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10 Gorgeous Australian Towns to Explore This Year

Tourism Australia 'Live Our Philausophy' Campaign Images

For those who’ve made the pledge to #HolidayHereThisYear, these ten much-loved Aussie towns will shift you firmly into holiday mode, and remind you we really are the Lucky Country

If there was ever a time to holiday at home, here in Australia, it would be now. Following a summer of ferocious fires, flash-flooding and ongoing drought, more Australians are pledging to stay home and support local towns and businesses.

Research conducted by leading online travel site Wotif.com has found that 12.6 million Australians (91% of those who travel on holidays) are keen to either amend or continue their holiday plans to ensure they support local tourism in areas either directly or indirectly affected by the bushfires.

Now in its third year, the 2020 Wotif Aussie Town of the Year awards has pinpointed the top Aussie Towns of the Year,  where you can holiday in your own backyard and celebrate the best of Down Under.

“Tourism is vital to many regional communities, meaning Aussies have the opportunity to make a meaningful impact by choosing to holiday here this year,” says Wotif Managing Director Daniel Finch. “Whether it’s a weekend getaway or a week-long escape, 2020 is the year to discover your own backyard and book a getaway that gives back.”

Without further ado, Wotif’s Aussie Towns of the Year are:

Coffs Harbour, NSW

Bananas aside, there’s something for everyone in Coffs. From intimate beaches, lush hinterland mountains, untamed rainforests and even an internationally renowned golf course resort a short drive away, Coffs Harbour is New South Wales’ paradise of attractions. Perched halfway between Sydney and Brisbane, there is no shortage of adrenalin-pumping activities, festivals and wildlife encounters along the stretching pristine coastline.

Coffs Harbour
Coffs Harbour

Mackay, QLD

The inaugural winner of Wotif’s Aussie Town of the Year awards in 2018, the historic town of Mackay is firmly on the radar for travelling Aussies. Located at the centre of the Queensland coast, Mackay boasts lush subtropical rainforests, national parks and a thriving public arts scene.

Mackay
Mackay

Airlie Beach, QLD

Known as the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Airlie Beach is an aquatic playground offering stunning views by day and a bustling, vibrant nightlife. To make the most of your stay, Australia’s favourite adults-only resorts, qualia is just around the corner on Hamilton Island, just a short ferry trip from Airlie Beach.

qualia Windward Pavilion Lounge
qualia Windward Pavilion Lounge

Batemans Bay, NSW

Named in 1770 by Australian explorer Captain James Cook, Batemans Bay is in the heart of the Oyster Coast. It offers fresh local seafood and a great base for exploring the wonders and natural beauty of the NSW South Coast.

Batemans Bay
Batemans Bay

Cairns, QLD

Famed for its access to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest, these world-heritage sites stamp Cairns on the map as Australia’s nature capital with some serious adventure game. Plus, with Crystalbrook Collection recently opening Cairns’ newest five-star hotel, Bailey, there has never been a better time to go.

Bailey, Cairns | Lobby
Bailey, Cairns | Lobby

Port Fairy, VIC

Delivering old-world charm with a modern twist, Port Fairy sits on the doorstep of the famed Great Ocean Road, boasting a rich history, excellent restaurants and a charming seaside community.

Port Fairy, VIC
Port Fairy, VIC

Albany, WA

As close as you’ll get to a historic European city in WA, Albany is the western state’s oldest European settlement, with a rich history and fantastic family appeal. We’d recommend getting there with Walk Into Luxury’s private Bibbulmun Track tour, that covers more than 1000 kilometres from the Perth hills to Albany.

Albany, WA
Albany, WA

Katoomba, NSW

Oh hey (three) sisters! A vibrant and historic town at the heart of the Blue Mountains, Katoomba spoils its guests with spectacular walks and lookouts, rich cultural heritage and great restaurants and bars. Beautiful views deserve beautiful places to view them from, and with choices like Lilianfels Blue Mountain Resort & Spa, or the nearby Hydro Majestic Hotel, you shouldn’t have trouble finding one.

Katoomba, NSW
Katoomba, NSW

Margaret River, WA

You had us at Cab Sav. The Margaret River region is known for its wine, beaches and sense of adventure, all tucked away in Australia’s south-west corner. With extraordinary coastal scenery, it’s best explored by foot, and done in style with a Walk into Luxury four-day tour.

Walk into Luxury Cape to Cape Walk
Walk Into Luxury Margaret River

Maroochydore, QLD

With its funky cafes, multicultural cuisine and thriving live music scene, Maroochydore is the cultural capital of the Sunshine Coast, where you can easily transition from an ocean dip to an evening cocktail.

Maroochydore, QLD
Maroochydore, QLD

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