SA Wooden Boat Festival, Beach Huts Middleton win gold awards at SA Tourism Awards

An annual event at Goolwa and a business in Middleton have taken home gold from the 2019 SA Tourism Awards.

The 2019 SA Wooden Boat Festival received the Gold Award in the Festivals and Events category of the awards, which Alexandrina Council said was "wonderful recognition of the huge effort" put into the event.

It is the largest freshwater Wooden Boat Festival in Australia, and celebrates the historic river port of Goolwa and its connection to the River Murray.

The significance of wooden boats in the region's history is on show throughout the festival.

"It was a fabulous event, and deserving of this prestigious accolade," a post on the council's Facebook page said.

"It would not have been possible without the dedication of the organising committee and the support of the community, sponsors and volunteers who brought the event together."

Anyone keen to be part of the SA Wooden Boat Festival in 2021 can visit http://bit.ly/2021sawbf

Beach Huts Middleton won the Gold Award in the Standard Accommodation category for their self-contained huts.

Guests can relax at one of the 12 huts named after the most famous Australian beaches while enjoying the serenity of the English countryside gardens which decorate the site.

Among the perks of staying at Beach Huts Middleton are a complementary bottle of local bubbly, free Wi-Fi, full-sized tennis courts, and continental breakfast options.

"A huge thank you to all our staff for their endless efforts throughout the year to maintain the 'magic' of the Beach Huts," the site's owners said in a Facebook post.

Tourism Industry Council South Australia (TiCSA) chief executive officer Shaun de Bruyn said the passionate tourism operators deserved their wins.

"The awards are judged alongside strict criteria making it a highly regarded accolade that celebrates the innovation, passion and dedication of our tourism operators," he said.

"As a state we should all be proud of our award winners and the hard work they put forward to deliver unique and memorable visitor experiences."

Also among the award winners were the Fleurieu Coast Information Centre, which won bronze in the Visitor Information Services category, and The Currant Shed at McLaren Flat, which won bronze in the Excellence in Food Tourism category.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment David Ridgway said the state was home to "so many world-class tourism offerings" and it was important to recognise them and the people behind them.

"We celebrate the high standards of all finalists ... and wish the winners all the best as you head to the national awards, proudly representing South Australia, and showcasing our state's incredible passion, endeavour and innovation," he said.

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