Jungle tour best in Oz
SHEENA Walshaw’s feet have barely touched the ground since last Friday after cleaning up at the Oscars of Australian tourism.
The managing director of Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours at Cape Tribulation said she was “overwhelmed” that the popular tree-swinging tour had scored not just one, but two, Qantas Australian Tourism Awards.
Jungle Surfing took not only the major award of Tourist Attraction, but also the hotly-contested Adventure Tourism gong.
It was the first time Jungle Surfing had pulled off a win at the awards, the most prestigious in Australia.
“We’re so proud, and humbled,” Ms Walshaw said.
“We’re still a small familyowned company.
“Steve would have been very proud of what we managed to achieve. He had an amazing vision for the company and an unshakeable belief in us all.”
Jungle Surfing founder Steve Walsh died in a car crash last May.
“Both awards have special significance for us,” Ms Walshaw said. “The Tourist Attraction award acknowledges our contribution to developing the Daintree as a destination, while the Adventure Tourism award, well that’s where we started.
“Adventure is at the heart of Jungle Surfing as we take our customers up into the canopy and literally see them fly.”
Tourism industry leaders said the awards would re-focus attention on the Daintree at a critical time.
“It’s fantastic, not just for Jungle Surfing but also for the region,” Tourism Port Douglas Daintree executive officer Doug Ryan said.
“It shows the quality of the product in the Daintree, and the success that can be achieved with a fun, adventurous product.”
Ms Walshaw said she hoped Jungle Surfing’s success would help lift the profile of the Daintree as a destination.
“I’m sure this will translate into more people coming north of the river,” she told the Gazette.
“People don’t come to the Daintree to go spinning down a cable, they’re here to see the rainforest.
“We’re just a part of that experience.
“All our staff live in and love the Daintree, and we’re passionate about sharing it with the world in a fun and engaging way.
“Plus the business is important to Cape Tribulation’s economy, providing employment for 16 staff, and attracting over 85,000 visitors since opening.”
The Daintree Discovery Centre was also a finalist in the Ecotourism category.
Best in the business: the Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours crew