Sunshine Coast town bursts onto the national tourism scene after being named one of Australia’s top three tourism towns.
The coastal escape of Caloundra was awarded third place at the Australian Top Tourism Town Awards on Thursday during a ceremony at Australia’s Parliament House.
The slice of paradise received the honour after taking out the 2023 Queensland Top Tourism Town Awards held by the Queensland Tourism Industry Council in June.
Caloundra has enjoyed months of celebration and national media coverage during its Top Tourism Town campaign, spearheaded by the Caloundra Chamber of Commerce.
Caloundra’s key attractions, including the natural wonders of the Pumicestone Passage and nearby Glass House Mountains, local eateries such as White Picket Fence and action-packed activities including Oceanview Helicopters grabbed the state judges’ attention.
Caloundra Chamber CEO Brady Sullivan congratulated the showcased destinations and said the Caloundra Chamber’s Top Tourism Town campaign aimed to propel Caloundra onto the nation’s tourism scene.
“Our state and national success is a huge draw card for Caloundra and the Sunshine Coast,” he said.
“Caloundra is well and truly on the map.”
Mr Sullivan said the national recognition would help attract vital investment to the region including the funds needed to deliver projects like the Sunshine Coast Regional Art Gallery.
“Caloundra has been a loved holiday destination for countless generations and is at the center of immeasurable family memories,” he said.
“Our recent awards will attract more families and travellers to Caloundra and ensure our town continues to grow its already great tourism offering with drawcards like the proposed Sunshine Coast Regional Art Gallery.”
A panel of judges decided the nation’s top three tourism towns from seven state winners including Victoria’s Ballarat, Tasmania’s Devonport, Northern Territory’s Katherine, Western Australia’s Mandurah, New South Wales’ Newcastle and Victor Harbor in South Australia.
Victoria’s Ballarat took out second place while Western Australia’s Mandurah took out gold.
Queensland’s Airlie Beach and Noosa tour guide business Joel’s Journeys also placed second in the Small Town and Top Tour Guide categories.
Queensland Tourism Industry Council CEO Brett Fraser said it was fantastic to see Caloundra, Airlie Beach and Joel’s Journeys achieve podium finishes in their respective categories.
“To be taking home three podium finishes at a national level is a great achievement.”
“Queensland has no shortage of natural and local wonders to marvel. It’s fantastic to receive nationwide recognition for our award-winning holiday destinations.”
The Top Tourism Town awards recognise Australian towns with a population over 5,000 people that offer amazing visitor experiences and are committed to working collectively to increase visitation to its region.
Learn more here