March 23, 2022

Spirits of the Red Sand won Gold at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards (QATA’s) held last night. These awards are the peak awards for the Australian tourism industry.  They represent excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry and are the pinnacle of peer recognition.

Australia’s tourism industry and finalists from each State gathered on the Sunshine Coast last night for the tourism industry’s premier awards program and most anticipated event.  The awards honour excellence, recognise outstanding achievements and unite to celebrate hard working individuals.  Spirits of the Red Sand won gold for Best Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tourism experience.

The Australian Tourism awards promised a night of solidarity, where each triumph would be celebrated and businesses would rejoice together. Where a win for one would be a win for all as we move forward from recent challenges.  Cultural Elder & Co-founder Uncle Eddie Ruska was in attendance with his family, and Leanne Ruska, daughter and Head Chef accepted the award “What an emotional night for my family, for our team, for our partners and for all businesses that managed to still be here after the struggles of these past years, this award is for all of us.  Nunya – thank you.”

“With such a competitive array of destinations and products across the country it is exceptional to see Queensland operators excel at the national level.  To reach this level of success is an outstanding achievement for you and your staff.  You have done the state proud to be declared a winner at the highest level in the presence of state and national Ministers and your industry peers.”  Daniel Gschwind, CEO of Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC).

Mike Tamaki, founder of Tamaki Maori Village in New Zealand, the most awarded cultural attraction in New Zealand, and CEO & Co-founder of Spirits of the Red Sand knows that the post-pandemic traveller is seeking a deeper connection and understanding with our Indigenous people and their stories.  “This award symbolises recognition by the industry for the powerful storytelling experiences we offer and was truly made possible by our passionate team and the huge support and encouragement we receive from guests sharing their experience, we are so grateful and humble to receive this award on their behalf.”

Overall, Queensland tourism celebrated a remarkable night by accepting 15 accolades at this year’s national Awards, with 6 Gold, 5 Silver, and 4 Bronze awarded to exceptional Sunshine State operators. Winners of the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards can be viewed here. Spirits of the Red Sand is looking toward the future utilising technology to enhance the overall experience for our guests.

Kerryn Collins
Head of Marketing & Business Management
Note:  I am currently working Wednesdays only.  

For urgent enquiries, please text 0424 001 477.


Spirits of the Red Sand shares 60,000 years of Aboriginal culture.  Located in South-east Queensland, halfway between Brisbane and Gold Coast, this is a multi-award-winning world-first in authentic Aboriginal storytelling experiences for FIT, groups, cruise, incentives and education.

 By Night:
Meaningful and mesmerising, the Aboriginal live ‘roving theatre’ and dinner experience takes you beyond Dreamtime to 1800s Australia when the British and Aboriginal ways of life collide. Told through an immersive historical re-enactment including a 3-course dinner.

By Day:
Groups are welcomed with interactive experiences that connect you with our traditional Aboriginal life. With cultural education programs for schools and corporate groups, cultural awareness workshops, cruise-ship shore excursions, team building challenges, a unique functions space, fully-licenced open-air Queenslander café and a cultural events calendar plus our offsite cultural performances for cruise and conferences.

HERO IMAGES  – Evening experience
HERO IMAGES – Day tour
VIDEO – Evening 30 secs.  Many other formats available here.
VIDEO – Day tour 20 secs.
Hires images available on request.

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