Echuca’s Riverboats Music Festival wins gold at Australian Tourism Awards

The Riverboats Music Festival has won gold at the 2017 Australian Tourism Awards.

The Echuca event took out the festivals and events category ahead of the Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo and Tasmanian event The Unconformity.

The awards were held on Friday at Optus Stadium in Burswood.

Riverboats held its seventh festival in February with Liam and Neil Finn and Kasey Chambers performing for more than 6000 people.

Memorable acts from the festival have included the likes of Pete Murray, Missy Higgins, Paul Kelly, Sarah Blasko, Dan Sultan, The Whitlams, Paul Dempsey, Ian Moss, Mark Seymour, Colin Hay, Tex Perkins, Clare Bowditch, Tim Rogers, James Reyne and Joe Camilleri.

In January, festival director David Frazer said Riverboats’ reputation was what encouraged people to return each year.

“Our atmosphere is something very different. It is laid back, family friendly and not crowded in,” he said.

“We are often asked if the festival will get bigger but we have no intention of doing that. 

“We love working with Echuca community and want to keep improving and raising the bar.”

Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren said the state’s success in tourism was down to each operator’s hard work and dedication.

“We back our tourism operators to provide an experience like no other, that will ensure Victoria retains its status as one of the world’s best destinations,” he said.

“The (state) government is working hard to keep attracting visitors to all corners of our state to create more local jobs in regional communities.”

Other Victorian award winners from the 2017 Australian Tourism Awards were: 


  • Parks Victoria (Specialised Tourism Services)
  • Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld (Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services)


  • Sovereign Hill (Major Tourist Attractions)
  • Holmesglen at Eildon (Business Event Venues)
  • Bright Brewery (Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries)


  • SkyBus (Major Tour and Transport Operators)
  • Autopia Tours – Small Group Experiences (Tour and Transport  Operators)
  • Arthurs Seat Eagle (New Tourism Business)