2018 AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE Winners and Finalists

The Australian Society of Travel Writers (ASTW) Awards for Excellence is an annual celebration of outstanding travel writing, photography, and tourism communications.

Established in 1992, this is a closely contested competition among peers, focusing on the very best published work of the year. Recognition of talent, a coveted trophy and prizes are the rewards for the winners.

There are 20 categories in the ASTW awards. Seventeen awards are open to ASTW writer members and three for ASTW PR members.

1. ASTW TRAVEL WRITER OF THE YEAR

Sponsored by VISIT USA AUSTRALIA

Winner: Catherine Marshall

Other Finalists

Kerry van der Jagt

John Borthwick

2. ASTW PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR

Sponsored by ABERCROMBIE & KENT

Winner: Dan Avila

  • Cable Beach Camels – Holidays with Kids
  • Abu Dhabi Sunset  – Signature Luxury Travel & Style Magazine
  • The Road to Hana – Signature Luxury Travel & Style Magazine
  • Pre-dawn Patagonia – Vacations & Travel Magazine
  • Ningaloo Nature – Vacations & Travel Magazine

Other Finalists:

Jocelyn Pride

  • Walking on thin ice – Vacations & Travel
  • Midnight sun – Vacations & Travel
  • Crystal clear – Vacations & Travel
  • Concordia – Vacations & Trave
  • Bad breath – Vacations & Travel

Kara Murphy

  • Speckled humpback – Dockwalk
  • Manta parade – Southern Boating
  • Turtle trio – Southern Boating
  • Molokini crater convergence –Escape/News Ltd
  • Finding Nemo in the Similans – International Traveller

3. COMMUNICATOR OF THE YEAR

Sponsored by TRAVMEDIA

Winner: Pip Macken

DC&A Worldwide – Destination Canada

Other Finalists:

Peter Hook

Hook Communications

Donna Parkin

Parkin PR

Shelley Winkel

Tourism & Events Queensland

4. BEST STORY ABOUT AGM HOST DESTINATION 2017 – SUNSHINE COAST, QUEENSLAND

Sponsored by VISIT SUNSHINE COAST

Winners:

Julie Miller

Sand dunes and sunsets – Nat Geo Australia

John Borthwick

A sandy road to Qld Beachside adventures  – The West Australian

Other Finalists:

Christine Retschlag

Sunshine Coasting – The Global Goddess

Celeste Mitchell

Everybody loves the Sunshine – Australian Traveller

5. BEST FAMILY TRAVEL STORY

Sponsored by FAMILY TRAVEL

Winner: Sheriden Rhodes

A million-star experience on a floating hotel – Traveller/Fairfax Media

Other Finalists:

Jac Taylor

No work and all play  – International Traveller magazine

Mark Daffey

Wet ‘n WildTraveller/Fairfax Media

6. BEST AUSTRALIAN STORY UNDER 1000 WORDS

Sponsored by TOURISM AUSTRALIA

Winners:

Belinda Jackson

Luxury to bank on – Traveller/Fairfax Media

Andrew Bain

Australia’s most unusual natural wonder – Traveller/Fairfax Media

Other Finalists:

Roderick Eime

Adventures in the Kimberley – Courier Mail

Jennifer Ennion

Snorkel with seals off Tasmania’s southeast shores – Weekend Australian *no link

Catherine Best

Branching out – The Australian

7. BEST AUSTRALIAN STORY OVER 1000 WORDS

Sponsored by TOURISM AUSTRALIA

Winner: Brad Crouch

Only in S.A. – Escape/News Ltd

Other Finalists:

Tracey Croke

Mountain biking in Far North Qld – Rad Season

Christine Retschlag

You’ll discover a bounty of beauty – Australian Senior

Celeste Mitchell

Everybody loves the Sunshine – Australian Traveller

8. BEST FOOD STORY

Sponsored by UNITED AIRLINES

Winner: Catherine Marshall

Wildlife on the move –The Weekend Australian

Other finalists:

Craig Tansley

Taste of Kakadu – Traveller/Fairfax Media

Penny Watson

Taste of Victoria – DestinAsian Magazine

9. BEST INSTAGRAM PHOTO

Sponsored by TOURISM AUTHORITY OF THAILAND

Winner: Dan Avila

My bison moment

Other finalists:

Aleney de Winter

Cape Hillsborough

Tracey Croke

Sled Ride

Lauren Bath

Choki check up

Kara Murphy

Turtle at Lady Elliot

10. BEST RESPONSIBLE TOURISM STORY

Sponsored by INTREPID TRAVEL

Winner: Louise Southerden

Feynan Ecolodge, Jordan: A sustainable hotel in the Dana Biosphere Reserve – Traveller/Fairfax Media

Other finalists:

Angela Saurine

Creatures Great and Small – MindFood

Kara Murphy

How to choose an ethical elephant encounter in Thailand – International Traveller Magazine

Krysia Bonkowski

Small but mighty – Jetstar magazine *no link

11. BEST ADVENTURE STORY

Sponsored by G ADVENTURES

Winner: Roderick Eime

Riding the Revolution – Australian Road Rider

Other Finalists:

Jim Darby

From ski pole to South Pole – Traveller/Fairfax Media

Andrew Bain

Wild Finnish Winter – Outdoor

12. BEST TOURISM ORGANISATION or TRAVEL PRODUCT

Sponsored by ASTW

Winner: Laura Speirs

Glasgow Life

Other Finalists:

Aiofe Finnegan

Tourism Ireland

Alison Roberts Brown/Leah Froelich

Visit Monaco

13. BEST CRUISE STORY

Sponsored by CRUISE LINES INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION (CLIA)

Winner: Craig Tansley

Tears of Joy – The Financial review

Other Finalists:

Jocelyn Pride

Antarctic dreaming – Cruise Passenger

Maggy Oehlbeck

Living the dream – The Australian

14. BEST INTERNATIONAL STORY OVER 1000 WORDS

Sponsored by ACCORHOTELS

Winner: Kerry van der Jagt

Day of the Dead – Vacations & Travel magazine

Other Finalists:

Rob McFarland

Seeing the gorillas in Africa’s safest nation – Traveller/Fairfax Media

Craig Tansley

Canada’s First and Last Great Ski Town – Traveller/Fairfax Media

15. BEST INTERNATIONAL STORY UNDER 1000 WORDS

Sponsored by INSURANCE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA

Winner: Catherine Marshall

On the Fragrance trail in Oman – Financial Review

Other Finalists:

John Borthwick

A Taste of the Royal Life – The West Australian

Mark Daffey

Tracking Hunter – Traveller/Fairfax Media

16. PR CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR

Sponsored by ASTW

Winner: Donna Campbell/Pip Macken

DC&A Worldwide – Visiting Journalist Program

Other Finalists:

Karena Noble

Voyages – Field of Light Season 2 launch

Kim McKay

Mudgee Let’s Skip Town – Klick

Caitlin Georghiou

Doggie Degustation by TFE Hotels & Frank PR

17. BEST TOURISM AND TRAVEL NEWS STORY

Sponsored by PEREGRINE ADVENTURES IN HONOUR OF KRIS MADDEN

Winner: Aleney de Winter

The Capital of Cool –Vacations & Travel magazine

Other Finalists:

Roderick Eime

Voyages of Discovery – The Australian

Jocelyn Pride

Poles Apart – Vacations & Travel magazine

18. BEST TRAVEL BLOG

Sponsored by OUT AND ABOUT WITH KIDS

Winner: Christine Retschlag

The Global Goddess

Other Finalists:

Julie Jones

Have Wheelchair Will Travel

Aleney de Winter

BoyEatsWorld

19. BEST TRAVEL BLOG POST

Sponsored by Family Travel

Winner: BoyEatsWorld

The Call of Cambodia

Other Finalists:

Together We Roam

Phuket’s only ethical elephant tour

The Global Goddess

My Saharan Stupidity

20. BEST TRAVEL PHOTO

Sponsored by THAI AIRWAYS

Winner: Dan Avila

Pre-dawn Patagonia – Vacations & Travel

Other Finalists:

Rob Dunlop

Clouds cling to mountaintop – Vacations & Travel

Kara Murphy

Molokini Crater Convergence – Escape/News Ltd


*NB: Not all stories provided have links.

Read the news item announcing the winners.

Read about the judges.