Every year around this time the Australian State Tourism Awards and Brolga Awards in the Northern Territory happen. So keeping an eye on the results for this year in South Australia, Western Australia and in the Northern Territory, I can vouch for these winners:
In South Australia in the category of tourist attractions, the silver winner was the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Gardens. This is a beautiful spot to spend a few hours wandering through. It is situated in Port Augusta about three and a half driving hours from Adelaide. Really well laid out and easy to get around, you can take a walk through the gardens and appreciate the arid zone habitats and flora found in them. There is also the bonus of a pretty spectacular view to the Flinders Ranges. There is a plant nursery to take something home for your garden, a nice gift shop and a café with stunning views with very tasty food seasoned with native herbs and spices.
In the caravan and holiday parks category the bronze winner was, Discovery Parks Barossa Valley. This park is in a perfect position in Tanunda to base yourself for discovering the Barossa Valley. The park is green, spacious, has a great camp kitchen and pool and a big playground for kids. And a particular highlight is that you can walk from the park to the Barossa Valley Brewing, directly opposite. Tanunda is a really pretty Barossa town to discover, you can spend hours in the main street, but you’re also not far from a multitude of well-known wineries, gourmet food outlets and the Barossa Farmers Market held every Saturday morning. Then when you are stocked up with the best of food and wines you can head to any number of green and peaceful parks in the region.
In the Western Australian Awards I have to agree with these winners:
In caravan and holiday parks, the gold winner was RAC Cervantes Holiday Park. This park was an absolute gold mine that we discovered by accident in our travels around WA. We didn’t know just what it had to offer until we were booked in and went for a wander. Luckily for us some renovations had not long been finished and included the most amazing resort style swimming pool, incredible camp kitchen and games / lounge area and clean and modern amenities. All of this and right on the beach front at Cervantes which is a little over 2 hours north of Perth. This fishing village is well known for its rock lobster industry and you can’t miss the Lobster Shack for a fabulous attraction where you can see the process from catch to cook and of course, taste the delicious lobsters. The cray boats dotting the bay make the sunset photos all the more interesting too. Based at Cervantes you can also visit the Pinnacles and Nambung National Park. The Pinnacles are naturally occurring limestone pillars some of which reach 5 metres in height and have to be seen to be believed. And not just once, they can look totally different at sunrise, middle of the day and at sunset, you can even go and visit during the night for so many different photo opportunities.
The bronze winner in the caravan and holiday park section was the Wintersun Caravan and Tourist Park. This park is around 900 kilometres north of Perth and when we stayed here we found the managers and staff to be some of the most helpful, friendly and fun people on our trip. Carnarvon is well known for its abundance of locally grown tropical fruit. Our favourite things to do in Carnarvon were to visit roadside fruit and veggie stalls, see the Space and Technology Museum (give Buzz a pat) and catch an incredible sunset on the foreshore.
Another winner that was so deserving was the Geraldton Visitor Centre which took out a bronze award. Like all of the tourist information centres we visited in WA this one was a gem for setting us on the right track of what to see and do in Geraldton, a bit over 400 kilometres north of Perth. Geraldton is such an incredible town and you must visit the Museum of Geraldton, the HMAS Sydney II memorial, and wander in town searching out the fantastic street art.
For the NT Tourism Awards (Brolga Awards) it wasn’t surprising that these two made the cut.
Best major tourist attraction went to the world heritage listed Kakadu National Park. This has to be on everyone’s must see list as well as Litchfield National Park. Kakadu is huge but worth the travel to see some incredibly unique landscape, waterfalls and rock art. To get there it’s a couple of hours drive south east of Darwin.
The winner in the caravan parks section went to Big 4 MacDonnell Range Holiday Park Alice Springs. What this park has to offer, the entertainment it provides for families and the proximity to everything you want to see in Alice is unsurpassed.
These are just some of the places we can wholeheartedly agree with their awards, but I haven’t seen everything yet so I will keep working on the rest!