NEW LOOK: Cr Karen May checks out the Sarina Sugar Shed's refurbished gift shop after it reopened on Monday.
NEW LOOK: Cr Karen May checks out the Sarina Sugar Shed's refurbished gift shop after it reopened on Monday. Scott Jones

Sugar Shed going for Aussie gold

SARINA Sugar Shed will be hoping it's third time lucky when the winners' names are called out at Australia's premier tourism awards ceremony on Friday night.

One of the region's most successful tourism enterprises, the Sugar Shed aims to go one better than last year after being nominated in the Excellence in Food Tourism category at the 2018 Australian Tourism Awards.

It's their third national nomination. Each has been in a different category.

The boutique distillery took home the silver medal in the Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries category at the 2017 awards.

Fresh off the back of winning its third straight gold at the Queensland Tourism Awards last year, the facility was inducted into the Queensland Tourism Hall of Fame and has undergone a makeover in recent months.

Mackay region Councillor Karen May will be representing the region at the awards ceremony in Perth.

"It's been a huge 12 months for the Sarina Sugar Shed, being the first Mackay region tour operator welcomed into the QTA Hall of Fame and now representing the region at the Australian Tourism Awards,” Cr May said.

Sugar Shed co-ordinator Glenys Mansfield said the event was the pinnacle of the tourism industry and would attract about 800 people from across the country, with awards presented in 25 categories.

Sarina Sugar Shed produces award-winning rum and liqueurs, and gourmet sauces, chutneys, relishes and its own ice cream made from locally grown sugar cane processed in Australia's only miniature sugar mill and distillery.

The refurbished Sugar Shed gift shop reopened this week.

Last year about 16,000 came through the doors and 10,000 took a tour, Ms Mansfield said in November.



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