“A fitting tribute to the legacy of Ann Augusteyn” 30 November 2018 was one of the most bittersweet nights of Capricorn Caves’ history.
Just four weeks after the passing of Ann Augusteyn, ten staff and family attended the Queensland Tourism Awards at the Gold Coast. Capricorn Caves had been nominated in the Tourist Attraction category.
The submission was the last written by Ann, meaning for the staff the stakes were heightened as we all wanted to “bring it home for Ann”. Being the second last award of the night, the nerves of all at our table had gone through the roof.
However, when we heard our name announced, we were overwhelmed. It was such a bittersweet moment that we dearly would have loved to share with Ann. We were very proud though to stand on the stage in her place and accept the award — recognition of 30 years of hard work with perhaps the most innovative and exciting period being the last 12 months of those years.
Something we weren’t thinking about that night, though, was a trip to Launceston in Tasmania to attend the final of the National Tourism Awards where Capricorn Caves had the chance to be named the Number 1 tourist attraction in Australia.
On Friday 1 March, we were there though, in Cataract Gorge, slightly nervous and ready for a great night rubbing shoulders with the best of the best in Australian Tourism.
We were in great company – with the following tourist attractions representing their states in our category: •
- Tasmania – Curringa Farm – Accommodation and Farm Tours
- Western Australia (Gold award) Horizontal Falls Seaplane Adventures
- Northern Territory – Katherine Outback Experience
- Victoria – Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park
- ACT – Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre
- New South Wales – Sealy Lookout, Orara East State Forest – Forestry Corporation of NSW
- South Australia – The d’Arenberg Cube
Together, these attractions were described as an “Australian bucket list”.
For Capricorn Caves to be announced as the Silver Winner was such a proud moment not only for all of us there but also for the staff back home.
Pictured above with the National Silver award for Tourist Attraction in Australia
Amanda Hinton, Trent Hinton, Jordan Wheeler, Helen Harmsworth, Jeremey Harmsworth
They were live streaming the event, proudly (and nervously) waiting to see what would be the result of our hard work to create a very highly regarded product.
The Capricorn Caves team were all very proud of our silver award, to come back to Queensland, knowing we have achieved something for Ann – recognition she richly deserved.
The team at Capricorn Caves strive to achieve excellence in our product and in order to keep our staff on the forefront of Tourism products in our region we are taking them on a road trip around the Southern Great Barrier Reef and also down to Brisbane for five days as part of our “Tourism Excellence Development Program”. We are taking tour guides, cleaners, the receptionist and the groundsman from Capricorn Caves on the road to inspect other attractions. We are going to see the good (and the bad) that is being delivered around our state.
We all seek ideas to improve our product and the Capricorn Caves’ experience (and, we all hope, to go one better on a future national awards night!).
Keep an eye out for future blog posts about our adventures on the road trip!