2018 NSW Tourism Award WINNERS – North Coast

Wow! What a night!

Presented by the Tourism Industry Division of the NSW Business Chamber and proudly supported by Destination NSW, the NSW Tourism Awards Ceremony and Gala is the largest and most prestigious event on the New South Wales tourism calendar.

The NSW tourism industry’s Gala Event is our night of nights recognising excellence in tourism and bringing together business leaders to celebrate success! And what success we had!

Firstly, congratulations to our North Coast finalists for the 2018 NSW Tourism Awards! It’s a huge effort and a credit to you all to have come this far…no small feat at all so well done!

Special congratulations to all NORTH COAST category WINNERS.

We salute you and this achievement. You do the North Coast and NSW proud!


Tourist Attractions

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

Major Festivals and Events

(GOLD) Splendour in the Grass 2017

Festivals and Events

(SILVER) Lismore City Council – Eat the Street Lismore


(GOLD) Go Sea Kayak Byron Bay

(BRONZE) Byron Bay Eco Cruises & Kayaks
(HIGHLY COMMENDED) Koala Preservation Society – Port Macquarie Koala Hospital

Cultural Tourism

(SILVER) Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail

Qantas Award for Excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism

(BRONZE) The Giingan Experience by Bularri Muurlay Nyanggan Aboriginal Corporation 

Specialised Tourism Services

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

Business Event Venues

(GOLD) Elements of Byron

Caravan and Holiday Parks

(GOLD) BIG4 Great Lakes at Forster-Tuncurry
(SILVER) Reflections Holiday Parks Seal Rocks

Self Contained Accommodation
(GOLD) Riverside Holiday Resort Urunga

(SILVER) Macquarie Waters Boutique Apartment Hotel

Deluxe Accommodation
(BRONZE) Sails Port Macquarie by Rydges

Luxury Accommodation

(GOLD) Elements of Byron

New Tourism Business

(GOLD) Blue Ginger Picnics Le Chic Experience

Tourism Education and Training*

(GOLD) TEACH at TAFE NSW Wollongbar (North Coast NSW)
Hall of Fame inductees include Byron Bay Blues Festival and Lilly Pad Luxury Cabins (Bellingen)!

A full list of winners can be found here

Regional Business Event Development Fund

The NSW Regional Business Event Development Fund is designed to help stakeholders create, attract and support exciting business events for regional NSW and to support new business event initiatives aimed at enriching the events with opportunities offered by iconic towns and regions while helping secure successful conferences and business events for their future.

The four streams of the program are:

  1. Creation of a New Business Event – To encourage towns and regions to create their own new conferences and business events e.g: The Waste Management Conference initiative in Coffs Harbour which has become a major annual event.
  2. Attraction of an Existing Business Event – To assist rural and regional NSW to secure conferences, business events and major expos. The business event should have previously been held in a capital city, interstate or overseas and funding is being sought to bring the event to a regional NSW location.
  3. Support for an Existing Business Event – To support events that are held in regional NSW and may rotate between locations. Funds must be used to drive increased visitation for the event.
  4. Support for a Business Event Project – To assist rural and regional NSW implement business event projects or initiatives aimed at driving growth in the visitor economy of regional NSW. This may take the form of a business event series or roadshow; a specific element of a business event where the main event is being held in a capital city or interstate; or a small scale infrastructure project specifically designed to support growth in business events.

The funding is open to local government, local tourism organisations, convention organisers, chambers of commerce, business events industry operators, associations, corporations and professional conference organisers looking to create or host a business event in regional NSW.

View full details here

North Coast Tourism Symposium

Symposium review…

The inaugural North Coast Tourism Symposium was held at Pacific Bay Resort, Coffs Harbour on July 25th, 2018. Feedback from the Event was overwhelmingly positive in no small part due to the local support of Destination Coffs Coast who co-hosted this Event and with a special thanks to the 20+ expert speakers and panellists who shared their knowledge, expertise and stories on the day.

You can download their presentations here

 Comments from the post-Symposium Survey included…

I learnt new things, gained new insights and information and was inspired by the presentations.

Well organised, engaging speakers, inspirational. Probably the best Symposium I have attended. Well done!

Thanks so much. It was a great trip to Coffs all round. Well done for a rewarding Symposium and great evening.

Genuine, relevant and interesting.


North Coast Regional Tourism Awards

The industry’s night of nights was recently celebrated at Opal Cove Resort, Coffs Harbour. Destination North Coast congratulates all winners, finalists and entrants to the Awards and wishes everyone entering the NSW State Tourism Awards great success.

Photographs of the Tourism Symposium, Award Ceremony and Gala Dinner can be found here

Award Winners/finalists

Tourist Attractions
Gold: Forestry Corporation of NSW, Coffs Harbour
Silver: Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail, Port Macquarie
Bronze: The Big Banana Pty Ltd, Coffs Harbour
Finalist: Koala Preservation Society, Port Macquarie

Festivals and Events
Gold: Lismore City Council, “Eat the Street”
Silver: Woolgoolga Curryfest
Finalist: Bonville Golf Resort

Gold: Byron Bay Eco Cruises & Kayaks
Silver: Jetty Dive Centre

Cultural Tourism
Gold: Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail
Silver: Port Macquarie Museum
Encouragement Award: Bunker Cartoon Gallery

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism
Gold: Bularri Muurlay Nyanggan Aboriginal Corporation, Coffs Harbour
Silver: Wajaana Yaam Gumbaynggirr Adventure Tours, Coffs Harbour

Specialised Tourism Services
Gold: Arts Mid North Coast Inc

Destination Marketing
Gold: Coffs Harbour City Council, Coffs Harbour
Finalist: Clarence Valley Council, Clarence Valley

Caravan and Holiday Parks
Gold: BIG4 Great Lakes at Foster-Tuncurry
Silver: Reflections Holiday Parks Seal Rocks, Seal Rocks

Self-Contained Accommodation
Gold: Riverside Holiday Resort Urunga, Urunga
Silver: Macquarie Waters Boutique Apartments, Port Macquarie

Standard Accommodation
Gold: Heritage Hotel Motel, Dorrigo
Finalist: Vacation Village Resort, Port Macquarie

New Tourism Business
Gold: Open Air Picnics

Excellence in Food Tourism
Gold: The Cheesemaking Workshop, Coffs Harbour

Tourism Education and Training
Gold: TEACH at TAFE NSW Wollongbar, Wollongbar

Hall of Fame Inductees

  • The Big Banana Fun Park, Coffs Harbour (Major Tourist Attractions)
  • Byron Bay Bluesfest, Byron Bay (Major Festivals and Events)
  • Port Macquarie Museum, Port Macquarie (Cultural Tourism)
  • Arakwal Dolphin Dreaming, Byron Bay (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism)
  • State Forests of the Coffs Coast, Coffs Harbour (Specialised Tourism Services)
  • Lismore and Nimbin Visitor Information Centres, Lismore (Visitor Information Services)
  • TEACH at Wollongbar TAFE, Wollongbar (Tourism Education & Training)
  • Bent on Food, Wingham (Excellence in Food Tourism)
  • Park Beach Holiday Park, Coffs Harbour (Caravan and Holiday Parks)

Category winners from the Regional Tourism Awards will now gain finalist status upon entering the NSW Tourism Awards to be held in Sydney later this year.

A big North Coast CONGRATULATIONS to all winners, all finalists, all entrants and all Hall of Famers!

NSW First Program

Destination NSW delivers the NSW First program to assist NSW tourism businesses to develop, promote and sell their tourism products. It includes face to face workshops and online webcasts with a focus on free online and on-demand content, to cater to busy round-the-clock tourism businesses across NSW. Live webcasts offer ‘how-to’ insights on a range of topics for the tourism industry, with more events to be added to the calendar throughout the year. For detailed information and to register;

Find out more

Meet in NSW

A website to showcase the array of business event venues and destinations in regional NSW. Plan your next business event or get involved and grow your business in this exciting sector of the State’s economy.

Find out more

Industry Events

Destination North Coast regularly organises or presents at industry networking and/or industry training events across the region. Please check back here frequently to view upcoming events or better yet, sign up to our Industry Newsletter and learn firsthand what events are on the horizon. 

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