15 Aug 2021

Regional tourism takes off and lands on multi-million funding scheme

Barossa Helicopters – grant recipient
Barossa Helicopters – grant recipient

A helicopter tour, a new training kitchen for an iconic coastal hotel and unique accommodation in renovated grain silos are included in a new multi-million boost for tourism operators.

The latest round of grants in the South Australian Tourism Commission’s Tourism Industry Development Fund have been released today, with a diverse range of 18 projects supported across the state awarded a total of over $2.7 million.

Over half of the $20 million fund has now been allocated, with a total of 71 projects receiving $11.1 million in funding since December with a combined project value of more than $41 million.

Premier Steven Marshall said with South Australians continuing to see more of their own backyard in record numbers, the latest grants will deliver new accommodation options and tourism experiences to help meet demand and create and sustain jobs.

“This Fund is spurring investment in our state’s regional tourism industry, supporting operators to attract more visitors at a higher return, while creating more jobs for South Australians in the process,” Premier Marshall said.

“June was the seventh consecutive month that regional South Australia has broken tourism records so we’re giving people more reasons to keep seeing our state’s regions and keep our economy strong.

Hotel Elliot on the Fleurieu Peninsula will receive $500,000 for a $1.7 million development to transform the property into ‘The Hub’.

The project will see the popular local pub incorporated into a function and training centre which includes a training kitchen, bars, outdoor dining, deck, toilet facilities, carpark and tourist information and visitor centre.

Hotel Elliot co-owner Matt Kelly said he was thrilled to receive the funding, which he said would help create an important hub for the region, creating local jobs and drive tourism to the coast.

“We anticipate adding a further 30-40 staff to our team, boosting our offering to a thriving tourism sector and offer young aspirants a training facility to improve their skill set,” he said.

Family owned and operated Presidential Motel in Mount Gambier on the Limestone Coast will receive almost $240,000 to refresh and modernise the property. The project includes renovating seven rooms, refurbishing the lobby and restaurant and construction of an outdoor dining pavilion.

Manager/owner, Steven Perryman said the TIDF grant provides valuable assistance to industry.

“This funding is allowing us to accelerate a series of improvements to the property and meet the expectations of visitors to the Limestone Coast,” he said. 

“Our focus is on enhancing the experience of visitors through high quality accommodation, dining and catering to a growing diversity of travellers to the region, many of whom wish to self-cater.

“This project will position the business to drive out of the downturn caused by COVID-19, contribute to the economic recovery and provide job opportunities.”

The “Barns of Freeling” at Freeling West of the Barossa will receive $365,568 for a $1.4 million construction project. The business specialises in hosting weddings and functions and the TIDF grant will allow them to offer unique, luxury rural accommodation for guests, plugging a gap in the local market.

Gavin Schuster, owner of Barns of Freeling said the project will open up a new opportunity, not just for his business, but for the local community as well.

“Accommodation options in Freeling are very limited, which means any potential visitors have to stay overnight elsewhere,” he said.

“Once complete, our project will allow us to provide six, high quality luxury suites for a total of 12 guests at one time. The accommodation will be available to guests using our function space as well as for visitors to our town and the Mid-North.

“We believe there are many great reasons to visit Freeling. By offering visitors a unique place to stay, nestled in a rural setting, will mean they can spend more time in our town and further explore the region. This will benefit many other local businesses.”

Latest grant recipients:




Total project value

Adelaide Hills                    


Udder Delights Cheese Cellar & Grunthal Brew – Development of a brand-new cellar door for Udder Delights including a concept store and eatery, incorporating the new Grunthal Brewhouse.



Adelaide Hills                    


Randells Mill – Construction of self-contained apartment at Randells Mill, redevelopment of a stone cottage and refurbishment of a Kombi van to offer local tours of the region for guests staying at the property.





Anlaby Station – Transformation of one three-bedroom cottage into high quality accommodation, refurbishment of three-bedroom Manor House.





Balloon Adventures – Purchase of 12 seater mini bus and conversion to 4WD to transport passengers to and from the launch and landing sites.







Barns of Freeling – New tourist accommodation including the renovation of a 1921 barn into three new apartments and the re-purposing of grain silos to create three new self-contained apartments.






Casale B&B – Renovation and extension of existing cottage including the addition of three bedrooms and bathroom.





Barossa Motor Lodge – Refurbishment of 40 rooms, rendering and painting of the exterior.





Barossa Helicopters – Rebuild of a Robinson R44 helicopter to increase patron capacity and development of new extended touring options.



Fleurieu Peninsula

Hotel Elliot – Major development of a new function centre called ‘The Hub’. The Hub will incorporate the existing hotel, a function and training centre including training kitchen, bars, storage area, outdoor dining areas, a deck, toilet facilities, a car park and new tourist information and visitor centre.



Flinders Ranges & Outback

Over The Edge Melrose – Expansion of the cafe kitchen, purchase of bikes and equipment to offer new guided tour options and storage facilities for these bikes.



Kangaroo Island

Seafront Holiday Park – Establishment of two-family sized Eco Tents, the construction of two x 2 Bedroom Beachside Villas, and an additional 20 powered caravan/campervan sites through the extension of the onsite electrical grid.



Limestone Coast


Victoria Hotel Port MacDonnell – Development of an outdoor beer garden area at the rear of the hotel.



Limestone Coast


Presidential Motel – Renovation of seven rooms, refurbishment of the lobby and restaurant and construction of an outdoor dining pavilion.





Limestone Coast


Drink Ottelia + Eat Fodder – Redevelopment of restaurant and cellar door building.



Limestone Coast


Coonawarra Experiences – Purchase of new luxury vehicle to offer new tours.



Murray River, Lakes & Coorong

Motel on Becker – Refurbishment of six motel rooms.



Yorke Peninsula

Sunny Hill Distillery – Installation of outdoor toilet block and expansion of car park to increase capacity of venue. Retaining wall for deck area and fire pits.



Yorke Peninsula

Redwing Farm – Purchase and conversion of a bus into tourist accommodation, redevelopment of an existing building to become a guest check-in space and office, function centre enhancements, toilet facilities and updates to power and Wi-Fi.





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

Grants range from $20,000 to $500,000 with a maximum of 30 per cent State Government funding committed to the total project value.

More information and the full list of grant recipients, see the Tourism Industry Development Fund page.