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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Best mature-age travel spots revealed

Thirty-five tourism experiences have been named as the best in Australia for mature-age visitors, with WA, Queensland and South Australia dominating the winners’ list.

Australia’s most remote golfing tournament, a gaggle of giants that form a unique trail, a hotel nestled beside the country’s highest lake, a 1930s castle in the rainforest, and a Central Desert stay boasting a BBQ made from a 1950s Austin were among other experiences that secured top honours.

The Grey Nomad Awards shine a light on regional Australia with 14 national categories that showcase the best places for travellers aged over 50 to stay and play around the country.

Heading the awards group was Bullara Station Stay in the Exmouth Gulf on Australia’s Coral Coast WA. The quarter-of-a-million-acre station stay with numerous food experiences was named the ‘Best of the Best’ as the finale to the Awards announcements after being named the Gold Award winner of the Best Farm or Station Stay and the Gold winner of the Best Foodie Experience Award. The Best of the Best is handed to the winner that impressed the judges the most, as determined by the highest cumulative score from all winners.

Awards Director, Kim Morgan, said that while Western Australia took home the highest accolade with Bullara Station winning the Best of the Best title, Queensland snagged the lion’s share of the awards with 19 of the 35 national titles going to the sunshine state. An additional eight went to South Australia.

Australians aged over 55 represent one of the biggest opportunities in domestic tourism. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), they possess 32% of Australia’s disposable income along with the flexibility and motivation to travel.

Ms Morgan said the Awards provide verified information for this important segment, helping guide their decisions on where to visit and what to include on a must-see extended Australian road trip in 2024.

“As a nation, our love of the open road has never dimmed, and with Australia being a big country it’s important to know where to visit to have extraordinary experiences. That’s where the Grey Nomad Awards come into play.”

With rigorous judging by mature-age tourism professionals, some of whom have experienced the grey nomad lifestyle personally, plus second-tier auditing, social analysis and due diligence, all 35 wins plus the six Best in State awards have the credence of the tourism sector, she said.

2023 Grey Nomad Award Gold Winners are:

• Best of the Best: Bullara Station Stay, Australia’s Coral Coast WA

• Best Foodie Experience: Bullara Station Stay, Australia’s Coral Coast WA

• Best Attraction: Outback at Isa Visitor Information Centre, Outback Queensland QLD

• Best Community Stay: Berri Riverside Holiday Park, Riverland SA

• Best Dog Friendly Stay: Sunset Tourist Park, Mount Isa, Outback Queensland QLD

• Best Farm or Station Stay: Bullara Station Stay (WA)

• Best Festival or Event: Outback Queensland Masters, Outback Queensland QLD

• Best Freedom Stay: Tobermorey Station Roadhouse & Caravan Park, Central Australia NT

• Best Grey Nomad Friendly Town: Thallon, St George Region, Outback Queensland QLD

• Best Historic Attraction: Paronella Park, Tropical Region QLD

• Best Large Caravan Park: Queens Beach Tourist Village, Bowen, The Whitsundays QLD

• Best Small Caravan Park: Mt Larcom Tourist Park, Gladstone Region QLD

• Best Tour: Sarina Sugar Shed Tour, Mackay Isaac Region QLD

• Best Trail: Thomas Dambo’s Giants of Mandurah, Peel Region WA

• Best Pub Stay: Great Lake Hotel, Miena, Central Highlands TAS.

2023 Silver Winners:

• Best Foodie Experience: Sarina Sugar Shed Tasting Tour, Mackay Isaac Region QLD

• Best Attraction: Paronella Park, Tropical North Queensland QLD

• Best Community Stay: Cleve Showgrounds RV Park, Eyre Peninsula SA

• Best Farm or Station Stay: Tobermorey Station Roadhouse & Caravan Park, Central Aust NT

• Best Festival or Event: Sweet Days Hot Nights Festival – Burdekin, Townsville Region QLD

• Best Freedom Stay: Gum Tree Lodge and Bush Camp Howard, Fraser Coast QLD

• Best Grey Nomad Friendly Town: Quilpie, Outback Queensland QLD

• Best Historic Attraction: Charlotte Plains Outback Magic, Outback Queensland QLD

• Best Large Caravan Park: Berri Riverside Holiday Park, Riverland SA

• Best Small Caravan Park: Valley View Caravan Park, Victorian High Country VIC

• Best Tour: Sunset Experience on Towers Hill, Townsville Region QLD

• Best Trail: Flinders Ranges Self Drive Loop, Flinders Ranges and Outback SA

• Best Pub Stay: Overland Corner Hotel, Riverland SA.

2023 Bronze Winners:

• Best Foodie Experience: ‘Deep to Dish’ Tasmanian Wild Seafood Adventures, Hobart & Beyond TAS

• Best Attraction: Quilpie Visitor Information Centre, Museum and Gallery, Outback Queensland QLD

• Best Festival or Event: Big Skies Festival, Western Downs QLD

• Best Freedom Stay: Mikkira Station Koala Sanctuary, Eyre Peninsula SA

• Best Grey Nomad Friendly Town: Port Pirie, Flinders Ranges and Outback SA

• Best Historic Attraction: Charters Towers Ambulance Museum, Townsville Region QLD

• Best Small Caravan Park: Charters Towers Tourist Park, Townsville Region QLD

• Best Pub Stay: The Cradock Hotel, Cradock, Flinders Ranges and Outback SA

2023 also saw the introduction of new Best Grey Nomad Experience in State Winners:

• NT: Tobermorey Station Roadhouse & Caravan Park, Central Australia

• QLD: Thallon, St George Region, Outback Queensland

• SA: Port Pirie, Flinders Ranges and Outback

• TAS: Tasmanian Wild Seafood Adventures, Hobart & Beyond

• VIC: Valley View Caravan Park, Victorian High Country

• WA: Bullara Station Stay, Australia’s Coral Coast.

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