Congratulations to the winners of the 2016 Brolga Northern Territory Tourism Awards which were announced at a gala ceremony at the Darwin Convention Centre on Saturday 12th November:
MAJOR TOURIST ATTRACTIONS - Kakadu National Park
Kakadu National Park attracted 180,000 visitors last year, and is recognised as offering world class tourism experiences through its natural and cultural attractions. Covering nearly 20,000 square kilometres of exceptional natural beauty and unique biodiversity, Kakadu is one of Australia’s iconic World Heritage attractions.
TOURIST ATTRACTIONS - Curtin Springs
Curtin Springs is located in Central Australia, owned by a family who have made this remote place their home. Curtin Springs provides a diverse jigsaw of experiences, offering visitors an appreciation of the deeply layered mosaic of landscape, culture, production and environmental features of Central Australia.
FESTIVALS & EVENTS - Uluru Camel Cup
The Uluru Camel Cup, now in its 5th year, is two days of outback fun. Events include the Camel Calcutta and Uluru Camel Cup, helicopter flights, Thorny Devils Kids Club and Fashions on the Field and culminating with the Frock up and Rock up Ball to party the night away under a star filled sky.
ECOTOURISM – World Expeditions
The Larapinta Trail is Australia’s most iconic walk, and World Expeditions has semi-permanent, eco-friendly campsites, with sustainable features to preserve the environment whilst providing trekkers with an exclusive, comfortable desert experience featuring a semi-permanent design so the land can recover during the off-season.
CULTURAL TOURISM – Venture North
Venture North Australia offer guided cultural and nature based tours throughout the Top End and operate Cobourg Coast Camp – an eco-tourism and fishing camp on the Cobourg Peninsula in northern Arnhem Land. They specialise in taking guests off the beaten track and into some of the more remote and hard to access regions.
QANTAS AWARD FOR ABORIGINAL & TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER TOURISM – Voyages Ayers Rock Resort
Voyages Ayers Rock Resort is committed to excellence in Indigenous cultural tourism, playing a leading role as one of Australia’s iconic tourism destinations. The resort provides employment, training and business development opportunities for local Anangu and Indigenous people Australia-wide with indigenous culture in every element of its offering.
SPECIALISED TOURISM SERVICES – More Than A Room
More Than A Room creates Northern Territory award winning, short term stays and holiday experiences. Every aspect of relishing a spectacular tropical lifestyle for visitors is embraced with a commitment to effortless quality comfort, much sort after and relevant local knowledge and unapologetic opulence.
VISITOR INFORMATION SERVICES – Alice Springs Visitor Information Centre
Located in the heart of Alice Springs, the Visitor Information Centre houses a wealth of free information on tours, attractions, accommodation, events, transport options, including travel tips and maps, and their friendly and professional staff members are also available to assist travellers with their holiday queries.
BUSINESS EVENT VENUES – Darwin Convention Centre
Located on the spectacular Darwin Harbour, the world class Darwin Convention Centre is the Northern Territory’s premier conference venue. The highly accredited Centre is large enough to cater for conventions of 1,200 delegates, yet small enough to offer bespoke and unique “Top End” event experiences.
MAJOR TOUR & TRANSPORT OPERATOR – AAT Kings Northern Territory
AAT Kings is an established Northern Territory tourism operator with bases in Darwin, Alice Springs and Uluru. With a commitment to providing visitors unique experiences and outstanding service, AAT Kings employs over 110 people and operates 48 vehicles in The Territory.
TOUR AND TRANSPORT OPERATOR – Uluru Camel Tours
Uluru Camel Tours is an owner operated tour business based in the heart of Australia, the Red Centre. They are the largest Camel farm in Australia, home to over 60 beautiful camels, offering a camel with stunning views of World Heritage listed Uluru and Kata Tjuta as the backdrop.
ADVENTURE TOURISM – Uluru Camel Tours
Take the ultimate camel adventure, at Uluru Camel Tours in the beating heart of Australia. Be inspired by the stunning surrounds of Uluru and Kata Tjuta as you gently coast along the sand dunes some ten feet off the ground, letting go of your fears, with not a care in the world.
DESTINATION MARKETING – Tourism Central Australia
Red Centre Adventurers was a multimedia campaign that marketed the #RedCentreNT as an adventure destination. Promoting action-packed experiences set amongst the rugged and ancient landscapes of Central Australia, the campaign featured six adventurers promoting and showcasing their adventure experiences around the region.
TOURISM RESTAURNTS & CATERING SERVICES – AAT Kings Uluru BBQ Dinner
The Uluru BBQ Dinner has been operating in Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park for over 23 years and is a unique outdoor dining experience in Central Australia. The Uluru BBQ Dinner operates within the National Park setting, therefore is managed to be set up and dismantled without a trace each day, giving guests an unforgettable meal in a once-in-a-lifetime holiday destination.
CARAVAN & HOLIDAY PARKS – Big4 MacDonnell Range Holiday Park
BIG4 MacDonnell Range Holiday Park in Alice Springs, has been providing excellence in the holiday park sector for over 30 years. As a family run business, they pride themselves on customer service, outback hospitality and well maintained facilities.
HOSTED ACCOMMODATION – Glen Helen Homestead Lodge
Glen Helen Homestead Lodge is a hosted style outback accommodation property of long-standing. The spectacular surroundings enhance the atmosphere of uniqueness and authenticity and allow hosts Shelagh and Colin and their staff to interact with guests at the level of information they require.
UNIQUE ACCOMMODATION – Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel
Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel is one of the most unique hotels in the world. Located in Jabiru, 'The Croc' is an Indigenous-owned business that captures the landscape and environment of Kakadu National Park not just through its distinctive shape, but also in the hotel’s commitment to local art, culture, cuisine and Indigenous employment.
SELF CONTAINED ACCOMMODATION – Darwin Waterfront Luxury Suites
Darwin Waterfront Luxury Suites are a collection of one bedroom self-contained apartments at the Waterfront Precinct – a great location from which to explore Darwin. All apartments are magnificently appointed with all the luxuries of home including a large open plan living area with sweeping views off the balcony
STANDARD ACCOMMODATION – Palms City Resort
Palms City Resort is a 3.5 star property located on the picturesque Esplanade in Darwin City. The resorts location is the best in Darwin surrounded in lush tropical gardens the property’s design is unique amongst the other city accommodation choices. The friendly and professional long term team at the resort contribute to the holiday resort ambience of this city hotel.
DELUXE ACCOMMODATION – Lasseters Hotel
Lasseters is a 4 ½ star resort deluxe accommodation at the foot of the MacDonnell Ranges offering 205 spacious rooms and suites all with a private balcony or courtyard. With facilities including four restaurants, world class twenty four hour health and fitness facility, Lavish beauty salon and day spa and an international standard casino, Lasseters is the centre of entertainment in Alice Springs.
LUXURY ACCOMMODATION – Cicada Lodge
Cicada Lodge is one of the Territory's leading luxury properties, designed for the sophisticated traveller looking for an authentic Indigenous and natural Australian experience-of-a-lifetime. Nestled in the natural bush high above the ancient waterways of the Katherine River system, Cicada Lodge is the latest tourism venture of the Jawoyn people and the ideal base from which to explore Katherine region.
NEW TOURISM – The Purple Mango Brewery
The Purple Mango Brewery commenced operation on 13th May 2016 and is providing an interesting stopover for tourists and locals travelling along the Arnhem Highway. Visitors can see the workings of a microbrewery; discuss our methods and brews and sample tasting paddles in the air-conditioned brew shed.
EXCELLENCE IN FOOD TOURISM – Crazy Acres
Crazy Acres Mango Farm & Café is situated on the family farm set on 25 acres in Berry Springs, 60kms south of Darwin. The owners strive to showcase the iconic mango in as many ways as possible and have built their unique farm gate business into a "must do" food tourism attraction along the Peninsula Way.
GEORGE DUNNE AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION BY AN INDIVIDUAL – Tony Clementson
Tony Clementson has had a long and successful career in the tourism industry in the Northern Territory for which he has earned a reputation as a “hands on” manager, an innovative leader, and a powerful voice for Indigenous tourism. He has implemented change, introduced new ideas and brought success to every role that he has held.
SKAL TOURISM INDUSTRY EMPLOYEE AWARD – Christian Diddams
Christian Diddams is an Interpretation Ranger for Kakadu National Park. He has spent the last four years working in this role engaging with approximately 30,000 visitors annually. Visitors from around the world provide incredible testimonies of Christian's presentations and how his interpretation of the natural and cultural values of the NT has changed their lives.
TOURISM MINISTER’S PERPETUAL TROPHY
After moving to Katherine in 1965, John ‘Foxy’ Robinson became involved in the tourism industry in the early 1990's, buying properties in receivership and reselling them. These included the Redgum Caravan Park, the Adelaide River Pub, Knott's Crossing Motel, Palms Caravan Park and Hidden Valley Tourist Park. He then went onto build the Darwin Airport
Resort and Airport Inn, the first he developed from scratch. The Airport Hotels open in April 2005 with 320 rooms. After selling them in 2008, he brought them back again in 2009 for less than he sold them for and then went on to sell them again in 2011 for double the original selling price.
Foxy's next vision for a four star tourism venture at Groote Eylandt offering spectacular coastal scenery, fine beaches, Indigenous engagement and legendary fishing was realised in 2007, with the opening of Dugong Beach resort (now Groote Eylandt Resort). His most recent venture has been the development of a new hotel in Palmerston. Opening in August 2015, Rydges Palmerston offers 200 accommodation rooms, restaurant and conference facilities for up to 500 people.
Foxy has also been involved with raising money for Variety, the children's charity, for the past 20 years and he and his friends have raised around $300 000 for the needy children in the Northern Territory. He is extremely generous and can and does knock on all manner of doors including the corporate world. He has a soft side and a tough side - a real Territorian, in every sense of the word.
FIRST TIME ENTRANTS – JOINT WINNERS
Outback Tour Services is proudly NT Owned and Operated and offers a variety of products and services. They offer exciting new and fresh touring products to award-winning Disability Camping Tours and Self Drive Adventure Rentals.
NT Bird Specialists are a Darwin-based specialised bird watching tour service, guests to the best birding locations in the Top End. Tours offer unique views of wildlife, cultural insights and brilliant photographic opportunities in iconic national parks and cultural landscapes of remote northern Australia.
The Australian Aviation Heritage Centre is not only a must do for all enthusiasts of aircraft and war history – it also doubles as a walk-through of Northern Territory history. Exhibits include the spectacular Spit-fire and the massive B-52 Bomber, the museum also houses a host of other military and civil aircraft and displays.
Outback Spirit is an Australian tour company specialising in small group outback adventures with an emphasis on Indigenous culture and heritage. Outback Spirit established three luxurious wilderness lodges in Arnhem Land to facilitate a new cultural adventure. In total $16 million has been invested to create their 12-day Arnhem Land Wilderness Adventure from Nhulunbuy to Seven Spirit Bay.