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Australian Gourmet Traveller 2012 Travel Award winners announced
The June issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller, out today, unveils the cream of Australia's travel crop, from the outback to the coast and beyond.
The winners of the sixth annual Gourmet Traveller Travel Awards were announced last night at an exclusive dinner at the lavishly refurbished Park Hyatt Sydney hosted by the editor of Gourmet Traveller, Anthea Loucas, and attended by Australia’s travel industry leaders.
Special guests included Nine Network personality and Getaway Lounge ambassador Catriona Rowntree, who acted as MC; star chefs Neil Perry, Guillaume Brahimi and Justin North; and Renaud Tinel of awards sponsor Nespresso.
Highlights of the 2012 Gourmet Traveller Travel Awards include the revamped Lizard Island (winner of Best Resort or Lodge); new categories such as Best Weekend Away and Best Stopover City (won by Melbourne and Singapore, respectively); South Australia's Arkaba Station (Best Outback Experience); the Whitsundays' Qualia (Best Australian Island Resort and Best Spa); and Hobart's MONA (Standout Australian Travel Experience for the second consecutive year).
London, naturally, is the Hottest International City of 2012: nowhere else will hold a candle, far less an Olympic torch, to the English capital this year.
Gourmet Traveller editor Anthea Loucas said: “While our soaring dollar has sent Aussies overseas in record numbers this year, there are loads of exciting experiences to be had right on our doorstep. We are proud to again celebrate the achievements of Australia's finest travel operators through our sixth annual Travel Awards. Congratulations to all the winners and finalists, and a big thank you to our Gourmet Traveller readers and Getaway viewers.”
This year's Gourmet Traveller Travel Awards attracted more than 22,000 votes. One lucky voter wins the main prize, courtesy of boutique hotel gurus Mr & Mrs Smith: a five-night escape to Shanghai worth $11,250, including return airfares with Qantas and accommodation at The PuLi Hotel and Spa.
The 13 Readers' Choice categories and finalists were chosen by an expert panel of travel writers, editors, photographers and independent industry professionals.
Gourmet Traveller readers and viewers of the Nine Network's Getaway program were then able to vote online in each of the categories.
Winners of a further five Expert Awards categories were chosen by the expert panel alone.
THE 2012 READERS' CHOICE AWARDS WINNERS:
• Nespresso Best Large Luxury Hotel: Crown Towers, Melbourne, Vic
• Best Adventure Tourism: Cradle Mountain Huts, Tas (2nd consecutive year)
• Getaway Best Family Experience: Lord Howe Island, NSW
• Best Weekend Away: Melbourne, Vic
• Best Spa: Qualia, Hamilton Island, Qld (3rd consecutive year)
• Best Indigenous Tourism Experience: Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia
• Best Hotel/Resort Dining: Lake House, Vic (3rd consecutive year)
• Best Cruise Line: Orion Expedition Cruises (4th consecutive year)
• Best Airline Service: Emirates
• Best Stopover City: Singapore
• Best Golf Resort: Coolum Golf and Spa, Qld
• Best Resort or Lodge: Lizard Island, Qld
• Best Cellar Door Experience: Logan Wines, NSW
THE EXPERT PANEL AWARD WINNERS:
• Best Capital City Hotel: Park Hyatt Sydney, Sydney, NSW
• Best Australian Island Resort: Qualia, Hamilton Island, Qld
• Best Outback Experience: Arkaba Station, SA
• Standout Australian Travel Experience: MONA, Tas (2nd consecutive year)
• Hottest International City: London, UK
The list of winners and details are published in the June issue of Gourmet Traveller, on sale Wednesday 30 May, and online at gourmettraveller.com.au