Big news! The Wotif Aussie Town of the Year winner and finalists for 2022

With many border and travel restrictions easing, 2022 is looking like a fantastic year for holidaying in Oz. In fact, 88% of Aussies planning to travel this year intend to do so within Australia, with 71% keen to travel interstate* – something that, for many of us, has been off the cards for much of the past two years.

Here at Wotif, we’re stoked to be able to help Aussie travellers get back to exploring this incredible country of ours. That’s why, for the fifth year in a row, we’ve crunched the numbers to find the top 10 Australian destinations for the year. Each one offers the perfect mix of great value and awesome experiences. Let’s count them down from 10 to one, starting with…

10. Busselton, WA

Busselton, WA, Australia.

The gateway to the world-famous Margaret River Wine Region, Busselton’s natural beauty, abundance of space, fine wine and fresh coastal air makes it, as the locals call it, the “remedy to modern life”.

Stay at: Bayview Geographe Resort.

9. Batemans Bay, NSW

Batemans Bay, NSW, Australia

Crystal-blue waters and a laid-back community make Batemans Bay the perfect place to slow down and connect with nature, all while supporting a deserving region. If you visit between September and November, be sure to check out nearby Meroo National Park for some of the best whale watching on the NSW South Coast.

Stay at: Batemans Bay Lodge.

8. Halls Gap, VIC

Reed Lookout in Gariwerd (the Grampians), VIC, Australia

An adventure-lover’s paradise in the heart of the Gariwerd (Grampians) National Park, Halls Gap is perfect for abseiling, rock climbing, bush walking and cycling. In addition to some amazing native wildlife and plants, there’s also incredible Djab Wurrung and Jardwadjali rock art. In fact, Gariwerd is home to more than 80% of Victoria’s First Nations rock art, some of it more than 20,000 years old!

Stay at: Breeze Holiday Parks – Hall Gap.

7. Hervey Bay, QLD

Hervey Bay, QLD, Australia

Hervey Bay is a dream come true for active travellers and families, with fantastic swimming, hiking and whale watching. Hervey Bay is also your gateway to K’gari (Fraser Island) – the world’s largest sand island. It’s an absolute must-visit for any self-respecting four-wheel driver.

Stay at: Mantra Hervey Bay.

6. Bright, VIC

Bright, VIC, Australia

Nature lovers, this one’s for you. Bright feels like it was made for life outdoors. With its gorgeous rivers, lakes, mountains and valleys, it offers fantastic walking and hiking for all levels, as well as some of the best cycling in Australia. Bright is particularly spectacular in autumn, when the foliage is stunning. There’s even a festival to make the most of it.

Stay at: Ovens Valley Motor Inn.

5. Adelaide Hills, SA

Adelaide Hills, SA, Australia

The Adelaide Hills are an easy 30-minute drive from Adelaide, which has long made them a popular day trip for travellers visiting the SA capital. But with its rolling landscapes and world-renowned wineries, the region is a destination on its own, as more and more holidaymakers are finding out. Give yourself at least a couple of nights, especially if you also want to check out Hanhdorf – Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement.

Stay at: Mount Lofty House MGallery.

4. Yarra Valley, VIC

Yarra Valley, VIC, Australia

Less than an hour’s drive from Melbourne, the Yarra Valley is full of character and charm. There are historic homesteads, wonderful cellar doors, and great craft distilleries to explore. Make sure you take the kids for a ride on Puffing Billy – a century-old steam train that runs through the Dandenong Ranges.

Stay at: Yarra Valley Lodge.

3. Tamworth, NSW

Tamworth, NSW, Australia

Australia’s country music capital is also home to one of our most famous Big Things: the 12m-tall Golden Guitar. Full of charm and hospitality, Tamworth also features an award-winning regional playground and marsupial park, as well as excellent galleries, museums and national parks.

Stay at: Mercure Tamworth.

2. Caloundra, QLD

Caloundra, QLD, Australia.

With six excellent beaches to enjoy, the coastal town of Caloundra is paradise for swimmers and surfers alike. There’s kayaking, paddle boarding and windsurfing too, as well as great cafes for when you feel like a bite. If you love a good market, don’t miss the Caloundra Street Fair – every Sunday from 8am to 1pm.

Stay at: Rumba Beach Resort.

Now, a drum roll please! Wotif’s Aussie Town of Year for 2022 is…

1. Launceston, TAS

Launceston, TAS, Australia.

Tassie’s second major city, Launceston is a must-visit for its gorgeous historic cityscapes, stunning natural beauty, and fantastic food and wine. In fact, Launceston has just been named a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, officially cementing its international reputation as a seriously delicious destination. Launnie is also just a short walk or drive from incredible natural wonders like Cataract Gorge, Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park, and the Bay of Fires. No wonder this Apple Isle getaway is on so many Aussies’ holiday radars!

Stay at: Peppers Silo Hotel.

Congratulations to Launceston and all our brilliant finalists! If you’d like experience any (or all) of them for yourself, check out some of these great deals.


Heads up! Due to COVID-19, government restrictions are in constant review and travel guidelines may change. We strongly recommend that all travellers seek further information about destinations and attractions before scheduling trips or making bookings, take extra care and follow all rules.

Behind the stats:

*Wotif research commissioned in collaboration with YouGov. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1010 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 20 – 24 January 2022. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Australian adults (aged 18+).

The 2022 Wotif Aussie Town of the Year Awards are based on a data index examining each destination’s affordability, accommodation, traveller interest and reviews on from January 2021 – September 2021.


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