Coffs Coast in Top 3 of Global Green Awards

Published on 08 March 2023


Coffs Coast has sensationally placed in the top 3 of the Global Green Destinations Story Awards in the Culture and Tradition category.

Every year, international sustainable tourism organisation Green Destinations collects outstanding entries worldwide to inspire tomorrow's travellers and today's tourism professionals – and the Coffs Coast was the only Australian finalist in 2023.  

The awards were judged by sustainable tourism experts from around the world and the winners were announced at ITB Berlin – the world’s leading travel trade show – today.

The Coffs Coast’s entry was Two Path Strong which celebrates Aboriginal tourism on the Coffs Coast and the rich culture that has supported the establishment of the first bilingual school of an Aboriginal language in NSW – the Gumbaynggirr Giingana Freedom School (GGFS).

"We are over the moon that our story was celebrated in Coffs Coast's entry of this prestigious global award," said Bularri Muurlay Nyanggan Aboriginal Corporation (BMNAC) CEO Clark Webb.

"We couldn’t quite believe that we were even nominated in the first place, so for the Coffs Coast to win top three in this elite group of culture and tradition tourism stories from around the world is simply mind blowing.

 “We’re honoured and proud that the story of our Gumbaynggirr Giingana Freedom School and our cultural tourism businesses on the Coffs Coast can be told far and wide,” said Webb, who is also the owner operator of Wajaana Yaam Gumbaynggirr Adventure Tours - also an ECO Certified business at Ecotourism level.

Known as the ‘sharing people’, the Gumbaynggirr people are widely celebrated for giving their abundant food, waterways and knowledge to others, so it’s fitting that they receive international recognition for their success in sustainable tourism and Indigenous education.

Coffs Harbour Mayor, Councillor Paul Amos said: “Placing top three in this award is proof of what we knew all along: that the Coffs Coast is a world-leader when it comes to ecotourism and the celebration of Aboriginal culture.

“This further cements our status as a best in class ecotourism destination with an important cultural story to be shared around the globe.”

Ecotourism Australia CEO, Elissa Keenan added her congratulations: “This award puts the spotlight on the Coffs Coast’s continued efforts to support local sustainable tourism ventures. It is an outstanding achievement for an Australian destination to be recognised on the global stage.

“City of Coffs Harbour already strongly encourages local operators to support sustainable and responsible tourism through ECO Certification for nature-based operators and we look forward to seeing more businesses in the region start their sustainability journey through the Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard and Sustainable Tourism Certification, to support the region’s commitment to and status as an ECO Destination, that draws travellers to the destination year after year.”


The Coffs Coast became NSW’s first certified ECO Destination in 2021 through a commitment to balance sustainable tourism practices, along with authentic First Nations history, language and culture and world-class nature-based experiences.