Tasmania’s East Coast operators celebrated in awards night

WINNERS: Anna Hoffmann, of the Bay of Fires Bush Retreat. The venture won the accommodation award.
WINNERS: Anna Hoffmann, of the Bay of Fires Bush Retreat. The venture won the accommodation award.

The best of the best tourism operators, festivals, and restaurants on the East Coast were celebrated and awarded on Saturday night.

East Coast Tourism chief executive Ruth Dowty said the Great Eastern Driver awards aimed to shine a spotlight on the hard work and dedication of those working in the tourism industry in the region.

Ms Dowty said a record number of entries were received this year, with more than 40 tourism operators or businesses shortlisted for awards.

Winners of the accommodation award were Bay of Fires Bush Retreat, with Freycinet Lodge receiving a certificate of merit, and Orford Sanda House B&B and Cod Rock Point receiving honourable mentions.

ALL4Adventure and East Coast Cruises were both winners of the visitor experience award, with Freycinet Air and St Marys Cranks and Tinkerers receiving a certificate of merit.

The Food, wine and retail winner was Freycinet Lodge, with Waubs Bay Gallery and Craigie Knowe Vineyard receiving certificates of merit, and Devil’s Corner Cellar Door, The Fishers, and Tombolo receiving an honourable mention.

New Great Eastern Driver winners were Apartments on Fraser Bicheno, with Craigie Knowe Vineyard receiving a certificate of merit, and honourable mentions to Swims East Coast Coffee, Springbay Seafood and Wine Bar, and Geographe Restaurant and Espresso Bar.

Spring Bay Tourism Group was named the destination action plan initiative winners, with a certificate of merit going to the Bicheno Destination Action Plan Group.

Great Eastern Drive event of the year winners were Bicheno Food and Wine Festival, with a certificate of merit for the Bay of Fires Winter Arts Festival, and honourable mention to Bicheno Lions Club’s Rock Pool.

Jenny Logie was named the winner of the 2018 Great Eastern Driver Award.

Ms Dowty said the awards played a vital role in encouraging business excellence and innovation in tourism on the East Coast.

The awards gala dinner took place at White Sands Estate on June 2.