The New South Wales Government’s $500 million Dine & Discover program, launched to help stimulate the economy and give local businesses a boost post-Covid, is being rolled out across the state after successful pilot programs in The Rocks, Broken Hill, Sydney CBD, the northern beaches and Bega Valley. Here’s how it works, where you can use your vouchers and the businesses doing special deals.

Who is eligible?
Every NSW resident aged 18 and over can receive four $25 vouchers – $100 in total.

How and when do I get mine?
The vouchers are being released progressively by local government areas. Service NSW has a list here of all government areas currently eligible for the vouchers. If your council hasn’t been listed, you will be eligible in the next couple of weeks. Once your local government area has been listed, visit the Service NSW website or app (which you’ll likely have on your phone if you’ve used it to check in to a hospitality venue in the past few months) to begin the application process. You’ll need a My Service NSW account, two proof of identity documents (such as a NSW driver’s licence, a Medicare card or a passport) and a mobile device. Enter your address, log in to your MyserviceNSW account, then follow the prompts.

What vouchers will I get?
If eligible, you’ll receive two $25 vouchers to use when dining out, and two $25 vouchers for entertainment and recreation.

How do I cash them in?
Once your application has been approved, you’ll be able to access the vouchers under the “vouchers” section of the Service NSW app. They’ll also be emailed to you. To cash them in, visit a participating business – use this handy tool to search by location or company name – then present the voucher’s QR code on the app or printed voucher for scanning when it’s time to pay. Easy.

What’s the catch?
There aren’t many restrictions on where you can use your vouchers – venues just need to fall under the “dine” or “discover” criteria, be registered as Covid-safe, and be registered for the program. The vouchers can be used seven days a week (apart from public holidays) and are valid to June 30. Each voucher can only be used once – if you spend less than $25 you won’t get that balance back. They also can’t be combined, or spent on takeaway meals, alcohol, gambling or food ordered online.

So, where can I use my vouchers?
The official list of business that are eligible to accept the vouchers is long. Under the “dine” umbrella fall cafes, restaurants, pubs, taverns, bars, wineries and clubs (just to reiterate, though, you can’t spend your voucher on booze).

Plenty of business types fall under the “discover” banner: scenic and sightseeing transport; cinemas; museums, galleries and historic sites; zoos, botanic gardens, wildlife parks and nature reserves; performing arts venues, theatres and entertainment centres; amusement, theme and water parks; recreational activities (such as indoor rock-climbing, mini golf, bowling or ice-skating); outdoor adventures; and travel agencies and tours.

Are there any deals around town that’ll get me more bang for my voucher buck?
There sure are. The Sydney Collective hospitality group is doubling the value of your vouchers across all eight of its venues, which include Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel, The Morrison Bar and Oyster Room, the Imperial in Erskineville and Northies in Cronulla. You can spend your extra $25 on food or beverage; there’s different times and days when each venue will be offering the double-up – confirm here before visiting.

Australian Venue Co is also doubling your fun, offering another $25 when you spend your vouchers at one of its venues, which include Bungalow 8, The Rook, Manly Wine and The Winery. To redeem the offer, download and sign up to the AVC app.

Rockpool Dining Group is doing multi-course meals for just $25 at a range of its venues. Get two courses at Fratelli Fresh or The Bavarian, three courses at El Camino Cantina or any burger, six wings and a soft drink at Winghaüs by Bavarian.

China Diner’s Bondi, Double Bay and Tramsheds locations are offering a free drink from their happy-hour menu (including wine, beer, a yuzu spritz or Margarita) to anyone who spends a voucher with them.

Experiences hub Klook is offering tickets to 30 attractions around the state for $25 – so you can afford them using just one voucher. Attractions include Sydney’s Sealife Aquarium, Wildlife Sydney Zoo, kayaking, axe throwing and walking tours. Find the whole list here.

Similarly, Redballoon is accepting the vouchers for hundreds of experiences, including hot-air ballooning in the Hunter Valley, skydiving, cheese-making workshops, brewery tours and harbour cruises.

Event Cinemas is doing several Dine & Discover deals. For $25 get your choice of a movie ticket, medium popcorn and soft drink, and a choc top; two movie tickets; or a Gold Class ticket. Find out more here. And if you use your voucher at Dendy Newtown you’ll get a free large popcorn. Over at Hoyts, use your “dine” vouchers on a regular drink and popcorn, choc top and lollies; a family combo (four snack-sized popcorns and drinks); or a Hoyts Lux main meal and entrée, all of which are going for $25 each. Then, use your “discover” voucher on two movie tickets, one movie ticket and regular popcorn and drink, or a Hoyts Lux ticket.

Find out more about the Dine & Discover program here.