1. Major Tourist Attractions
Winner: Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
International and national tourists visiting Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park experience one of Australia’s most iconic World Heritage sites and an outstanding hallmark attraction.
300,000 tourists a year receive world class tourism experiences through the unique natural and cultural offerings at the park. Tourists are inspired by the visual immensity and powerful spirituality of Uluru and Kata Tjuta. This ancient land has been actively managed by generations of Anangu, the Aboriginal traditional owners, and continues to hold powerful cultural connections today.
Anangu welcome visitors to their land to share their knowledge of Tjukurpa, ancestors and culture.
Silver: Australia Zoo, QLD
Bronze: Melbourne Museum, VIC
2. Tourist Attractions
Winner: Bruny Island Cruises, TAS
Since its inception in 1999, Bruny Island Cruises has become one of Tasmania’s iconic attractions. Over 200,000 guests have joined the infectious, enthusiastic crew on the custom-built yellow boats for the 50km journey along Bruny Island’s spectacular coastline, with its towering sea cliffs, deep sea caves and abundant wildlife.
The business invests considerable resources into publicity and this has brought significant benefit to Bruny Island and surrounding regions through increased visitation, employment, local purchasing and community support.
Bruny Island Cruises supports a range of conservation and humanitarian projects and it has won many state and national awards.
Silver: Cape Byron State Conservation Centre, NSW
Bronze: Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre, ACT
3. Major Festivals and Events
Winner: 2012 Tamworth Country Music Festival, NSW
In 2012 Tamworth Country Music Festival, an iconic annual event recognised as one of the top Ten Music Festivals in the world celebrated its 40th anniversary. The 2012 Tamworth Country Music Festival commenced on Friday 20 January and concluded on Sunday 29 January, with over 55,000 people travelling to Tamworth from all around Australia and the world to attend. Tamworth Regional Council has carriage of the event, however the Festival is a truly community-based, organic Festival. The 2012 TCMF was bigger and better than ever, with over 2,500 events and 4,000 different performances or gigs in 80 different venues.
Silver: Floriade 2011, A Feast for the Senses, ACT
Bronze: Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, QLD
4. Festivals and Events
Winner: Deni Ute Muster, NSW
The Deniliquin Ute Muster and Play on the Plains Festival is one of Australiaês largest rural and Australian themed festivals. The idea for a festival celebrating the Australian icon of the Ute, and Australia’s rural identity was created in 1999 to encourage tourist visitation on the NSW Labour Day Long weekend. In 2011, despite being severely rain affected, the Festival was hugely successful when it attracted almost 20,000 people to the two-and-a-half-day event.
Silver: Suzuki Night Market, VIC
Bronze: Cellar Door Wine Festival Adelaide, SA
Winner: Bruny Island Cruises TAS
Bruny Island Cruises provides three-hour coastal wilderness experiences along Bruny Islandês rugged coast in Southern Tasmania. Passengers are taken on a 50km journey below some of Australiaês highest sea cliffs to explore sea stacks, deep sea caves and join in the search for the abundant wildlife. Underpinning the experience is a genuine connection with the precious coastal wilderness and the need to conserve it. The business is committed to operating sustainably with an emphasis on maximising benefits to the local community through local purchasing and employment as well as the financial support of conservation and humanitarian projects.
Silver: Jenolan Caves – Ancient Underworld, NSW
Bronze: Out of Sight Tours, WA
6. Heritage and Cultural Tourism
Winner: Venture North Australia NT
Venture North Australia specialise in high-quality, small group cultural and nature based 4WD tours of the Northern Territory. They hold a number of special entry permits which allows them unparalleled access into many restricted regions of the NT including Arnhem Land, the Cobourg Peninsula and even parts of Kakadu National Park.Tour guests are escorted by expert guides and learn not only about Indigenous culture but also the Macassan traders, early missionaries, buffalo shooters and the fascinating history of the British settlement, all of which have contributed to the NTŠ—Ès rich heritage.
Silver: Jenolan Caves Written in Stone, NSW
Bronze: Kinnon & CO, Cobb & CO Tours, QLD
7. Indigenous Tourism
Winner: RT Tours Australia NT
Food, country and culture. The tour begins with welcoming people to country and starts at the old Arrerente meeting place Mbantua (Alice Springs historical reserve) meeting place.Here visitors learn about its aboriginal and Australian history. In the park people get to see flora and fauna. that infact is our bush foods that sastained a population for more tha 50,000yrs.
We travel to Simpsons gap along the majestic Western Macdonnell ranges following the path of the sacred caterpillars.At Simpsons Gap people experience its beauty its bush foods and story.Dinner in a picturesque area near Simpson’s Gap. Here a 5 course degustation menu is served cooked on an open fire and incorporating bush foods. The product has been designed so visitors can enjoy and engage in food culture and country in a relaxing and non confronting way leaving people with a truly memorable Central Australian experience.
Silver: Mutawintji Eco Tours/Tri State Safaris, NSW
Bronze: Mungalla Aboriginal Tours, QLD
8. Specialised Tourism Services
Winner: Northern Territory Library, NT
The Northern Territory Library is located inside Parliament House, in DarwinŠ—Ès State Square. The Library provides space for clients to seek information in relaxed and comfortable surroundings, seven days a week. NTL has been in operation for over 30 years.
Visitors to the Northern Territory come to NTL to find information that adds value to their experience of the Territory. Access to information about the Northern TerritoryŠ—Ès history and culture gives tourists a greater sense of place, helping to enhance their visit. NTL inspires visitors to learn more about the NT by showcasing the TerritoryŠ—Ès people, history and culture.
Silver: Harbour Town Outlet Shopping Centre, SA
Bronze: Austrips, TAS
9. Visitor Information and Services
Winner: Frankston Visitor Information Centre, VIC
A finalist for the past four years in the Victorian Tourism Awards, the Frankston Visitor Information Centre is the jewel in the crown of the $25 million Frankston Waterfront precinct. With approximately 746,000 visitors to Frankston each year and a local population of 126,000, the FVIC services over 90,000 people annually either in person, email or phone and receives over 102,000 website visits.
Owned and managed by Frankston City Council, the Centre offers a one stop shop with an accommodation, tour and event booking service, local knowledge, and an impressive range of regional produce and Australian made souvenirs and gifts.
Silver: Augusta Margaret River Tourist Information Centre, WA
Bronze: Barossa Visitor Centre, SA
10. Business Tourism
Winner: Hamilton Island Conferences, QLD
Hosting over 100 business events a year, Hamilton Island is the most versatile venue in the Whitsunday region with the ability to cater for 10 to 1,000 delegates. The Hamilton Island Conference Team offers one-stop conferencing- taking care of every detail from the moment of booking until the last delegate leaves the island. Our unique event venues and facilities include two bespoke conference centres, airport hangars, wide streets, tropical gardens and lawns and a choice of waters-edge venues including marina piers, poolside marquees and beaches, each providing a unique backdrop for our signature WOW Factor events and business meetings.
Silver: Darwin Convention Centre, NT
Bronze: The Old Woolstore Apartment Hotel, TAS
11. Major Tour and/or Transport Operators
Winner: YellowWater Cruises, NT
Yellow Water Cruises is an Indigenous owned tour guiding operation that gives visitors to Kakadu National Park the exclusive opportunity to explore the breathtakingly beautiful Yellow Water Billabong year round. The Yellow Water Cruise experience dramatically illustrates to visitors why Kakadu National Park is triple world heritage listed. Yellow Water Cruises has successfully operated since 1970 and currently employs 15 staff.
Silver: Quicksilver Group, QLD
Bronze: V/Line, VIC
12. Tour and/or Transport Operators
Winner: Ocean Rafting QLD
Ocean Rafting offers two exciting tour options, the Northern Exposure and Southern Lights, with each tour offering an exhilarating ride to Whitehaven Beach, pristine snorkelling reefs and guided National Parks walks. Ocean Rafting has access to the stunning and iconic Hill Inlet, and snorkel sites at Hook Island and Border Island ensure a memorable underwater experience. The semi rigid inflatable vessels are super fast allowing guests to experience a fun ride, adventure and education amongst the beauty of the Whitsundays. The Skipper and Eco Host ensure guests have a fun filled adventure, while exploring some of the best Whitsunday destinations.
Silver: Tri State Safari’s, NSW
Bronze: Maria Island Walk, TAS
13. Adventure Tourism
Winner: The Maria Island Walk, Totally South Tourism, TAS
The Maria Island Walk is a beautiful four day experience on the world heritage Maria Island National Park off the east coast of Tasmania.
Starting and finishing in Hobart, small groups of eight guests and two guides the length of the island exploring world heritage history and rare wildlife by day and enjoy candlelit dining in exclusive accommodation at night.
The Maria Island Walk is a Tasmanian family owned and operated tourism business that showcases our unique wilderness and wildlife, gourmet delights and wine and warm hospitality.
Silver: Adventure Underground – Jenolan Caves, NSW
Bronze: Ocean Rafting, QLD
14. Tourism Marketing
Winner: Rottnest Island WA
In a climate of global financial jitters; fierce overseas competition and a flat domestic tourism market, Rottnest Island has invested heavily in marketing in conjunction with its business partners.
Our vibrant new brand, Love My Rotto has featured heavily in print media and TV promotional campaigns, reconnecting the public of Western Australia to its favourite holiday island.
Innovative mixed-use in low season; discounted accommodation packages and a More. Rottnest winter campaign driven largely through e- and social marketing has enabled the Island to maintain higher than industry norm year-round occupancy levels, as well as achieving outstanding visitor satisfaction levels.
Silver: Outback Queensland Travellers’ Guide 2012, QLD
Bronze: Pure Tasmania, TAS
15. Tourism Education and Training
Winner: Travel 21fiftythree, Greater Sydney and Surrounds, NSW
Passionate and enthusiastic industry specialists have been delivering our tourism training programs in a flexible, nurturing and award winning environment for almost 20 years. Providing the best solution for up-skilling existing employees by recognising life skills or for new entrants to the industry, our courses range from Skillsets and Traineeships to Diploma and Advanced Diploma level courses. The Hills College and Travel 21fiftythree specialises in tour guiding, holiday parks and resorts, retail travel (domestic and international), wholesaling, indigenous tourism, tourism and event management.
Silver: The Tourism e-kit, by the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse, QLD
Bronze: CIT Tourism and Hotel Management, ACT
16. Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services
Winner: Margan Restaurant, NSW
Margan Restaurant is one part of the Margan Family Wines business owned by husband and wife team, Lisa and Andrew Margan. The business is based in the beautiful Broke Fordwich wine sub-region of the Hunter Valley NSW and includes 100 hectares of vineyards, a state of the art winery, the Margan Restaurant and Margan Cellar Door. Margan aims to provide customers with a unique and complete food and wine tourism experience. The restaurant continues along the company’s line of estate grown-estate made, sourcing produce locally and from the extensive one-acre ‘Margan Kitchen Garden’ for its modern Mediterranean inspired menu.
Silver: Max’s at Red Hill Estate, VIC
Bronze: Jacob’s Restaurant, Jacob’s Creek Visitor Centre, SA
17. Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries
Winner: Wyndham Estate Winery, NSW
Established in 1828, Wyndham Estate sits peacefully on the banks of the Hunter River surrounded by undulating vineyard and quiet countryside. It offers visitors a range of experiences including intimate tastings of one of Australiaês favourite wine brands, leisurely afternoons in The Olive Tree restaurant, relaxing picnics with family and friends, spectacular outdoor concerts, or the serenity of a stroll through picturesque vineyards back to a simpler time.
The Wyndham Estate functions centre caters for weddings, dinners, and parties in the gentle ambience of the century old winery. Great food, great wine, family, friends, and good times.
Silver: Pindarie Cellar Door, SA
Bronze: Fowles Wine Cellar Door and Cafe, VIC
18. Tourist and Caravan Parks
Winner: BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort, QLD
Owned and operated by the McKinnon family for 19 years, BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort has developed an enviable reputation as one of the stateês leading resort caravan parks. Whilst our facilities have positioned the resort as a holiday destination in its own right, it is our commitment to our customers that really sets us apart. Weêve built our reputation on providing a level of service that truly exceeds expectation. The resort offers an atmosphere that is genuinely warm, friendly, relaxed and welcoming with an incredibly dedicated team of staff who share our familyês passion and vision … we live and breathe our business and this is what keeps our guests coming back time and time again.
Silver: BIG4 Deniliquin Holiday Park, NSW
Bronze: BIG4 Adelaide Shores Caravan Park, SA
19. Backpacker Accommodation
Winner: Sydney Harbour YHA, Sydney, NSW
Sydney Harbour YHA is the only backpacker accommodation in Sydney’s historic Rocks precinct.
This purpose-built, 354-bed hostel combines T-QUAL accredited facilities with an environmentally sustainable design, and a unique Australian heritage experience, to set a new benchmark in backpacker accommodation. Built above an archaeological dig site, the YHA features ensuite multi-share, double/twin, and family rooms, plus added extras such as WiFi, tour desk, activities, coffee bar, and stunning Harbour views from the terrace. Priced from $39 per person per night, Sydney Harbour YHA provides affordable accommodation for budget travellers in a priceless location.
Silver: Habitat HQ, VIC
Bronze: Haven Backpacker Resort, NT
20. Hosted Accommodation
Winner: Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat, QLD
Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat is a romantic hideaway designed for couples set in pristine rainforest in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Joanne and Mark Skinner, owner/operators of this magnificent retreat live onsite and provide guests with an exclusive and welcoming greeting to their very special part of the world. Multi-award winning, rated 41/2 star by AAA Tourism, and eco-accredited for the last 2 years, visitors and guests of this luxurious retreat are treated to “the little things” that impresses even the toughest of critics. Hosts Joanne and Mark delight in continuous quality improvement and in surpassing their guests expectations!
Silver: Mollymook Beach Waterfront, NSW
Bronze: Sheoaks on Freycinet, TAS
21. Unique Accommodation
Winner: Rocky Hills Retreat, TAS
Rocky Hills Retreat, a completely private, elegant and intimate space for two, high on a hill overlooking Great Oyster Bay and Maria Island.
The retreat provides a luscious platform on 300 acres of Tasmanian bush from which to engage with nature, to watch the weather roll in, the sun dancing on the sea, the amazing gentle light in the valley at dusk and the stars looking as though they have been lowered to greet you.
Guests love the hand crafted Huon Pine bath on the evening deck and playing in the fully equipped art studio, just a short wander away.
Silver: Eco Beach Broome, WA
Bronze: Rawnsley Park Eco Villas, SA
22. Standard Accommodation
Winner: Narnu Farm, SA
Narnu Farm located on Hindmarsh Island the perfect family getaway. 7 x 3 star self contained cottages and a unique Bunkhouse are available for hire for family groups and schools camps. Guest activities include farm animal feeding, hand cow milking, horse riding, truck rides and much more. Kids just love it!
Silver: Blue Moon Cottages, VIC
Bronze: Hamilton Island Palm Bungalows, QLD
23. Deluxe Accommodation
Winner: Emaroo Port Hughes, SA
Emaroo is a 4 star, two storey, entertainer’s delight, superbly equipped, luxurious accommodation that can cater for up to 10 people. Spectacular living areas and games room, plus all the little extra touches to make your stay a memorable one. Guests can take advantage of the most unique deals available including professional catering, fish cleaning and charter boat cruises as well as exclusive discounts and packages with local tourism and hospitality providers.
Emaroo is just a short stroll to the beautiful South beach, a five minute walk to the jetty and boat ramp and only 168km drive from Adelaide.
Silver: The Observatory Port Macquarie, NSW
Bronze: Mantra on the Esplanade, NT
24. Luxury Accommodation
Winner: Emporium Hotel, QLD
Emporium Hotel opened its doors in June 2007, as a luxury boutique property, focused on delivering the unanticipated in enchanting hospitality, exquisite design, opulence and elegance.
The Emporium Hotelês philosophy ensures every guest experience will be remembered as an exquisite stay, from a martini in the eclectic Cocktail Bar to advice from Concierge. This property is a statement of luxurious interior design featuring; 102 suites, rooftop terrace, contemporary function centre and Belle €poque French Patisserie.
As an independently owned and managed property we have had the opportunity to drive new thinking in the industry and benchmark what is possible when a team of passionate professionals focus on pushing traditional hospitality boundaries.
Silver: Saffire Freycinet, TAS
Bronze: Crown Metropol, VIC
25. New Tourism Development
Winner: Madame Tussauds Sydney, NSW
Madame Tussauds Sydney is a new highly interactive immersive attraction where its customers are able to get up close and personal with the people they really want to meet. The attraction is heavily geared towards Australian icons from diverse areas including Australian history, world leaders, sports, music, culture, science, TV, film and A-list celebrities. Being a brand new attraction in Darling Harbour and a product of a quality that has not existed in Australia before, we are a key new addition to Australian tourism.
Silver: The Berkeley River Lodge, WA
Bronze: RFDS Tourist Facility Alice Springs, NT
26. Qantas Award for Excellence in Sustainable Tourism
Winner: Pennicott Wilderness Journeys, TAS
Pennicott Wilderness Journeys provides eco-cruise experiences showcasing the spectacular coastal wilderness of Southern Tasmania. Both its Bruny Island and Tasman Island Cruises feature the highest sea cliffs in the southern hemisphere, deep sea caves and abundant sea and coastal wildlife. Sustainable business practices are core to the businessês success through careful planning and investment, environmental impact minimisation and maximisation of benefits to the local community. Pennicott Wilderness Journeys is Advanced Ecotourism Accredited, 100% carbon offset and Earthcheck Assessed, achieving Best Practice scores for all measurements. A significant portion of the business profits are donated towards important conservation and humanitarian projects.
Silver: Sinclair’s Gully, SA
Bronze: The Falls Music & Arts Festival, VIC