GOLD! GOLD! GOLD! - South Coast triumphs at the NSW Tourism Awards
HOLIDAY in the Hunter? Break in the Blue Mountains?
Why bother when you can relax on the beautiful NSW South Coast.
Tourism GoldSophie, Maxwell, Christie, Samantha and Christopher Warren at their award winning Crystal Creek Meadows Luxury Cottages at Kangaroo Valley. Crystal Creek Meadows was inducted into the Tourism Awards’ Hall of Fame last week. Photo: LEISA HALE
That's what the judges of the NSW Tourism Awards decided when they awarded seven South Coast operators with a swag of awards last week.
Kangaroo Valley's Crystal Creek Meadows Luxury Cottages and Spa Retreat, Jervis Bay's Dolphin Watch Cruises, Booderee National Park, Montague Island Tours, Coolangatta Estate Winery, BIG4 Nelligen Holiday Park and Jamberoo Action Park picked up awards at the prestigious ceremony in Sydney last Thursday.
Crystal Creek Meadows owner Chris Warren said the success of local tourist operators at this year's awards had firmly placed the South Coast on the tourist map.
"Other regions such as the Hunter and the Blue Mountains are talked up as icons of Australia. I think we have national if not world-class assets on the South Coast. These awards have proved our region has what it takes," Mr Warren said.
"We're so proud that so many local operators took home awards. It's great news for the South Coast."
His business has been named the number one 'hosted accommodation' in NSW for the last three years. On Thursday night Crystal Creek Meadows became the first accommodation provider in Southern NSW to be inducted into the Tourism Awards' Hall of Fame.
Mr Warren said the Hall of Fame was the industry's highest accolade.
"We were thrilled to win," he said.
"Each year we're competing against new businesses and the competition gets tougher and tougher. This year had more entrants than ever before so it's a huge deal to be named number one.
"It's a big honour for Kangaroo Valley."
Another South Coast operator, Montague Island Tours, was also inducted into the Hall of Fame for its successional wins in the ecotourism category.
Booderee National Park won the Indigenous Tourism award for its conservation and cultural activities.
Owned and managed by the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community the National Park offers a unique tourist experience, according to traditional owner Bernie McLeod.
"We love to share our knowledge and culture with visitors. Knowledge of important places - the land, sea, plants, animals, food and natural medicines - is still being passed on to new generations. It's all here for visitors to see," he said.
"It is a great honour not only for us modern Kooris, but for my people past and present who have worked so hard to protect the land and keep our culture alive."