An outback station known for its sunset artesian baths, a heritage rail experience, a 1930s castle in the rainforest, and a quirky pub with bar stools shaped like cowgirls' bottoms were among those that secured top honours at last month's Grey Nomad Awards.
Heading the list is Point Turton Caravan Park on SA's Yorke Peninsula. The waterside van park built into an abandoned historic limestone quarry was named the Best of the Best after winning the award for Best Grey Nomad Small Caravan Park.
The Best of the Best is handed to the winner that impressed the judges the most, as determined by the highest cumulative score from all winners.
The Grey Nomad Awards is a niche national tourism program that shines a light on the best places for older travellers to stay and play around the country.
Other winners included Paronella Park, near Innisfail, in Far North Queensland. Named Best Grey Nomad attraction, it was built in the 1930s and features waterfalls, bridges, tunnels and castles. Guided tours run all day. every day, with special night-time experiences include a sound and light show. The glow worms at dusk are a must-see. RV camping is included in the ticket price.
The Best Grey Nomad Historic Attraction went to Mary Valley Rattler. The community-run rail line runs meticulously restored trains from Gympie through the valley to Amamoor and hosts a variety of themed events.
The winner of the Best Grey Nomad Tour is Go Ballooning Gold Coast, with the only walk-in passenger basket on the Gold Coast and the most take off and landing locations. It is also owner of the world's largest pink hot-air balloon.
Here is the full list:
Best of the Best
Point Turton Caravan Park, Yorke Peninsula SA.
Best Grey Nomad Attraction: Paronella Park, near Innisfail, Qld
Best Grey Nomad Historic Attraction: Mary Valley Rattler, Gympie, Qld
Best Grey Nomad Tour: Go Ballooning Gold Coast Hot Air Balloon Flight, Gold Coast, Qld
Best Grey Nomad Trail: Explore Rockhampton Self-Guided Audio Tours App, Qld
Best Grey Nomad Festival or Event: Hervey Bay Seafood Festival, Qld
Best Grey Nomad Community Stay: Berri Riverside Holiday Park, SA
Best Grey Nomad Council Free Stay: Kimba Recreation Reserve, Eyre Peninsula, SA
Best Grey Nomad Pub Stay: The Wellshot Hotel Ilfracombe, QLD
Best Grey Nomad Small Caravan Park: Point Turton Caravan Park, Yorke Peninsula SA.
Best Grey Nomad Large Caravan Park: Queens Beach Tourist Village, Bowen QLD
Best Grey Nomad Attraction: The Original Eumundi Markets, Sunshine Coast QLD
Best Grey Nomad Historic Attraction: Paronella Park, Tropical North QLD
Best Grey Nomad Tour: Charlotte Plains Historic Property Tour, QLD
Best Grey Nomad Trail: Burra Heritage Passport, Burra, SA
Best Grey Nomad Community Stay: CMCA RV Park Humpty Doo, NT
Best Grey Nomad Small Caravan Park: Dirranbandi Retreat and Caravan Park, QLD
Best Grey Nomad Large Caravan Park: Berri Riverside Holiday Park, SA
Best Grey Nomad Attraction: Charlotte Plains Outback Magic Day Visitor Pass, QLD
Best Grey Nomad Tour: Sunset Experience on Towers Hill, Charters Towers QLD
Best Grey Nomad Trail: Roora Nature Trails - Kimba, Eyre Peninsula SA
Best Grey Nomad Community Stay: CMCA RV Park, Innisfail, QLD
Best Grey Nomad Small Caravan Park: Evening Star Tourist Park - Charleville, QLD.