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Just three years after winning the holiday of a lifetime to the Pilbara, My Pilbara Adventure inaugural competition winner Alison Byers-Laird returned to the region last month for a family holiday.
In 2014, Alison was selected at random from more than 790 entries, winning a 12-day adventure around the Pilbara taking her from Port Hedland to Marble Bar, and Karijini to Dampier.
This time, with her husband, daughter, and friends in tow, Alison embarked on her own road trip through the region from Perth to Karijini National Park and out to the coast to visit Karratha, Dampier and Murujuga National Park.
Alison said she was excited to be back in the Pilbara.
“I knew I would return to the Pilbara again and I’m so pleased to now share this beautiful country with my family and friends,” she said.
The family spent four-days in Karijini, a highlight from Alison’s previous trip, before travelling to Karratha.
There were new adventures this time around, with Alison enjoying a helicopter ride from Karratha across the Dampier Archipelago.
“Last time we explored the islands of the Dampier Archipelago by boat, so it was great to see it all again but this time from a different perspective,” Alison said.
Another highlight was the petroglyphs in the Murujuga National Park and Red Dog’s statue and his memorial stone in Dampier, complete with tennis balls.
“We were in awe of the sheer number of rock carvings at Deep Gorge, and it gave us an insight into the cultural significance of this area,” she said.
My Pilbara Adventure was a savvy awareness campaign run by the Pilbara Development Commission in 2014 and 2015 to draw attention to the unique tourism experiences the region has to offer.
Pilbara Development Commission Acting Chief Executive Officer Trish Barron said it was important to promote the region to build the understanding that its natural beauty and rich cultural heritage is not impacted by mining.
“The Pilbara has a lot to offer visitors from spectacular landscapes, rich Aboriginal culture and vibrant regional towns,” Ms Barron said.
Tourism is widely-regarded as a sector with unrealised potential, however green shoots are emerging with new tour operators entering the market.
“As highlighted at the Warlu Way Tourism Conference held in Karratha last week, new tourism businesses are establishing in the region, giving visitors greater choice when they come to the Pilbara,” Ms Barron said.
“The Commission continues to work with its regional development partners to unlock the Pilbara’s tourism potential through the activation of our National Parks, key infrastructure and programs to support tourism businesses.”