43 finalists for tourism awards
MORE than 43 finalists will compete for accolades at the prestigious CountryLink North Coast Tourism Awards in Ballina this weekend.
Many of those in the running for gold, silver and bronze awards are based on the Northern Rivers.
These include caravan parks, iconic beachfront cafes, information centres and tour experiences right across the region.
The Cape Byron State Conservation Area has been named a fin- alist in three categories - best tourist attraction, indigenous tourism and unique accommodation.
The conservation area includes the iconic Cape Byron lighthouse, built in 1901.
The reserve is managed by a community trust with National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Arakwal Aboriginal people.
Cape Byron Trust chairwoman Yvonne Stewart said the reserve celebrated the rich heritage of the Arakwal people and the colonial past.
"And of course we are also blessed with outstanding natural values at Cape Byron," Ms Stewart said.
"Being a finalist acknowledges the successful partnership and celebrates the many successes achieved throughout the year.
"Offering a local perspective, volunteers assist to provide a history of Byron Bay as well as information on the natural environment, including the annual whale migration."
The 2013 CountryLink North Coast Tourism Awards will be announced at a dinner to be held in a marquee overlooking the Richmond River at the Ramada Hotel in Ballina on Saturday night.
North Coast Destination Network executive officer Belinda Novicky said the event would be hosted by leading food and wine personality, Lyndey Milan.
The food, wine and culture of the region will be showcased throughout the dinner.
Tickets are $99 from ncdn.com.au/tourism-awards.
All award winners become automatic finalists at the NSW State Awards, which will be announced at a gala dinner in Sydney on November 28.
LOCAL AWARD FINALISTS
Alstonville Country Cottages
Arakwal Dolphin Dreaming at Cape Byron
The Ballina Visitor Information Centre
Byron Bay Bluesfest
Byron Bay Cottages
Byron Bay Eco Cruises and Kayaks
Byron Beach Cafe
Cape Byron State Conservation Area
Nightcap Travel and Restaurant
Nimbin Rox YHA
North Coast Holiday Parks
Ramada Hotel and Suites Ballina Byron
Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park
Summerland House Farm at Alstonville