People choose their favourites

WELLINGTON Shire’s best tourism operators and businesses were recognised during the Wellington People’s Choice Awards on Monday.

The evening, held at the All Seasons in Sale, was hosted by Natalie Forrest, with entertainment provided by local groups Luv Child and Spirit Dancers.

With more than 170 dignitaries, business owners and their staff in attendance, the awards provided a great opportunity to network.

The focus of this year’s awards night was showcasing the diversity and uniqueness of tourism operators within Wellington Shire. Local produce was also a feature of this event.

The awards were voted by the general public over the 2011-12 Christmas break.

Wellington Shire Council tourism development officer Frank Norden said the awards recognised tourism providers who showcased Wellington’s unique attributes as a tourist destination.

“Wellington has a range of diverse tourism offerings and for our tourism providers to be able to be rewarded by their customers as being voted the best of the best is wonderful,” he said.

“Well deserved congratulations to all winners.”

Wellington Regional Tourism president Trent Fairweather said it was great to see towns such as Heyfield, Tinamba, Willung South, Licola, Maffra, Stratford, Tarra Valley and Sale represented in this year’s winners.

“Each year it is very exciting to see new operators in the running and some of our most successful operators also acknowledged,” he said.

Winners:

Best hotel/motel/apartments: Quest Serviced Apartments, Sale.

Best B&B/self-contained/farm stay/backpackers: Cambrai Hostel, Maffra.

Best caravan/cabin/camping park: Licola Wilderness Village.

Best restaurant: Tinamba Hotel.

Best bistro/pub grub: Allure at Trackside, Sale.

Best cafe/bakery: Cafe Lattitude, Maffra.

Best takeaway: Busy B’s, Heyfield.

Best coffee: Cafe Lattitude, Maffra.

Best winery: Toms Cap Vineyard Retreat, Willung South.

Best museum/gallery: Stratford Courthouse Gallery Theatre.

Best family activity: Licola Wilderness Village.

Best natural attraction: Tarra Bulga National Park.