2013 winners

Major Tourist Attraction – Crocosaurus Cove

Crocosaurus Cove is an inner Darwin city tourist attraction that displays almost 200 crocodiles. One of the biggest attractions is the Cage of Death, which is the only cage in the world that allows you swim with some of the largest Saltwater Crocodiles in captivity.

Tourist Attraction – Uluru Camel Tours

Uluru Camel Tours is a camel farm at Ayers Rock Resort located next to Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park. The farm, featuring a camel museum and saddlery, with up to five guided camel tours daily using Uluru and Kata Tjuta as a stunning backdrop.

Major Festivals and Events – Alice Springs Turf Club

The 2013 XXXXGOLD Alice Springs Cup carnival is an iconic racing event held in May. Dating back to 1904, the Alice Springs Cup attracts people from all over Australia and creates substantial economic boost for the town.

Festivals and Events – Yulara Outback Fest 2013

The 2013 Yulara Outback Fest. and the Yulara Camel Cup delivered an exceptional regional event in May 2013. Run by volunteers, the event boosted the economy, delivered a sense of community spirit in the heart of Australia and attracted 2300 people. Highlights included the Trivia Night, Twilight Markets, buying a race camel at the Camel Cup Calcutta and the Frock Up and Rock Up Ball.

Eco Tourism – Sea Darwin

Sea Darwin is an eco-certified marine based cruise company which offers year round interpretative experiences in the Top End. Developed by Darwin locals, cruises focus on Darwin Harbour and showcase the Bare Sand Island Turtles.

Heritage and Cultural Tourism – Venture North

Venture North is a family owned tour company specialising in taking small-groups ‘off-the-beaten-track’ and into some of the more remote areas of the NT. Holding a number of special entry permits Venture North has access into many restricted regions of Kakadu and Arnhem Land. It operates a safari-style camp nestled amongst savannah bushland and overlooking the bay of Port Essington.

Indigenous Tourism – Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia

Located at the gateway to Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park in Central Australia, Voyages Ayers Rock Resort lies in one of Australia’s most remote destinations. With four hotels and a campground, the resort caters to every taste and budget. Under the stewardship of Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia, Ayers Rock Resort delivers Indigenous employment, training and business development opportunities for local Anangu and Indigenous people Australia-wide.

Specialised Tourism Services – DIY Tourguide

DIY Tourguide Australia offers audio sightseeing tours for self-drive travellers. Available in CD, MP3 or iPhone format, DIY Tourguide's audio tours bring alive the stories of the NT’s early pioneers, Aboriginal culture, flora, fauna and natural history. The audio guides, which have been translated into Italian, French and Chinese, also include commentary by Outback characters. Tours include Alice Springs to Uluru, and The West MacDonnell Ranges.

Visitor Information Centre – Tourism Top End

Tourism Top End provides visitor information services north of Elliott to the Queensland and Western Australia borders. TTE provides a complimentary, on-the-spot booking service for more than 550 members' products including accommodation, tours and charters, attractions, fishing charters and vehicle hire. Visitor information services are provided in Darwin City and Batchelor and booths are at the Fort Hill Wharf Cruise Ship Terminal and Darwin Rail Terminal.

Business Tourism – Uluru Meeting Place

Uluru Meeting Place is Voyages Ayers Rock Resort’s Meetings, Incentives and Conferences division, providing business tourism clients with a range of world class meeting options and unique experiences in one of Australia’s most remote and iconic destinations. Uluru Meeting Place is a stunning architectural structure offering state of the art conference facilities, boardrooms and outdoor event options capitalising on the landscape.

Major Tour and/or Transport Operator – AAT Kings

AAT Kings is an established Northern Territory tourism operator with bases in Darwin, Alice Springs and Uluru. With a commitment to providing visitors with unique experiences and outstanding service, AAT Kings operates guided yours, short breaks and day tours. AAT Kings promotes the NT all around the world.

Tour and/or transport Operator – Uluru Camel Tours

The Uluru Camel Tours provides a glimpse into the camel pioneering history of the Red Centre. The stunning World Heritage area of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park provides the backdrop to exploring the working saddler and camel museum. Camel experiences range from a short ten minute ride around the yard to an unforgettable ride at sunrise or sunset.

Adventure Tourism – Tiwi Islands Adventures

Tiwi Islands Adventures is the operating name for Melville Island Lodge, the Johnson River Camp, and the new sport-fishing destination, Bathurst Island Lodge. Guests are provided with a high-quality catch and release fishing adventure in a pristine wilderness environment. All-inclusive packages range from short-stay trips and company incentives, through to extended fishing safaris.

Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services – RT Tours Australia

The signature tour is the Alice Springs ‘Mbantua Sunset & Starlight Bush Dinner’. The tour includes the historic Telegraph Reserve and Simpsons Gap while learning about the bush foods and Aboriginal culture. Dinner is a scenic bush setting with a three-course meal, cooked over an open mulga fire, with bush food delicacies included.

Tourist and Caravan Parks – BIG4 MacDonnell Range Holiday Park

BIG4 MacDonnell Range Holiday Park offers a shady campsite in the foothills of the MacDonnell Ranges or Deluxe Villas set amongst native flowering trees and shrubs. BIG4 MacDonnell Range Holiday Park is the most awarded holiday park in the NT.

Backpacker Accommodation – Melaleuca on Mitchell

Melaleuca on Mitchell is a three-storied backpacker hostel in Darwin. Melaleuca on Mitchell has a range of shared and private rooms to suit all budgets and features two pools, a waterfall spa, licensed bar and big screen for sport and entertainment.

Standard Accommodation – Ibis Styles Katherine

The ibis Styles Katherine is located just south of the Katherine town centre and offers 100 rooms, a restaurant, bar, pool, tennis court, BBQ area and function room. Nearby attractions include Nitmiluk Katherine Gorge, Cutta Cutta Caves, Mataranka Springs, Edith Falls and Springvale Homestead, with guided day tours on offer such as canoeing, crocodile spotting, bushwalking and scenic flights.

Deluxe Accommodation – Lasseters

Lasseters Hotel Casino is a deluxe property with 205 spacious rooms and suites located at the foot of the majestic MacDonnell Ranges. All rooms and suites have a private balcony or courtyard showcasing great views of the stunning MacDonnell Ranges, pool, golf course or Todd River. Guests can also enjoy free WiFi property-wide, business centre, concierge cervices, gymnasium and complimentary use of mountain bikes to explore Alice Springs.

Luxury Accommodation – Sails in the Desert Hotel

Located at the gateway to Uluru Kata- Tjuta National Park in Central Australia, the five star Sails in the Desert Hotel beautifully contrasts Uluru’s raw natural beauty with a decidedly luxurious outback holiday experience. Following a recent $38m refurbishment, Sails in the Desert, brings the colours, textures and stories of the landscape to life in this iconic destination.

New Tourism Development – SKYCITY Darwin

Officially opened in July 2012, SKYCITY Darwin's $40 million dollar resort development introduced a new level of luxury accommodation to Darwin. Boasting 32 luxury resort rooms and two superior villas, the resort is centred on an expansive lagoon swimming pool, the size of eight tennis courts and a 30 metre white sand beach. The complex also features a day spa.

Qantas Award for Excellence in Sustainable Tourism – Sea Darwin Eco Cruises

Sea Darwin is an eco-certified marine based cruise company which offers year round interpretative experiences in the Top End. Developed by Darwin locals, cruises focus on Darwin Harbour and showcase the Bare Sand Island Turtles.

First time entrants award – Pine Creek Railway Resort

Pine Creek Railway Resort has been specifically constructed to provide a luxury stop-over at the crossroads to Kakadu, Litchfield and the Douglas Daly regions. Each room of the 4.5 star motel accommodation resort is designed in the style of a rail carriage. The resort offers a quality restaurant, conference facilities, oasis style covered pool area and Australia Post facilities. Nearby is the site of original Pine Creek Rail siding, a working steam train and mining museum.

Tourism NT Business Growth Award – Earth Sanctuary World Nature Centre

Earth Sanctuary is situated just south of Alice Springs overlooking the East MacDonnell Ranges and is the only known tourism business in the NT to be completely carbon neutral. Established in 2000, the family owned and operated business offers tours and education with insights into ecology, culture and astronomy.

George Dunne Award Outstanding Contribution by an Individual – Lisa Dawes

Lisa Dawes has lived and worked in the NT for over 22 years. For the past 20 years she has called Katherine home and now works at the Ibis Styles hotel. In that role, Lisa has worked every position from room attendant to senior management roles to relieving general manager. She is always professional and friendly, and committed to service or training staff. Through her hospitality work, charity initiatives, sporting bodies, and volunteer work - Lisa Dawes embodies the strength and character of a true Territorian and is a deserving winner of the George Dunne Award.

Outstanding Interpretive Guide – Manuel Pamkal

Manuel Pamkal is regarded as a living legend and his cultural experiences leave visitors with memories for life. Visitors to Top Didj in Katherine find him informative, humorous and a wonderful teacher to the young and old. He is eager to pass on his culture and his tours include cultural talks, painting workshops, fire lighting demonstrations and boomerang and spear throwing classes.

Young Achiever – Lisa Harriman

Restaurant Manager for Table Forty Three - Mantra Pandanas , is an asset to the hotel and the food and beverage team she works within. Lisa has shown dedication and passion in striving to increase the productivity of the restaurant, whilst nurturing and fostering a team of hospitality staff. Lisa leads by example and always works towards making the guest experience exceptional.

Industry Employee – Rosemary Mackrill

Rosemary Mackrill has dedicated over 17 years to the NT hospitality industry. She is currently the executive housekeeper at Mantra on the Esplanade, a role she undertakes with passion. She has fostered a housekeeping team to quality service whilst respecting their needs as individuals. Rosemary’s happy and friendly nature, encourages her staff to achieve. Guest feedback on the hotels housekeeping and its staff is continually commendable, confirming Rosemary’s achievements.

Chairman’s Choice Award – Quest Parap

The Quest Parap features 84 studio, one, two and three bedroom fully self-contained apartments. This popular 4.5 star property provides a spacious and modern home away from home for corporate and leisure travellers to Darwin. Quest Parap is located in the shopping village of Parap, a quick drive from the Darwin CBD.

Tourism Ministers Perpetual Trophy – Pat and Norma Brennan

Pat and Norma Brennan founded the first independent tour company in Alice Springs in 1965. Since that time, Tailormade Tours has remained a family owned and operated local business providing specialised touring throughout Central Australia.

Pat and Norma had an impeccable reputation for quality service, relationship building and product branding. They instilled an enormous sense of pride in their staff, their tours and their vehicles – all of which were consistently and immaculately presented, reflecting their own personal high standards.

Aware of the need to improve the packaging and distribution of Alice Springs tours, Pat and Norma were two of the founding members of the Alice Springs Tour Professionals in 1994 – a successful marketing network of local operators who recognised the benefits of combining their resources to implement more effective marketing campaigns than they would otherwise be able to achieve individually.

Over the years, Pat and Norma successfully developed their own distinct presence in the marketplace, offering day touring, private charters, transfers and the highly acclaimed Original Outback Bush BBQ – a unique and authentic experience in a spectacular venue that provides a rare insight into the early Aboriginal way of life and the pioneering cattle industry.

In 2002, Pat won the Outstanding Contribution by an Individual Award at the Brolga Awards and in 2005 he and Norma made a major lifestyle decision and sold the business to their son Danny.

Page last updated on 07 January 2020