New wi-fi hotspots connects travellers with our tourism gems

Some of South Australia’s top natural beauties and remote locations have been switched on to a free public wi-fi service encouraging travellers to share their experiences online.

Internet connectivity will be made available in some of the state’s best tourism locations including Wilpena Pound in the Far North, Coffin Bay on the Eyre Peninsula, and Kangaroo Island.

The rollout is an initiative between Telstra and the South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC) and has already been launched in nine of the 60 hotspots including Hahndorf, Moana, Moonta Bay, Angaston, Beachport, Port MacDonnell, Victor Harbor, Tailem Bend and Kingscote.

The connectivity occurs through Telstra Air, Australia’s largest wi-fi network, allowing any mobile phone or device user to access free, unlimited data for up to one hour a day.

The hotspots have a range up to 100m and can be identified by signage which includes instructions on how to connect to the service.

SATC is encouraging visitors and locals using the new wi-fi service to share their travels using #SeeSouthAustralia on social media.

SATC chief executive Rodney Harrex says he wants visitors to be “mini-ambassadors” for the state by sharing their trips online.

“A picture is worth a thousand words and #SeeSouthAustralia is quickly becoming a global resource where people plan their holidays, recreate images or share their experiences with their friends,” he says.

Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister David Ridgway says the connectivity will enhance visitor experiences.

“We know people want to be able to locate our restaurants, use maps and share their experiences and happy snaps online, in real time,” he says.

“Technology is transforming tourism and we want to use it to produce social and economic benefits for SA.”

Another 51 spots are set to be rolled out in the coming months and include towns across the Riverland, Fleurieu, Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale, Limestone Coast, Yorke and Eyre peninsulas and Outback.


Regional SA tourism operators shine at national awards

Two regional South Australian tourism operators have walked away with gold medals at last Friday night’s Qantas Australian Tourism Awards.

For the second year running, luxury accommodation provider The Frames in the Riverland was crowned Australia’s best Self Contained Accommodation, while Hahndorf’s Adelaide Hills Convention Centre was named best Business Event Venue.

The Qantas-sponsored awards, announced on Friday February 23 in Perth, recognised the best in the business from around the country.

Built in 2014 in Paringa by husband and wife duo Rick and Cathy Edmonds, The Frames offers three private retreats perched on cliffs overlooking magnificent views of the Murray River.

Luxury accommodation exists not only in big cities, but in SA’s regions too.

The couple aims to raise awareness of the Murray River and the emerging boutique wine and craft product culture in the Riverland, SA’s food bowl region.

“To be recognised among the best tourism offerings in Australia is wonderful and we are proud of the opportunity to showcase the Riverland to international and domestic guests,” Cathy says.

“We wish to thank everyone for their continued support, especially our guests who are seeking secluded space to relax and reconnect.”

The Adelaide Hills Convention centre is a popular spot for business events and functions, weddings, birthdays and other celebrations.

Hahndorf family the Schirripa’s and the team at the Adelaide Hills Convention Centre also celebrated a gold medal win for Business Event Venue.

The convention centre was recognised for its “world-class business event facilities and services” and for its scenic views overlooking the Hills.

Aside from the function centre, the Mt Barker Road location is also home to the Three Gums Bistro and Hahndorf Resort Tourist Park, featuring a caravan park and a range of other accommodation options.

The convention centre overlooks stunning views of the Adelaide Hills.

Eight other SA tourism operators from across the state walked away with silver and bronze medals.

SA Tourism Industry Council CEO Shaun de Bruyn says South Australians should be “extremely proud” of the world-class experiences we have on offer.

“The Qantas Australian Tourism Awards recognise the best of the best in tourism within Australia and set the benchmarks for the best business practice which all tourism business(es) should aspire to achieve,” he says.

“For SA to be awarded ten medals is a fantastic result and will further ensure our brilliant visitor experiences and magnificent regions remain on the tourism map.”

State Tourism Minister Leon Bignell says SA’s visitor economy has increased by 29% in the past four years to a record $6.3 billion, reflective of tourism operators’ dedication and passion for the industry.

Nominations for the 2018 SA Tourism Awards are open until June 25. For more information click here.

Silver award winners:

  • Calypso Star Charters (Port Lincoln) – Tourist Attractions
  • Murray River Walk (Renmark) – Ecotourism
  • Yondah Beach House (Foul Bay) – Deluxe Accommodation

Bronze award winners:

  • Santos Tour Down Under – Major Festivals and Events
  • Calypso Star Charters (Port Lincoln) – Adventure Tourism
  • Mulberry Lodge Country Retreat (Willunga) – Hosted Accommodation
  • Marree Hotel (Marree) – Standard Accommodation
  • Barossa Valley Cheese Company (Angaston) – Excellence in Food Tourism

Visit I Choose SA to find out how you can support our State by choosing South Australian businesses, products and services.

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German pub of champions

By Melissa Keogh

From sausages to sauerkraut and authentic brews, the Hahndorf Inn has dished up traditional German fare to scores of visitors and locals for decades.

Now the popular Hahndorf establishment can add another feather to its cap after being named the South Australian Tourism Commission’s latest Tourism Champion.

Tourism Champions is a series of videos and case studies of the top operators, businesses and events around the State.

With a new inductee every month, the campaign aims to build the profile of South Australia’s tourism industry – something the Hahndorf Inn has been striving for in recent years.

The 154-year-old hotel, owned by Andrew Holmes and his family, attracts up to 260,000 visitors every year.

“It’s terrific to be recognised as a tourism champion,” Andrew says.

“We essentially provide unique experiences that talk to the history and culture of Hahndorf.”


Andrew says employment at the inn has more than doubled in the past four years to 80 staff, while 85% of employees are local.

With the help of Chinese liaison and marketing officer, Jack Chen, the business has also experienced a 35% growth in sales from the Chinese market since 2015.

Andrew says people’s attraction to not only the Hahndorf Inn but elsewhere along the popular tourism strip was the display of history and mixture of offerings.

“It’s quite unique in that it’s the oldest surviving German settlement in Australia,” he says.

“In autumn Hahndorf is full of European species trees, warm log fires and great comfort food.”

Check out other Tourism Champions here.

Like this story? Nominate a story from your region.
Click here to nominate >>

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