Outback Queensland tourism shone bright last night at the Grey Nomad Tourism Awards with local operators taking out top gongs including the ultimate award – ‘Best of the Best’ – going to Les Wilson Barramundi Discovery Centre in Karumba.
The Grey Nomad Awards recognise communities, tourism operators and events that provide exemplary products, services or experiences for mature-aged travellers in Australia.
Outback Queensland Tourism Association (OQTA) CEO, Denise Brown, said the region had long been a popular destination for grey nomads drawn by its authentic experiences, wide-open landscapes and welcoming communities.
“I’m proud to see that our region was represented from top to bottom at the awards – from Karumba in the north to Cunnamulla in the south. The diversity and high standard of Outback Queensland product showcased through the awards was also a real standout.”
“The already award-winning Les Wilson Barramundi Centre in the Gulf of Carpentaria is a world-class attraction that continues to grow from strength to strength. Earlier in the night it took out ‘Best Grey Nomad Attraction or Tour’ and then went on to score the top prize, ‘Best of the Best.”
Other Outback Queensland prize winners include:
- Gold Winner Best Grey Nomad Farm or Station Stay: Charlotte Plains Outback Magic, Cunnamulla
- Gold Winner Best Grey Nomad Pub Stay: The Wellshot Hotel, Ilfracombe
- Silver Winner Best Grey Nomad Council Free Stay: Nindigully Tourist and Visitor Area, Balonne
- Bronze in the Australian Street Art Awards Best Sculpture Park or Trail: Lake Dunn Sculpture Trail, Barcaldine.
Commenting on the Grey Nomad Awards, the judges said: “This year’s nominees reflect the extraordinary and exceptional experiences on offer to mature-age travellers across the country.”
“Each nominee is playing a small yet critical role in assisting the Australian tourism sector to recover from the imposed 2020 downturn,” the judges said.
Ms Brown said: “The prize sweep at last night’s awards was a testament not only to the lasting appeal of the region, but to our operators and communities who continue to step up and deliver for this important sector.”
“The retiree market represents a significant opportunity for our region, as we look to unite and recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and grow into the future.
“Grey nomads were firmly in our sites as we prepared and launched our brand new Drive Guide last week, helping make planning their Outback travel simple.
“Following a tough 2020, this result shows the amazing resilience and ingenuity of everyone involved in Outback Queensland tourism.
“We are ramping up to have a fantastic year in Outback Queensland. Buoyed by this success we will also have our events calendar back in full swing drawing even more visitors as they look to travel in their own backyards and experience our iconic events,” Ms Brown said.