Australia, pack your bags and get ready to head off on an adventure to these unmissable towns!
From far north Queensland to premium wine regions in New South Wales and South Australia, the breathtaking coastline of Victoria and the white-sanded beaches in Western Australia; this year there is certainly plenty to see, do and travel to in Australia.
And, thanks to Wotif’s 2021 Aussie Town of the Year awards, we’ve listed all of the places that are a definite must see. So, pack the bags, grab the map and head off on an adventure to the 10 must-visit Australian towns of 2021:
1. Cairns, QLD
Home to not one, but two World Heritage List sites, Cairns is easily described as a magical wonderland. Located in Queensland’s far north, Cairns is a charming combination of tropical tranquility meets vibrant hinterland. Named as Australia’s best town of 2021; travellers will have plenty to see and do when visiting. From diving into the Great Barrier Reef, exploring the Daintree Rainforest or discovering the tasteful food and drink scene along Cairns’ Esplanade – you’ll be spoilt with choice here.
2. Pokolbin, NSW
Commonly known as Wine Country, Pokolbin is one of New South Wales’ famed wine regions. Found under a two-and-a-half-hour drive north of Sydney and hanging off the Central Coast; when it comes to Pokolbin, you can expect everything from delectable eateries, extraordinary wineries and breathtaking views from sunrise to sunset. Boasting all this and more, Pokolbin is the perfect destination for wine lovers and weekend getaway warriors alike. Whilst you’re here, why not book in a pamper session at one of these renowned winery spas?
Photographed by structuresxx. Image via Shutterstock.
3. Apollo Bay, VIC
For road trippers and nature enthusiasts alike, we point you in the direction of Apollo Bay in southwestern Victoria. Found along the Great Ocean Road, Apollo Bay is the perfect pitstop for day trips and weekend getaways. Scenic in and out of the car, Apollo Bay is also home to the Great Otway National Park which covers everything from Victoria’s rugged coastline to the mountains of the Otway Ranges and some of the most soul-replenishing beaches that Australia has to offer. Here, explorers will also find a series of waterfalls that dot the park as well as panoramic views over the ocean from the in-town Marriners Lookout.
4. Mudgee, NSW
Australia, are you ready to meet New South Wales’ premium wine region? We present you to Mudgee – a charming country town, just four hours’ drive from Sydney’s CBD. Home to friendly folk, sensational produce and spectacular wines, Mudgee is the perfect destination for your next getaway. With rolling hills in the Cudgegong River Valley as its backdrop, this fertile farmland is home to an exquisite array of offerings. With plenty to see and do, whilst you’re here, be sure to stop in at the Mudgee Observatory for an out-of-this-world experience.
Photographed by Wendy Meder. Image via Shutterstock.
5. Lakes Entrance, VIC
Think of the Lakes Entrance as a mini Gold Coast in Victoria. With lengthy beaches, a vast system of inland waterways, thrilling fishing activities and even scenic helicopter rides, you’ll be spoilt with plenty to do in this eastern Victorian town. For your visit, be sure to wander along the pedestrian bridge to Ninety Mile Beach which stretches along the town’s Tasman Sea shoreline. Or, for an up close and personal experience to some of the wildlife, stop in at the Griffiths Sea Shell museum and be tantalised by the coral reefs and marine life inside the aquarium.
6. McLaren Vale, SA
Welcome to McLaren Vale – the birthplace of the South Australian wine industry. Offering up more than just a tasty drop thanks to their expansive collection of cellar doors and vineyards (80 to be exact), McLaren Vale is Australia’s go-to destination for fine dining, art and nature all rolled into one. Home to one of the most luxurious and equally unique places to stay in South Australia – The Vineyard McLaren Vale – this premium wine region is a must-visit for your 2021 Australia-based travel bucket list.
Photographed by david fryer. Image via Shutterstock.
7. Hervey Bay, QLD
Just a two-and-a-half-hour drive north of the Sunshine Coast, Hervey Bay has been titled as one of the best must-visit Australian towns of 2021. Perfect for nature and wildlife enthusiasts alike, Hervey Bay is a coastal city ready to be explored. Renowned as one of Australia’s best places for whale watching, Hervey Bay also makes for one of the perfect pit stops before Fraser Island. Otherwise, if you’d rather stay inland, Hervey Bay’s waterfront esplanade provides an intricate and exciting mixture of things to do, see and, of course, eat and drink.
8. Exmouth, WA
Australia, if you’re ready for a weekend of reef and ocean exploring, Exmouth on the northern end of the Coral Coast Highway will have everything you need. Home to Australia’s largest fringing reef, Ningaloo Reef, Exmouth is also sanded with one-of-a-kind experiences everywhere you look. From some of the best snorkelling spots in Australia, to coastal tours on glass-bottomed boats and even dessert-like experiences in the charismatic deep red gorges and canyons of the Cape Range National Park, you’ll be warranted a memorable getaway every time you visit.
Photographed by iSKYDANCER. Image via Shutterstock.
9. Port Macquarie, NSW
Sitting centre stage of Forster and Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie is blessing our 2021 must-visit travel destination list in Australia. The perfect place for a weekend getaway or even a week-long escape, Port Macquarie is packed with plenty to do and see. From the charismatic town centre to the 19th-century Tacking Point Lighthouse, the Billabong Zoo and, of course, it’s white-sanded and turquoise-coloured beaches that makes for a great place for whale and dolphin spotting.
Photographed by siwawut. Image via Shutterstock.
10. The Entrance, NSW
For a family-fuelled weekend of fun, The Entrance in New South Wales will have everything you need. Found only an hour-and-a-half drive north of Sydney’s CBD, The Entrance is perfect for couples, solo-travellers and families ready to explore the Central Coast. If you’re stuck on what to do in The Entrance, why not start your day by watching the pelican feeding show before cycling along the 12-kilometre Tuggerah Lake track and ending with a spot of dinner at one of the famed eateries along the Esplanade.
Ready to explore more of what Australia has to offer? Why not spoil your special someone with a weekend getaway to one Australia’s six most romantic destinations of 2021? Or, if you’re ready to set sail on a new adventure, these top 10 destinations for sailing in Australia are well-worth the trip.
We acknowledge the traditional owners of country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their elders past, present and emerging.