Tasmanian winners at the 2023 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards

Tasmanian winners at the 2023 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards

Last Updated: 29 May 2024
Khadeeja Osmani

Qantas Australian National Tourism Awards being the most prestigious tourism award in Australia helps plan ahead to national hotspot destinations for your next holidays. Upon entering the competitions, finalists must first win at their respective local state and territory awards before going head-to-head with the countries best. Here’s a list of nine of the 2023 National Award Winners from Tasmania, announced at the national awards on March 15, 2024.   


1. wukalina Walk

Palawa Country, Launceston

Gold medal for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Tourism Experience

The wukalina walk is a 4-day hiking trip from wukalina (Mount William National Park) to larapuna (Bay of fires) on the north-eastern edge of Tasmania. Founded by palawa Elder Clyde Mansell in 2018, the walks are palawa-owned and guided by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders with lived experience linked to thousands of generations of ancestral connection and knowledge of land and sea.

Renowned for its authenticity, the walks are done in small groups of up to 10 people and include cultural activities, bush tucker, and traditional foods. For the first two nights, walkers sleep at the architecturally designed standing camp of krakani luma (resting place) in domed roof huts set in the coastal heathland between beach and lagoon, open to a fire pit and connected to a narrow kitchen and dining space. Cultural foods at the wukalina walk varies though prepared with freshly caught produce – scallops and mutton bird, a local delicacy caught on the neighbouring Big Dog Island. Walkers spend the third night in the beautifully restored lighthouse keeper’s cottage on Eddystone Point.


2. Air Adventure Golf

Essendon, Victoria

Gold medal for Tour & Transport Operators

Air Adventure Golf is the ultimate golfing tour operator, flying more than 3,000 golfers from around the globe to play on the finest golf courses in Tasmania with a focus on King Island and Barnbougle. Air Adventure Golf is headed up by Jon Perrett, whose father designed golf courses around the world with Peter Thomson.

Based at Essendon Fields Airport, parking and check in with Air Adventure Golf is simple. With Air Adventure Golf, golfers can carry their full set of clubs and an additional 10kg of extra luggage which is fully provided. Additionally, a full-size Callaway Cart bags will be supplied at each venue.

Most recommended is the Ultimate Barnbougle King Island tour, which takes guests to four golf courses over four days, including the international acclaimed Barnbougle Dunes and Ocean Dunes. Guests are flown in luxury on the $3m Swiss-built aircraft and stay in on-course accommodation. At $2,399 per person, Air Adventure Golf accommodates every golfer with its meticulous organisation of the trip from flights, accommodations, to golf arrangements and transfers except for food and drinks.


3. Pennicott Wilderness Journeys

Hobart, Tasmania

Gold medal for Major Tour & Transport Operators

Penicott Wilderness is one of Tasmania’s leading ecotourism operators and operates boat cruises along the stunning east coast of Hobart down to the Bruny Island. Founded by Robert Penicott in 1999 with a single 12-seater, Penicott now has five boats running six tours hosting up to 50 people at a time.

One of the most popular is the Bruny Island Cruise, a full day excursion which includes a guided bus tour, a three-hour cruise from Kettering to Bruny Island, morning tea and lunch. The cruise takes guests around the southern end of Bruny Island where they can enjoy the stunning coast and wildlife including dolphins and seals perching on the island cliffsides.

If you enjoy seafood, then the Tasmanian Seafood Seduction cruise is a full day cruise that departs from Hobart and travels along the Derwent River and down the west side of Bruny Island. While enjoying the view, guests are treated to a gourmet menu of freshly caught seafood including lobsters, abalone and sea urchin. It doesn’t get much better.


4. Grain of the Silos

Invermay

Gold medal for Tourism Restaurants & Catering services

Grain of the Silos is a stunning restaurant in the Peppers Silo hotel, located on the banks of the Tamar River opposite the CBD in Launceston, gateway to the wine growing district of the Tamar Valley.

Launched in 2018, the restaurant is under the guidance of food director Massimo Mele. The menu is modern Australia with a focus on locally sourced seasonal ingredients and farm-to-table dishes from over 30 Tasmanian suppliers including local favourites such as lamb from Flinders Island, beef from Cape Grim and Bruny Island cheese.

The wine list was created by Tasmanian Wine Educator, Curly Haslam Coates and takes guests on a journey through Tasmania’s wine regions and including cool climate Pinot Noir, refreshing Riesling and a grand finale of Tamar Valley Fizz. 


5. Bangor Vineyard Shed

Dunalley

Gold medal for Tourism Wineries, Distilleries & Breweries

Located in Dunalley, just 45 minutes away from Hobart CBD, Bangor Vineyard Shed is an award-winning cellar door and restaurant. The vineyard is owned by Matt and Vanessa Dunbabin, who prides themselves in producing high quality Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay grapes through hand-tending methods. Opening daily from 11am to 5pm, the location offers wine tasting, cellar door and a restaurant.

The Dunbabins have integrated world-class viticulture to six generations of responsible farming and land management, making Bangor Vineyard Shed sustainable paradigm. Located at a high latitude, along with a cool climate site, the vineyard produces premium quality cool climate wines. Don’t miss out on trying out their award-winning wines such as their Abel Tasman Pinot Noir, Bangor Late Disgorged Blanc de Blanc and their Vintage Sparkling. Bangor Vineyard Shed is also renowned for its wine tours and experiences. The Bangor Black Glass Wine Tasting is a standout, offering 45-minute sensory experience, challenging guests to only use their sense of taste and smell when presented with five Bangor wines. For a more romantic and immersive experience, the Helicopter Picnic Lunch at Bangor is an ideal choice. This experience includes scenic coastal views of Two Mile Beach from the air, a private and secluded property where guests can picnic with their pre-packed picnic hamper of seasonal Tasmanian delights and fine wine. Bring your swimsuits as on clear sunny days guests can take a dip in the waters and look out for passing dolphins and whales. 


6. The Dragonfly Inn

West Launceston

Gold medal for Hosted Accommodation

Conveniently located in the hills of West Launceston is a family-owned bed and breakfast guesthouse. The Dragonfly Inn offers their guests to experience Launceston as if they are at home. Owners, Thomas Garven and Bec Richardson envisioned Dragonfly Inn as a fusion of the comforts of a traditional hotel and a personalised touch of a bed and breakfast accommodation.

The Dragonfly Inn features 10 uniquely decorated rooms. For $159 per night, the deluxe rooms provide guests with a boutique self-service experience which allows them to customise their experience in Dragonfly Inn however they see fit. Breakfast baskets consisting of milk, yoghurt, eggs, and butter as well as bread and muesli will be provided. For a more relaxed experience, guests are free to sit at the veranda to sit on and admire the views of the rose garden. The Dragonfly Inn’s strategic location places itself close to some of Tasmania’s most iconic attractions. Just 5 minutes’ drive from The Dragonfly Inn lies Cataract Gorge, known locally as “The Gorge”. It is a famous spot where travelers can take a swim, have picnics, and take scenic walks around the waters. There is also a chairlift that takes guests in the longest single span chairlift in the world where they get to see the gorge from above.


7. Peppers Silo Hotel

Invermay

Silver medal for Business Event Venue

Situated on the banks of Tamar River, Peppers Silo Hotel breathes new life into the historical landmark, the Kings Wharf Grain Silos, with its distinctive charm. The landmark was originally built in 1960 and towering at 35 metres high, it is an iconic building amongst Launceston’s landscape. In June 2018, the iconic site was transformed into the Peppers Silo Hotel, a 10-level hotel with 108 guests’ rooms. Including 52 rooms integrated into the original silo barrels. Guests can choose rooms with views overlooking Cataract Gorge, North Esk or Tamar River.

Upon arrival, guests are immediately greeted by the hotel’s resident Labrador, named Archie. He is a black Labrador who is known for being gentle yet eager to interact with the hotel’s guests. When guests are able to take their attention away from Archie, they’ll come across the hotel’s restaurant (Grain of the Silos – this year’s gold medal for restaurant and catering services), pool, day spa and five purpose built indoor and outdoor conference rooms and event spaces. The Peppers Silo Hotel serves as an excellent meeting and conferencing venue. Some of their spaces can host 10 to 120 event attendees. They’ve also dedicated an in-house Conference Team who aims to ensure that all events held in the hotel proceeds without a hitch. For those seeking to host more guests, the King Wharf Lounge West can hold up to 180 guests.


8. Ship Inn Stanley

Stanley

Silver medal for 4-4.5 Star Deluxe Accommodation, Silver

The Ship Inn Stanley is located in Tasmania’s northwest coast in the historic town of Stanley. Back in 1849, the town was a hub for sailors. On the same year the Shipp Inn was built by the grandfather of Joseph Lyons, Australia’s only Tassie born prime minister. The building itself had gone through their fair share of ownerships throughout the years (their longest running operation being a pub for 150 years). It is this rich history and beautiful villages that attracted Alastair and Kerry Houston to Stanley. They officially opened the Inn’s doors in July 2019, now as a boutique hotel.

The Inn houses seven luxurious suites, which are decorated and follows a specific theme of Stanley and the building’s historical periods. The Bayview room is decorated to pay homage to the Inn’s time as The Bayview Hotel. The Lyons retreat room is inspired by Joseph Lyons, the couple decorated this room while imagining what his early years and family home would feel like. This room also looks over to the cottage where he was born. Outside of these magnificent rooms are gardens which are designed by Alastair, who is also a stonemason. Guests are encouraged to take a stroll in these carefully crafted gardens with a basket of local cheeses and Tasmanian wines.

Stanley is a haven for those seeking for a romantic escapade. Complimentary bikes are offered at Ship Inn Stanley to tour around the scenic township of walking tracks close to the beach.

Besides the historic boutique, Ship Inn Stanley is close to many local attractions with stunning views of beaches, quaint cottages and a historic port. Adjacent to the inn, is “The Nut”, a prominent attraction site which features an ancient volcanic plug. Visitors can either hike to the summit or take a chairlift which operates daily.


9. The Truffle Farm

Deloraine

Silver medal for Excellence in Food Tourism

In the forests of Deloraine, The Truffle Farm is a renowned establishment cultivating Australia’s finest black truffles. The farm’s journey began in 1999 when Tim Terry harvested Australia’s first black truffle from his Deloraine farm. Today, The Truffle Farm is recognised as the country’s premium producers of exquisite black truffles and products. Henry and Anna, siblings of the second-generation truffle farmers lead on the family’s passion to the world.

The Truffle Farm offers a variety of boutique truffle products and fresh truffles. Unbeknownst to truffle novice, The Truffle Farm offers products ranging from truffle honey, truffle oil, truffle balsamic to pure freeze-dried truffle.  However, when visiting The Truffle Farm, don’t miss their onsite truffle tours. Currently, they offer four tours: Summer Siesta Truffle Hunting, Truffle Hunt, Truffle Hunting and Lunch, and Winter Warmer Hunt.

The Summer Siesta, which is available from December to May, stands as a current favourite costing $170 per person. For two hours, guests get to experience The Truffle Farm’s truffle hunting experience, followed up with a fresh truffle pizza accompanied by Tasmanian wine or beer. For those seeking a truffle hunt this winter, the Winter Warmer Hunt, costing $170 per person allows guests to join truffle dogs hunting for black truffles. The tour is also followed by truffle pizzas and Tasmanian wine or beer. This experience also includes roasting marshmallows by the fire pit.


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