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4 March, 2021

Paronella Park a winner with Grey Nomads

FAR North Queensland tourism attraction Paronella Park was recognised this week in the annual 2020 Grey Nomad Awards.

By Peter McCullagh

Paronella Park won the Silver award for Best Grey Nomad Attraction or Tour.

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.

The Awards are judged by tourism leaders from across the country who offer valuable insights and detailed feedback to each entrant, ensuring nominees have practical tips to improve their tourism offering for the future benefit of their business, their community, the tourism industry and visitors.

Australians aged over 55 represent one of the biggest opportunities in domestic tourism recovery, possessing 32% of Australia’s disposable income along with the flexibility and motivation to travel.

Despite travel restrictions, 42.4 million nights were spent caravanning or camping in the 12 months up to September 2020, generating $5.7 billion. Of that total, mature-age Australians contributed $2.508 billion – 44 cents in every dollar spent.

Paronella Park owners Mark and Judy Evans attended the award ceremony on the Sunshine Coast.

“The Grey Nomad market is an important part of our business and we have always had a strong connection with this market.

“The Grey Nomads have been a key contributor to our business success and in the past years our recovery during COVID,” he said.

At the awards nine of the 15 awards, including the Best of the Best top gong, went to Queensland tourism and hospitality operators, further reinforcing the importance of grey nomads to the COVID recovery in Queensland.

The Queensland winners were:

• 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 Attraction or Tour: Mary Valley Rattler, Gympie (Sunshine Coast)

• Bronze Winner Best Grey Nomad Small Caravan Park: G’day Charters Towers Tourist Park (Townsville).

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