Australia’s Hidden Jewels Revealed

Ningaloo Blue Charters, on Australia’s Coral Coast, has been named national winner of the inaugural PublicityShip Hidden Jewel Awards.

The PublicityShip Hidden Jewel Awards aim to discover tourism operators offering a quality service who remain relatively unknown and poised for growth. The winners all have an edge that sets them apart, offering some exciting editorial and broadcast opportunities.

National winner:
Ningaloo Blue Charters

State winners:

NSW: Tribal Warrior
NT: Anangu Waai!
QLD: Undara Experience
SA: Bookabee Tours
TAS: Live History
VIC: Auswalk
WA: Faraway Bay

About the PublicityShip Hidden Jewel Awards

The Awards are run by national publicity company, PublicityShip, with the judging panel drawn from across the tourism industry, including Jane Hammond Foster, managing editor of PublicityShip, Alex Ristevski, travel series producer for Channel Nine, and Les Cox, CEO of Australian escorted touring company, AAT Kings.

State/territory winners will receive a three-month publicity campaign, and the national winner will benefit from a 12-month campaign plus a fully supported travel blog to enhance their online marketing strategy. The prizes are supplied by PublicityShip.NB: Please refer to the Awards in full as the PublicityShip Hidden Jewel Awards at first mention.

About Ningaloo Blue Charters
Western Australia’s Ningaloo Reef is a hidden jewel in itself. Much of it within wadable or swimmable distance of shore, it harbours a huge variety of marine life. Most importantly, it is the only place in Australia where visitors can swim with a whale shark – the biggest fish in the sea – and Ningaloo Blue Charters records the most reliable sightings in the world.

Outside whale shark season, the team runs fishing charters, and private charters for fishing, diving, snorkelling or a tailored mixture.The Ningaloo Blue team are rapidly becoming known for their professional and passionate approach to every aspect of the business, refusing to settle for anything less than “the experience of a lifetime” for every guest on every trip. The business also works in partnership with other tour operators and accommodation providers in the Ningaloo region to enable customers to book a full holiday via the user-friendly Ningaloo Blue site.

Channel Nine travel show producer and Hidden Jewel judge, Alex Ristevski, commented:

“What swayed us towards Ningaloo Blue Charters was a dynamic and unique experiences that could translate well to the television screen. That, coupled with a professional and passionate team, made Ningaloo Blue a standout entry.”

PublicityShip’s Jane Hammond Foster also sat on the panel of judges and is delighted to see Ningaloo Blue take out the national accolade:

“This is a lively, passionate and dedicated young team – the kind of operation that forms the backbone of Australian tourism. We are very much looking forward to getting the word out about Ningaloo Blue.

About the state winners

The state winners also make a fascinating list, with compelling stories and experiences that are sure to attract attention from a range of travel audiences.

New South Wales
The Tribal Warrior Association is owned and controlled by Aboriginal Elders and community represenatives. Its original objective was to provide disadvantaged Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people with specialised maritime training programs. But realising that the cultural component has long been overlooked by visitors to the Sydney region, who tend to look to the northern states and territory for Aboriginal experiences, the Association has recently introduced Sydney Harbour’s only Aboriginal cultural cruises.

Northern Territory
Anangu Waai is an umbrella organisation managing five small tour operations: Anangu Tours, Uluru Camel Tours, Spirit of the Night Sky, Frontier Camel Tours and Desert Tours & Transfers. The central thrust behind the organisation is to present Uluru and its surrounds from an Aboriginal perspective. Anangu Tours is the only touring option at Uluru where guests can experience indigenous touring with Anangu guides. The camel, desert and night sky tours add other iconic experiences to the mix.

Undara Experience is a nature-based tour and accommodation operator in Tropical North Queensland, bordering the Undara Volcanic National Park – an area of immense geological and botanical significance. Guests tour the world-renowned Undara lava tubes, formed by a massive eruption 190,000 years ago, resulting in the longest flow of lava from a single volcano. They also witness thousands of bats, living in the tubes, which come out to feed at night, and the brown tree snakes that gather to catch the bats as they emerge from the tubes. Accommodation is in restored Queensland railway carriages and swag tents.

South Australia
Bookabee Tours blends cultural, eco/nature-based and mainstream tourism, infused with authentic Aboriginal perspectives and experiences. Adnyamathanha proprietor and tour guide, Haydyn Bromley, has strong ties to the Flinders Ranges, leading him to create the only 4WD tour company operating out of Adelaide to the region. Many of the cultural sites included on the tours are not accessible to the public or mainstream tour operators.

Live History uses performance guiding – a new concept in tourism. Created by Judith and Chris Cornish, performance guiding combines the skills of tour guiding with acting, enabling visitors to engage more fully with the stories being told. Judith and Chris are both trained actors with many years of experience in tourism. Their first tour, Louisa’s Walk, takes the audience on a personal journey into the life of Louisa Regan, an Irish woman convicted to seven years imprisonment in Van Diemens Land for stealing a loaf of bread. Other ‘strolling theatre’ tours are currently in production.

Auswalk began in 1994 with four walking holidays and now offers 24 walking holidays in five states. Run from home by passionate walkers, Phil and Monica Coleman, with the help of just two admin staff, the company is founded on close attention to detailed service and quality transport and accommodation. All the routes are created by Phil and Monica from many years of walking experience, visiting their favourite spots through New South Wales, the Northern Territory, Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania. The inn-to-inn walks (either guided or self-guided, with luggage transported) are particularly popular.

Western Australia
Faraway Bay is a wilderness retreat nestled on a rocky hilltop overlooking the Timor Sea, in an area of the Kimberley region that is so remote, visitors have to fly in by light aircraft. Accommodating a maximum of 12 guests, the eight secluded bush-style cabins enjoy 180-degree ocean views. Activities include cruising to the King George Falls, fishing the tidal creeks, learning about bushtucker, discovering ancient rock art, cooling off in the spring-fed plunge pool and feasting on fresh seafood.

Further information
Jane Hammond Foster1800 468 4160434 246