Travel app Wotif has announced the top 10 Aussie Towns of 2023.
The ranking, now in its sixth year, highlights the best regional Australian travel destinations based on travel trends, accommodation affordability and quality, and traveller satisfaction.
Towns in New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania have topped this year’s list, shining a light on some surprising regional spots that are both value for money and offering fantastic experiences.
Wotif says 60% of us are planning on travelling locally in 2023, which makes sense with the current cost of living pressures.
Data also shows a 30% increase in people taking a regular Friday or Monday off to create their own three-day getaway, with 49% of us planning to take a short trip of up to three nights this year.
Here’s the top 10 list to inspire your next getaway!
10. Echuca, VIC
Echuca in northern Victoria is famous for its historic port on the Murray River. It has become a popular tourist destination for its historical landmarks, paddle steamer cruises, and outdoor activities such as fishing, water sports, and bushwalking. Visitors can also enjoy the local wine and food scenes and explore the nearby Barmah National Park.
9. Orange, NSW
Orange is known for its cool climate wines, gourmet food and beautiful landscapes. With over 80 vineyards and cellar doors, visitors can indulge in wine tasting experiences while admiring the picturesque countryside views. The town also offers outdoor adventures, cultural attractions, and luxurious accommodation options for a memorable stay.
8. Dunsborough, WA
Dunsborough, located in the Margaret River region of Western Australia, offers stunning beaches, crystal clear waters and lush greenery. Known for its world-class wineries, breweries, and iconic lighthouse, it’s a perfect destination for those looking to indulge in outdoor activities or a relaxed coastal retreat. Surrounded by bushland, it’s a paradise for hikers and nature lovers, while its reef offers excellent snorkelling and diving opportunities.
7. Toowoomba, QLD
Toowoomba, located in the Darling Downs region of Queensland, boasts a charming combination of history, culture and natural beauty. Known as the Garden City, Toowoomba features stunning gardens, parks and mountain views, as well as a range of festivals, museums, and galleries. Visitors can also enjoy local markets, restaurants, and cafes, making Toowoomba a perfect destination for a relaxing and fulfilling weekend getaway.
6. Merimbula, NSW
Merimbula is a picturesque coastal town that offers visitors an abundance of natural beauty, from stunning beaches to towering mountains. It is a popular tourist destination for families seeking outdoor adventures, such as surfing, hiking, swimming and fishing. Visitors can also enjoy local culinary delights and experience the friendly hospitality of the locals.
5. Ballarat, VIC
Ballarat is a beautiful and historic city famous for its gold mining history, stunning architecture and abundance of tourist attractions. Visitors can explore the impressive Sovereign Hill museum, marvel at the stunning Victorian-era buildings, or relax in the charming cafes and restaurants. Ballarat is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Australian history and culture.
4. Port Lincoln, SA
Port Lincoln is a picturesque coastal town that offers unique experiences for tourists. Known as the Seafood Capital of Australia, the town is famous for its seafood cuisine and fresh produce. Visitors can also take part in adventurous activities like shark cage diving, wildlife tours and fishing charters.
3. New Norfolk, TAS
New Norfolk is a charming town nestled in the Derwent Valley, less than an hour’s drive from Hobart. It is a perfect place for tourists to visit with its rich history, picturesque surroundings and vibrant community. Visitors can explore the stunning World Heritage-listed Mount Field National Park, wander through the historic buildings and antique shops, indulge in fresh local produce and enjoy a leisurely stroll along the tranquil river.
2. Bundaberg, QLD
Bundaberg is a vibrant city of Queensland, known for its lush green scenery and historic sites. It is renowned for its sugar cane plantations and rum-making history, with the Bundaberg Rum Distillery being a prime attraction for tourists. The city has several museums, while the Mon Repos Turtle Centre offers a memorable experience of witnessing loggerhead turtles in the wild. The pristine beaches, local eateries offering fresh seafood, and the Great Barrier Reef are additional attractions that make Bundaberg a popular tourist destination.
1. Albury, NSW
Albury, sister city to Wodonga on the New South Wales/Victoria border, is a destination in its own right as well as the perfect stopover on the Sydney to Melbourne drive. Visitors can indulge in wine and gourmet food tours, enjoy the local thriving art scene and visit museums and galleries. The winding Murray River offers countless water activities and the nearby snow fields are another exciting attraction.