NSW Dine and Discover vouchers expire today. Here’s how to use your free money quickly

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A massive number of Dine and Discover Vouchers have been left unspent – and there are just hours remaining to use them before they expire.

There is still a range of ways you can spend them to support local businesses, even if you’re too busy for an impromptu meal or a weeknight activity.

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The NSW Dine and Discover vouchers expire at midnight on Thursday, but Service NSW told 7NEWS.com.au last night that nearly $280 million worth had been left unspent.

Of the 33,030,746 vouchers issues state-wide, just over a third had not been redeemed.

The 66 per cent of claimed vouchers were worth a total of $542,532,500 as of Wednesday night.

The LGAs with the most unspent vouchers are the Central Coast, Blacktown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Northern Beaches, Sydney, Parramatta, Sutherland Shire, Cumberland, Wollongong, and Liverpool.

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.

But from the $150 total, the average person spent just below $42 worth of their vouchers.

NSW residents preferred dining to discovering, with just over four million more dine vouchers redeemed than discover vouchers.

“The program has been a game-changer for local businesses and families,” Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government Victor Dominello said.

“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

Event Cinemas and Palace cinemas allow you to book online using your voucher for any future sessions listed and available for purchase, including school holidays sessions.

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 Escape, or calling Next Level Escape before making a future booking in the next two days.

Humanitix events

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 Kai, who was born with “profound” disabilities” and is desperate need of a new wheelchair which his family cannot 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 (nar-lee-ah)

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 attend its annual ball for free.

Lismore floods support effort

Soul Lift has 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.

Matilda’s Farmyard Nursery

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 it does.

Oakvale Wildlife Park, Australian Reptile Park, and Symbio Wildlife Park

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, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Barnardos Australia, Challenge Community Services, Canteen, Starlight Children’s Foundation, Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation, Variety, and Kids Wish.

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