Cape Byron wins national award
CAPE Byron has won its second major award in three months, after picking up a silver medal at the 2012 National Tourism Awards at Hobart.
Cape Byron, which attracts 1.2 million visitors every year, picked up its award in the tourist attractions category, coming in behind Tasmania's Bruny Island Cruises and ahead of Questacon, the National Science and Technology Centre at Canberra.
This is the first time a Byron Bay event or attraction has won a gong at the national awards and comes a year after the East Coast Blues and Roots Festival was named a finalist under the Major Festivals and Events category.
It follows Cape Byron's picked up a gold medal at the NSW Tourism Awards under the tourist attraction category in late November.
Cape Byron Trust chairwoman Yvonne Stewart said the award recognised the natural beauty of the cape and the celebration of both the Cape's Indigenous and colonial heritage.
She said it also acknowledged the success of the partnership between Byron Bay's Arakwal people and the National Parks and Wildlife Service as well as the efforts of more than 50 volunteers.
"Two of the programs run at Cape Byron are Working on Country and the popular Dolphin Dreaming School Education Program," she said. "Sixty six per cent of the people employed on these programs are indigenous.
"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 Cape Byron State Conservation Area is the eastern most point of the Australian mainland and includes the 111-year-old Cape Byron lighthouse built.
The reserve is managed by a community trust with NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Byron Bay's Arakwal Aboriginal people, part of the Bundjalung nation.