NSW Tourism Awards winners announced

Keeper Dan holding a resident cuddly koala at the Australia Reptile Park on the Central Coast.
Edited by Travel Weekly

    The state’s peak tourism organisation, NSW Tourism Industry Council, is excited to announce the winners of the prestigious NSW Tourism Awards for 2023.

    Held yesterday evening in iconic White Bay Cruise Terminal Sydney, over 500 industry representatives gathered to celebrate these outstanding tourism businesses.

    The awards are managed by the NSW Tourism Industry Council powered by Business NSW, the state’s peak business organisation, and supported by the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.

    “The NSW Tourism Awards celebrate those tourism experiences that inspire visitors to #feelnewsouthwales and recognise those businesses who exemplify outstanding tourism experiences,” said Paula Martin, Executive Director, NSW Tourism Industry Council.

    “These businesses provide leadership in innovation, marketing and in the delivery of quality products and services. They also advance and promote the NSW and Australian tourism industry through consistent customer service and quality experiences.

    “A highlight of this year’s awards program was the high number of first-time entrants (60), many of whom are new businesses to the sector.

    “This level of representation from emerging businesses tells us that innovation is alive and well in tourism and we are proud of the resilience of the sector,” Paula Martin said.

    Minister for Jobs and Tourism John Graham said it’s an exciting time for visitors in NSW, with domestic and international visitor expenditure in NSW surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

    “We know our visitors don’t just want a selfie in front of the Sydney Opera House, they want to be immersed in the culture of the place and to experience what’s happening in and around iconic buildings, secret neighbourhoods, and in our beautiful natural environment.

    “Cultural activity is so much of why we love our towns and cities and it’s a big part of what attracts visitors and what keeps them coming back.

    “Congratulations to all the winners and the whole hard-working sector.”

    Lori Modde, one of the most passionate and hardworking tourism professionals in NSW and ACT was awarded the Dean Gorddard Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Individual to NSW in recognition of her dedication and advocacy for tourism in her State, over the past 18+ years.

    Crank It Up Festival, Batemans Bay was the recipient of the Judges’ Tourism Star Award’, a special award to reward their tremendous resilience and innovation, and Mt Hay Retreat, Berry was awarded the Tourism Star Award for Sustainability, to recognise their outstanding efforts and practices in sustainability.

    Winners in the designated national award categories will represent NSW at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards to be held in Darwin, 15 March 2023.

    2023 NSW Tourism Award Winners:

    Major Tourist Attractions

    • Gold: Australian Reptile Park, Somersby
    • Silver: Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo
    • Bronze: Jamberoo Action Park

    Tourist Attractions

    • Gold: Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary
    • Silver: iFLY Indoor Skydiving, Penrith
    • Bronze: Old Dubbo Gaol

    Major Festivals and Events

    • Gold: Tamworth Country Music Festival
    • Silver: Byron Bay Bluesfest 2023

    Festivals and Events

    • Gold: Tumbafest Inc, Tumbarumba
    • Silver: Bathurst Heritage Trades Trail
    • Bronze: Bathurst Winter Festival


    • Gold: Sydney By Kayak, Lavender Bay
    • Silver: Vision Walks – Eco Tours, Byron Bay
    • Bronze: Kestrel Nest EcoHut, Mt Adrah

    Cultural Tourism

    • Gold: Local Sauce Tours, Sydney
    • Silver: Old Dubbo Gaol

    Excellence in Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Tourism Experience

    • Gold: Giingan Gumbaynggirr Cultural Experience, Gumbaynggirr Country, Coffs Harbour

    Tourism Retail, Hire and Services

    • Gold & Hall of Fame: Sydney Harbour Kayaks, Mosman
    • Silver: Camplify, Newcastle
    • Bronze: Ask Roz Blue Mountains

    Visitor Information Services

    • Gold: Bathurst Visitor Information Centre

    Business Event Venues

    • Gold: Crowne Plaza Terrigal Pacific
    • Silver: Hyatt Regency Sydney
    • Bronze: Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains by MGallery, Leura

    Major Tour & Transport Operators

    • Gold: Moonshadow – TQC Cruises, Nelson Bay, Port Stephens

    Tour & Transport Operators

    • Gold: Vision Walks – Eco Tours, Byron Bay
    • Silver: Tweed Eco Cruises, Tweed Heads
    • Bronze: Blue Mountains Stargazing

    Adventure Tourism

    • Gold: Balloon Aloft Australia, Hunter Valley, Camden Valley, Mudgee and Byron Bay
    • Silver: Sydney Harbour Kayaks, Mosman
    • Bronze: Wajaana Yaam Gumbaynggirr Adventure Tours, Coffs Harbour, Gumbaynggirr Country

    Tourism Marketing & Campaigns

    • Gold: The Tweed Tourism Company
    • Silver: City of Newcastle
    • Bronze: Destination Wollongong: Warm Up Wollongong

    Tourism Restaurants & Catering Services

    • Gold: Potager, Carool
    • Silver: Love Lord Howe, Lord Howe Island
    • Bronze: Margan Wines & Restaurant, Broke

    Tourism Wineries, Distilleries & Breweries

    • Gold: Husk Farm Distillery, Tumbulgum
    • Silver: Courabyra Wines, Tumbarumba
    • Bronze: Cape Byron Distillery, McLeods Shoot

    Caravan & Holiday Parks

    • Gold: Tiona, Forster
    • Silver: Tasman Holiday Parks, Racecourse Beach

    Unique Accommodation

    • Gold: Diamond Waters Treehouse Retreat, The Camden Haven
    • Silver:  Evamor Valley, Mudgee
    • Bronze: Wilga Station, Bathurst

    Self Contained Accommodation

    • Gold: Peppertree Collection, Mudgee
    • Silver: The Drawing Rooms of Berry
    • Bronze: Cedars Mount View, Mount View

    4-4.5 Star Deluxe Accommodation

    • Gold: Oriana Retro Hotel & Resort, Orange
    • Silver: The Byng Street Boutique Hotel, Orange

    5 Star Luxury Accommodation

    • Gold: Kalinya Estate, Bargo
    • Silver: Mt Hay Retreat, Berry
    • Bronze: Elements of Byron, Byron Bay

    New Tourism Business

    • Gold: Contained In Nimbin Accommodation
    • Silver: Positive Energy Adventures & Retreats, Port Macquarie

    Excellence in Food Tourism

    • Gold: Love Lord Howe, Lord Howe Island
    • Silver: Food I Am, Wagga Wagga

    Excellence in Accessible Tourism

    • Gold: Cocky Guides, Sydney

    Local Government Award for Tourism

    • Gold: Central Coast Council – Destination Central Coast
    • Silver: Dubbo Regional Council

    Take 3 For The Sea Award For Visitor Litter Prevention

    • Gold: Sydney By Kayak, Lavender Bay
    • Silver: The Observatory Self Contained Apartments, Coffs Harbour
    • Bronze: Irukandji Shark & Ray Encounters, Anna Bay

    Dean Gorddard Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Individual

    • Lori Modde

    Tourism Star Judges’ Award

    • Crank It Up Festival, Batemans Bay

    Tourism Star Judges’ Award for Sustainability

    • Mt Hay Retreat, Berry

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