South Australian winners at the 2023 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards

Last Updated: 29 Apr 2024
Khadeeja Osmani

The Qantas Australian National Tourism Awards showcase the leading travel destinations and experiences in Australia. To make the awards, finalists must first win Gold in their state awards to then face off against the best in Australia.

The national award winners were announced at a gala event on March 15, 2024. We selected eight medal winners most likely to inspire your next trip in and around Adelaide and South Australia.

1. Beach Huts Middleton


Gold medal winner for Deluxe Accommodation

Located on the stunning southern coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula between Port Elliot and Goolwa, just over one hour’s drive from Adelaide, Beach Huts Middleton is the ultimate seaside escape.

Formerly the Old Middleton Grain Store, the 12 unique beach huts and surrounding property were purchased in 2002 and over 22 years lovingly restored and maintained by couple, Dave and Haylie and Haylie’s parents. The village like atmosphere and village green make the Beach Huts a popular destination for everything from weekend escapes to weddings and wellness retreats, and for food lovers, the renowned Blues Restaurant is just a 50-meter stroll away.

2. Adelaide Fringe


Excellence medal winner for Accessible Tourism

Renown as the world’s second largest annual arts festival, each year Adelaide Fringe attracts more than 6,000 independent artists performing in more than 1,200 events over four weeks in February and March in venues across Adelaide and regional South Australia. For over 60 years, the festivals open-access model has championed diversity and social cohesion through social exchange, provide all artists a platform for showcasing their unique perspective.

But what truly sets them apart is its dynamic atmosphere. It is not just about the performances but the spirit and celebration. The festival has expanded its horizons, embracing a wide range of interests beyond traditional arts: from events for video gamers to foodies and wine enthusiasts, nature lovers and film buffs.

3. ibis Hotel Adelaide


Silver medal winner for 3 – 3.5 Star Accommodation

Nestled in the heart of the Adelaide CBD, ibis Adelaide took out the silver medal by combining city centre convenience with a stunning lobby, spectacular views of the Adelaide Hills and 311 rooms equipped with the latest technology and convenience.

Winning a medal for the best 3 – 3.5 star accommodation in Australia is not an easy win.

The experience starts with the vibrant hotel lobby where guests are greeted by creatively decorated social spaces and a modern, relaxed atmosphere. Guest rooms boast floor-to-ceiling windows providing ample natural light and picturesque views to complement the ibis bed, flat-screen TV, and locally inspired artworks.

Located next to Rundell Mall, the city’s main attractions, best bars and restaurants are all within easy walking distance. This includes the Adelaide Oval, the Convention Centre, and the casino. For guests looking to eat in, the ibis Kitchen Restaurant and Bar opens into a semi-enclosed balcony overlooking Grenfell Street, providing the perfect for meals and evening drinks.

4. Bendleby Ranges

Crotta Road, Belton

Silver medal winner for Adventure Tourism

Just 3.5 hours north of Adeliade, Bendleby Ranges is nestled between Bendleby and Hungry Ranges in the Southern Finders Ranges. This 37, 000 acres offers a wide array of experiences for adventure and eco-tourism enthusiasts.

From 4WD to mountain biking to bushwalking to simpler sightseeing activities like the stargazing experiences, Bendleby Ranges, has everything for adventure enthusiasts craving the adrenaline rush. With over 150 km of station tracks across the plains, 4WDing became one of the most popular activities in Bendleby Ranges, offering challenges of all kinds for even the most experienced drivers. For novices, not to worry, as there are training tracks close to the main entrance to practice on, before seeking out to the main course. The 150km of 4WD tracks also make great foundations for bike trails allowing mountain bike enthusiasts to enjoy the challenging trails as well.

This beautiful and challenging range is home to a number of defined walking trails which accommodates visitors who prefer bushwalking. In the Hungry Ranges, the walking trails will take visitors along the Yakka Gorge also known as the peak of Eve’s Hill. Besides the challenging activities, Bendleby Ranges offers a wide range of accommodation sites decorated in country inspired styles. Though, many visitors prefer to camp as Bendleby Ranges has 15 designated campsites where many are located alongside a local attraction.

5. Seppeltsfield Wines

Seppeltsfield Rd, SA

Silver medal winner for Tourism, Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries

Located 79km Northeast of Adeliade, and an hour drive from the CBD, lies the wine dynasty; Seppeltsfield Wines. Characterised by the endless rows of date palms planted since 1930, and turret-like buildings, Seppeltsfield is impossible to miss. Seppeltsfield’s world class cellar door is one of the highlights that should never be missed, offering visitors a range of tasting experiences, including the cellar door tastings and private tour experiences through its Centennial Cellar. A Taste of History Tour takes guests into an icon of wine history including the winery’s jewel: 1924 100-Year-Old Para Vintage Tawney.

To compliment the wine, a progressive regional restaurant, FINO, occupies the high-ceilinged dining room. Overlooking the FINO terrace, visitors are immediately encapsulated by date trees, while settling in for the ultimate long lunch.  For something more casual, Oceteine café proudly serves visitors locally sourced coffee, charcuterie platters and panini sandwiches. With Seppeltsfield Wines stretching out across 420 acres of land, offering a lots of space to explore, visitors are encouraged to hop on the 1 hour guided segway tour. Beginning with a brief riding lesson, visitors then embark on a guided exploration of the Great Terraced Vineyard, one of the oldest vineyards in the Barossa.

6. Adelaide’s Showground Farmers Market

Rose Terrace, Wayville

Bronze medal winner for Excellence in food tourism

Known for its authenticity as a true farmer’s market, the Adelaide Showground Farmer’s Market is also South Australia’s largest – operating every Sunday from 8.30am to 12.30pm. With just a 5-minute drive from Adelaide CBD, the farmer’s market is completely accessible. Located at Adelaide Showground and home to more than 100 stalls both indoors and outdoors, the Farmer’s Market showcases an extensive range of locally sourced produce and regional delights directly from the growers themselves. Some of the regulars includes Harts Vegetables, JamFace with MasterChef Poh, Let Them Eat, Woodside Cheese Wights, Feather and Peck, and Hahndorf Gourmet.

Beyond the yummy treats, the market offers a wholesome Sunday morning experience for families including Kids Club activities held between 10am and 11am. As a non-for-profit organisation, patrons stopping at the largest and diverse farmer’s market are supporting small family farms, agriculture diversity and fresh, seasonal food. The entry to the farmer’s market is free. Though, upon signing up for a $75 membership, it entails members to a 10% discount of all purchases at the market.

7. d’Arenberg Winery

Osborn Rd, McLaren Vale

Awards: Tourist Attractions, Bronze

Since 1912, the Osborn family has employed traditional methods in the vineyard and winery to craft distinctive wines. d’Arenberg, located in McLaren Vale, is known to produce internationally famous red wines, with its wine varieties ranging from Shiraz, Grenache to Cabernet Sauvignon.

Chester, a fourth-generation family member, leads the wine making efforts and is also responsible for the visionary d’Arenberg cube, a five-story multi-functional building nestled among the Mourvedre vines. Opened in 2017, the d’Arenberg Cube, has attracted more than 1,000 visitors each day, making it a popular destination in South Australia. Each level has been meticulously designed to captivate and stimulate the senses. With a $15 entry fee, patrons can explore the zany Rubik Cube-like architecture.

The ground floor consisting of Alternate Realities Museum is plastered with arts and objects curated by Mr Osborn. The room is designed with flowers and distinct plastic fruits organised in jars, with air pumps that blow the scent from each jar into the nostrils and a 360 degree video room that plays psychedelic animations. The second floor is home to a gallery of a rotating exhibition. The third and fourth floor dining room are reserved for two restaurants, run by two South African Chefs; Brendan Wessels and Lindsay Durr. One of the restaurants, Singapore Circus offers an array of South-East Asian cuisines. While d’Arry’s Veranda Restaurant, known for its numerous awards, elevates your dining experience with dishes inspired by the four seasons, paired with the extensive d’Arenberg wine portfolio.

8. Woodhouse Adventure Park

Spring Gully, Piccadilly

Bronze medal winner for Unique Accommodation

Just 25 minutes from Adelaide CBD and 40 minutes from Adelaide Airport, lies a hidden gem nestled amidst the pristine native bushlands of Piccadilly, and unparalleled outdoor adventure park experience.

Spread across the 54-hectare property, Woodhouse Adventure Park beckons with five unique accommodation options, ranging from spacious two-story mansions to cozy, rustic chalets and serene camping spaces. But the park is about more than just the accommodation as each accommodation package includes unlimited access to a range of activities. The activities include tube slides, hiking trails, laser skirmish, and much more, making it a fun destination for families seeking an outdoor adventure.

As the sun sets, overnight guests at the Woodhouse Adventure Park become part of an exclusive community, gathering around a seasonal campfire circle to swap stories and bond, providing an ideal space for families to reconnect with nature.

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