11 Apr 2021

New regional tourism projects approved as 700 South Australians employed

Pink Lake Tiny House in Clare Valley, one of the latest grant recipients
Pink Lake Tiny House in Clare Valley, one of the latest grant recipients

As South Australia’s regions continue to enjoy record-breaking occupancy rates, another 12 regional tourism businesses will receive grants to ‘soar even higher’. 

The latest round of the South Australian Tourism Commission’s Tourism Industry Development Fund grants includes a new scenic flight experience in the Fleurieu and luxury accommodation in Clare Valley, one of the state’s world-class wine regions. 

It brings the total number of projects funded under the program to 42, with a combined value of $25 million – spread across all 11 of South Australia’s tourism regions.   

Premier Steven Marshall said the Fund is giving regional economies a real boost, creating nearly 700 jobs to date. 

“One of the key aims of the Tourism Industry Development Fund is to create new jobs and develop skills and with project applications flooding into the SATC, this number will continue to rise,” Premier Marshall said.  

“We know from the latest Tourism Research Australia data that January 2021 has been the best month since the pandemic began. Visits, nights and expenditure were the highest for a month since March 2020.  

“These results are on the back of a strong intrastate market and recovering interstate market so it’s great that we’ve got a pipeline of new and exciting experiences to keep visitors coming back to our regions.  

“All of our 42 TIDF projects will give visitors a multitude of reasons to travel to South Australia and our regions to boost our economy.”  

Martyn Smith, managing director and owner of Adelaide Biplanes on the Fleurieu Peninsula said the business’s $28,517 grant will help them invest in offering the most awesome flying experiences imaginable. 

“Like every other tourism operator out there, once international and interstate borders closed, we lost almost all of our customers overnight which was absolutely devastating,” Mr Smith said.   

“With an inevitable slow return for the aviation industry we have fought hard as a family to keep our passion alive to share with others into the future.   

“The TIDF grant has allowed us to invest in upgrades to our 1940 DH82 Tiger Moth and 8KCAB Decathlon in the form of complete fabric restoration. This will help us continue to offer the most beautiful, awe-inspiring and unique vintage experiences to local, interstate and international visitors to the Fleurieu Peninsula. We are excited for the future ahead!” 

Jim Barry Wines in the Clare Valley will be receiving a $220,000 grant for The Mill Street Retreat. The $770,000 project will see four, one-bedroom luxury apartments built in the heart of this beautiful wine region.  

Peter Barry, managing director at Jim Barry Wines said the TIDF funding will help attract high value travellers from around Australia to the region, boosting the local economy. 

“I would like to thank Steven Marshall and his government for having the vision and foresight to deliver this funding. It has given us the confidence to take the gamble and develop this boutique accommodation experience in the Clare Valley,” Mr Barry said. 

“The Mill Street Retreat will deliver new holiday apartments to a region which is desperately short on accommodation options, especially at the high end. It will also create new jobs and genuine employment pathways for the Clare Valley community. We have used local tradespeople throughout the development, further stimulating the local economy.” 

The Tourism Industry Development Fund (TIDF) will assist Matthews Hospitality to develop tourism infrastructure on the Limestone Coast and support the region’s “homegrown heroes”.

South Australian family-owned hotels group, Matthews Hospitality, owns a number of venues across South Australia including four in Mount Gambier – the Mount Gambier Hotel (‘The G’), Colhurst House B&B, South Eastern Hotel and Park Hotel. The group has received a $336,740 grant toward its $1,122,500 refurbishment of the Mount Gambier Hotel, which will “facilitate accommodation upgrades and the creation of local tours and overnight tourism packages”.

“Matthews Hospitality venues has played an integral role in the Limestone Coast community for more than 75 years,” Matthews Hospitality CEO Andrew Kemp said.

“This funding will allow us to champion the region’s tourism experiences and local businesses – our ‘homegrown heroes’ – to grow visitation to Mount Gambier.

“We are designing a series of tours including highlights of the Limestone Coast and a tour for food lovers that will take visitors directly to the doorstep of local food and wine businesses.

“Visitors will discover a range of produce including ice-cream made from camels’ milk in Mt Benson. Kalangadoo organic apples, beers from the Robe Town Brewery and wines from the Coonawarra region, to name a few.

“The accommodation upgrades and tours will go hand-in-hand, encouraging more visitors to Mount Gambier to enjoy the world-class experiences and produce the Limestone Coast has to offer.”

Successful grant recipients: 




Total project worth 

Adelaide Hills                      


Oakwood Retreat - renovate and refurbish an existing building to create private upscale, boutique accommodation 





Lambert Estate Wines – expansion of onsite experiences including construction of a new VIP tasting room, a pizzeria, and the establishment of new estate trails for self-guided electric cart tours      



Clare Valley         

Pink Lake Tiny House - establishment of two tiny houses, two bell tents, and shared guest facilities at Lochiel 



Clare Valley         

The Mill Street Retreat - development of four one-bedroom luxury accommodation apartments in Clare 



Clare Valley 

Bukirk – establishment of a new tiny house, outdoor pool, entertaining space, and welcome centre for guests 



Eyre Peninsula   

Deco Beach House - renovation of art deco house in Port Lincoln to cater for up to 8 guests, including a swimming pool with landscaped outdoor area, garden and barbecue area 



Fleurieu Peninsula                 


Adelaide Biplanes – Upgrades of 1940 De Havilland Tiger Moth plane and 2004 American Champion Super Decathlon plane for scenic flights, and paintwork upgrade on company vehicle 



Flinders Ranges & Outback                                

Flinders Food Co – expansion including a new outdoor alfresco dining area catering for an extra 55 customers and for function use, and a children’s sensory play area  



Limestone Coast                                 

Mount Gambier Apartments - construction of two new luxury wheelchair accessible apartments in Mount Gambier 



Limestone Coast 

Mount Gambier Hotel - refurbishment and upgrade of 16 rooms 



Murray River, Lakes & Coorong 

Murray Bridge Tourist Park  – construction of three luxury self-contained cabins, including one with disability access 






Riverland Classic Limousines – establish a new luxury touring and transfer experience to explore the Riverland region  



The $20 million fund runs until 31 March 2022 or until all funds have been allocated.  

For more information about the TIDF visit: tourism.sa.gov.au/support/tourism-industry-development-fund