Windorah’s community centre was packed to the rafters on Saturday night when 175 tourism operators, local government representatives and industry bodies from around the state glammed up for the annual outback tourism awards.
Guests began proceedings by tipping in $3200 for a chance to win one of the renowned Windorah yabby races, with the female contingent from McKinlay shire nearly as excited as a winning Melbourne Cup owner by their win.
Everyone was then invited to throw back a Cooper Cordial, a mixture of rum and water from the Cooper, named by legendary local resident Sandy Kidd, before the night’s awards were given out and the big leaps and bounds made in growing the business of tourism in western Queensland were celebrated with 18 awards in a variety of sectors.
Major Tourist Attraction: The Australian Age of Dinosaurs
Tourist Attraction: Cobbold Gorge Tours
Festivals & Events: Mount Isa Rodeo
Cultural Tourism: Kinnon & Co
Visitor Information & Services: Outback At Isa
Tour & Transport Operators: Outback Aussie Tours
Destination Marketing Award: Mount Isa Entertainment & Tourism Venues
Caravan & Holiday Parks: Lakeview Caravan Park RIchmond
Standard Accommodation: Kinnon & Co
Hosted Accommodation: Cobbold Village
Best outback Pub: Goldfields Hotel, Forsayth
Outstanding Contribution by a volunteer group: Roma Saleyards Tour Leaders.
Young Achievers Award: Kristine Adcock, Cloncurry.
Local Government Award: Diamantina Shire Council.
Outback Mates Award:- Stewart Benson, Blackall.
Hall of Fame Awards – Hosted Accommodation: Adels Grove; Restaurant and Catering Services: McGinness Restaurant, Qantas Founders Museum; Major Tourist Attraction: Qantas Founders Museum; Festivals & Events: Birdsville Races.
Vince Evert Award: Rob Chandler.
Life Time Achievement Award: Tony Edwards.