Australia’s best travel destinations for 2021 revealed

Kristine Tarbert
·Features and Health Editor
·2-min read

Almost one year on from the country’s first lockdown, tourism operators are encouraging Aussies to consider how worthwhile a local trip can be.

And to help chose where to head to first, Wotif.com has announced the winners of the annual 'Aussie Town of the Year Awards' for 2021, and you might be surprised by which town took out top spot.

sydney
Travellers preferred heading out of the big cities. Photo: Getty

Wotif’s annual Aussie tourism awards recognise some of the country’s best destinations for the year ahead, to encourage Aussies to hit the road and see more of their own backyard. 

This year’s winning destinations have been awarded based on their accommodation quality, affordability and traveller satisfaction. 

New to this year, the awards also recognise destinations that have met the changing needs of travellers over the last twelve months, by offering increased flexibility, good-value deals and appealing activities and attractions. 

Cairns takes home the crown for 2021

After an incredible challenging year for the Tropical North Queensland tourism community, Cairns has taken out this year’s top spot.

If you're keen to book a trip asap, Wotif's top hotel recommendation for Cairns is the Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina.

great barrier reef heart
Cairns, with its access to the Great Barrier Reef, won the crown. Photo: Getty

Queensland may have taken out first prize with Cairns, but New South Wales dominated overall, with a strong showing from Pokolbin, Mudgee, Port Macquarie and The Entrance.

Coastal destinations in Victoria, South and West Australia rounded out the top ten.

2021 winners:

  1. Cairns, QLD

  2. Pokolbin, NSW

  3. Apollo Bay, VIC

  4. Mudgee, NSW

  5. Lakes Entrance, VIC

  6. McLaren Vale, SA

  7. Hervey Bay, QLD

  8. Exmouth, WA

  9. Port Macquarie, NSW

  10. The Entrance, NSW

"While the last 12 months have been less than ideal, this time has given Aussies the chance to revaluate how they live, work and play – a change of perspective that many now appreciate," Wotif Managing Director, Daniel Finch said of the results.

"The chance to get back to basics and take stock of how lucky we are. While an overseas getaway will always have its purpose and appeal, many Aussies do not realise the unique opportunity they have in front of them – to take advantage of having this enormous playground called Australia, all to themselves.”

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