Local business was recognised at the national stage

The whole Yarra Valley Contingent. Picture: SUPPLIED

By Dongyun Kwon

A local business brought bronze back to Healesville at the 2023 Qantas Australian Tourism Industry Awards in Darwin in March.

Kangaroo Ridge Retreat won gold at the 2023 Victorian Tourism Awards in November last year and received entry to compete on the national stage.

Retreat owner Rebecca Ritte said she didn’t expect to win any award because it was her first application with her business.

“I was super surprised when we won gold at the Victorian level and I was completely surprised again when our name got read out at the national level,” she said.

“This achievement is a testament to the dedication and enthusiasm of our Kangaroo Ridge Retreat team.

“I was proud of my team because they really have pride in what they do. We’ve had such a small close knit team that work extremely hard and I was so glad that I was able to showcase what they do to the audience.”

Located on Wurundjeri Country, in the heart of the picturesque Yarra Valley wine country, Kangaroo Ridge Retreat offers a retreat experience that goes beyond accommodation.

The business aims to make its accommodation the destination in the Yarra Valley bringing all local experiences inside including from local drinks in the mini fridge and food produced by local businesses to the local nature view.

“Representing Victoria and the Yarra Valley on the national stage fills us with immense pride,” Ms Ritte said

“To stand out among the array of innovative tourism businesses across Australia is truly remarkable.

“This bronze recognition serves as powerful motivation for us to push the boundaries even further. We extend our heartfelt thanks to Yarra Ranges Tourism for providing mentorship throughout our inaugural application.”

Ms Ritte said she could apply for the award successfully thanks to the support from the Yarra Ranges Tourism.

“Yarra Ranges Tourism provided me with a mentor as part of their program for building up the capacity of tourist operators in the area,” she said.

“It was really beneficial because having someone who read over my application to make sure that I wrote it correctly and answered the questions that were being assessed was really helpful.

“Also, I teamed up with Hop It which is the local Yarra Valley business and we were reading each other’s applications while we were not competing against each other’s business while we were able to give advice to each other.”