Nitmiluk National Park has again taken centre stage at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, winning three gold awards and a bronze in Canberra on Friday night.
The awards, held at Canberra’s National Convention Centre last night, recognise and promote excellence in tourism across the country.
The park’s tourism operators Nitmiluk Tours offers visitors the opportunity to cruise, fly, canoe, swim and walk in and around the gorge and the surrounding park, which includes waterfalls, springs and ancient rock art sites.
Nitmiluk Tours also offers visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in Jawoyn culture.
It won gold for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism.
Nitmiluk Tours chief executive officer Jane Runyu-Fordimail said it was an important award the team had been wanting to win for a while.
“Words can’t describe what I feel right now,” Ms Runyu-Fordimail said.
“First we won bronze, then silver and then we won gold”.
“It’s special to be recognised among our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peers.”
The gold rush then kicked in with Nitmiluk’s Cicada Restaurant winning the Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services Category and the boutique Cicada Lodge taking home the gold for Luxury Accommodation.
Nitmiluk National Park was awarded a bronze for the Major Tourist Attraction.
Nitmiluk Tours and Jawoyn Association board member Lisa Mumbin said it rounded out a special night for Jawoyn people and all those who work in the park.
“We’ve been operating tourism for the last 30 years and it’s been amazing for us as Aboriginal people and traditional owners of the country,” Ms Mumbin said.
“The win gives us a reputation and we want to show people what we can give to visitors over the years.”
The Minister for Tourism, Sport and Culture Lauren Moss congratulated all the finalists and winners, including Venture North Safaris which received a gold award in cultural tourism.
“To win four gold awards is a fantastic feat for Territory tourism,” Minister Moss said.
“It’s wonderful to see so many of our 2019 Brolga Awards winners go on to achieve recognition as both finalists and winners at a national level.
“A special mention to The Jawoyn Association, joint management partners of the majestic Nitmiluk National Park, and operators of Nitmiluk Tours who were awarded the 2019 Brolga Awards highest honour, the NT Tourism Minister’s Perpetual Trophy.
“While the tourism industry is facing some tough challenges with the Australian bushfires and the coronavirus travel restrictions, the awards celebrate the inspiring leaders from our tourism industry for their commitment and hard work.”