Entrants & Results

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.

2021 Tourism Award winners

  • 01. Major Tourist Attractions
  • 02. Tourist Attractions
  • 03. Major Festivals and Events
  • 04. Festivals & Events
  • 05. Ecotourism
  • 06. Cultural Tourism
  • 08. Tourism Retail & Hire Services
  • 09. Visitor Information Services
  • 10. Business Event Venues
  • 11. Major Tour & Transport Operators
  • 12. Tour & Transport Operators
  • 13. Adventure Tourism
  • 14. Tourism Marketing and Campaigns
  • 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. 3-3.5 Star Accommodation
  • 22. 4-4.5 Star Deluxe Accommodation
  • 23. 5 Star Luxury Accommodation
  • 24. New Tourism Business
  • 25. Excellence in Food Tourism
  • 26. Tourism Education and Training
  • 27. Local Government Award for Tourism
  • 28. Excellence in Accessible Tourism
  • 29. Outstanding Contribution by an Individual
  • 30. Outstanding Contribution by Volunteers
  • 31. Young Achiever's Award
  • City of Melbourne Innovation & Resilience Award - Greater Melbourne
  • City of Melbourne Innovation & Resilience Award - Regional Victoria
  • All

Category


24. New Tourism Business


Winner

Wilsons Promontory Cruises

City of Melbourne

Launched in September 2019, Wilsons Promontory Cruises is the only cruise operating from Wilsons Promontory National Park. Guests travel in the world’s first, custom-built, amphibious boats on a 2.5-hour wilderness cruise of Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park. They witness South Point, the southernmost tip of mainland Australia and explore the remarkable granite coastline including the iconic granite monolith, Skull Rock and search for abundant coastal wildlife. Wilsons Promontory Cruises is the latest addition to the award-winning Pennicott Wilderness Journeys yellow boat ecotours.


Other Winners:

Silver: Wildlife Wonders
Bronze: Hilton Melbourne Little Queen Street and
Bronze: Red Hill Candle Co
Finalist: Grazeland
Finalist: Hop It
Finalist: JimmyRum
Finalist: Quincy Hotel Melbourne
Finalist:
Urbnsurf Melbourne

Category


14. Tourism Marketing and Campaigns


Winner

Gippsland: All Kinds of Wonder

Storytowns

Destination Gippsland’s marketing strategy is to grow the visitor economy with increased destination awareness, visitation and expenditure. Struggling with consumer perception of a one-dimensional wilderness experience that visitors didn’t know how to consume, Destination Gippsland launched their rebrand, All Kinds of Wonder in late 2019. The brand has made Gippsland more competitive in the marketplace, and is changing perceptions of the region to a diverse, all-encompassing destination that meets the needs of increasingly sophisticated visitors. With the region devastated by bushfire, drought and Covid-19 over the past two years, integrated brand campaigns have also become a path toward recovery.


Other Winners:

Silver: Mornington Peninsula Regional Tourism Board – Hello Again Campaign
Bronze: The Great Sleepover – by Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism
Finalist: Bloom – Bendigo Tourism Spring Campaign
Finalist: Grampians Tourism – Host with the Most
Finalist: Made of Ballarat

Category


City of Melbourne Innovation & Resilience Award - Regional Victoria


Winner

Phillip Island Nature Parks

Phillip Island Nature Parks is Australia’s most popular natural wildlife attraction and home to the world–famous Penguin Parade which has been delighting visitors for 100 years and turned digital in 2020 with Live Penguin TV!

The Nature Parks provides unique and memorable ecotourism experiences including, a world-first underground penguin viewing experience at Penguins Plus, treetop viewing at the Koala Conservation Reserve and heritage farming demonstrations at Churchill Island.

As a not-for-profit ecotourism organisation, visitors contribute to the vision of protecting nature for wildlife.

Category


City of Melbourne Innovation & Resilience Award - Greater Melbourne


Winner

Melbourne Boat Hire

Melbourne Boat Hire is Melbourne’s premium, eco-friendly electric self-drive boat hire and boat tour operator on the iconic Yarra River. Melbourne Boat Hire offers self-drive and skippered cruises for up to 12 people, or you can enjoy one of their lunch and dinner cruises which can be chartered for up to 35 people.

Category


29. Outstanding Contribution by an Individual


Winner

Lyell Strambi

Lyell Strambi was appointed CEO and Managing Director of Australia Pacific Airports Corporation (APAC ) in September 2015. He is responsible for the operation and development of both Melbourne and Launceston airports. Lyell also provides leadership on the Australian Airports Association, the national voice for more than 330 airports across Australia.

Prior to commencing at APAC, Mr Strambi was the Chief Executive Officer of Qantas Airways Domestic, a role he held for three years following four years as the airline’s Group Executive Operations.
Between 2001 and 2008 Lyell was based in London, working in senior roles at Virgin Atlantic that included Executive Director – Airline Services and followed by six years as Chief Operating Officer.

Category


30. Outstanding Contribution by Volunteers


Winner

Myrtleford Visitor Information Centre Volunteers

The Myrtleford Visitor Information Centre is staffed by a dynamic team of volunteers who run the centre 7 days a week, 364 days a year- equating to approximately 2,920 hours volunteered annually. The team comprises of locals who love where they live and are passionate about sharing their knowledge with visitors to the region. Many of the volunteers have been a part of the team since the service commenced over 15 years ago- a truly inspirational long term level of commitment to showcasing the township they live in and the place they love with all travellers who visit the region.

Category


31. Young Achiever's Award


Winner

Ebony Flett

Ebony Flett is the founder of Red Hill Candle Co Factory Experience & Store on Melbourne’s stunning Mornington Peninsula. Ebony’s entire career has been focused on the tourism and events industry. From study and employment decisions to travelling for both leisure and business, she has experience in the industry across varying roles of customer service, destination marketing, event management, reservations, business events and industry development.

Working alongside tourism businesses to enhance their product offering and build their business skills, Ebony has developed a wealth of knowledge and an immeasurable understanding of helping people find pleasure through new and meaningful experiences.

Category


22. 4-4.5 Star Deluxe Accommodation


Winner

Anchors Port Campbell

Anchors Port Campbell provides couples a self-contained luxury accommodation experience, maintained to a National standard of 4.5 Stars. Situated in the heart of Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, and only minutes from the iconic 12 Apostles, Anchors is perched in rural land overlooking the coastal village of Port Campbell.

A family-operated business committed to providing a truly memorable experience with a focus on excellence in customer service. Explore world-class nature at your doorstep and indulge in gourmet delights with 12 Apostles Food Artisan produce.

Anchors three upscale villas with valley and Southern Ocean views will instantly put you at ease.


Other Winners:

Silver:  Mercure Warragul
Bronze: Crowne Plaza Melbourne
Finalist: Central Deborah Motel

Category


08. Tourism Retail & Hire Services


Winner

Uniquely Bendigo and the Living Arts Space

Uniquely Bendigo and Living Arts Space is significant retail experiences designed to complement the Bendigo Visitor Centre’s role of providing a ‘one-stop-shop’ for locals and visitors alike. By showcasing the unique qualities, products and art that Bendigo and Region have to offer, visitors can purchase a memento (a piece of Bendigo), while staff and volunteers aim to enrich the visitor’s experience by encouraging them where possible, to travel to the source of many artists’ work for a first-hand experience. Uniquely Bendigo and Living Arts Space are well known to showcase the “Best of Bendigo and Region” both in-store and online.


Other Winners:

Silver: MADE on Watton – Wyndham City Council 

Category


25. Excellence in Food Tourism


Winner

Green Olive at Red Hill

Green Olive at Red Hill is a whole farm experience. Their dream is to help people live a ‘good life’ through the goodness of the farm.

Since 2002 they have established a vineyard, built a farm kitchen and store, launched farm classes, tours and tastings, created their farm brand of food, cordial and wines, sourced useful kitchen products and inspiring cookbooks and branched out with their own farm body care products.


Other Winners:

Silver:  Hawkes Farm
BronzeCherryHill Orchards
Finalist: Holmesglen at Eildon

Category


23. 5 Star Luxury Accommodation


Winner

Carmel at Sorrento

Carmel at Sorrento is exclusive, stylish and perfectly positioned luxury accommodation for those who are seeking a sophisticated coastal vacation. Situated in the heart of Sorrento Village with dining, shopping and outdoor leisure at your fingertips.

Escape, relaxation and luxury add-ons are all part of the Carmel at Sorrento exquisite holiday experience. Six sleek fully appointed apartments each with its own balcony provide a home away from home, while the exclusive penthouse suite offers optimum privacy with restricted elevator access and a generous outdoor entertaining area is a holiday apartment presentation at its finest.

Category


21. 3-3.5 Star Accommodation


Winner

Alexandra Hotel

Alexandra Hotel is located 2 hours North East of Melbourne CBD and offers old-world charm infused with fresh style – it is the perfect escape!

The joy of a heritage building – what they lack in floor space they make up for in character. All rooms are beautifully decorated, comfortable, all with their own ensuites and locally made toiletries.

Alexandra Hotel is an accredited cycle friendly business with lock-up storage and workshop area. The hotel is open seven days for accommodation, and the award-winning Restaurant is open Thursday to Sunday.

The team at Alexandra Hotel hope to welcome you soon!


Other Winners:

Silver : Sandbar Motel

Category


28. Excellence in Accessible Tourism


Winner

Melbourne Cable Park

Department of Transport

Melbourne Cable Park is a world-class outdoor adventure centre, located in tranquil parklands just 35 minutes from the CBD in Melbourne’s southeast.

Open all year round, the Park is an “activity hub” for the energetic, with spectacular panoramic views of Melbourne. Whether you are an adventure-seeking traveler or organising a catchup with family and friends, the Park offers a choice of exciting and challenging water and non-water based activities, suitable for all ages & abilities (including an accessible wakeboard program).

Guaranteed to create lasting memories the Park is a “must do” for visitors to Melbourne.


Other Winners:

Silver: Accessible Accommodation

Category


27. Local Government Award for Tourism


Winner

City of Greater Bendigo

The City of Greater Bendigo is 90 minutes north of Melbourne and located on the land of the Dja Dja Wurrung and Taungurung clans. Bendigo’s rich gold rush past resulted in a city with a striking architectural landscape and a mix of cultures. Today, it is renowned for its contemporary arts, culture and heritage, with unique artisan experiences, quality food, wine and shopping. In 2019 Bendigo became Australia’s only UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, in recognition of the region’s agricultural innovation and incredible food and beverage culture. Bendigo is also recognised as one of Australia’s most desirable regional cities.


Other Winners:

Silver: Greater Shepparton City Council

Category


26. Tourism Education and Training


Winner

William Angliss Institute

William Angliss Institute is the specialist training provider for the foods, tourism, hospitality, and events industries, delivering a range of courses within Australia and internationally.

Enrolling around 23,000 students annually, it offers a broad range of training and education programs from Certificates through to Master’s Degrees.

For over 80 years the Institute has earned a strong global reputation through the delivery of innovative training solutions and consultancy services to clients across Australia and abroad. It’s proud of its passionate and dedicated people, with long-standing industry ties, who contribute their knowledge and experience in delivering training of the very highest standard.

Category


20. Self Contained Accommodation


Winner

Golton in the Gap

Wake up to the tranquility of the Grampians in luxury accommodation, the perfect place to relax and unwind.

Nestled in the heart of Halls Gap, Golton in the Gap is a modern, architecturally designed home, comfortably accommodating up to eight guests in three spacious and luxurious bedrooms. North facing windows in the large living area, frame spectacular mountain views, which open out to the expansive deck, perfect for alfresco dining and relaxation. Golton in the Gap has been designed for couples, families, and friends to comfortably stay and reconnect in the majestic surrounds of the Grampians National Park.


Other Winners:

Silver: Beachcomber Holiday Units

Category


19. Unique Accommodation


Winner

Balgownie Estate Bendigo

Located in the heart of the Goldfields region, Balgownie Estate Bendigo offers luxury accommodation, high-quality dining, and award-winning wines. First established in 1969, Balgownie Estate is Bendigo’s oldest working winery. The property offers a range of accommodation types, including luxury glamping tents, self-contained cottage suites, as well as newly renovated rooms located in the property’s original farmstead. Surrounded by scenic vineyards and serene bushland, Balgownie Estate Bendigo is the perfect location to escape and relax, or to use as a base when exploring Bendigo and the wider Goldfields region.


Other Winners:

Silver: Alpine Nature Experience

Category


18. Hosted Accommodation


Winner

Heytesbury House – Hall of Fame

Located in the hinterland region of Victoria’s iconic Great Ocean Road, Heytesbury House provides 4.5 star luxury in magnificent historic surrounds.

Providing 4 individually styled suites and beautifully manicured gardens, this property presents an opportunity to experience old world charm with all the modern day conveniences.

Since falling in love with the place back in 2010, Kathryn and Andrew have restored this Edwardian beauty to her former glory, ensuring its heritage and cultural significance will stand for many years to come.


Other Winners:

Silver: Tallawarra Homestead
Bronze: Genesta House Bed & Breakfast

Category


17. Caravan & Holiday Parks


Winner

BIG4 Castlemaine Gardens Holiday Park

BIG4 Castlemaine Gardens Holiday Park is a peaceful retreat in the heart of the vibrant and eclectic historic town of Castlemaine in Central Victoria’s goldfields, just a 90 minute journey from Melbourne. Overlooking Castlemaine’s beautiful Botanical Gardens, guests enjoy sweeping views of magnificent trees from the decks of their luxury Glamping Tent, Safari Tent or Glamtainer, a luxuriously converted shipping container. There are also five-star Villas, comfortable Studios and picturesque caravan and camping sites. It’s an ideal base for exploring the region’s wineries, restaurants, galleries and parks or simply enjoying an escape from the everyday with friends or family.

Category


16. Tourism Wineries, Distilleries & Breweries


Winner

Starward Whisky Distillery

Regional Development Victoria

Some distilleries choose a peat bog or a bubbling brook. Starward Whisky chose Melbourne’s CBD.

Starward’s distillery and whiskies are just as innovative as the city they call home. They craft their whiskies in Port Melbourne, from local ingredients, mature in barrels from the famed Australian wine regions, and harness Melbourne’s infamous weather to make a distinctly Australian spirit.

Starward’s urban distillery welcomes whisky experts and newbies equally. They create award-winning whisky, beside a fully-stocked bar and indulge their guest’s whisky cravings with distillery tours, masterclasses and tastings.

Melbourne is full of surprises. Starward is happy to be one of them.


Other Winners:

Silver: Harman Wines

Category


15. Tourism Restaurants & Catering Services


Winner

Alexandra Hotel

Alexandra Hotel chef and owner Patrick Browning has created a destination dining experience with his produce-driven menu in this wonderful food region, 2 hours North East of Melbourne, just past the Yarra Valley heading into the Victorian High Country.

The team at Alexandra Hotel welcomes guests like good friends to enjoy the hospitality – the connection they have with the producers comes through on the menu and in the stories.

Alexandra Hotel has boutique accommodation and an award winning restaurant – it really is the perfect escape!


Other Winners:

Silver: Pt. Leo Estate
Bronze: Trulli

Category


05. Ecotourism


Winner

Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park – Hall of Fame

Parks Victoria

Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park invites you to visit and get an up-close look at Australia’s amazing animals.

During the day you can explore the bushland while feeding kangaroos and wallabies, petting friendly koalas and enjoying encounters with wombats, pythons, dingoes and other animals including endangered species. At night, Moonlit Sanctuary comes alive with lantern-lit tours. Join this unique wildlife safari and meet some amazing animals in their natural nocturnal environment and their passionate carers.

With over 70 Australian species and over 400 animals, Moonlit Sanctuary is the ideal place to learn more about the fascinating animals that call Australia home.


Other Winners:

Silver: Alpine Nature Experience
Bronze: Phillip Island Nature Parks
Finalist: Sea All Dolphin Swims 

Category


13. Adventure Tourism


Winner

Absolute Outdoors/Grampians Peaks Walking Company

Absolute Outdoors and Grampians Peaks Walking Company are quality tourism accredited and provide a range of outdoor recreation and educational experiences to a wide range of individual/small groups of tourists and larger client groups such as schools, corporates and other tourism operators. These popular adventure tourism activities are run here in the Grampians and include day/overnight hiking on the Grampians Peak Trail, mountain biking, trail running, canoeing, rock climbing and abseiling. Absolute Outdoors also runs a retail shop (and local post office!) which has a targeted range of premium outdoor adventure gear to support adventure tourism activities in the Grampians.


Other Winners:

Silver: Melbourne Cable Park
Bronze: Mornington Boat Hire

Category


12. Tour & Transport Operators


Winner

Melbourne Boat Hire

Melbourne Boat Hire is Melbourne’s premium, eco-friendly electric self-drive boat hire and boat tour operator on the iconic Yarra River. Melbourne Boat Hire offers self-drive and skippered cruises for up to 12 people, or you can enjoy one of their lunch and dinner cruises which can be chartered for up to 35 people.


Other Winners:

Silver: Grape Explorations Australia
Bronze: Tour Local

Category


11. Major Tour & Transport Operators


Winner

Searoad Ferries

Operating for over 34 years and enjoyed by over 950,000 passengers annually Searoad Ferries is Australia’s busiest car and passenger ferry, sailing Melbourne’s Port Phillip Bay between Sorrento and Queenscliff. The 40-minute crossing connects the Mornington Peninsula with the Bellarine and Great Ocean Road and is a great alternative to the drive around the bay. Two world class ferries criss-cross all day, every day offering more time sightseeing and less time driving. It is more than getting there, it is about the experience, to relax and unwind, take in the bay wildlife and scenery. Searoad Ferries connecting people and places.


Other Winners:

Silver: Melbourne Airport
Bronze: Tourism Holdings Australia Pty Ltd

Category


10. Business Event Venues


Winner

Higher Mark – Geelong Cats

Business Events Victoria

Boasting the largest event space in regional Victoria, Higher Mark is the epitome of class. The versatile venue has 32 premium event spaces that can be adapted to suit all event size requirements with facilities for two to 2,450 guests. The sophisticated spaces deliver the perfect venue for all types of events ranging from conferences, exhibitions, business meetings, to social functions, weddings & more. At Higher Mark, their ambition is to take your event to the next level. With ‘exceptional’ as a benchmark, delivering premium, tailored experiences for their clients is a priority.


Other Winners:

Silver: Holmesglen at Eildon
Bronze: Balgownie Estate Yarra Valley

Category


09. Visitor Information Services


Winner

Bendigo Visitor Centre

Quality Tourism Framework

Welcome to Australia’s grandest Visitor Centre, in Bendigo, Central Victoria.

The Bendigo Visitor Centre continues to innovate and lead the way in the delivery of visitor servicing programs; collaborating with local and regional stakeholders to develop key strategic partnerships to drive economic growth across the region.

With a mission focused on assisting our visitors to uncover their own enriching Bendigo experience through inspirational, engaging and unbiased information, our team of staff and 60+ volunteers are passionate about sharing the stories of Bendigo. This approach has placed Bendigo Visitor Centre as one of the first stops on any Bendigo itinerary.


Other Winners:

Silver: Phillip Island and Bass Coast Visitor Information Centre Network

Category


06. Cultural Tourism


Winner

Geelong Gallery

City of Melbourne

Celebrating 125 years, Geelong Gallery was established in 1896 and is one of the leading and oldest regional galleries in Victoria. As a major cultural institution in the City of Greater Geelong, the Gallery’s purpose is to provide an experience of art that will enrich people’s lives. Demonstrating consistently strong growth in attendance and engagement, Geelong Gallery’s success is based on the excellence of its collection (focused on Australian landscape, printmaking and the evolution of Geelong); the capacity to deliver both popular and scholarly exhibitions; a commitment to lifelong learning, and a significant contribution to Geelong’s economic and cultural renewal.


Other Winners:

Silver: Living Legends

Category


04. Festivals & Events


Winner

Ballarat Heritage Festival

Jagged Little Pill

Ballarat Heritage Festival is a 24-day celebration of unique history, architecture, creations, and people that constitute the rich tapestry of Ballarat.

From humble beginnings as a heritage weekend over two days, the festival was revolutionised in 2021 by the City of Ballarat in collaboration with community and industry, to stage more than three weeks of accessible events and experiences in a COVID-safe environment.

With a spotlight on First Nations, the gold rush era and storytelling, the modern-day Ballarat Heritage Festival is a felicitous way to share Ballarat’s past, 90 minutes west of Melbourne.

Category


03. Major Festivals and Events


Winner

Tesselaar Tulip Festival

Melbourne Airport

The Tesselaar Tulip Festival is a 30-day festival celebrating the tulip, Dutch history, flower farming and offers a diverse cultural experience. In its 66th year, as a third-generation family business, the Tulip Festival employs around 90 staff, of which most are local residents, and the overall attendance has grown to over 100,000. The festival is held annually in Spring due to the flowering cycle of the tulip and the Victorian School holidays. Each year the festival brings the small town of Silvan, Victoria into the spotlight with a kaleidoscope of colour and an infiltration of visitors.


Other Winners:

Silver: Melbourne Music Week
Bronze: RGYC Summer of Sailing

Category


01. Major Tourist Attractions


Winner

Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria

Melbourne Airport

For 175 years, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria has delivered exceptional tourism experiences at two iconic gardens: a heritage-listed landscape in Melbourne and an award-winning contemporary native garden, set within remnant bushland at Cranbourne.

The organisation is known for innovative engagement programs that highlight the role of nature in community wellbeing, whilst fostering social inclusion for community benefit. It is also dedicated to stimulating conservation action, lifelong learning and unique memories for visitors of all ages.

With enhanced hospitality and retail services and many beautiful new landscapes, visitors are showing a renewed love affair with Victoria’s most prizes tourism attraction.


Other Winners:

Silver: Melbourne Cricket Ground
Bronze: Phillip Island Nature Parks
Finalist: Falls Creek Resort Management
Finalist: Fed Square
Finalist: Peninsula Hot Springs

Category


02. Tourist Attractions


Winner

Cactus Country

Tourism Australia

Assemble your amigos, stick on a sombrero and make your way to Australia’s largest cactus farm, less than 3 hours North of Melbourne!

Follow one of eight sandy trails through this 12 acre desert oasis to view everything from the smallest of succulents to the Valley of the Giants. Take in the views from the elevated lookout dome, ‘spike a pose’ among the cacti, and enjoy a fiesta at the café/bar. Families love the ‘Spotto’ scavenger hunt, and green thumbs will be in plant heaven exploring the onsite nursery. Explore a little piece of Mexico on the Murray at Cactus Country.


Other Winners:

Silver: CherryHill Orchards
Bronze: Deep Blue Hot Springs Warrnambool
Finalist: Adventure Park Geelong
Finalist: Gumbuya World
Finalist: Living Legends

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