Ballandean Estate Wines and Bestbrook Mountain Retreat were jointly awarded the top prize at the Southern Queensland Country Tourism Chairman’s Awards held in Kingaroy on Tuesday, 21 February.

They won the prize from a field of seven finalists named in the peer-nominated awards, with runners-up bestowed to Kingaroy’s Hillview Cottages and Highfields’ Easter Vintage Festival. R On The Downs at Yangan, Highfields Pioneer Village and Kingsley Grove Estate Wines in Kingaroy were also named as finalists.

Southern Queensland Country Tourism Chair, Dr Jane Summers, said she couldn’t split the two Southern Downs entries, so awarded each as a winner. 

She said, both were proactive in their businesses, engaged with other regional tourism operators and worked closely with the Regional Tourism Organisation.

“Both Ballandean Estate and Bestbrook Mountain Resort are terrific role models– both offer a brilliant experience for their guests while showcasing their unique part of Southern Queensland Country and both interacting with fellow tourism operators and us, the regional tourism organisation at every opportunity.”

Dr Summers also praised the contribution of all finalists.

“What is common among these tourism leaders is an unreserved commitment and willingness to go beyond people’s expectations –

they not only welcome their guests genuinely and enhance their experience of the region but they do their part to develop tourism locally and at a regional level.”

Each winner received $1200-worth of mentoring or marketing support for their businesses.

“We at Southern Queensland Country Tourism work with amazing tourism operators every day and it’s wonderful to recognise the leaders in our industry for the outstanding work they undertake – how they embody the Southern Queensland Country brand, their contribution to the visitor experience and how they actively support tourism growth at a local and regional level.”



Banner image: Chair of the Southern Queensland Country Tourism board, Jane Summers, and runner-up Sandy Hunter from Hillview Cottages.