A Sunshine Coast town who beat tourism heavy hitters to be crowned Queensland’s top tourism destination will take to the national stage to compete for the Australian crown.
The coastal escape of Caloundra has enjoyed months of celebration and national coverage since being crowned the 2023 Queensland Top Tourism Town by the Queensland Tourism Industry Council in June.
The win positioned the slice of paradise as a finalist in the Australian Top Tourism Town Awards, held in Canberra on September 14th.
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 said Caloundra had been a loved holiday destination for countless generations and had a shot at taking out first, second or third at the national competition.
“Being named Queensland’s Top Tourism Town in June continues to be a huge draw card for Caloundra, it has given a boost to the Sunshine Coast tourism industry and will help attract investment to our region,” he said.
“We are up against some tough competition at the national awards, but if Caloundra was to be named Australia’s Top Tourism Town it would be hugely beneficial in attracting investment, such as the funds needed to build the Sunshine Coast Regional Art Gallery.”
A panel of judges will decide the winner of the national awards from the seven state winners.
The national finalists include Victoria’s Ballarat, Tasmania’s Devonport, Northern Territory’s Katherine, Western Australia’s Mandurah, New South Wales’ Newcastle and Victor Harbour in South Australia.
As the creators of the winning state tourism application, two Caloundra Chamber of Commerce representatives will attend the National Awards where Caloundra will represent Queensland.
Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe acknowledged Caloundra’s commitment to tourism after it’s state achievement in June.
“Building a great reputation as a Top Tourism Town takes a united, whole community commitment to consistently excellent visitor experiences,” he said.
“Queensland has an awe-inspiring diversity of quality destinations, each vital to the industry led Towards Tourism 2032 roadmap for growing the State’s visitor economy.”
From the Caloundra Markets and Mural Trail to Kings Beach, the Queensland Air Museum and Australia Zoo, Mr Sullivan said Caloundra’s attractions make for a perfect family holiday.
“Caloundra can be a relaxed holiday by the water or a fun-filled family holiday,” Mr Sullivan said.
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.