A 75-kilometre outdoor gallery of tricked-up tractors, a vibrant sculpture of one of Australia's giant marine wonders, and a mega-sized mural that honours one of our most beloved poets are among the gold winners at the 2021 Australia Street Art Awards.
Twenty-six public art experiences have been recognised as the best in the country for art-loving visitors.
The gold award winners for 2021, announced from the Sunshine Coast, include remote artworks up to 630 kilometres from their state capital.
Heading the list was the 2021 SWELL Sculpture Festival on the Gold Coast, which showcased 50 epic, quirky and mind-twisting creations of top sculptors on the sands of Currumbin Beach.
It was announced as the Best of the Best after taking out the Best Street Art Festival or Event category earlier in the evening.
The Best of the Best is handed to the gold winner that impressed the judges the most, as determined by the highest cumulative score from all category winners.
The evening included the announcement of the inaugural recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to Australian Art Tourism Award. It is granted to a person who has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to transform their destination through outdoor art.
The inaugural recipient is Wayne Tindall, the man who played the pivotal role in driving the Heesco Town project in Yarram, Gippsland.
Heesco Town is Australia's first town dedicated to the work of a single internationally renowned street artist - in this case, Mongolian-born Heesco Khosnaran.
The awards encourage Australians to explore the world-class street and public art that is accessible all year round and found in every corner of the country.
Commenting on the artworks that were recognised, the judges said: "These pieces are contributing significantly to making Australia a more vibrant, creative and interesting country - somewhere visitors want to explore more keenly."
Awards director Liz Rivers said: "Public art has now come into its own with people journeying hundreds or sometimes thousands of kilometres to experience a silo art trail or see a sculpture in an extraordinary landscape, such as the desert.
"Free outdoor activities have also gained favour over the past two years, making road trips to see outdoor murals, sculptures, monuments and mega-pieces like silo art the perfect holiday thrill."
Here is the full list of winners:
Best of the Best
SWELL Sculpture Festival, Gold Coast QLD
Best Entrance Art (New): Gunimidjina Gwala Daraniki, Darwin NT
Best External Mural: Wind Dance, Kingston SE SA
Best Landmark Sculpture: Accessible Cuttlefish Throne, Whyalla SA
Best Mega Mural: Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Mural, Gunnedah NSW
Best Monument or Memorial: Vincent Lingiari Memorial Mural, Darwin NT
Best Rural Art: The Horsepower Highway, Gnowangerup WA
Best Sculpture Park or Trail: The Horsepower Highway, Gnowangerup WA
Best Street Art Festival or Event: SWELL Sculpture Festival, Gold Coast QLD
Best Street Art Laneway (New): Fifth Lane Street Art Mackay, Mackay QLD
Best Street Art Tour (New): Frankston Street Art Walking Tours, Frankston VIC
Best Street Art Trail: Heesco Town, Yarram VIC
Best External Mural: 2 Kool 4 Skool, Lightning Ridge NSW
Best Landmark Sculpture: Stanley - The Big Bird, Lightning Ridge, NSW
Best Mega Mural: Walgett (Jimmy Little) Water Tower Mural, Walgett NSW
Best Monument or Memorial: Mongolian Light Horsemen Mural, Yarram VIC
Best Rural Art: Southern YP Water Tower Mural Trail, Yorke Peninsula SA
Best Sculpture Park or Trail: Museum of Underwater Art, Townsville QLD
Best Street Art Festival or Event: Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe, Perth WA
Best Street Art Laneway: Memorial Plaza Interactive Murals, Corowa NSW
Best Street Art Tour: Dinosaur Canyon Experience Tour AOD, Winton QLD
Best Street Art Trail: The Horsepower Highway (GNP360)
Best External Mural: Kaff-Eine & Mimmim, Darwin NT
Best Landmark Sculpture: Pelicans on Patrol, Yeppoon QLD
Best Monument or Memorial: Lynn Fuller Memorial, Lonsdale SA
Best Rural Art: Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Mural, Gunnedah NSW
Best Sculpture Park or Trail: Australian Age of Dinosaurs, Winton QLD
Best Street Art Festival or Event: Chalk the Walk Newcastle, Newcastle NSW
Best Street Art Laneway: Shadforth Lane, Darwin NT
Best Street Art Tour: Big Rivers Portrait Series, Katherine NT
Best Street Art Trail: The Maryborough Mural Trail, Maryborough QLD