Sydney may have its bridge and opera house but the whole world comes to Coffs Harbour to see our iconic Big Banana.
Sydney may have its bridge and opera house but the whole world comes to Coffs Harbour to see our iconic Big Banana. Rob Wright

Another gong for our Big Banana as 50th birthday approaches

THE ICONIC Big Banana was named best major tourist attraction at the 2014 North Coast Tourism awards held in South West Rocks on Saturday night.

It's the latest of thousands of citations and awards won by Coffs Harbour's most recognisable symbol.

The Big Banana will celebrate its 50th birthday on December 22, this year.

A wide cross section of the North Coast tourism industry gathered under an elegant marquee in historic Trial Bay Gaol to applaud finalists and winners and to celebrate the endeavours of operators from the Great Lakes to the Tweed.

These celebrations come on the tail of a recent announcement that the North Coast of NSW is the third most popular destination in Australia behind Sydney @No 1 and Melbourne @ No 2 in attracting domestic overnight visitors.

"The competition for the top honours was fuelled with entries by a growing number of new and innovative businesses among this year's 39 finalists," North Coast Destination Network executive officer Belinda Novicky said.

Other winners were Dorrigo National Park, receiving a pair of gold awards as an attraction and for ecotourism.

State Forest of the Coffs Coast received a gold award for specialised tourism services.

A silver award for accommodation was given to Marcel Towers in Nambucca Heads