Writing and Photography Awards Calendar

CLIA – Media Award – Cruise Lines International Association

Awards held Feb 2019. Entries for 2020 TBC

AFTA NTIA Awards – Australian Federation of Travel Agents

Nominations open Jan each year. Awards held in July. (20th July 2019) Dates for 2020 TBC

Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize

Entries close around early March (6th March 2019) Winners announced in May (7th May 2019) Dates for 2020 TBC

National Geographic Travel Photo Contest (Categories Nature, Cities, People etc)

Entries close around March, late entries accepted until May for increased fee. Winners announced around June.

Head On Photo Festival (Categories Portrait, Landscape, Mobile)

Entries close around mid-February. Awards held around May.

Tasmanian Media Awards

Nominations close around mid-March. Awards held around May. Dates for 2020 TBC

South Australian Media Awards

Entries close around March. Awards held around June. Dates for 2020 TBC

Fremantle International Portrait Prize – Biennial Award

Entries closed for 2019. Exhibition 13-27 October 2019

ASTW Awards for Excellence

Entries close around April (30th April 2019) Awards held around October (19th October 2019) Dates for 2020 TBC

PATA Gold – Award – Pacific Asia Travel Association

Entries close around April. Awards held around September. (19th September 2019) Dates for 2020 TBC

Travel Media Awards (For work published in print or online in UK)

Entries close around April-May. Awards held in September. (20th September 2019) Dates for 2020 TBC.

Australian Photography Awards (includes Landscape, Travel/Street, Wildlife, Portrait, Mobile etc)

Entries open June-Sept (1st June – 2nd September 2019) Dates for 2020TBC.

Kennedy Awards – Outstanding Travel Writing

Entries close 1st July each year. Awards held around August. (9th August 2019) Dates for 2020 TBC

The Nature Conservancy 2019 Photo Contest

The global photo contest will open on 1st August 2019 and close 31st August. There will be a range of categories including one for Australia-based photographers, with fabulous local and global prizes you can win from a prize pool of $20,000!

Queensland Clarion Awards

Entries close around July. (12th July 2019) Awards held around September. (7th September 2019) Dates for 2020 TBC

National Photographic Portrait Prize

Entries open around October (October 2019 for 2020 prize)

WA Media Awards

Entries open around June and close around August. (24th June- 2nd August 2019) Awards held around November (2nd November 2019) Dates for 2020 TBC

NT Media Awards

Entries open around July and close around August. (2nd July-13th August 2019) Awards held around November (16th November 2019) Dates for 2020 TBC 

Walkley Awards

Entries open around July and close around August (1st July to 31st August 2019) Awards held around November (28th November 2019) Dates for 2020 TBC

Australian Travel Awards (Categories include Social Media & PR Campaigns, Tourism Boards etc)

Entries close around August (30th August 2019; late entries 6th September 2019) Awards held around November (29th November 2019)

Here’s an ear’s out to our Aussie bilbies

Here’s an ear’s out to our Aussie bilbies

Each year The Australian Society of Travel Writers (ASTW) donates $1,000 AUD to a worthy cause and
this year, at the AGM on the Sunshine Coast, Emma, a very cute baby Bilby, willingly accepted on behalf of the Save the Bilby Fund.

CEO, Kevin Bradley (he is the one with the beard), told the membership some rather outstanding facts and statistics about Australia’s wildlife such as it is estimated that 7.5 million native Australian animals are killed every night by non-native animals and that Australia has the highest extinction rate in the world.

Members quickly realised their opportunity to be up close with an extremely endangered native Australian animal such as Emma who had no trouble quickly gaining everyone’s attention.

To learn more about bilby visit:

Five Fast Bilby Facts

  1. Bilbies breed quicker than rabbits with only a 12 to 14-day pregnancy
  2. They are omnivores and eat small lizards, mice, spiders, insects, roots and seeds but drink very little water
  3. Of the two bilbies once found in Australia, the Greater Bilby is the only living species and is currently rated as endangered
  4. Bilbies have a sharp ‘spike’ on the end of their tails and large transparent ears.
  5. Many Australians buy the Easter Bilby instead of the Easter Bunny but not all chocolate manufactures contribute to the fund so always check the fine print or refer to the Save the Bilby website.





Finalists for 2017 ASTW Awards of Excellence

We are proud to announce the ASTW finalists for 2017.

Congratulations to everyone! We would also like to thank our sponsors for the awards this year.
If we have no sponsors, we have no awards. Thank you to each and every sponsor for your support. See you on the Sunshine Coast 18-20 August!

ASTW Travel Writer of the Year – sponsored by Visit USA Australia

Visit USA Australia

Penny Watson
Meals on Wheels – Traveller/Fairfax Media
A Taste for Incognito – Vacations & Travel
Rolling with the Locals – Traveller/Fairfax Media

Catherine Marshall
Great Southern Land – Qantas Magazine
After the Big Chill – The Australian
Africa’s Great Bat Invasion – Traveller/Fairfax Media

Mark Daffey
The Avocado Canoe Club – Wild Magazine
Polar Opposite – The Johnnie Walker Edit
Here be Dragons – Great Walks

Kerry Van Der Jagt
On the Dreaming Track – Qantas Magazine
South Pacific Spring – Nat Geo Traveller
Life in the Deep Freeze – Traveller/Fairfax Media

ASTW Photographer of the Year – Sponsored by Abercrombie and Kent

Visit Abercrombie and Kent

Danielle Lancaster
Badlands Sunrise – Vacations & Travel Magazine
Sand dunes – Vacations & Travel Magazine
Lester – Vacations & Travel Magazine
Solomon Islands – Travel2Next
Whale tail – Where Gold Coast

Dan Avila
Vanishing Warmth – Vacations & Travel magazine
Spa Pool – Caravan and Camping with Kids magazine
Snowy Istanbul – Just Luxe
Ranger Sarah – Kimberley & Pilbara Holiday Planner 2017
Washed stones – Vacations & Travel Magazine

Mark Daffey
Winter Wonderland – The Johnnie Walker House Edit
The Usual Suspects – Get Lost Magazine
Perahera Partying – Lonely Planet Asia
Mirror Image – Get Lost Magazine
Bo-Kaapster – Lonely Planet Asia

Communicator or Communications Team of the Year – Sponsored by TravMedia

Visit Travmedia
Janaya Birse – Hawaii Tourism/The Walshe Group, Sabi Sabi Private Reserve
DC&A Worldwide – Destination Canada (Pip Macken/Donna Campbell)

Best Travel Photograph – Sponsored by Tourism Authority of Thailand

Visit Tourism Thailand
Kara Murphy – Richelieu Rock star  – Boat International
Mark Daffey   – Usual Suspects – Get Lost Magazine
Dan Bannister – Ancient Stepwell in Jodhpur  – Holidays for Couples
Dan Avila – Miles Away – Club Marine Magazine
Mark Daffey – Mirror Image – Lonely Planet Asia

Best Story about the AGM Host Destination – sponsored by the ASTW

Angela Saurine – Safari Surprises – Mamamia
Aleney de Winter – Bites and Sites on the Streets of Stellenbosch – Boy Eats World
Shirley Sinclair – Drink in the Rugged Beauty – Sunshine Coast Sunday

Best Family Travel Story – Sponsored by Bound Round

Visit Bound Round
Penny Watson – Rolling with the Kids – Traveller – Fairfax Media
Tiana Templeman – Land Ahoy – Flight Centre Travel Ideas
Aleney de Winter – Angkor Away – Holidays with Kids magazine
Julie Miller – Jumbo Tales – Flight Centre Travel Ideas
Sheriden Rhodes – Family Face Time – Traveller – Fairfax Media

Best Travel Blog – Sponsor by Beyond Travel

Visit Beyond Travel

Have Wheelchair Will Travel – Julie Jones
The Global Goddess – Christine Retschlag
Boy Eats World – Aleney de Winter

Best Tourism Organisation or Travel Product – Sponsored by Nugggit

Visit Nugggit

Kyoto Tourism – Alison Roberts-Brown
The Rees Hotel – Caroline Davidson
Glasgow Tourism – Laura Speirs

Best Travel Broadcaster – Sponsored by TFE Hotels

Visit TFE Hotels

Ben Groundwater
Pamela Wright
Greg Grainger

Best Australian Story under 1000 words – Sponsored by Tourism Australia


Ben Groundwater – A taste of the original Australia – Traveller/Fairfax Media
Marian McGuinness – A little Night Music in Sydney – The Australian
Mark Daffey – Luck Be a Lady – Escape/News Ltd

Best Australian Story over 1000 words – Sponsored by Tourism Australia


Craig Tansley – It’s a Long Way to the Top – Traveller/Fairfax Media
Kerry Van Der Jagt – On the Dreaming Track – Qantas Magazine
Andrew Bain – Camel trekking in the Flinders Ranges – Traveller/Fairfax Media

 PR Campaign of the Year – Sponsor by ASTW

Relaunch of the Ultimo Hotel – Kim McKay – Klick Communications
Royal Caribbean – Arrival of Ovation of the Seas to Australia – Gail D’Arcy
Experience Aloha – Hawaii Tourism Oceania/Walshe Group – Janaya Birse

Best Food Story – Sponsored by Outrigger Resorts

Visit Outrigger Resorts

Julie Miller – Eating in New Orleans– Traveller/Fairfax Media
Catherine Marshall – Great Southern Land – Qantas
Jennifer Ennion – Arctic Jewels  – Nourish

Best Responsible Tourism story – Intrepid Travel

Visit Intrepid Travel

Mark Daffey – Thunder on the Mountain  – Wild Magazine
Louise Southerden – Lighting Up Kolkata’s Slums – Momentum.Travel
Ben Groundwater – Poverty as a tourism attraction: Can travel to a developing country really make a difference? – Traveller/Fairfax Media

Best Adventure Story – Sponsored by G Adventures

Visit G Adventures

Jayne D’Arcy – A Sacred Journey – Jetstar Magazine
Tracey Croke – The Revival of Mavrovo – Adventure.Travel
Andrew Bain – Test your limits – Qantas magazine
Catherine Marshall – Africa’s Great Bat Invasion – Traveller/Fairfax Media
Andrew Bain – Grampians Peaks Trail – Traveller/Fairfax Media

Best Cruise Story – Sponsored by Cruise Lines International Association

Visit Cruise Lines International Association

Christine Retschlag – Beyond Bali – Holidays for Couples
Helen Hayes – She Sells the Seychelles – Vacations & Travel
John Borthwick – Passage to Paradise – Weekend Australian
Jocelyn Pride – A Voyage for the Soul – Cruise Passenger
John Borthwick – Lao and Now – The Australian

Best International Story Over 1000 words – Sponsored by AccorHotels

Visit Accor hotels

Louise Southerden – Morocco Unplugged – Traveller/Fairfax Media
Catherine Marshall – On Board the Eastern & Oriental Express – Traveller/Fairfax Media
John Borthwick – Maldives Surfing – Trailblazers’ Incredible Legacy – Traveller/Fairfax Media

Best International Story Under 1000 words – Sponsored by Sarawak 

Visit Sarawak Tourism

Belinda Jackson – Of Pharaohs and Heroes – Luxury Travel Magazine
Ben Groundwater – Mongolia’s Milk of Human Kindness – Traveller/Fairfax Media
Kerry Van Der Jagt – Ice and Isolation – Luxury Travel Magazine                           

Best Travel and Tourism News Story – Sponsored by Zoik

Visit Zoik

Mark Daffey – Let the Games Begin – Vacations & Travel
Angela Saurine – Hot travel destinations  – Weekend Australian
Christine Retschlag – All Things Spice – Travel Bulletin