Latest stories from the Fraser Coast

Tasman Venture take out GOLD at the 2019 Queensland Tourism Awards!


Tasman Venture was recognised as the best Tour and Transport Operator in the State at the prestigious Queensland Tourism Awards, held at the Sunshine Coast Convention Centre Novotel Resort on Friday night.

Up against the state’s best, the award recognises the outstanding contribution made by Tasman Venture to Tourism through the combined provision of touring and transport services.

Operating the business for three decades, owner and skipper Robyn and Lloyd Burgess attribute the win to dedication and passion over the past 30 years, “we are thrilled to be recognised for our contribution to showcasing Queensland and in particular Fraser Coast hero experiences,” said the Burgess family.

From its small beginnings in 1991, today Tasman Venture offers a wide range of tourism experiences for domestic and international tourists, including whale watching, Fraser Island tours, Great Barrier Reef fishing trips and complete visitor packages.

“The win would not have come about without the support and contribution of our family, staff, customers, partners and suppliers. We strive to offer a trip of a lifetime to each and every guest we meet and believe this emphasis on offering quality and authentic experiences sets Tasman Venture apart”, said the Mr and Mrs Burgess.

Tasman Venture was one of the first whale watching businesses focusing on year-round product with western Fraser tours part of the business since 1995. The company purchased a second boat in 2017 offering half-day whale watching and swimming with whales when available, coupled with the western Fraser experience.

The win came on top of Tasman’s highly commended recommendation achieved at the 2018 Queensland awards.

The Lady Elliott Island Eco Resort also took gold for the Steve Irwin Award for Ecotourism, the third time in six years the resort has been honoured for ecotourism. Recognised for ecological innovations and sustainable tourism, the win awards operators who have a primary focus on experiencing natural areas that foster environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation.

The island boasts several sustainable innovations including on-site composting, a huge food scrap-eating machine which turns kitchen waste and cardboard into compost.

As well as planting thousands of native trees, owners Peter and Julie Gash, have an ambition to make the island 100 percent solar with a hybrid solar power station, inverters and a generator supplying all the energy for cooking, refrigeration, cooling, and lighting, as well as the island’s desalination and wastewater treatment plants.

In its 34th year, the Queensland Tourism Awards recognises the achievements of tour operators across the state at its annual gala ceremony. This year more than 450 attendees took part.

The Hervey Bay Visitor Information Centre also took the spotlight on the night taking out bronze in the Visitor Information Services award. Showing remarkable consistency, the centre has excelled in the same category over the past four years, with two Golds in 2016 / 2018 and bronze wins in 2017 / 2019.

Visitor Services Manager Andrew Ellis said, "our team is always looking to show not only excellence, but innovation in service delivery ensuring that we remain at the forefront of customer expectations. With award winning products like Tasman Venture to showcase our region to visitors, I'm confident that the Fraser Coast will continue to set the standard in responsible eco-tourism, continue to grow our market, and continue to provide leading sustainable options for the environmentally conscious travellers of today”.

The Centre, now in its 14th year, is supported by a dedicated team of staff and volunteers who provide visitor services to people travelling to and through the Fraser Coast.


Fraser Coast Tourism & Events General Manager Martin Simons said with the region’s showcase assets judged amongst the very best in the state, visitor attraction was in a good place.

“The consistency of the Lady Elliott experience and the professionalism of the Tasman Venture operation stand out in a tourist-rich region”.

Tour and Transport Operators

Gold: Tasman Adventure
Silver: Pterodactyl Helicopters

Bronze: Ocean Safari

The Steve Irwin Award for Ecotourism

Gold: Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort

Silver: Fun Over Fifty

Bronze: Paronella Park

Visitor Information and Services

Gold: Julia Creek Visitor Information Centre

Silver: The Mackay Region Visitor Information Centre

Bronze: Hervey Bay Visitor Information Centre

Highly Commended: Cunnamulla Fella Visitor Information Centre

All awards can be viewed on the website:


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