Winners Of The Whitsundays Tourism Awards 2023

As someone who has been deeply entrenched in the Whitsundays tourism industry for over two decades, I can’t help but feel a tremendous sense of pride and admiration for all the remarkable businesses and individuals who were honoured at the recent Whitsundays Tourism Awards. These awards recognise excellence and celebrate the heart and soul of our region’s tourism sector. While every winner undoubtedly deserves applause, I’d like to take a moment to shine a spotlight on what I believe are the real unsung heroes of the night—the recipients of the

Best New Business was won by Cherene at Driftwood Tours.

Bob Porter Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Individual was won by Craig Turner

Award for Excellence in Customer Service by an Individual or Business was won by Three Little Birds Expresso.

The Business Legacy Achievement Award was won by Allan Milostic.

These awards stand out because they don’t require the resources or extensive applications that some of the larger categories demand.

They are a testament to the genuine passion, dedication, and unwavering commitment that can be found throughout our industry, regardless of its size.

So, let’s raise our glasses to these true, unbiased winners who embody the spirit of the Whitsundays and make our region shine even brighter in the world of tourism.

Congratulations to all the winners, and may your achievements continue to inspire us all. – Nath J

Whitsundays Tourism Award for best new business for Driftwood Tours

Hi, I’m Nath J, your go-to expert for everything Whitsundays Tourism. Since 2001, I’ve been immersed in this incredible destination, accumulating 22 years of industry experience. My journey has taken me from Operations Manager at Tallarook Sail and Dive to running my own businesses like Ripple Effect Online. I’ve given workshops on direct tourism bookings and even authored an ebook, Whitsunday Islands: A Journey through Paradise.

Why trust me? I hold certifications like “Whitsundays Tourism Hero” and “Respecting First Nations Cultural Protocols in Australia,” both issued by the Queensland Tourism Industry Council. My work has garnered testimonials from tourism business around the region, praising my unique, genuine approach to tourism marketing.

Find me on Facebook and LinkedIn or drop me an email at [email protected] .

Learn More About Nath J

  • Digital edition
  • Entertainment
  • On the Water
  • Classifieds

Logo

Whitsundays wins big in Queensland Tourism Awards

whitsunday tourism awards

Whitsunday Green Golf Club weekly report

Twilight racing in pioneer bay, we must fight for the bowen jetty, airlie beach race week goes green thanks to sponsor.

AFTER another ground-breaking year for Queensland tourism operators, the Queensland Tourism Industry Council’s (QTIC’s) Queensland Tourism Awards were back ins tyle.

The Whitsundays scooped up an impressive eight accolades.

The Whitsundays recorded phenomenal results for the tourism industry in the last financial year, achieving a domestic spend of $1.3bn, which is a 29.3 per cent increase, on average, over the past three years.

As of June 2023, the region also welcomed 765,000 domestic visitors, which equated to an 11.7 per cent increase, on average, over a three-year period.

QTIC CEO Brett Fraser said the region should be proud of its accomplishments and contributions to the Queensland tourism industry, in the last 12 months.

“Following tonight’s impressive wins, it is evident why the Whitsundays region has played such a monumental role in driving world-class visitor experiences in the tourism industry this year,” Mr Fraser said.

“A massive congratulations to all the category winners, and winners from the Whitsundays region. They’ve broken some records this year, which is an amazing achievement.

“The Whitsundays is an incredible destination, in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, and I’m sure the region is very excited to welcome many more visitors in the years to come.”

Of these winners, BIG 4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort received the Gold award for Caravan and Holiday Park, as well as the first ever Gold award for the newly introduced ‘Excellence in Accessible Tourism’ category.

This follows Queensland celebrating its first ever ‘Year of Accessible Tourism’, with Mr Fraser acknowledging the importance of accessible tourism experiences for people of all abilities.

“The ‘Year of Accessible Tourism’ shines a spotlight on the importance of accessible tourism and creating opportunities for Queensland tourism businesses,” he said.

“Everyone deserves the opportunity to participate in a tourism experience with choice and with confidence.

“It’s wonderful that Big 4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort can provide this experience and is paving the way for other businesses to follow their example.”

The Bowen Visitor Information Centre (VIC) also won bronze in its category, while smashing a whopping three records in the past year.

Exactly 47,812 people stepped foot into the Bowen VIC, exceeding pre-pandemic visitor levels, with the highest ever recorded visitor level being 42,945 people, previously.

The Bowen VIC also broke their record for the most visitors in one day, on June 28, with 512 people greeted, breaking the September 2022 record of 439 visitors.

Other Whitsunday winners included:

• Magnums Unique Accommodation Airlie Beach received Gold for 3-3.5 Star Accommodation

• Ocean Rafting received Gold for Adventure Tourism

• Ocean Rafting received Gold for Major Tour & Transport Operator

• Michael L. Hackett received Gold for Marie Watson-Blake Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution by an Individual’

• Pinnacles, Airlie Beach, received Gold for Self-Contained Accommodation

• Whitsunday Coast Airport received Gold for Tourism Retail, Hire and Services.

The awards ceremony was held in Cairns, North Queensland, for the first time since 1997.

There were 31 award categories including attractions, events, tour and transport operators, accommodation, restaurants, culture and marketing.

Across the 31 categories, 78 operators were awarded including 31 Gold, 26 Silver and 20 Bronze awards.

Select category winners will gain automatic entry into the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, which will be held in the Northern Territory, on Friday, March 15, 2024.

spot_img

More articles

Whitsundays trophy sweep at australian tourism awards, still waiting: hamilton plains flood proofing, project to transform region.

spot_img

Partner of the week

spot_img

Live Webcam

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

  • Our Partners

Your Newspaper

  • Where to buy

ISSN 2652-7901

Po box 340 cannonvale qld 4802, phone: 0438 722 050, editorial - deadline monday 12pm.

Editor: Deborah Friend 0488 760 800 [email protected] [email protected]

ADVERTISING - deadline Friday 5pm

Advert specs: Barb [email protected] Graphics/Production: Anita [email protected]

Website by Kapow Interactive

whitsunday tourism awards

  • 25- 29 Shute Harbour Road Airlie Beach
  • 07 4948 5400
  • Book Online & Save

BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort

  • Join BIG4 & SAVE!
  • Compare All Accommodation
  • Powered Ensuite
  • Powered Slab
  • Powered Grass
  • How To Measure Camp Set Up
  • Autism Sensory Room
  • BIG4 Loyalty Club
  • Activities Guide
  • Waterslide Park
  • Animal Park
  • Kids Craft Club
  • Outdoor Cinema
  • Dining and Takeaway
  • Mum Gets A Holiday Too
  • Play in Airlie Beach
  • Great Barrier Reef
  • Whitehaven Beach
  • Island Resorts
  • Sailing the Whitsundays
  • Watersports
  • Scenic Flights
  • Mainland Experiences
  • How Long Should I Play
  • School Groups
  • Social Clubs
  • Coach Groups
  • Family Reunions
  • Wedding Accommodation
  • Business Travellers
  • Awards & Accreditations
  • Ecotourism & Environmental
  • Latest News
  • Gift Vouchers
  • Careers With Us
  • Terms & Conditions

Front Page Featured , Latest News

Double win for big4 adventure whitsunday resort at 2022 whitsunday tourism awards.

2022 Whitsunday Tourism Awards

BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort has been awarded top honours in two categories at the annual Whitsunday Tourism Awards, held on Saturday night under the big top at the 2022 Whitsunday Sailing Club.  Winning gold in the ‘Caravan and Holiday Parks’ category, the resort also won the consumer-voted ‘People’s Choice Award for Accommodation’ at the gala industry awards.

The resort has been proudly owned by the McKinnon family for 29 years and was represented on the evening by 20 of the resort’s now 75-member strong team, who enjoyed a night out celebrating the Whitsunday tourism industry’s night of nights.

“We are so very proud and grateful to have won both of these awards at the 2022 Whitsunday Tourism Awards. Both the Caravan and Holiday Parks award and the People’s Choice award reflect the offerings of our quality tourism product, our ongoing development and our customer service, which is a testament to our forever growing team who are incredibly deserving of this award. They are a huge part of making the magic happen. And of course, our guests. They may have stayed once, twice or several times a year as is the case, but no matter what, we truly thank them for choosing us to enjoy their precious family holiday,” said resort owner and operator, Greg McKinnon.

“We would also like to extend a huge thank you to Tourism Whitsundays for hosting another brilliant event and for all of their incredibly hard work in promoting and celebrating this beautiful part of the world we are lucky enough to live in. It’s also so important for us to recognise our local community, industry partners, agents and suppliers who have supported us throughout. The resilience the region has shown throughout the last couple of years is unwavering and it certainly is time for everyone to shine again,” continued Greg.

“Last but not least, a massive congratulations to all of the other 2022 Whitsunday Tourism Awards winners and entrants.  What a wonderful night to share with our industry friends. It’s been far too long and it was definitely worthy of huge celebration, which was most certainly had by all it seems.”

Over the years, the McKinnon family have been passionate about continually reinvesting into the business in order to offer the ultimate Whitsunday mainland holiday resort.

Greg continued, “We have put everything into the resort over the past 29 years and continue to grow to make it the multi-award winning and nationally recognised destination to escape to with family and friends in the Whitsundays. Our resort is all about connecting with each other by offering an environment where everyone can enjoy the many facilities and activities on offer, relax in quality accommodation and just all come together.”

This year has seen further development of the resort, with a particular focus on accessibility needs. To complement the resort’s existing accessible cabins, facilities and Sensory Room, vision-impaired cabins were recently added to the inventory to more broadly cater to guest’s specific needs and provide them with an unforgettable Whitsunday holiday.

logo

  • BOOK ONLINE
  • GET A QUOTE
  • How It Works
  • Islands & Anchorages
  • After you’ve booked

whitsunday tourism awards

Whitsunday Escape are Whitsunday Tourism Award winners, again!

Whitsunday Escape were proud winners at the Whitsunday Tourism Awards on Saturday 18th October 2014.

Unique-Accom-winner-WTA-2014-331x267

Having entered the Whitsunday Tourism Awards every year for almost a decade, being recognized as an industry leader for the third year in a row, is an honor we take very seriously.

Whitsunday Escape joins other prestigious Whitsunday tourism business in the Hall of Fame, such as Fantasea Adventure Cruising, BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort, Paradise Bay Island Retreat, and Daydream Island Resort and Spa.

We were also awarded Finalist in two other categories, Adventure Tourism and People’s Choice. Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote for us for the People’s Choice Award. The winner for Adventure Tourism was Whitsunday Jet ski Tours, a very deserving winner with a fabulous tourism experience! If you have some time in Arlie Beach before or after your bareboat charter, we can highly recommend you give jet skiing a go! The winner of the People’s Choice Award was Daydream Island Resort and Spa, which you an easily visit whilst enjoying a bareboat charter with Whitsunday Escape. Daydream also won Best Tourist Attraction for their Living Reef, which is definitely worth a visit! 2013 saw Whitsunday Escape win the award for Unique Accommodation at all three major award ceremonies – the Whitsunday Tourism Awards, the Queensland Tourism Awards and, the big one, the Australian Tourism Awards.

Luckily, we thrive on improving the business, improving the tourism experience for our guests, and improving the work-life balance for our staff. We feel that the combination of these elements is what shines through and continues to bring home the awards.

We know a lot of people won’t care too much about whether we won an award or not, but for us, winning shows us that we are doing it right. The lovely compliments we consistently receive from our customers, and the happy staff who come to work every day with a smile and a desire to create fabulous holiday memories, confirm it.

Now, we hold our breath and wait to see how we fare at the Queensland Tourism Awards on November 28, 2014. Wish us luck!

2014-WTA-winners-with-trophies-533x533

Mackay Whitsunday Logo

Your FREE Voice in Print Locally Owned. Community Loved and Trusted.

whitsunday tourism awards

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Mackay and Whitsunday Life

whitsunday tourism awards

Whitsundays Represent At Queensland Tourism Awards

More than a thousand tour operators, both big and small, gathered at the Queensland Tourism Awards last Friday to celebrate a bounce-back year which saw intra-state tourism numbers rise by 21.5 per cent, totalling $12.4 billion.

Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) CEO Brett Fraser said this was the year that the 37th annual Queensland Tourism Awards celebrated Queenslanders supporting Queenslanders.

“In true Queenslander spirit, we are embracing the difficulties we face together by re-connecting and discovering places in our own backyard, as together we are drawn to holidays within our home state,” he said.

“Collectively, this year’s recipients are a testament to the strength and calibre of the state’s tourism operators, and I applaud this great industry and its people for the innovation and resilience they have displayed.”

A total of 78 awards, including 31 Gold, 26 Silver and 20 Bronze Awards were presented across 30 categories and the Whitsunday region walked away with nine of these prestigious accolades.

This years’ awards represented a poignant moment for the tourism industry, celebrating the resilience and tenacity of operators who had all beat the odds to not only survive but also thrive in the new post-pandemic world.

“The past two years have re-defined how people live, work and travel, and the intrastate tourism we are experiencing is directly correlated to this,” said Mr Fraser.

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the Queensland Tourism Awards celebrated a remarkable year.

“It has been terrific to see Queensland domestic tourism bounce back so strongly with a nation leading $19.6 billion in overnight visitor spending,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“We owe much of Queensland’s achievements to the hard work, resilience and innovation of the State’s tourism operators, some of whom are recognised by the 2022 Awards.

“Congratulations to this year’s award winners and finalists for delivering world-class visitor experiences and making Queensland a destination of choice.”

Queensland Tourism Award Winners:

Tourism Retail & Hire Services

Silver: Whitsunday Coast Airport

Bronze: Shute Harbour Marine Terminal

Major Tour and Transport Operators

Silver: Ocean Rafting

Adventure Tourism

Gold: Ocean Rafting

Caravan and Holiday Parks

Gold: Big4 Adventure Whitsundays Resort

Unique Accommodation

Bronze: Cruise Whitsundays – Reefstays

Self-Contained Accommodation

Silver: Pinnacles Resort

Bronze: Mirage Whitsundays

3-3.5 Star Accommodation

Gold: Magnums Accommodation Airlie Beach

Chief Executive Officer of Tourism Whitsundays, Rick Hamilton and Elizabeth Hackett from Magnums Accommodation

Peter and Jan Claxton from Ocean Rafting

Greg McKinnon and Tanya Cran from BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort

In other news

Mackay and Whitsunday Life Logo (white)

© 2024 Mackay and Whitsunday Life Pty Ltd.

whitsunday tourism awards

  • Advertise with us

Advertisement

  • Headline News
  • Business News
  • Coronavirus (Covid-19)
  • Global Travel Connoisseur
  • Airfare Deals
  • Black Friday / Cyber Monday Sales
  • Competition
  • Cruise Deals
  • Hotel Deals
  • Industry Deals
  • Travel Deals
  • NORTHERN TERRITORY
  • SOUTH AUSTRALIA
  • WESTERN AUSTRALIA
  • OTHER States
  • COOK ISLANDS
  • NEW ZEALAND
  • Destination Global
  • Middle East
  • South Pacific
  • North Asia News
  • Oceania News
  • Dining | Restaurants
  • Food & Beverage
  • Hotel Features
  • Lifestyle Features
  • Travel Feature
  • Destination Feature
  • Hotel Developments
  • Hotel Openings
  • Hotel Trends
  • Resort News
  • Luxury Hotels
  • Serviced Apartments
  • Health and Wellness
  • Lifestyle News
  • Travel Goods
  • Conferences
  • Exhibitions
  • Events Calendar
  • Trade Events
  • Movers & Shakers
  • Cultural Tourism
  • Agents Incentives
  • Eco-Tourism
  • Golf Tourism
  • Medical Tourism
  • Travel Advisors
  • Responsible Tourism
  • Rural & Agri
  • Sustainable Tourism
  • Theme Parks
  • Tourist Boards
  • Tour Operator
  • Travel Warnings
  • CRUISE NEWS
  • Adventure Cruises
  • Car Rentals
  • Cargo & Freight
  • Cruise News
  • Expedition Cruises
  • Motor Cycles
  • Recreation Vehicles
  • River Cruising
  • Association
  • Social Media
  • Statistics & Trends

Select Page

Gold Glory: BIG4 Whitsunday Wins!

Posted by Chisa Boonmee | Oct 28, 2023 | Glamping | 0 |

Gold Glory: BIG4 Whitsunday Wins!

Proudly owned by the McKinnon family for over 30 years, BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort’s latest achievements backed up its gold wins at the Australian, Queensland and Whitsunday Tourism Awards in 2022.

Resort CEO Phil Casey, who attended the awards with some of the resort’s 82-member strong team, accepted the three gongs on behalf of the McKinnon family and staff.

“We are incredibly proud to have won these three awards, each on their own merit. It truly is a reflection of the hard work, passion and dedication of our team, who all work together to make the magic happen. From exceptional customer service, quality accommodation and facilities, through to our ongoing development and accessible facilities, we offer a true Australian family holiday for everyone,” said Phil.

“As a team, we have to say thank you to the Whitsunday tourism industry and the entire community for supporting us over the years, and most importantly, our guests, many who continue to choose our resort as their holiday destination of choice time and again.

“We also extend our congratulations to all the other entrants, finalists and winners. The Whitsunday region should be so proud of the many offerings we have available, in one of the most naturally beautiful environments in the world.

“To our industry partners, and particularly Tourism Whitsundays, we truly appreciate everyone’s hard work in promoting and celebrating this wonderful destination.”

Thirty years on, BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort continues to shine, over the past year adding another seven new cabins to the inventory, developing its range of accessible accommodation and facilities, and finishing construction of its 71-bed “Bunk House” quality dormitory accommodation, catering to the Edutoursim and groups market, in particular school groups.

With this year being the Year of Accessible Tourism in Queensland, BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort has also had a strong focus on improving its accessible needs, including new developments for the vision impaired and those with mobility issues, while also complementing its well-utilised Sensory Room, which caters for children on the autism spectrum and their families by offering a special holiday retreat.

“We have done significant work in the areas of accessibility and inclusivity and are very proud of what we have achieved in providing facilities which provide a relaxed, safe, comfortable and enjoyable holiday, while aiming to minimise obstacles our guests may otherwise face. We aren’t slowing down either, with many more exciting new developments in the pipeline, which will lead the way in holiday park activities and facilities,” said Phil.

BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort has become synonymous with offering the very best Australian holiday experience. Loved by return guests for their consistently friendly service, concerted customer focus and commitment to continual improvement and innovation, the resort is the first choice for a Queensland holiday.

BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort offers a relaxed, family friendly environment with an extensive range of quality facilities and services, gorgeous cabins and happy, helpful staff. Set amongst 10 hectares of beautifully landscaped tropical gardens, the resort caters for a variety of budgets with a wide range of accommodation options from camping and caravanning sites to luxury, three-bedroom condos.

With more than 15 onsite activities including a big, huge, mega waterslide park, lagoon style pool, mini golf, outdoor cinema, Kid’s Club, year-round activities program and much more, BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort offers the ultimate holiday escape. The resort is located in Airlie Beach and has easy access to the Great Barrier Reef, Whitehaven Beach, the Whitsunday Islands and a vast array of trips, water activities and truly memorable Australian holiday adventures. For more information visit www.adventurewhitsunday.com.au

  • Crowne Plaza Launches ‘Australia’s Latest Check-Out’ to Promote a Restful Stay Ahead of World Sleep Day
  • Samoa Tourism Looks To The Power Of Social Media To Engage The World’s Biggest Celebrity
  • Covid-19 Prompts Cancellation of Elite Amateur Championships
  • A new startup revolutionizes simultaneous interpreting: Qualified language experts provide online interpreting in an unlimited number of language combinations from wherever they are located
  • Unrivaled Travel Experiences Await at DestinAsian Fair
  • Wilderness Launches Eagerly Anticipated 2022 Africa in Focus Competition, Celebrating Six Years of Iconic African Photography
  • The Higgins Hotel & Conference Center Appoints General Manager and Director of Sales & Marketing
  • Visit Santa Cruz County Announces Fifth Edition of Free Wildlife Watching Guide
  • Travel and tourism sector witnessed 38.5% decline in deal activity during week ended May 24, finds GlobalData
  • Explore Sydney this summer at Metro Apartments Darling Harbour

Share this:

Leave a reply cancel reply, subscribe to our newsletter.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

  • Australian Capital Territory
  • Breaking News
  • Cook Islands
  • Faith Tourism
  • New Caledonia
  • New South Wales
  • New Zealand
  • Northern Territory
  • Philippines
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Solomon Islands
  • South America
  • South Australia
  • Space Tourism
  • Western Australia

whitsunday tourism awards

Sponsor/Partners

whitsunday tourism awards

Advertisement

whitsunday tourism awards

Popular Posts

  • February 2024
  • January 2024
  • December 2023
  • November 2023
  • October 2023
  • September 2023
  • August 2023
  • February 2023
  • January 2023
  • December 2022
  • November 2022
  • October 2022
  • September 2022
  • August 2022
  • February 2022
  • January 2022
  • December 2021
  • November 2021
  • October 2021
  • September 2021
  • August 2021
  • February 2021
  • January 2021
  • December 2020
  • November 2020
  • October 2020
  • September 2020
  • August 2020
  • February 2020
  • January 2020
  • December 2019
  • November 2019
  • October 2019
  • September 2019
  • August 2019
  • February 2019
  • January 2019
  • December 2018
  • November 2018
  • October 2018
  • September 2018
  • August 2018

This business is Covid Clean

  • Skip to primary navigation
  • Skip to main content
  • Skip to primary sidebar

whitsunday tourism awards

Ocean Rafting Website

Whitehaven Beach Tours

2022 Whitsunday Tourism Awards

Ocean Rafting shines like gold with triple win at 2022 Whitsunday Tourism Awards!

October 31, 2022 by Ocean Rafting Categories: Announcements , latest-news

The Whitsundays’ original and most awarded tour operator, Ocean Rafting, celebrated a triple win on Saturday night at the glamorous 2022 Whitsunday Tourism Awards, held in front of a stunning sunset at the Whitsunday Sailing Club.

Ocean Rafting scored three gongs, taking home the gold award in the Major Tour and Transport Operator and the Adventure Tourism categories, as well as the coveted People’s Choice Award at the gala industry awards.

Ocean Rafting owners, Peter and Jan Claxton, were ecstatic to receive the awards, which were proudly shared with their team on the night.   

“We are honestly very humbled and honoured to take home three awards at the 2022 Whitsunday Tourism Awards.  We are so proud to be recognised and rewarded for our team’s ongoing passion, dedication and commitment to sharing the wonders of the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef Park,” said Jan.

“It goes without saying the last two years have created uncertainly the world over, but with these awards coming just after our recent 25th birthday celebrations in October, it’s wonderful to be able to come out and shine with our industry friends and partners. On behalf of the Ocean Rafting family, we would like to thank each and every one of you who enabled us to be here. Our family and friends, loyal agents, supportive industry and government partners, our First Nation friends who allow us to share their Land and Sea Country, our fellow tourism operators and without doubt, our guests and customers who allow us to continue to do what we love most,” Jan continued.

“Receiving the Major Tour and Transport Award and the Adventure Tourism Award at the 2022 Whitsunday Tourism Awards are true reflections of our products, which offer the adventure of a lifetime around the beautiful Whitsunday Islands, surfing the waves and feeling the rush on the boats we have designed especially for this purpose, then up to the sky with our scenic flights and Fly Raft package. The People’s Choice Award was won based on voting from our guests and industry colleagues and the recognition is a testament to our team and our product, so we couldn’t be any prouder.”

“We also extend a huge thank you and congratulations to Tourism Whitsundays for all their effort in promoting our region and putting on a show like this, and of course to all the other Whitsunday winners and entrants for being involved in the awards process. Taking the time to write their submissions and reflect on recent activities and development is a huge job in itself, especially coming out of the past couple of years, so we are grateful for such incredible company and look forward to celebrating with them again next weekend at the Queensland Tourism Awards,” said Jan.

Having successfully been in operation for two and half decades as one of the Whitsundays’ most loved on-water experiences. and with three generations of family actively working in the business, the Ocean Rafting team are renowned for always “taking it to the next level”, a whole company approach which reflects the company’s long-term success and continuous growth over the years.

Despite the last two COVID-impacted years, Jan and Peter circled back to Peter’s aviation roots this year, adding not another “duck” to the existing fleet of eight custom designed vessels, but a plane. Flying into operations in May, Ocean Rafting’s 7-seater Australian-built Airvan took to the skies. While Ocean Rafting’s Fly Raft packages and scenic flight touring options have been offered for several years, this added investment has allowed for more available seats on scenic flights over Whitehaven Beach, Hill Inlet and famous Heart Reef, resulting is an iconic triple-whammy providing the ultimate Whitsunday experience in just one day.

This past year also saw the launch of Ocean Rafting’s own ‘Research’ vessel, which is used for the company’s many environmental initiatives, Reef Seeker Edutourism programs and charters.

With a swag of industry awards over the years, including multiple gold wins at the Australian, Queensland and Whitsunday Tourism Awards, Ocean Rafting is also a Best of Queensland Experience and a Quality Tourism Accredited Business under the national quality tourism framework. Additionally, Ocean Rafting is the recipient of a TripAdvisor Travellers Choice Award for being in top 10% of attractions worldwide every year since 2012 and a TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best award winner in the Top 1% of Tourism Businesses around the world and Top 10 Experiences in Australia.

With a nod that can only be attributed to its lengthy success in both showcasing and protecting the Great Barrier Reef, Ocean Rafting is also a coveted Ecotourism Australia Hall of Fame member for being continuously Advanced Ecotourism Australia Certified for 20 years or longer, being the only operator in the Whitsundays with this recognition. Ocean Rafting is also a Green Travel Leader, Climate Action Business, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service ‘Be Pest-Free’ Partner and is the only company in the Whitsundays with three Master Reef Guides, who are recognised as the world’s leading reef guides, interpreters and story tellers, in addition to a team made up of Marine Biologists and Eye On the Reef trained Eco Hosts.

ocean rafting awards

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY:

In Australia, it is respectful to always acknowledge the Traditional Owners of our Beautiful Country. By visiting the Whitsundays, you are staying on land traditionally owned and inhabited by the Gia, Giru and Ngaro People. We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work and live, and recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community. We pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging. We encourage our guests to learn more about Australia's Indigenous People. Their journey is long and interesting and deserves to be shared and respected.

Website developed by Kapow Interactive   |   sitemap

The logo for campground on a black background.

Outdoor Hospitality News

For owners, operators, team members, and anyone else interested in camping, glamping, or the rv industry., big4 adventure whitsunday resort wins gold at australian tourism awards.

Mau Mendoza

  • /   March 21, 2024

Two business women holding a trophy in front of a window, celebrating their victory at the 2022 Campies.

Share this article

  • Facebook Messenger

Mc research report - download free report.

In a distinguished ceremony held in Darwin, the BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort was honored with Gold in the Caravan and Holiday Parks category at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards . 

This event, a pinnacle for the tourism industry, showcased more than 180 of Australia’s top tourism operators, competing across 26 categories, highlighting the fierce competition and the prestige of winning such an award.

The accolade was received with immense pride by the resort owners, Greg and Kyleen McKinnon, who attended the gala event. Their resort, which has become a beacon of hospitality excellence, was lauded for standing out in a highly competitive field. 

This marks the fourth time the resort has achieved national recognition in this category, a testament to its sustained commitment to providing an exceptional holiday experience, as reported by Mirage News .

Greg McKinnon expressed his delight and gratitude, stating, “To be awarded the best Caravan and Holiday Park in the country for a second consecutive year on a national level is just absolutely incredible.” He also acknowledged the stiff competition and congratulated all winners and finalists for their achievements.

The event underscored the overall excellence of Queensland operators, who garnered a total of 14 accolades across the 26 categories, including five golds. This impressive haul demonstrates the state’s leading role in Australia’s tourism industry and sets a high bar for other regions.

Phil Casey, CEO of BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort, attributed the success to the unwavering dedication of the entire team and the loyalty of their guests. 

He highlighted the importance of creating memorable holiday experiences, saying, “The commitment shown from our team, both front of house and back of house, to ensure we create wonderful holiday memories for our guests each and every time, is something that can’t be underestimated.”

The resort, celebrating its 30th anniversary, has consistently reinvested in its offerings to maintain its status as one of the Whitsundays’ most desirable holiday destinations. Recent developments have further enhanced the guest experience, including the addition of new cabin inventory and the construction of a ‘Bunk House’ dormitory to accommodate school groups. 

The resort has also focused on accessibility initiatives, notably the introduction of a Sensory Room designed to cater for children on the autism spectrum, providing a special holiday retreat for families.

Set amongst 10 hectares of beautifully landscaped tropical gardens, BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit various budgets. From camping and caravanning sites to luxury three-bedroom condos, the resort ensures every guest enjoys a comfortable and enjoyable stay. 

The resort boasts over 15 onsite activities, including a waterslide park, mini-golf, and an outdoor cinema, making it a premier destination for family-friendly holidays.

With this latest accolade, BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort continues to set benchmarks in the hospitality industry, promising to uphold its tradition of excellence and innovation. 

As they look to the future, the resort remains committed to enhancing its offerings, aiming to win more awards and continue providing unforgettable holiday experiences for guests from around the world.

guest

Did you know that BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort offers a blend of relaxation and adventure in a lush setting? Dive into a variety of fun activities like water sports and guided tours for an unforgettable vacation experience. Go on, explore and make memories at this fantastic resort!

Laura Martin

BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort is all about that perfect mix of relaxation and adventure, nestled in a lush setting that’s just waiting for you to explore. Plus, it’s a Gold winner at the Australian Tourism Awards.

DaphneStarlight

You’re the architect of your adventure, crafting moments that glitter like gold. Embrace the journey, and your spirit will soar. Your positivity shines brightly.

Mark Hall

Isn’t it amazing how the BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort keeps wowing guests with unforgettable holidays? They truly deserve all the recognition, making Queensland a go-to spot for top-notch hospitality and memorable getaways.

HappyGoLucky859

Isn’t it exciting that BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort won a top award? They go all out for sustainability, protecting the Whitsundays’ beauty. Guests get cool eco experiences like nature walks and wildlife programs. It’s not just a stay. it’s a memorable adventure!

Headlinr1235

Have you heard about the BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort? It’s not just about winning awards but also its awesome location in Airlie Beach near the Whitsunday Islands. They offer so many activities and cool amenities for all ages, making it a perfect spot for a fun and memorable holiday!

bluemoon978

Did you hear about the BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort winning the top prize at the Australian Tourism Awards? It’s not just about the award – they offer awesome family activities and top-notch accommodations with views of the Whitsunday Islands! It’s a perfect spot for creating unforgettable vacation memories.

Quinn Ocean

Isn’t it cool? BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort has a variety of accommodations, from camping spots to fancy cabins, catering to every traveler’s taste. Plus, it’s perched near the Great Barrier Reef, making it a dreamy spot for nature buffs and adventure junkies. How awesome is that?

Charles Evans

Isn’t it amazing how the BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort nabbed the top spot at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards? Plus, they’re rolling out new adventure packages for all ages, promising unforgettable fun! Their dedication shines through, making it a top pick for a stellar holiday escape.

PosiBoost131

Have you checked out the awesome eco-friendly stuff at BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort? Their sustainability efforts are top-notch, and the guest experience is truly unforgettable and meaningful.

John Clark

Isn’t it amazing how the BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort shines with eco-friendly practices and top-notch experiences? Dive in to uncover the secrets that make it a dreamy spot in the Whitsundays!

Advertisement

IMAGES

  1. Whitsundays Tourism Awards

    whitsunday tourism awards

  2. Whitsundays Tourism Awards

    whitsunday tourism awards

  3. Whitsunday Escape WINS GOLD at Tourism Awards

    whitsunday tourism awards

  4. 2019 Whitsunday Tourism Awards

    whitsunday tourism awards

  5. Whitsunday Jetski Tours wins gold at the Whitsunday Tourism Awards

    whitsunday tourism awards

  6. Whitsunday Tourism Awards 2017

    whitsunday tourism awards

COMMENTS

  1. Whitsundays Tourism Awards

    The Awards are a submission based program and provide the opportunity to publicly acknowledge and showcase The Whitsundays finest tourism operators. The Awards cover 31 categories ranging from attractions, events, tour and transport, accommodation, restaurants, culture, ecotourism, marketing and recognition for individuals. The awards recognise ...

  2. Winners Of The Whitsundays Tourism Awards 2023

    Find All Winners Of The Whitsundays Tourism Awards 2023. Congratulations to everyone that entered to showcase your awesome tourism products. ... Excellence in Accessible Tourism: BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort: Festivals and Events: Great Barrier Reef Festival: Major Tour & Transport Operators: Ocean Rafting: New Tourism Business: Driftwood ...

  3. All the winners from Whitsundays Tourism Awards night 2023

    It was the night of nights for Whitsunday tourism operators as teams gathered to celebrate the best in the business. FULL LIST OF WINNERS. Janessa Ekert and Estelle Sanchez. 2 min read. October 25 ...

  4. PDF Awards a Plenty in The Whitsundays

    The Australian Tourism Awards, held on Friday 17 March in Sydney, saw long-term businesses of The Whitsundays - including Ocean Rafting, Magnums Accommodation Airlie Beach and BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday - all nominated after their Gold wins at the Queensland Tourism Awards in November last year. And the winners are: BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday ...

  5. Whitsundays wins big in Queensland Tourism Awards

    The Whitsundays recorded phenomenal results for the tourism industry in the last financial year, achieving a domestic spend of $1.3bn, which is a 29.3 per cent increase, on average, over the past three years. As of June 2023, the region also welcomed 765,000 domestic visitors, which equated to an 11.7 per cent increase, on average, over a three ...

  6. Glitz, Glam And Glory At The 2023 Whitsunday Tourism Awards

    Sequins, sass, and shiny shoes were the calling cards of success at the Hollywood-themed Whitsunday Tourism Awards held at the Proserpine Entertainment Centre last Friday evening.Over 300 tourism operators and affiliated business filled the lawns for a large-scale cocktail party, where guests could mix and mingle, and be transformed to the Hollywood of yesteryear at the stunningly decorated venue.

  7. Tourism Awards: Venue Announced

    The Proserpine Entertainment Centre (PEC) has been announced as the venue for the 2023 Whitsunday Tourism Awards which is due to take place on Friday, October 20. Based on feedback from last year, the highly anticipated 2023 event will take a different format and will be delivered cocktail-style, with a well-airconditioned venue for the award ...

  8. Welcome To The Awards

    A shining light in the annual event calendar, the Whitsunday Tourism Awards are a time for everyone in the tourism industry to connect, celebrate and recognise the dedication of all local businesses. When Rick Hamilton became the CEO of Tourism Whitsundays two years ago, one of his first goals was to reinstate the annual awards that had been ...

  9. PDF Catergory Descriptions 1. Major Tourist Attractions 2. Tourist Attractions

    The focus of this award is on the uniqueness of the tourism experience. This category is open to properties developed around unconventional ... Entrants in the 2022 Whitsunday Tourism Awards from categories 1 25 (except - Category 14- Tourism Marketing & Campaigns), will automatically be entered into the People's Choice Awards. Voting will be ...

  10. 2022 Whitsunday Tourism Awards

    31Oct. BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort has been awarded top honours in two categories at the annual Whitsunday Tourism Awards, held on Saturday night under the big top at the 2022 Whitsunday Sailing Club. Winning gold in the 'Caravan and Holiday Parks' category, the resort also won the consumer-voted 'People's Choice Award for ...

  11. PDF 2023 Whitsunday Tourism Awards Sponsorship Prospectus

    The Whitsundays Tourism Awards aim to: Publicly recognise and reward excellence throughout The Whitsundays tourism industry. Support improved planning, development and internal analysis for tourism businesses. Promote a benchmark for industry best practice. Reinforce the value and contribution of The Whitsundays $1.5 billion tourism industry

  12. Whitsundays Dominates In Darwin Trophy Sweep at 2023 Qantas Australian

    The Whitsundays has secured a trophy sweep at the 2023 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards which were held in Darwin last Friday evening. The best tourism operators from across the Whitsundays have done the region proud, taking out gold, silver and bronze at the highly competitive national awards. These results come off the back of a stellar run of awards for the region after taking out seven ...

  13. Whitsundays Best Vie For National Tourism Award

    Rick Hamilton, CEO of Tourism Whitsundays, says he is thrilled to attend the event again this year. "This event is the pinnacle of awards in our industry and The Whitsundays is well represented this year," he shared. "The businesses who are in the running tonight entered and won gold at the 38th Annual Queensland Tourism Awards in ...

  14. Whitsundays The Big Winners At The Australian Tourism Awards

    In a major coup for the Whitsunday Tourism Industry, all three Whitsundays finalist will be coming home with awards. Red Cat Adventures won Gold for Major Tour and Transport Operators, Big4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort have taken Gold for Caravan and Holiday Parks and Whitsunday Escape taking out Silver for Unique Accommodation.

  15. New Business Awards Welcomed Into Whitsunday Tourism Awards

    For the third year in a row, the Whitsunday Tourism Awards are featuring the Whitsunday Business Awards, with nine categories for businesses that are not necessarily tourism relevant. A partnership between Whitsunday Coast Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Whitsundays, and Bowen Tourism and Business, the Business Awards recognise and celebrate the greater business community in the wider Whitsundays.

  16. Whitsunday Escape are Whitsunday Tourism Award winners, again!

    Having entered the Whitsunday Tourism Awards every year for almost a decade, being recognized as an industry leader for the third year in a row, is an honor we take very seriously. Whitsunday Escape joins other prestigious Whitsunday tourism business in the Hall of Fame, such as Fantasea Adventure Cruising, BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort ...

  17. WINNERS: Top gongs at the Whitsunday Tourism Awards

    The title of Whitsunday Business of the Year has been taken out by Big4 Adventure Whitsundays while the gold award for Tour and Transport Operators went to Whitsunday Jetski Tours at the 2019 Whitsunday Tourism Awards. In a record attendance, almost 400 people descended on the newly reopened Daydream Island … Read more

  18. Whitsundays Represent At Queensland Tourism Awards

    A total of 78 awards, including 31 Gold, 26 Silver and 20 Bronze Awards were presented across 30 categories and the Whitsunday region walked away with nine of these prestigious accolades. This years' awards represented a poignant moment for the tourism industry, celebrating the resilience and tenacity of operators who had all beat the odds to ...

  19. BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort Shines at Whitsunday Tourism Awards

    Held at the Proserpine Entertainment Centre, the Whitsunday tourism industry's night of nights saw the iconic Whitsunday resort win gold in the 'Caravan and Holiday Parks' and 'Accessible Tourism' categories, while also scooping the consumer-voted 'People's Choice Award for Accommodation' at the gala industry awards.

  20. 2023 Whitsunday Tourism Awards

    A Golden Night at the 2023 Whitsunday Tourism Awards. The Whitsundays' original and most awarded tour operator, Ocean Rafting, celebrated a triple win on Friday night at the glamorous 2023 Whitsunday Tourism Awards. Held at the Proserpine Entertainment Centre, Ocean Rafting won gold in the 'Major Tour & Transport' and 'Adventure Tourism ...

  21. 2022 Whitsunday Tourism Awards

    With a swag of industry awards over the years, including multiple gold wins at the Australian, Queensland and Whitsunday Tourism Awards, Ocean Rafting is also a Best of Queensland Experience and a Quality Tourism Accredited Business under the national quality tourism framework. Additionally, Ocean Rafting is the recipient of a TripAdvisor ...

  22. BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort Wins Gold at Australian Tourism Awards

    In a distinguished ceremony held in Darwin, the BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort was honored with Gold in the Caravan and Holiday Parks category at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards.. This event, a pinnacle for the tourism industry, showcased more than 180 of Australia's top tourism operators, competing across 26 categories, highlighting the fierce competition and the prestige of winning ...