Winners and Finalists

Winners and Finalists of the Victorian Tourism Awards are determined by achieving a score of 75% or above.

The winner is the highest scoring entrant in each category.

Hall of Fame is awarded to an entrant that has won the same category over 3 consecutive years.

2015 Tourism Award winners

  • 01. Major Tourist Attractions
  • 02. Tourist Attractions
  • 03. Major Festivals and Events
  • 04. Festivals & Events
  • 05. Ecotourism
  • 06. Cultural Tourism
  • 08.Specialised Tourism Services
  • 09. Visitor Information Services
  • 10. Business Event Venues
  • 11. Major Tour & Transport Operators
  • 12. Tour & Transport Operators
  • 13. Adventure Tourism
  • 14. Destination Marketing
  • 15. Tourism Restaurants & Catering Services
  • 16. Tourism Wineries, Distilleries & Breweries
  • 17. Caravan & Holiday Parks
  • 18. Hosted Accommodation
  • 19. Unique Accommodation
  • 20. Self Contained Accommodation
  • 21. Standard Accommodation
  • 22. Deluxe Accommodation
  • 23. Luxury Accommodation
  • 24. New Tourism Business
  • 25. Excellence in Food Tourism
  • 26. Qantas Award for Excellence in Sustainable Tourism
  • 27. Outstanding Contribution by an Individual
  • 28. Tourism Education and Training
  • 29. Local Government Award for Tourism
  • 30. Backpacker Accommodation
  • 31. Young Achievers Award
  • 32. Outstanding Contribution by Volunteers
  • RACV People's Choice Favourite Metro Attraction
  • RACV People's Choice Favourite Regional Attraction
  • All

Category


RACV People's Choice Favourite Regional Attraction


Winner

Sovereign Hill

Sovereign Hill

Sovereign Hill is situated in the gold rush town of Ballarat, an outdoor museum presenting the story of Australia’s history from the gold rush in 1861.

By day, you can tour the town by horse-and-coach, pan for gold, witness a gold pour, travel deep underground on a gold mining tour, shop 1850s-style, visit goldfields schools and cottages and meet costumed characters for a chat and a photo.

During the evening visitors to Sovereign Hill are able to dine while experiencing the drama of 1854 Eureka Rebellion and stay in the accommodation at the Comfort Inn Sovereign Hill.

Category


RACV People's Choice Favourite Metro Attraction


Winner

Melbourne Zoo

Lion Gorge Melbourne Zoo

Melbourne Zoo is located in Parkville, Melbourne, Victoria and operates under Zoos Victoria.

Zoos Victoria operates world-class zoos on three sites – Melbourne Zoo, Healesville Sanctuary and Werribee Open Range Zoo and are committed to ‘fighting extinction’ and have a strong focus to connect visitors with the wildlife, inspiring them to take action to save wildlife and their environments while also offering unique animal interactions with their vast array of local and international residents.

Category


01. Major Tourist Attractions


Winner

Sovereign Hill

Sovereign Hill Gold Panning

Sovereign Hill is situated in the gold rush town of Ballarat, an outdoor museum presenting the story of Australia’s history from the gold rush in 1861.

By day, you can tour the town by horse-and-coach, pan for gold, witness a gold pour, travel deep underground on a gold mining tour, shop 1850s-style, visit goldfields schools and cottages and meet costumed characters for a chat and a photo.

During the evening visitors to Sovereign Hill are able to dine while experiencing the drama of 1854 Eureka Rebellion and offer accommodation at the Comfort Inn Sovereign Hill.


Other Winners:
Silver: Phillip Island Nature Parks
Bronze: Puffing Billy Railway
Finalist: Melbourne Museum

Category


02. Tourist Attractions


Winner

Kryal Castle

Kryal Castle Horse

Kryal Castle, located just outside Ballarat, is Australia’s only medieval theme park and resort offering a  village of entertainment, shows, attractions and activities including jousting and skilled sword battles to magic shows, princess pantomime’s and a dragon’s lair.

The castle also offers stunning 4 star accommodation and inspiring function spaces, catering for conferences, events, international groups and student markets.

 

Category


03. Major Festivals and Events


Winner

2014 Melbourne Cup Carnival

Melbourne Cup Carnival

The Melbourne Cup Carnival is one of Australia’s major festivals and events, held at the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne.

The Melbourne Cup Carnival is a unique social and cultural tradition dating back to 1861 that draws the finest equine athletes from all over the world.

The carnival attracts more than 340,000 racegoers to Flemington over the four day Carnival each year contributing greatly to Victoria’s economy.


Other Winners:
Silver: Victorian Caravan, Camping & Touring Supershow
Bronze: Melbourne Food and Wine Festival

Category


04. Festivals & Events


Winner

Fun4Kids Festival

Fun4Kids Festial - Interactive Performance

Fun4Kids is a highly acclaimed festival that is a not-for-profit, family event held annually in Warrnambool during the first week of the winter school holidays.

Recognised as ‘Australia’s Best Children’s Festival’, Fun4Kids celebrates the imagination and creative spirit of children aged 2-12 years, offering a unique, 2.5 acre, fully indoor village; purpose-built for kids to play, imagine, participate, learn and create.


Other Winners:
Silver: 2014 Maryborough RACV Energy Breakthrough
Bronze: Shepparton Festival
Finalist: Grampians Grape Escape
Finalist: 2015 Alexandra Truck Ute and Rod Show

Category


05. Ecotourism


Winner

Peninsula Hot Springs

Peninsula Hot Springs

Entering the bathing area is like stepping into another world, a sanctuary where the mind and body are calmed by the steam, soothing aroma and the sound of running water. It’s a place where time is forgotten and lingering is part of the code of harmony……

An hour’s drive South of Melbourne on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula natural hot mineral waters are flowing from deep underground and into the pools and private baths at Peninsula Hot Springs. Bathe and relax at the Spa Dreaming Centre and dine in the café at this tranquil ecotourism attraction.


Other Winners:
Silver:
Eco-Logic Education & Environment Services

Category


06. Cultural Tourism


Winner

Bendigo Tramways

Bendigo Tramways

Bendigo Tramways is an iconic, heritage tram service that shares fascinating stories about the city that was founded on one of the world’s richest goldfields.

Their Anzac Centenary Tram shares stories of Bendigo as it was during WW1, and offers guided tours of Australia’s oldest operating Tram Depot where you can discover the colourful history of Bendigo’s tram fleet and be blown away by each meticulously hand restored tram.


Other Winners:
Silver: Port of Echuca Discovery Centre
Bronze: Creswick Woollen Mill

Category


08.Specialised Tourism Services


Winner

Leisure Options

Leisure Options

Leisure Options is an accredited tourism business specialising in premium, boutique holiday and travel experiences for people with disabilities. The focus is on making what is often perceived as impossible, possible, by ensuring that tours are inclusive, barrier free and most of all, fun.

Leisure Options offer experiences that showcase the finest destinations throughout Victoria, interstate and internationally.

With over 500 travellers each year the company is successfully fulfilling its vision of accessible travel for all.


Other Winners:
Silver:
Business Events Victoria

Category


09. Visitor Information Services


Winner

Phillip Island and Bass Coast Visitor Information Centre Network

Phillip Island and Bass Coast Visitor Information Centre Network

The Phillip Island and Bass Coast Visitor Information Centre Network provides integrated visitor services from four centres, located in Inverloch, Wonthaggi, Newhaven and Cowes on Phillip Island.

The Information Centre is open 7 days a week, offering professional and local knowledge and booking services enabling visitors to easily plan and book their holiday.


Other Winners:
Silver:
Sunbury Visitor Information Centre
Bronze: Echuca Moama Visitor Information Centre
Finalist: Greater Shepparton Visitor Information Centre

Category


10. Business Event Venues


Winner

Yarra Valley Estate

Yarra Valley Estate

Yarra Valley Estate, formerly known as The Yarra Valley Conference Centre, is a 120 acre rural property located at the foothills of the Great Dividing Range, in one of Victoria’s premium wine growing regions, the Yarra Valley.

With 4 separate conference rooms & 48 onsite accommodation rooms, Yarra Valley Estate can cater for business events, weddings and other private functions. The property takes a holistic approach to natural habitat & wildlife protection growing  their own vegetables, are water independent & source their produce and staff locally.

Category


11. Major Tour & Transport Operators


Winner

Searoad Ferries

Searoad Ferries

Searoad Ferries delivers a 40 minute ferry crossing between Sorrento and Queenscliff connecting the Mornington Peninsula to the Bellarine and Great Ocean Road. Ferries operate 365 days of the year, every hour from 7am to 6pm.

There are two world class all weather ferries offering easy drive on/drive off car facilities, comfortable viewing lounges and external observation decks. The ferry passes by marine National Parks and spectacular scenery, visitors to both regions can experience the beauty of Melbourne’s Port Phillip Bay.


Other Winners:
Silver: AAT Kings
Bronze: Microflite Helicopter Services

Category


12. Tour & Transport Operators


Winner

Global Ballooning Australia Pty Ltd

Global Ballooning Australia

Global Ballooning Australia is the largest hot air ballooning company in Victoria, offering sunrise hot air balloon flights over Melbourne and Yarra Valley.

Global Ballooning Australia caters for all types of occasions including corporate events, marriage proposals, weddings or just for a new adventure, providing a sustainable adventure experience highlighting passengers comfort, safety and enjoyment.


Other Winners:
Silver: Wildlife Coast Cruises
Bronze: Walk Melbourne Tours
Finalist: Horseback Winery Tours
Finalist: Hidden Secrets

Category


13. Adventure Tourism


Winner

Enchanted Adventure Garden and Tree Surfing

Enchanted Adventure Garden and Tree Surfing image 3

Enchanted Adventure Garden is a natural attraction situated on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula at Arthurs Seat. With stunning views over the park’s formal gardens and hedge mazes, the park offers many different things to see and activities to try including giant sculpture, indoor and outdoor mazes, Tube Sliding, Tree Surfing, the Big Zip Line or alternatively set up a picnic and enjoy the natural surroundings.

It’s a place where you can loose yourself in the colours of garden design or marvel at the formal structures of hedge topiary.


Other Winners:
Silver:
Auswalk Walking Holiday
Bronze: Go Ride A Wave P/L
Finalist: Extreme watersport

Category


14. Destination Marketing


Winner

Wine Food Farmgate

Wine Food Farmgate

Wine Food Farmgate is an extensive wine and food promotional campaign created for the Mornington Peninsula.

It features the best seasonal food and wine experiences, and is a great way for visitors to connect with chefs and their restaurants, vignerons and their vineyards, artisan producers, growers and specialty storeowners.

Wine Food Farmgate helps you plan your own food and wine discovery and encourages you to share what you find via social media.


Other Winners:
Silver: Geelong Reinvented
Bronze: Grampians Tourism

Category


15. Tourism Restaurants & Catering Services


Winner

Stillwater at Crittenden

Catering at Stillwater

Stillwater at Crittenden is a multi-award winning tourism restaurant on Victoria’s stunning Mornington Peninsula.
The restaurant, nestled amid the vines within the grounds of Crittenden Estate Winery, provides a full service, yet relaxed, fine dining experience showcasing local produce and regional wines.


Other Winners:
Silver: Donovans Restaurant
Bronze: The Woodhouse
Finalist: Polperro
Finalist: The Avoca

Category


16. Tourism Wineries, Distilleries & Breweries


Winner

Pizzini Wines Cellar Door

Pizzini Wines Cellar Door

Pizzini Wines is a family-owned winery in the heart of the King Valley wine region in the Victorian High Country.

Pizzini Wines are seen as leaders in the production of Italian wine varieties such as Prosecco, Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese and Nebbiolo that are offered in their cellar door.

Pizzini wines also operates their own cooking school A Tavola! host food and wine events, and offer vineyard accommodation.


Other Winners:
Silver: Bright Brewery

Category


17. Caravan & Holiday Parks


Winner

BIG4 Beacon Resort

BIG4 Beacon Resort

BIG4 Beacon Resort is located in Queenscliff, a coastal township south-west of Melbourne. The resort is set amongst native gardens opposite the beach and operate all year-round and offers facilities to suit a variety of holiday styles.

Popular with families, children can enjoy free daily activities and the indoor playground, whilst adults are able to make use of the onsite day spa’s massage and beauty treatments or use of the function room for groups.

BIG4 Beacon Resort also offer luxury one, two and three bedroom villas, self-contained cabins, motel rooms and caravan and camping sites.


Other Winners:
Silver:
RACV Cobram Resort
Bronze: BIG4 Riverside Swan Hill

Category


18. Hosted Accommodation


Winner

Harmony Bed and Breakfast

Harmony Bed and Breakfast

Harmony Bed and Breakfast is situated in Fingal, a protected and tranquil area of the Mornington Peninsula.

Harmony is a traditional Bed and Breakfast set within five acres of rural gardens offering 3 ensuit guest rooms each with their own distinct charm and décor and include a private outdoor sitting area, lounge and breakfast room. Harmony is the perfect choice for those wishing to escape to the country and enjoy the bayside and ocean beaches, golf courses, wineries and shopping of the magnificent Mornington Peninsula.

 

Category


19. Unique Accommodation


Winner

All Seasons Houseboats

All Seasons Houseboat

All Seasons Houseboats is one of Australia’s leading houseboat companies with a commitment to providing their customers with a unique, relaxing and enjoyable holiday experience.

All Season Houseboats is located on the Dockside Marina, Mildura, an enviable tristate location that is easily accessible by road and by air.


Other Winners:
Silver: Gisborne Peak Winery Eco-Cottages

Category


20. Self Contained Accommodation


Winner

Aquabelle Apartments

Aquabelle Apartments

Aquabelle Apartments offers seven glamorous and comfortable rooms overlooking the tranquil Port Phillip Bay foreshore situated in the very centre of ‘Rye’ on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula.

Aquabelle is a 4.5 star rating self-contained family accommodation perfectly located for visitors to explore the unique peninsula.


Other Winners:
Silver: Isabella at Kyneton

Category


21. Standard Accommodation


Winner

Jetty Road Retreat

Jetty Road Retreat

Jetty Road Retreat is situated on the Gippsland Lakes, 3.5 hours east of Melbourne, providing secluded waterfront accommodation in a peaceful bush setting.

Jetty Road Retreat features four self-contained two-bedroom units, offering an affordable lakeside living experience, with access to a private jetty and a range of activities to enjoy such as: beach walks, kayaking and jetty fishing.

Jetty Road Retreat is ideal for enjoying all East Gippsland’s attractions and inspiring natural environment.


Other Winners:
Silver: Cave Hill Creek
Bronze: Mercure Melbourne Treasury Gardens

Category


22. Deluxe Accommodation


Winner

Quality Hotel Wangaratta Gateway

Quality Hotel Wangaratta Gateway

Quality Hotel Wangaratta Gateway is an AAA rated 4.5 star hotel located in the heart of Wangaratta’s CBD, providing 77 suites and apartments, state of the art conference facilities and the award winning on-site regional restaurant Atrium.

Quality Hotel Wangaratta Gateway is positioned to capture the regional touring market visiting Victoria’s High Country including the towns, villages, producers and artisan makers of Beechworth, Bright, Rutherglen, Milawa and the King Valley.

Category


23. Luxury Accommodation


Winner

Drift House

Drift House

Drift House, located in the heart of the coastal town of Port Fairy in South West Victoria, offers luxury accommodation that appeals to those looking for an escape that is individual and interesting.
The suits are equipped with a beautiful design and an environment that creates a relaxing escape, coupled with thoughtful and personal service, which is what makes Drift House a special getaway.


Other Winners:
Silver: RACV Torquay Resort

Category


24. New Tourism Business


Winner

Y Water Discovery Centre @ Yea Wetlands

Y Water Discovery Centre

Y Water Discovery Centre @ Yea Wetlands is a brand new accredited Visitor Information and Environmental Education Centre for Victoria.

The Centre incorporates interactive interpretive displays that inform visitors about the importance of water resource management and local wetland ecology. Located adjacent to the Yea Wetlands, the Centre offers a range of School Programs, Guided Tours, a gift shop and venue hire.


Other Winners:
Silver: Piper St Food Co
Bronze: Holmesglen at Eildon – Rural Learning Centre & Conference Retreat
Finalist: twistED – science at play
Finalist: Exceptional Phillip Island Area Tours Pty Ltd

Category


25. Excellence in Food Tourism


Winner

Green Olive at Red Hill

Green Olive at Red Hill

Green Olive at Red Hill is a family business located one hour from Melbourne in the wine growing region of the Mornington Peninsula.

Overlooking a dam, Green Olive showcase a picturesque setting for visitors to enjoy. The property grows olives, grapes, herbs and veggies, raise sheep and chickens.

When visiting Green Olive, guests can enjoy farm produce tapas dishes, wine from their vineyard, cooking classes, farm tours and farm gate produce tastings.


Other Winners:
Silver:
Simply Tomatoes
Bronze: Rich Glen Estate

Category


26. Qantas Award for Excellence in Sustainable Tourism


Winner

Yarra Valley Estate

Yarra Valley Estate

Yarra Valley Estate hosts conferences, weddings & private accommodation; while ensuring sustainability is at the heart of all decisions. They take a systems approach to operations, realising that all actions impact the business as a whole.

Their aim is for Yarra Valley Estate to be carbon neutral & fully environmentally restorative within 12-24 months with zero waste.

Social sustainability is equally important to Yarra Valley Estate as is good environmental management. They currently contribute 11% of net revenue to community programs & take the time to build the capacity of the staff.

Category


27. Outstanding Contribution by an Individual


Winner

Kathryn Mackenzie

Kathryn Mackenzie

With her passion, dedication and belief in tourism, Kathryn Mackenzie in her role as Executive Manager of Tourism, has successfully helped position and develop Bendigo to be one of the leading cultural and heritage destinations in Australia.

Kathryn has also been integral in helping grow and develop the Victorian tourism industry, with leadership across the Goldfields region, Cultural Tourism Victoria and the Sydney Melbourne Heritage Driving route.

Kathryn’s contribution over the past 20 years makes her one of the great leaders in the Victorian tourism industry.

Category


28. Tourism Education and Training


Winner

Crown College

Crown College

Crown College is one of the largest and most successful registered training organisations in Australia, providing customised and innovative learning to employees wishing to build long-term careers in tourism.

Crown College focus’ on incorporating innovative and exciting learning experiences, delivering content that exceeds participant expectations, setting the benchmark in tourism education and training.

Category


29. Local Government Award for Tourism


Winner

Corangamite Shire Council

Corangamite Shire Council

Corangamite Shire is a rural Shire located in Victoria’s South West where some of Australia’s most iconic landmarks, such as Great Ocean Road; the 12 Apostles and Port Campbell National Park, can be seen and visited.

Corangamite Shire Council has prioritised initiatives to attract investment in accommodation to lengthen visitors duration of stay and create increased local economic benefits.


Other Winners:
Silver:
City of Melbourne – City Activation – International Aids Conference Cultural program

Category


30. Backpacker Accommodation


Winner

Space Hotel

Space Hotel

Space Hotel is an affordable and contemporary accommodation in Melbourne’s CBD with a diverse range of room types from dorm beds to private suites and family rooms catering for travellers with different budgets.

Space Hotel emphasise their social elements with facilities such as an in-house cinema, a restaurant-quality communal kitchen, and a rooftop area showcasing panoramic views of the city.


Other Winners:
Silver: Melbourne Central YHA

Category


31. Young Achievers Award


Winner

Matthew McDonald

Matthew McDonald

Matt McDonald has been working in and contributing to the Tourism industry in Victoria and Australia since he was 14 years of age.

His experience includes Tall Ships Tours on Port Phillip Bay, Marine Biologist at Melbourne Aquarium, Mt Buller tour leader, running the most successful luxury yacht in Australia, to managing a multi-million dollar tourism business.

Matt sits on a number of boards and committees using his leadership, experience, vision and enthusiasm to make a difference in tourism in the future.

Category


32. Outstanding Contribution by Volunteers


Winner

Melbourne Airport Customer Care Program

Melbourne Airport Customer Care Program

The Volunteer Customer Care Program is a major initiative supporting the delivery of customer service by ensuring a passenger’s airport journey is smooth, comfortable and as relaxed as possible, adopting a “one airport/one team” approach to service.

The Customer Care Team consists of 130 diverse but passionate volunteers dedicated to providing information, direction and support to the many passengers moving through the airport daily.

SAVE THE DATE:
Gala Ceremony

Thurs 24 November 2016

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