Travelling is crucial to getting outside your comfort zone, not to mention it’s fantastic for your mental health to connect with nature and explore a new part of the world, engaging in new experiences and meeting new people.
You may not even realise you’re stuck in a comfort zone until you step out into a new landscape and adventure in new ways. That’s why, although we are restricted, it’s important that we find other ways to experience new things.
Luckily for us, we live in Australia, a vast country, that is rich in cultures. In Australia, there is always something more to see and learn, and now’s our chance. This year, we encourage you to focus on holiday-ing locally. As Tourism Australia says: Holiday Here This Year.
2021 marks the fourth year of Wotif’s annual Aussie Town of the Year Awards, sharing their picks of their favourite towns in Australia for us to explore. Local trips can be super therapeutic; it’s really fulfilling to learn about the country that you live in, to see the different sides of it and to become more collected with the land we call home.
Here are the 2021 winners of the Aussie Town of the Year Awards, with a little bit of info to help you choose your next holiday destination.
You’re right in the centre of two World Heritage sites, with the Great Barrier Reef, and the world’s oldest rainforest, the Daintree Rainforest. This is the perfect tropical getaway, offering up sea life, beautiful coastlines, tropic flora and fauna and humidity to boot. Oh, and did you know you could rent a private island not far from Cairns?
If you’re after indulgence, relaxation and lot’s of wine, Pokolbin is where you want to be. Set within the Hunter Valley, you’ve got rolling hills and beautiful views as far as the eye can see. And wine.
Apollo Bay, VIC
Surrounded by endless beaches, walking trails and the Great Otway National Park, Apollo Bay is the perfect spot to stop along the Great Ocean Road. The local produce is divine, with locally made cheese, premium meats, herbs and spices, homemade chocolates, a range of jams, chutneys and oils and locally produced honey. It’s a feast for the senses.
A humble region, showing off country hospitality at its finest. With little wineries, cafes, museums, hot air balloon rides and cute b&b’s, a stay at Mudgee is the storybook town fantasy you never knew you needed.
Lakes Entrance, VIC
Lakes Entrance is where Gippsland meets the Southern Ocean, and the water is where you want to be. Whether you’re kayaking, fishing, hiking the dunes, swimming or basking in the glory of seafood delights, Lakes Entrance is a real treat.
McLaren Vale, SA
Cheesemaking, wine blending, a shiraz trail, 31km of pristine coastline and over 70 cellar doors, McLaren Vale is a slow-paced good time region, located 40 minutes outside of sleepy Adelaide.
Hervey Bay, QLD
Hervey Bay is for unwavering sunshine, whale watching, incredible diving experiences and Fraser Island, just a short ferry away.
Exmouth is known for its amazing diving experiences on Ningaloo Reef, but it also houses Cape Range National Park, with its breathtaking canyons and the most beautiful wildflowers.
Port Macquarie, NSW
Port Macquarie is an ultimate all-rounder. With some of the best beaches NSW has to offer, excellent eateries, a Koala hospital, a picturesque lighthouse, a buzzing city centre, an immersive rainforest centre and heaps of beautiful wildlife.
The Entrance, NSW
A water activity-based family town, a favourite on the Central Coast. With your choice of river or ocean, and endless water adventures such as fishing, swimming and hiring your very own boat, The Entrance is a great option for the whole fam.