Owners ‘gobsmacked’ as CQ park wins big at tourism awards
A Gladstone region tourist park has won gold in a major tourism award ceremony.
Mount Larcom Tourist Park won the Best Grey Nomad Small Caravan Park category at the 2020 Grey Nomad Awards at the Sunshine Coast on Tuesday night.
The Grey Nomad Awards is a niche tourism excellence program that shines a light on the best stays, attractions, tours and events on offer for older travellers throughout regional Australia.
Owners Kev and Del Smaldon were completely surprised their tourist park had won gold.
“We didn’t think we had won anything,” Del said.
“We thought maybe we would have won the bronze award but yeah we’re completely gobsmacked.”
The couple, who purchased the park in 2018, said the award would be proudly displayed in their office.
“The award is an acknowledgment of all the hard work we’ve put in over the years,” Del said.
“It also a thank you to everyone who has allowed us to do what we do.”
Awards director Kim Morgan said the awards provided important information to mature-aged Australians on where they should visit in 2021.
“This year’s nominees reflect the extraordinary and exceptional experiences on offer to mature-age travellers across the country,” she said.
“Each nominee is playing a small yet critical role in assisting the Australian tourism sector to recover from the imposed 2020 downturn.”
The judges said Mt Larcom Tourism Park supported businesses around the Gladstone
“(The tourism park) supports businesses by creating an exceptional experience that encourages senior travellers to stop, stay and spend in this unique pocket of Australia”.
Del said the award had put Mount Larcom on the map.
“Hopefully we can get some more tourists in the area.”
2020 Queensland winners:
- Gold Winner Best Grey Nomad Attraction or Tour: Barramundi Discovery Centre & Hatchery Karumba (Tropical North Queensland)
- Gold Winner Best Grey Nomad Farm or Station Stay: Charlotte Plains Outback Magic, Cunnamulla (Outback Queensland)
- Gold Winner Best Grey Nomad Pub Stay: The Wellshot Hotel, Ilfracombe (Outback Queensland)
- Gold Winner Best Grey Nomad Small Caravan Park: Mt Larcom Tourist Park (Gladstone)
- Silver Winner Best Grey Nomad Attraction or Tour: Paronella Park, Mena Creek (Tropical North Queensland)
- Silver Winner Best Grey Nomad Council Free Stay: Nindigully Tourist and Visitor Area (Outback Queensland)
- Bronze Winner Best Grey Nomad Tour: Mary Valley Rattler, Gympie (Sunshine Coast)
- Bronze Winner Best Grey Nomad Small Caravan Park: G’day Charters Towers Tourist Park (Townsville)