Top Ten Australian Towns of The Year Announced for 2023

  • All Ages

Are you ready for an adventure Down Under? Wotif, the Australian travel booking site, has just released its list of the top ten Aussie towns of the year for 2023. From the rugged coastlines of Port Lincoln to the snow-capped mountains of Orange, these towns offer something for every kind of family. 

So, pack your bags and get ready to explore the great outdoors in Albury, uncover Tasmania’s past in New Norfolk, or get up close and personal with Great White Sharks in Port Lincoln. With stunning landscapes, immersive cultural experiences, and plenty of foodie adventures, these towns are sure to make any family-holiday unforgettable.

Introducing The Wotif 2023 Aussie Town of the Year Award Winners

1. Albury

Murray River adventures.


Albury is the perfect destination for families who love to explore the great outdoors. Situated on the banks of the Murray River, there are plenty of water and land-based activities on offer, including hiking, camping, swimming, water-skiing, and fishing. Families can also enjoy the 5.3km Yindayamarra Sculpture Walk, which offers a blend of cultural and outdoor experiences. The Flying Fruit Fly Circus, one of Australia’s leading performing arts companies, is also based in Albury. Don’t forget to visit the Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA), one of the most popular art spaces in NSW outside of Sydney.

2. Bundaberg

 Southern Great Barrier Reef base.

Bundaberg is a great base for exploring the Southern Great Barrier Reef. Families can experience the pristine reef and the giant marine life up close. It’s also the perfect place to sample some of Australia’s freshest locally grown produce, with Bundaberg producing 25% of the country’s fresh produce. Don’t miss the annual Taste Festival Farmers Market.

3. New Norfolk

Tasmania's historic past.


As the third oldest settlement in Tasmania, New Norfolk is steeped in history and offers families a chance to explore Tasmania’s past. Visit historic buildings, including the Bush Inn and St Matthew’s Anglican Church. Families can also enjoy the town’s natural attractions, such as the Pulpit Rock Lookout and Derwent Cliffs Walk.

4. Port Lincoln

Seafood and sharks.

Known as the ‘seafood capital of Australia’, Port Lincoln offers some amazing food experiences for families to enjoy. Swim with Great White Sharks, or visit Whalers Way to marvel at Eyre Peninsula’s stunning rock pools, caves, and beaches. Go on a tour to get up close and personal with Port Lincoln’s famous sea lions.

5. Ballarat

Gold Rush history and wildlife.

Experience the Australian Gold Rush period by panning for gold at Sovereign Hill, or visit The Art Gallery of Ballarat, Australia’s oldest regional gallery, for some culture. For animal-loving families, Ballarat Wildlife Park or Ballarat Bird World offer a chance to see free-roaming kangaroos, koalas, wombats, and more. Take a stroll through Ballarat Botanical Gardens, where in March, the Ballarat Begonia Festival showcases the blooming of begonias.

6. Merimbula

Whale watching and beaches.

Merimbula is a great destination for whale watching, as it’s one of the few spots where humpback whales stop during their southern migration. Families can also enjoy a burgeoning food scene, seaside markets, and white-sand beaches. Visit Magic Mountain Merimbula for a range of activities, including grand-prix racing, tobogganing, water slides, and roller coasters.

7. Toowoomba

Garden City and street art.

Toowoomba, crowned the Garden City of Australia, is home to over 250 parks and gardens, including the largest Japanese garden in Australia. Families can enjoy Toowoomba’s annual Carnival of Flowers in September, as well as Laneway Street Art throughout the city. Visit the interactive, child-friendly exhibits at Cobb+Co or enjoy a ride on a miniature steam train at Lemway Park.

8. Dunsborough

Coastal adventures and caves.

Take advantage of the beautiful Western Australian coast by surfing, swimming, fishing, and enjoying coastal walks. Families can also explore underground in the Ngilgi Caves or hike to the stunning Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse. Next Level Monkey Business is a high ropes course for kids, filled with ziplines, climbing courses, and sky-high challenges. Don’t miss Simmos Ice Creamery with 60 flavors to choose from.

9. Orange

Snowy mountains and hot air balloons.

As one of the few places with snow in Australia families can enjoy the unique scenery Orange has to offer in the winter. Don't miss the spectacular landscapes, from Pinnacle Reserve and Lookout to Towac Valley, a perfect place to enjoy a picnic with the kids in the warmer months. Visit the ancient volcano of Mount Canobolas and take a stroll on the variety of walks and trails. Enjoy the region’s beauty from above in Canowindra, the hot air balloon capital of Australia. Don’t forget to time your visit to coincide with the Canowindra International Balloon Challenge in April.

10. Echuca


Paddle steamers and foodie scene.


Known for its river, port and paddle steamers, Echuca’s highlights include an amazing foodie scene, unique accommodation and great events, including the Winter Blues, Moama Lights, River Boats Music Festival, The Southern 80 and more Visit the famous Murray River, Port of Echuca and the paddle steamer fleet (the largest in the world!) or enjoy the peace and serenity of the red gum forest, families should keep their eyes peeled for all kinds of wildlife.

From the great outdoors and cultural experiences to historical towns and bustling food scenes, Australia has something for every family. Whether you are looking for adventure or relaxation, each destination has its unique appeal, perfect for a family vacation. 

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