Australia Zoo takes top gong

The Sunshine Coast icon has been named best major tourist attraction.

Australia Zoo beat Cairns’ Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and the Qantas Founders Museum in Longreach to secure the gold medal as Queensland’s best major tourist attraction at the 34th Queensland Tourism Awards.

Director of Australia Zoo Wes Mannion said the award was reflective of the continual growth of the wildlife conservation park.

“We’re pretty lucky that we’re a family-run business,” Mr Mannion said.

“Wildlife conservation is our life and when you have 460 team members who are all in it for the same thing it gets pretty special.”

The world-renowned zoo is home to more than 1000 native and exotic animals and features interactive animal encounters and a 24-hour wildlife hospital.

In other categories, the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers took home best major festival for the fourth year running ahead of Blues on Broadbeach and Rockhampton’s Beef Australia festival.

Winton’s new Waltzing Matilda Centre won best new tourism business followed by the Cairns Aquarium and Reef Research Centre.

Queenslanders were given the opportunity to vote for their favourite tourism experience as part of the RACQ People’s Choice Award. RACV Noosa Resort and Paronella Park both proved to be the people’s favourite for the second year running.  

First place winners will gain automatic entry into the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, which will be held in Tasmania in March 2019.