The 10 Aussie Towns You Should Be Visiting in 2023

The 10 Aussie Towns You Should Be Visiting in 2023

Well, folks. We’ve reached that point in the year where long weekend getaways are on the brain – because we are about to be treated to a few public holidays, yay!

If that’s you, and you’re after some inspiration on which spots make the most sense for your local getaway, Wotif has shared some suggestions. The travel app has announced the winners of its 2023 Aussie Town of the Year Award, and it is ripe with local travel ideas.

Per a statement from Wotif on the awards, the list is intended to “recognise trending Aussie destinations for the year ahead and is based on a Wotif data index that looks at accommodation affordability, quality, and traveller satisfaction”.

According to Wotif, 46 per cent of Aussies are planning a getaway in April and short trips remain popular.

“Three-day-stays prove to be the new sweet spot for domestic holidays, with demand on Wotif growing by more than 30 per cent in 2022, compared to 2021,” the travel app shared in a statement. 

So, which getaway destinations made the list in 2023? Check out the winners below.

2023 Aussie Town of the Year Award: top getaway destinations

best local getaways australia
Kayaking on River Derwent, New Norfolk. Image supplied
  1. Albury, NSW
  2. Bundaberg, QLD
  3. New Norfolk, TAS
  4. Port Lincoln, SA
  5. Ballarat, VIC
  6. Merimbula, NSW
  7. Toowoomba, QLD
  8. Dunsborough, WA
  9. Orange, NSW
  10. Echuca, VIC

NSW topped the list of getaway destinations in 2023 with Albury taking out first place. Bundaberg in Queensland and New Norfolk in Tassie round out the top three places this year.

What’s so great about these long weekend destinations?

If you’re wondering why these destinations landed a spot on Wotif’s Aussie Town of the Year list, the travel app has shared a quick explainer on the appeals of each getaway option.

Below descriptions come via Wotif.

Albury, NSW:

Nestled on the banks of the Murray River, Albury is a vibrant regional city renowned for its  stunning natural beauty and perfect blend of city and country living. It boasts a variety of cultural and culinary  experiences, including premium restaurants and specialist whiskey and wine bars, while also in reach of ski fields,  wine regions and mountains. Plus, thanks to direct flights from most capital cities and being just a scenic drive  from both Sydney and Melbourne, it’s the perfect accessible escape many are looking for this year. 

Wotif getaway accommodation tip: Mantra Albury 

Bundaberg, QLD:

While many know Bundaberg for its signature rum distillery, what many don’t know is that  Bundaberg produces 25% of Australia’s freshly grown produce, making the annual Taste Festival Farmers Market  a not-to-be-missed event. It’s also the ideal base for exploring the Southern Great Barrier Reef and with plenty of  accommodation in the region, with an average daily rate of $1622, it’s one of the best places to be in Queensland this year.

Wotif getaway accommodation tip: Burnett Riverside Hotel

New Norfolk, TAS:

The third oldest settlement in Tasmania, New Norfolk is a charming township with a rich  heritage, dotted with eclectic antique stores, historic buildings and green hops fields. Just a short drive from  Hobart, it’s the perfect destination for a short getaway.

Wotif getaway accommodation tip: The Woodbridge Tasmania

Port Lincoln, SA:

Arguably the foodie pick of the year — a vibrant coastal town that many know as ‘the seafood capital of Australia’, Port Lincoln is situated on one of the largest, protected natural harbours in the world and  offers ocean adventures, wildlife experiences, incredible seafood and beautiful wines. Think oyster farms,  a chance to swim with Great White Sharks (the only place in Oz), or the place to sit back and enjoy the sea-to-plate food journey.

Wotif getaway accommodation tip: The Marina Hotel 

Ballarat, VIC:

The largest city of the Central Highlands, Ballarat’s appeal lies in its natural surrounds, heritage  and modern culinary scene. Wandering along the laneways, you’ll find countless cafes, restaurants and bars with  clever menus offering local produce and tasty brews.

Wotif getaway accommodation tip: The Provincial Boutique

Merimbula, NSW:

With a burgeoning food scene and great foodie experiences such as oyster shucking,  Merimbula boasts beautiful natural attractions including national parks, beaches and waterways. Traveller reviews were sky-high for this humble region, with many calling out the town’s friendly staff and relaxing accommodation.

Wotif getaway accommodation tip: Coast Resort Merimbula

Toowoomba, QLD:

Just two hours from Brisbane, Toowoomba is known as the Garden City for its range of stunning parks and gardens. The highlight of the calendar year is the annual Carnival of Flowers, which attracts visitors from around the world.

Wotif getaway accommodation tip: Potters Toowoomba

Dunsborough, WA:

Dunsborough is the perfect destination for explorers big and small. Visitors can walk through native bushland and past endemic wildflowers to be greeted by a coastline of calm turquoise bays, before  heading underground to check out the incredible cave systems.

Wotif getaway accommodation tip: Empire Spa Retreat

Orange, NSW:

Fast becoming one of Australia’s best and award-winning cool-climate wine districts, Orange is made up of charming countryside villages and wineries. Maintaining the calm of a rural community while providing a cosmopolitan lifestyle, Orange is the perfect place for couples, families or friends to find themselves excellent accommodation and relaxation over a long weekend.

Wotif getaway accommodation tip: The Remington


Echuca, VIC:

Known for its river, port and paddle steamers, Echuca’s highlights include an amazing culinary scene, unique accommodations and great events, including the Winter Blues and Moama Lights. Following a  challenging summer in The Murray which saw Echuca impacted by floods, its array of resilient tourism operators — from wineries to hotels and restaurants to museums — are well and truly open for business, ready to welcome visitors with open arms.

Wotif getaway accommodation tip: Quest Echuca

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