a third-party site (you can only book directly from the supplier), Parent NSW vouchers, on the other hand, can be used on third party sites, including RedBalloon.

In fact, RedBalloon vouchers are valid to use on experiences for five years, so you can book a day out at the zoo or a hot air ballooning adventure over the Hunter Valley for the family now, and use it later. On the checkout page, under the ‘add promos & vouchers’ section, simply add your Parents NSW voucher code.

Some experiences of RedBalloon’s NSW experiences you can pre-book include:

Hot Air Ballooning Over The Hunter Valley

For people who want the exhilaration that comes with flying, but at a slower pace, then the sunrise hot air balloon flight over the Hunter Valley is The One. Particularly perfect for parents of kids who have been learning about modes of transportation at school (or who are simply obsessed with science).

A Day at Taronga Zoo

Many Sydney-based families end up at Taronga Zoo at least once every couple of years, so this is the perfect chance to do it for free. Spending the day rubbing shoulders with some of Australia’s cuddliest (or slithery-est) animals on NSW’s dime sounds like a great plan to us.

Treetop Ropes and Ziplining Adventure

For adrenaline-loving families, this activity is ideal. You’ll spend an hour in the Cumberland State Forest, 20 metres in the air, sliding down flying foxes, moving from tree to tree on suspension bridges, and jumping from the highest heights.

Smash Room Experience

Fewer things release pent-up energy than (safely) smashing up a room full of junk, and that’s exactly what this experience offers. You’ll be decked out in safety gear (important), and choose your weapon of choice (we’re partial to a baseball bat), before being let loose on plates, televisions, printers and cups. You can even set the playlist.

Sydney Harbour Helicopter Flight

If a helicopter ride over Sydney Harbour has been on your bucket list for a while, now’s a great time to save a bit of money by using the Parents NSW Vouchers. This 20-minute flight will take you over all the big sites, like the Harbour Bridge, Opera House, Bondi Beach, and of course, you’ll be treated to a beautiful view of Sydney’s harbour and skyline the entire time.

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