Winners announced at the 2018 North Coast Regional Tourism Awards

Image credit: Rob Cleary, Seen Australia

Image credit: Rob Cleary, Seen Australia

Leading regional tourism businesses, events, and visitor experiences stretching from the Great Lakes region to the Tweed were recognised at the 2018 North Coast Regional Tourism Awards in Coffs Harbour last night.

Winners in 13 categories were announced at the gala awards ceremony from finalists including local councils, tourism businesses, events, restaurants, wineries and accommodation providers. More than 200 industry representatives were in attendance to see who would take home the coveted awards and witness the induction of nine businesses into the Hall of Fame.

In association with the gala, Destination North Coast hosted the inaugural North Coast Tourism Symposium yesterday. A networking and business development day, it saw more than 110 of the region’s tourism operators and event organisers engage in sessions with experts on topics including destination management, nature-based tourism, food and agritourism, business events, and inclusive tourism.


2018 North Coast Regional Tourism Award winners


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.

The final 2018 gala event is for the Destination Country & Outback region and will be held in Orange this Saturday, 28 July.

Belinda King