Baptism of fire leads to gold at Bendleby Ranges

Facing drought, sheep and COVID – the next generation continues adventurous focus to win State Tourism Award.

Handing over the business reins to the next generation can cause uncertainty, turmoil and nerves. Throw in a three-year drought plus COVID, and most people would be glad to be left standing. But like conquering the gnarly off-road 4WD tracks at Bendleby Ranges, the Luckraft family and team rose to the rocky challenge.

A win in the 2021 South Australian Tourism Awards for Adventure Tourism recognises their hard work.

Fresh ideas and seasoned experience combine to triumph over rocky road.

This award joins the previous bronze and silver awards for the Southern Flinders Ranges icon. New generation director, Kylie Luckraft, paid homage to the effort put in by her parents-in-law during her acceptance speech.

 “Wow, we are so shocked and grateful to receive this award tonight. It really means a lot to us! A big thank you to the entire Bendleby family. A special thank you to Jane and Warren, who have done so much for the business over the past 21 years.”

Kylie Luckraft | Bendleby Ranges Director

COVID challenges lead to promotion of Bendleby’s natural assets to help heal and relax through the power of “nature to nurture”

The family strived to combine pastoral and tourism aspects of their business in ecologically sustainable ways. Using new skills in social media, Charlie and Kylie promoted “nature to nurture” during the trying times of COVID. Kylie concentrated on posting beautiful images of the natural Bendleby Ranges assets.  People unable to travel could still get a regular dose of Flinders Ranges “therapy”.

They love sharing Bendleby with like-minded visitors and giving guests space to enjoy the Flinders Ranges. Bendleby Ranges offers people a chance to challenge themselves on the 4wding tracks, hikes and mountain bike trails.

Warren is always ready with a yarn to tell, and the focus on the tourism award application was to tell the judges the Bendleby story.

You took the judges on a thrilling ride throughout, and I feel like I have genuinely experienced Bendleby! … tantalising, emotive and inclusive – well done.

SA Tourism Award Judge | 2021

Next March, Kylie, Charlie, Jane, Warren and the team represent the state at the National Tourism Awards.

Bendleby will continue developing the camping and four-wheel driving destination loved by adventurous outdoor enthusiasts. But don’t expect these to include paved roads, restaurants and jumping pillows. The team know that its’ visitors prefer bouncing over rough tracks, open spaces and starry nights. Watch this space, with 15,000 hectares; there’s plenty of it. Isn’t it time for your adventure at Bendleby Ranges – if you dare?

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