September 14, 2023

And the winner is … Mandurah!

By Mark Naglazas
September 14, 2023 — 5.52pm
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Mandurah has stunned the travel industry (and probably a few people in Mandurah itself) by being named Australia’s top tourist town.

The seaside city located an hour south of Perth won the major award for the first time at this year’s Top Tourism Town Awards, which were presented at a ceremony at Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday.

Australia’s top tourist town is known for its estuary and it water sports.

It was a huge day for Western Australia, with Dwellingup winning the prize for Top Tiny Town and Broome’s Rosanna Angus was named Australia’s Top Tour Guide.

The other major award, Top Small Tourism Town, went to Queenstown in Tasmania.

Australia’s Top Tourism Town Awards chairman Shaun de Bruyn said that Mandurah richly deserved the top prize.

“Mandurah … is known for its stunning waterways and coastline, internationally significant wetlands, and The Estuary and Peel Inlet are some of Australia’s most spectacular playgrounds for boating, fishing and wildlife watching,” De Bruyn said.

“It offers a relaxed atmosphere making it the perfect holiday destination.”

De Bruyn also congratulated Dwellingup for its gong, describing it as “a nature playground where mountain bike and hiking trails gently wind through the Darling Scarp”.

Mandurah mayor Rhys Williams is thrilled by the win.

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“Our local hospitality and tourism operators have done some incredible work to further enhance our tourism experiences, propelling us from strength to strength. Special thanks go to FORM and Thomas Dambo for the incredible addition of the Giants of Mandurah to our tourism offering,” said Williams.

“Today is a momentous occasion for our community, a cause for celebration that we can all join in.”

WA tourism minister Rita Saffioti said it is wonderful that Mandurah and Dwellingup were being recognised on a national stage.

A Mandurah landmark: Thomas Dambo’s outdoor sculpture series The Giants.

“Western Australia has some truly remarkable destinations for visitors to explore, and it’s great to see the valuable promotion of some of these towns across the country, raising the profile of the state as a tourism destination,” Saffioti said.

Mandurah’s most famous booster, local Labor member David Templeman, said that the award confirmed what Western Australians have known for a long time – that Mandurah is a fantastic place.

“[It has] great beaches and canals, a lovely and relaxed vibe, as well as fine dining and other great tourism experiences, so I encourage everyone to make the short trip south for their next holiday or weekend away and enjoy everything the town has to offer.”

Tourism Council CEO Evan Hall is especially pleased that Oolin Sunday Island Cultural Tours were recognised for their work promoting the Kimberley.

“Rosanna has made a significant contribution to the public’s understanding of Aboriginal culture through her guiding, alongside work supporting and inspiring Aboriginal women in her local community,” Hall said.

Top Tiny Town Dwellingup: A mecca for off-road cycling.

Australia’s Top Tourism Town Awards are part of the Australian Tourism Awards series, with a focus on promoting regional tourism in Australia.

“This is a chance for our regions to really claim the spotlight,” said de Bruyn.

“They promote not only the individual towns themselves, but also the positive impact tourism has on regional communities.”

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Mark Naglazas is a sub-editor with WAtoday.
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