The Murraylands has returned to the spotlight for this year’s South Australian Tourism Awards with five local businesses up for the title of SA’s best in tourism.
Mannum’s iconic music festival Sounds by the River could be inducted into the SA Tourism Awards Hall of Fame this year, if it takes the Festivals and Events category for a consecutive third year.
The Coorong District Council’s Creating Coonalpyn project, the Proud Mary, River Shack Rentals and Dakini Hideaways’ Bill’s Boathouse II are also finalists in their respective categories.
The Creating Coonalpyn initiative, funded by Country Arts SA, includes six design programs across the township.
Council’s Director of Community and Corporate Nat Traeger said it took an incredible amount of hard work from council’s team to see the project come to life.
”It was the forward-thinking leadership and employees of Council to proactively combine a passionate community with creative possibility, which got the juggernaut moving,” she said.
“After being seen by an online audience, skyrocketing towards one billion people internationally, we’ve turned Coonalpyn into a rural mecca as one of Australia’s most sought after destinations.”
Ms Traeger said the township’s businesses, school and residential communities were thriving and morale was at an all time high.
“The community capacity, economic and tourism benefits are yet to be formally measured,” she said. “However, with a minimum of 50 vehicles stopping every hour... this project is a deserving winner.”
Sounds by the River for 2018 will welcome Suzi Quatro, The Angels, Baby Animals, The Screaming Jets, Moving Pictures and Chocolate Starfish to Mary Ann Reserve on January 13.
Proud Mary was designed and built in 1982, offers River Murray cruises every day.
It was re-launched under the iconic MV Proud Mary brand in 2011 and has been nominated for a tourism award for the experience it offers its guests.
River Shack Rentals offers temporary accomodation to visitors along the river and Dakini Hideaways’ Bill's Boathouse II is a sustainable boathouse moored permanently on the Murray River, as part of the Murray Bridge Marina.