Moonshadow wins gold at NSW Tourism Awards

The Moonshadow-TQC Cruises team celebrated the award win over the weekend. Photo: Bonita Holmes Nu’u.

PORT Stephens tourism operators were well represented among the winners at the NSW Tourism Industry Awards.

There were celebrations all around as renowned cruise operator Moonshadow-TQC Cruises was awarded gold at the 2023 NSW Tourism Awards held on Wednesday 8 November at the White Bay Cruise Terminal in Sydney.

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Moonshadow-TQC Cruises will now represent NSW at the Australian Tourism Awards to be held early 2024 in Darwin, North Territory, competing in the Major Tour and Transport Operator category.

Now in its 33rd year, the NSW Tourism Awards celebrate business excellence, acknowledge business innovation and reward exceptional customer service.

“It’s an honour to be recognised by the NSW tourism industry as a leading Major Tour and Transport Operator,” James McArthur, Business Operations Manager for Moonshadow-TQC Cruises said.

“The process involved to be eligible for these awards is a great opportunity to reflect on how far the company has come, how innovative we have been, how we adapted after COVID, and further strengthened our core values to deliver our company vision.

“To be recognised in NSW as the leading Major Tour and Transport Operator in 2023 is a testament to not just our management team, but for all our team, skippers and crew, administration staff, chefs, and our maintenance department but most of all, our passengers.”

Sean Andrews, Business Development Manager for Moonshadow TQC-Cruises said, “We can’t wait to represent Port Stephens and the NSW tourism industry at the Australian Tourism Awards next year in Darwin.

“We truly believe our product offerings are up there on the same level to compete with the gold winners in our category from each state.

“This award means a lot to our team as it signifies how far we have come; without our dedicated staff these accolades cannot happen.

“To be recognised by the NSW tourism industry, proves that our approach to sustainability, customer service and providing memorable experiences is working, and that our decisions we make are all customer focused.”

The Port Stephens tourism industry was also represented at the awards by Aquamarine Adventures, Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary and Irukandji Shark & Ray Encounters.

Aquamarine Adventures were a finalist in the Tour and Transport Operator category.

The Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary was a gold winner in the Tourist Attraction category.

Irukandji Shark & Ray Encounters were a bronze winner for their Take 3 For the Sea Litter Prevention.

Destination Port Stephens (DPS) CEO Steve Keogh congratulated all recipients.

“These operators are not only demonstrating best practice within the state’s tourism industry, they are doing so whilst conserving and showcasing the unique natural flora and fauna of our region.

“Businesses such as these have enriched the tourism landscape and created the commercial, marketing and environmental credentials of our local industry.

“Their efforts have made and will continue to make Port Stephens a sought-after destination for travellers from around the world.

“DPS extends its warmest congratulations to all the award recipients, and we look forward to seeing them continue to elevate our region’s tourism industry to even greater heights.

“Their dedication and hard work is truly commendable, and we thank them for their outstanding contributions.”


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