Adventure Queensland (AQ), is excited to announce the winners of the 2018 Adventure Tourism Awards. The introduction of an industry led awards program was a first for the backpacker and youth travel Industry.

During the Youth and Adventure Tourism’s Industry’s night of nights on Wednesday 14 November on the Gold Coast in Queensland, both big and small businesses from all over Australia and New Zealand were recognised for their contribution to the tourism industry across 30 categories.

The inaugural industry led event was organised by Adventure Queensland (AQ), the peak backpacking and independent travel industry body for Queensland, who recently identified the need for industry collaboration within the Australian and New Zealand youth tourism sector.Working alongside Backpacker Operators Association NSW (BOA) and the Backpacker Youth Tourism Advisory Panel (BYTAP), the Adventure Tourism Awards provided an opportunity for industry members to come together and celebrate outstanding contribution and excellence.

President of Adventure Queensland, David Cox, was pleased to see over 250 people travel to the Gold Coast to celebrate the 2018 Adventure Tourism Awards and support each other’s hard work and success.

 “It is important to formally recognise outstanding tourism experiences, people and places within this dynamic industry.”

“Congratulations to all the finalists and winners of the night. Your passion and commitment for our segment is evident and the achievement is so very well deserved!” David said.

The ceremony was put together by the volunteer based AQ committee and in a true example of industry collaboration has only been made possible due to the wonderful support of sponsors such as Adventium Technology, Hostelworld, Tourism Australia, Vodafone, Visit Oz, Ocean Rafting and Sealink.

Sales Captain for Ocean Rafting on the Whitsundays, Nathan Fleming received the Young Industry Legend Award, while the Head of Marketing for YHA Australia, Janet McGarry, took home the Industry Legend Award.

2018 Adventure Tourism Awards Winners





Green Award/ Ecotourism


Kanu Kapers Australia


On the Wallaby, Whitsundays Sailing Adventures

Best Transport – Australia

Spaceships Campervans

Jucy Australia, Stray Travel

Best Transport – New Zealand

Kiwi Experience

Stray Travel, Spaceships Campervans

Best Backpacker Night – Australia

The Woolshed

Down Under Bar Brisbane, Wicked Club Crawl

Best Backpacker Night – New Zealand

Big Night Out


Best Accommodation NSW

Wake Up! Byron Bay

Byron Bay YHA, Nomads Byron Bay

Best Accommodation NT

Jump Inn Alice Budget Accommodation

Cooindah Lodge, Melaleuca on Mitchell 

Best Accommodation QLD

Halse Lodge Noosa YHA

Brisbane City YHA, Bunk Surfers Paradise

Best Accommodation SA

Adelaide Central YHA

Vivonne Bay Lodge, Port Elliot Beach House YHA

Best Accommodation TAS

The Pickled Frog Backpackers


Best Accommodation VIC

Melbourne Central YHA

United Backpackers, Melbourne City Backpackers

Best Accommodation WA

Fremantle Prison YHA

Billabong Backpackers Resort, The Old Swan Barracks

Best Accommodation – AUSTRALIA

Halse Lodge Noosa YHA

Melbourne Central YHA, Wake Up Byron Bay

Best Accommodation – NEW ZEALAND

Haka Lodges

Tamaki Maori Village, JUCY Snooze, 

Best Tour/Activity NSW

Intro Travel

Skydive Australia, Surf Camp Australia

Best Tour/Activity NT

The Rock Tour

Wayoutback Australian Safaris, Crocosaurus Cove

Best Tour/Activity QLD

Drop Bear Adventures

True Blue Sailing, Uncle Brians Tours

Best Tour/Activity SA

Calypso Star Charters

Nullarbor Traveller, Kangaroo Island Adventure Tours

Best Tour/Activity TAS

Jump Tours


Best Tour/Activity VIC

Welcome To Travel

Skydive Australia, Bunyip Tours

Best Tour/Activity WA

Live Ningaloo

Nullarbor Traveller, Skydive Australia

Best Tour/Activity AUSTRALIA

Drop Bear Adventures

Live Ningaloo, Calypso Star Charters

Best Tour/Activity NEW ZEALAND

Haka Tours

Tamaki Maori Village, Kiwi Experience

Best Online Travel Agent

Dutchies Travel

Bookme, Sailing Whitsundays

Best Travel Agent – Australia

Peterpans Adventure Travel

ABC Travel, Backpackers World Travel

Best Travel Agent – New Zealand

Peterpans Adventure Travel

Backpackers World Travel

Best Youth/ Adventure Marketed Destination


The Red Centre NT, Whitsundays

Innovation Award


Junction 6, Bookme

Young Industry Legend

Nathan Fleming


Industry Legend

Janet McGarry