Sealy Lookout in Orara East State Forest, north of Coffs Harbour
It won gold in the same category in 2017 and earlier this year took out third place at the Australian Tourism Awards.
Found in Orara East State Forest, the lookout showcases the natural beauty of Coffs Harbour and is a drawcard for the region’s tourists.
Forestry Corporation of NSW’s Tourism and Partnerships Manager, Louise Faulkner, was thrilled with the win and congratulated the other entrants on their success.
“We’re very proud of Sealy Lookout and the impact it has on the North Coast’s visitor economy. It builds on the natural beauty of the region and NSW State forests to give visitors an unforgettable experience,” Ms Faulkner said.
“Our work in Orara East State forest and our strong partnership with the traditional owners, the Gumbaynggirr people, and Bularri Muurlay Nyanggan Aboriginal Corporation, has seen visitor numbers more than treble over the last five years and continue to grow,” she said.
Forestry Corporation is also proud to sponsor the award’s Ecotourism and the Adventure Tourism categories.
“Our congratulations Go Sea Kayak Byron Bay for winning the Ecotourism category and Lets Go Surfing Australia for taking out the Adventure Tourism category,” Ms Faulkner said.
“I’d also like to acknowledge other entrants, winners and Forestry Corporation partners, particularly The Giingan Gumbaynggirr Cultural Experience, Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail, Port Macquarie Koala Hospital and Tree Top Adventure Park.
The Giingay Gumbaynggirr Cultural Experience is based out of the Sealy Lookout and placed bronze in the Excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism category.
Forestry Corporation partner, Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail, was silver in the Cultural Tourism category.
Another Forestry Corporation partner, Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, was highly commended in the Ecotourism category.
Tree Top Adventure Park also has a close relationship with Forestry Corporation and was a finalist in the Adventure Tourism category.
Ms Faulkner said the awards acknowledge the key role State forests play attracting tourists and supporting the local tourism economy.
“State forests across NSW are magnets for tourists wanting to connect with our unique natural environment,” Ms Faulkner said.
“Forestry Corporation strives to provide high quality, nature-based tourism opportunities for locals and visitors from further afield.
“We’re hoping these awards give visitors even more incentive to come out and see the work we’ve been doing to create world class scenic lookouts, walks, picnic areas and cultural experiences in the Orara East State Forest.”
As gold winner, Forestry Corporation will represent NSW in the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards in Launceston on 1 March 2019.
First published at the Bellingen Courier Sun – Thursday 23 November 2018.