The 2018 NSW Tourism Awards draws exceptional quality

THE exceptional quality of tourism operators across NSW were this month acknowledged with the official announcement of finalists for the 2018 NSW Tourism Awards.

Managed by the Tourism Industry division of the NSW Business Chamber and supported by

Destination NSW, the NSW Tourism Awards celebrate and acknowledge tourism businesses that demonstrate outstanding achievement throughout the year.

A comprehensive entrant support program was available to all entrants in 2018, with entrants being offered one-on-one feedback on their draft submissions to gain valuable feedback from industry professionals prior to entries closing. Other entrant support tools including regional and metropolitan workshops and webinars were provided to assist entrants throughout the awards process.

Industry Development Manager, Tourism Industry Division – NSW Business Chamber, Nicole

O’Donnell said that the awards celebrate the hard work and commitment shown by NSW tourism operators and businesses over the past 12 months.

“The program is about developing our industry as a whole, encouraging excellence and improvement, and all entrants should be congratulated,” Ms O’Donnell said.

“The judges have been incredibly impressed by the high calibre of entries in this year’s program.”

Splendour in the Grass 2017 is a major finalist for the 2018 NSW Tourism Awards.

In 2018, there were 144 entrants across 26 categories recognising excellence from a range of tourism areas such as Tourist Attractions, Festival and Events, Ecotourism, Destination Marketing, Accommodation, Tourism Education and Training. Of those entrants, there are 125 finalists.

Minister for Tourism and Major Events, The Hon Adam Marshall MP congratulated the finalists and said the awards are a wonderful platform to recognise the year’s achievements in NSW tourism.

“Our tourism industry is at the forefront when it comes to delivering quality products and experiences and I congratulate the 2018 NSW Tourism Awards finalists for contributing to our position as Australia’s premier State for tourism and events,” Mr Marshall said.

Winners will be announced at the NSW Tourism Awards Presentation Night on Thursday, November 22 at Luna Park, Sydney. Winners from 25 aligned national categories will then represent NSW at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards on Friday, March 1, 2019 in Launceston.

All industry members and finalists are invited to attend the NSW Tourism Awards Presentation and Cocktail Celebration on Thursday, November 22, 2018 at Luna Park Sydney.

Tickets are available for purchase at


Major Festivals and Events

Destination NSW – Vivid Sydney (Sydney Metro)

Splendour in the Grass 2017 (North Coast NSW)

Tamworth Regional Council – Tamworth Country Music Festival (Country & Outback NSW)

Festivals and Events

Australian Celtic Festival (Country & Outback NSW)

Canowindra Challenge Inc – Canowindra International Balloon Challenge (Country & Outback NSW)

Deni Play on the Plains Festival – Deni Ute Muster (Riverina Murray NSW)

Lismore City Council – Eat the Street Lismore (North Coast NSW)

Parkes Shire Council – 2018 Parkes Elvis Festival (Country & Outback NSW)

Woolgoolga and Northern Beaches Chamber of Commerce – Woolgoolga Curryfest (North Coast NSW)

Major Tourist Attractions

Botanic Gardens & Centennial Parklands – The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney (Sydney Metro)

Featherdale Wildlife Park (Sydney Metro)

Tourist Attractions

Club Catalina Country Club (Southern NSW)

Forestry Corporation of NSW – Sealy Lookout, Orara East State Forest (North Coast NSW)

Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail (North Coast NSW)

Mayfield Garden (Country & Outback NSW)

Oakvale Wildlife Park (Sydney Surrounds North)

Outback Astronomy (Country & Outback NSW)

Rich River Golf Club Ltd (Riverina Murray NSW)

Siding Spring Observatory (Country & Outback NSW

Major Tour and/or Transport Operators

Moonshadow – TQC Cruises (Sydney Surrounds North)

Tour and/or Transport Operators

Beyond Ballooning (Sydney Surrounds North)

Dave’s Travel & Events Group (Sydney Metro)

Port Stephens 4WD Tours (Sydney Surrounds North)

Spirit Fleet – Silver Spirit Sydney (Sydney Metro)


Byron Bay Eco Cruises & Kayaks (North Coast NSW)

Go Sea Kayak Byron Bay (North Coast NSW)

Jetty Dive Centre (North Coast NSW)

Koala Preservation Society – Port Macquarie Koala Hospital (North Coast NSW)

Tweed Eco Cruises (North Coast NSW)

Wolgan Valley Eco Tours (Country & Outback NSW)

Destination Marketing

Clarence Valley Council – My Clarence Valley (North Coast NSW)

Edward River Council – Visit Deni Destination Appeal Campaign (Riverina Murray NSW)

Industry and Destination Development – CHCC – Destination Coffs Coast (North Coast NSW)

Mudgee Region Tourism – Let’s Skip Town Together Mid-Week (Country & Outback NSW)

Parkes Shire Council – Parkes, Be Out There Campaign (Country & Outback NSW)

Shoalhaven City Council – 100 Beach Challenge Campaign (Sydney Surrounds South)

Specialised Tourism Services

Arts Mid North Coast – Mid North Coast…the Creative Coast (North Coast NSW)

Ask Roz (Sydney Surrounds North)

Birkenhead Point Brand Outlet (Sydney Metro)

South Coast Nannies (Sydney Surrounds South)

The Age of Fishes Museum (Country & Outback NSW)

Cultural Tourism

Bunker Cartoon Gallery (North Coast NSW)

Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail (North Coast NSW)

Nundle Woollen Mill (Country & Outback NSW)

Old Dubbo Gaol (Country & Outback NSW)

Port Macquarie Museum (North Coast NSW)

Q Station Sydney Harbour National Park Manly (Sydney Surrounds North)

Tribal Warrior Aboriginal Corporation – Tribal Warrior (Sydney Metro)

Qantas Award for Excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism

 Bularri Muurlay Nyanggan Aboriginal Corporation – Giingan Gumbaynggirr Cultural Experience (North Coast NSW)

Bundyi Cultural Tours (Riverina Murray NSW)

Sand Dune Adventures (Sydney Surrounds North)

Tribal Warrior Aboriginal Corporation – Tribal Warrior Cruises (Sydney Metro)

Wajaana Yaam Gumbaynggirr Adventure Tours (North Coast NSW)

Adventure Tourism

Beyond Ballooning (Sydney Surrounds North)

Let’s Go Surfing Australia (Sydney Metro)

Oz Jet Boating (Sydney Metro)

Sand Dune Adventures (Sydney Surrounds North)

TreeTops Sydney – The Hills (Sydney Metro)

WATSSUP Watsons Bay Stand Up Paddling (Sydney Metro)

New Tourism Business

Blue Ginger Picnics Le Chic Experience (North Coast NSW)

Open Air Picnics (North Coast NSW)

Tourism Education and Training

TEACH at TAFE NSW Wollongbar (North Coast NSW)

Western Sydney University – Bachelor of Tourism Management (Sydney Metro)

Visitor Information Services

Albury Visitor Information Centre (Riverina Murray NSW)

Bathurst Regional Council – Bathurst Visitor Information Centre (Country & Outback NSW)

Dubbo Regional Council – Dubbo Visitor Information Centre (Country & Outback NSW)

Mudgee Region Tourism – Mudgee Region Visitor Information Services (Country & Outback NSW)

Orange Visitor Information Centre (Country & Outback NSW)

Parkes Shire Council/Parkes Visitor Information Centre (Country & Outback NSW)

Yass Valley Council – Yass Valley Information Centre (Southern NSW)

Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services

Bannisters by the Sea – Rick Stein at Bannisters (Sydney Surrounds South)

Bent On Food (North Coast NSW)

Cupitt’s Kitchen (Sydney Surrounds South)

Margan Wines & Restaurant (Sydney Surrounds North)

Potager – A Kitchen Garden (North Coast NSW)

The River Deck (Riverina Murray NSW)

Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries

Cupitt’s Winery and Brewery (Sydney Surrounds South)

Heifer Station Wines – Heifer Station Cellar Door (Country & Outback NSW)

Tumut River Brewing Co (Riverina Murray NSW)

Urban Winery Sydney (Sydney Metro)

Excellence in Food Tourism

Bent On Food (North Coast NSW)

Cupitt’s Winery, Brewery, Fromagerie and Kitchen (Sydney Surrounds South)

Food I Am (Riverina Murray NSW)

Margan Winery & Restaurant (Sydney Surrounds North)

Orange Ex-Services’ Club – The Greenhouse of Orange (Country & Outback NSW)

Sydney Fish Market (Sydney Metro)

Tasting Plate Tours (North Coast NSW)

The Cheesemaking Workshop (North Coast NSW)

Business Event Venues

Elements of Byron (North Coast NSW)

Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains, MGallery by Sofitel (Sydney Surrounds North)

Hyatt Regency Sydney (Sydney Metro)

 Luna Park Sydney – Luna Park Venues (Sydney Metro)

 Spirit Fleet (Sydney Metro)

Caravan & Holiday Parks

 BIG 4 Karuah Jetty Holiday Park (North Coast NSW)

 BIG4 Great Lakes at Forster-Tuncurry (North Coast NSW)

DC on the Lake (Riverina Murray NSW)

Great Aussie Holiday Park (Riverina Murray NSW)

NRMA Port Macquarie Breakwall Holiday Park (North Coast NSW)

Reflections Holiday Parks Seal Rocks (North Coast NSW)

Tweed Coast Holiday Parks Kingscliff Beach (North Coast NSW)

Hosted Accommodation

Blueberry Hills on Comleroy (Sydney Surrounds North)

Eldee Station (Country & Outback NSW)

Mountain Whispers MW Collection (Sydney Surrounds North)

Noonaweena (Sydney Surrounds North)

Deluxe Accommodation

Bannisters by the Sea, Mollymook (Sydney Surrounds South)

Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains, MGallery by Sofitel (Sydney Surrounds North)

Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa (Southern NSW)

Quest Griffith (Riverina Murray NSW)

Sails Port Macquarie by Rydges (North Coast NSW)

The Parkview Hotel Mudgee (Country & Outback NSW)

Luxury Accommodation

CIRCA 1936 (Riverina Murray NSW)

Elements of Byron (North Coast NSW)

Mt Hay Retreat (Sydney Surrounds South) Standard Accommodation

 Heritage Hotel Motel (North Coast NSW)

Lodge Outback Motel (Country & Outback NSW)

Manera Heights Apartments (Country & Outback NSW)

Shearing Shed Motor Inn (Country & Outback NSW)

Unique Accommodation

Q Station (Sydney Surrounds North)

Sierra Escape Mudgee (Country & Outback NSW)

The Residences Centennial Park (Sydney Metro)

Self-Contained Accommodation

Kirsten Serviced Accommodation (Country & Outback NSW)

Lakeview Luxury Retreat (Country & Outback NSW)

Macquarie Waters Boutique Apartment Hotel (North Coast NSW)

Morvern Valley Farm Stay (Southern NSW)

Riverside Holiday Resort Urunga (North Coast NSW)

Media Release