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These Are The 10 Best Aussie Towns For 2021, So That’s This Year’s Travel Sorted

These Are The 10 Best Aussie Towns For 2021, So That’s This Year’s Travel Sorted

blonde woman sipping wine on picnic blanket looking at sunset next to aerial shot of trinity beach in cairns

Travel site Wotif’s fourth annual Aussie Town of the Year Awards are out, with a top 10 spanning coastal towns and wine regions ripe for your next getaway.

Australia is no stranger to topping global ‘best of’ lists, but the latest top 10 rankings showcase an array of the best Aussie towns waiting for your visit. Last year’s winner was Coffs Harbour, but this year Queensland tops the charts with Cairns sitting pretty at #1.

Wotif data found some of our most beloved holiday areas reported up to a 90 percent profit loss during the height of the pandemic. “We think now’s the perfect time to recognise and celebrate the people and communities of our finest tourism destinations,” they said.

The Aussie Town of the Year award winners are chosen based on all-important factors like accommodation quality, affordability, and traveller satisfaction. They’re destinations that have also made an effort to meet the changing needs of travellers over the last year by offering increased flexibility, good-value deals, and appealing activities and attractions.

Here are the top 10 best Aussie towns — and no, Byron isn’t on the list.

#10 The Entrance, NSW

On NSW’s Central Coast, this is where the lake meets the sea. A firm family favourite, there’s pelican feedings, beaches, fishing, and boat trips to be had. Our tip? Stay in hip neighbouring suburb Long Jetty or Toowoon Bay. Check out our guide here.

#9 Port Macquarie, NSW

Wotif have called it  “the ultimate all-rounder”. Not only is Port home to some of NSW’s best beaches, there are a bunch of excellent eateries, the beloved Koala Hospital, a buzzing city centre, lovely coastal walk, and plenty of adventure in the surrounding areas and hinterland.

#8 Exmouth, WA


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Exmouth is renowned for its unrivalled diving experiences on Ningaloo Reef, but there’s lots to explore in this part of the world. “It’s the perfect base for an adventure getaway both in and out of the water,” says Wotif. Head to Cape Range National Park where you’ll find breathtaking canyons, incredible wildflowers, and the 6th best traveller-rated beach in the world, Turquoise Bay.

#7 Hervey Bay, Qld

A place to watch humpback whales, drink in sunshine, enjoy epic diving experiences – you can’t really go wrong in this part of the world. Fraser Island is also a short ferry ride away.

#6 McLaren Vale, SA

A place where 31 kilometres of pristine coastline meets rolling vineyards, McLaren Vale is a beach-going winos dream. Things like cheesemaking, incredible dining options, a cyclable Shiraz trail, over 70 cellar doors (including the D’Arenberg Cube), and gorgeous beaches are just 40 minutes outside Adelaide.

#5 Lakes Entrance, Vic


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Lakes Entrance is where the Gippsland Lakes meet the Bass Strait and the Tasman Sea. It boasts Australia’s most extensive inland network of waterways, so it’d be rude not to spend your time out on the water. Kayaking, fishing, and swimming are all on the menu, before hitting up any of the great restaurants in and around town.

#4 Mudgee, NSW

Mudgee’s having a good year so far, having also been named one of TripAdvisor’s emerging destinations in the world. This picturesque wine region is home to over 40 family-owned cellar doors, with the town and surrounding region chock full of heritage architecture, great cafes, fabulous restaurants, and beautiful farms. Here’s our ultimate out-of-towner’s guide.

#3 Apollo Bay, Vic

A seafood village hugged by tranquil beaches, rolling green hills and the Great Otway National Park (great for camping and hiking), it’s a beaut spot to base yourself while exploring the Great Ocean Road.

#2 Pokolbin, NSW


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At the centre of the Hunter Valley Wine Region less than two hours from Sydney, there are rolling hills, wineries, top restaurants and spas waiting for you to indulge in a little R&R.

#1 Cairns, Qld

And the best of the best Aussie towns for 2021? Cairns. It’s all about location, as the gateway to not one, but two world heritage sites. The Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest — the oldest rainforest in the world — are easily explored from this tropical town, but Cairns itself has a lot to offer visitors. It’s also a good base to explore lesser known gems like the Cassowary Coast and Atherton Tablelands.

(Lead images: Down The Rabbit Hole Wines, Facebook / Trinity Beach,  Tourism Australia Facebook)

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