The ten best cities in Australia to visit in 2023 were named, with the winner being a humble frontier town that is generally considered a ‘stop along the way’ rather than the final destination.
Albury in New South Wales topped the list at the sixth annual Wotif Aussie Town of the Year Awards.
The border city is a common stopping point for those traveling between Sydney and Melbourne, but is increasingly praised for its natural beauty and vibrant food, drink and cultural scene.
Also in the top ten was Bundaberg in Queensland which came in second and Tasmania’s New Norfolk took third.
Results were determined based on Wotif’s data index that measures the affordability, quality and traveler satisfaction of a destination’s lodging.
Albury, on the southern border of New South Wales, has been named the top Australian city to visit in 2023 by travel site Wotif
The border city is the perfect stopover between Sydney and Melbourne and is renowned for its outstanding natural beauty and vibrant food, drink and cultural scene.
Top 10 Cities to Visit in Australia in 2023
- Albury, New South Wales
- Bundaberg, Queensland
- New Norfolk, TAS
- Port Lincoln, SA
- Ballarat, V.I.C.
- Merimbula, New South Wales
- Toowoomba, Queensland
- Dunsborough, Wash.
- Orange, New South Wales
- Echuca, V.I.C.
Albury is fast becoming the ‘perfect mix’ of country and city life, being close to two of Australia’s largest capital cities and just a stone’s throw from some of the country’s most impressive wine regions, the River Murray, the mountains and the ski slopes. .
Travelers have also been drawn to the regional city’s cultural and culinary experiences, including upscale restaurants, museums, botanical gardens, and whiskey and wine bars.
Albury’s tourism industry, once bringing in $1 billion to the local economy, took a huge hit in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns.
Over the past two years, the council has been calling visitors back through a series of partnerships, promotions and social media campaigns.
Last year Albury saw a 47 per cent increase in domestic visitors compared to 2021.
The increase in visitors saw the city bring in $681 million for the economy, which is an 86 percent increase and a big step closer to the revenue generated in the days before the pandemic.
AlburyCity Mayor Kylie King said she was honored that Albury was chosen as Wotif’s Australian City of the Year after a difficult few years.
“Albury is both cosmopolitan and laid back, culturally connected and naturally abundant,” he told FEMAIL.
‘Visitors can enjoy an amazing variety of galleries, museums, theaters and festivals. They can experience our culinary creativity using fresh local produce, in vibrant restaurants and specialty whiskey and wine bars.
“They can immerse themselves in nature at our iconic Murray River and Hume Lake, through our vast vistas and hilly trails, beautiful parks and gardens.”
Travelers have been drawn to the regional city’s cultural and culinary experiences, including high-end restaurants and whiskey and wine bars.
What is there to do in Albury, NSW as a tourist?
1. Be sure to visit MAMA – Murray Art Museum Albury. MAMA stimulates your senses and challenges your mind, with new exhibits every month
2. See impressive contemporary Aboriginal sculptures along the marked Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk
3. Explore the history of Albury CBD’s historic buildings at your own pace with a self-guided tour
4. Discover Albury’s riverside parks on foot or from the water, just minutes from central Albury
5. Visit Junction Place for great dining and drinking options like the Beanstation Café and Goods Shed Craft Beer Café
6. Explore Bonegilla’s Incredible Migrant Experience: An intimate look into the hopes and dreams of Australia’s post-war migrants.
7. A must-see for historians and ordinary people alike, the Bandiana Army Museum is one of the largest and most diversified Army museums in Australia with 5,000 square meters of Army exhibits under one roof.
8. Visit the Albury Wodonga Farmers Market for delicious local produce sourced from many of our local restaurateurs.
9. Hume Lake is the perfect place for adrenaline-pumping water sports like skiing and jet skiing, as well as great freshwater fishing, boating and swimming. On land, explore 50 miles of bike trails or tee off on challenging championship golf courses at Commercial Club or Thurgoona Golf Course
Fountain: visit the murray
“I would like to thank all of our passionate accommodation and tour operators who have worked so hard to make the experience of visiting the Albury Wodonga region so memorable for travelers, and without whom this destination experience recognition would not have been possible. “.
Millions have been invested in facilities to help Albury locals and visitors alike enjoy its stunning natural scenery, from cycle paths to boardwalks and even floating docks.
Equally humble, Bundaberg in Queensland followed close behind at second on the list.
While many know the city for its famous rum distillery, few may know that the city is a hub for Australia’s best fresh produce.
Albury’s tourism industry once brought in $1 billion to the local economy, took a huge hit during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, but travelers are returning in droves.
Also in the top ten was Bundaberg (left) in Queensland which came in second and Tasmania’s New Norfolk (right) took third.
Bundaberg, four and a half hours north of Brisbane, produces 25 per cent of the country’s fresh produce and is also an ideal base for exploring the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef.
Third on Wotif’s list is the quaint Tasmanian town of New Norfolk, which is the third-oldest settlement in the state and just a 37-minute drive inland from Hobart.
The River Derwent bisects the city in half, attracting keen kayakers and nature lovers, while its center is dotted with eclectic antique shops and charming period buildings that recall its storied roots.
Coming in at number four of the top ten is Port Lincoln in South Australia, which is considered a foodie’s paradise and the “seafood capital” of Australia.
While many know Bundaberg for its famous rum distillery, few may be aware that the newly named second-best city to visit in the country is a seaside hub for Australia’s best fresh produce.
The Derwent River bisects New Norfolk in half, attracting nature lovers, while its center is dotted with eclectic shops and charming period buildings that evoke its historic roots.
What data did Wotif use to determine the best cities in Australia?
- Traveler Interest Trend: Based on accommodation searches on Wotif.com in 2022, compared to 2021
- Affordability: Based on the average daily rate for accommodation demand on Wotif.com from January to September 2022
- Hosting: Based on the quality and quantity of hosting on Wotif.com in 2022
- Reviews: Based on the average traveler review rating on Wotif.com for each destination in 2022
Ballarat in the Central Highlands of Victoria was fifth on the list, while the friendly town of Merimbula in New South Wales earned a spot at number six and Toowoomba in Queensland came in seventh.
Also in the top ten were Dunsborough (WA), Orange (NSW) and Echuca (VIC) who came in eighth, ninth and tenth respectively.
It was also revealed that one in two Australians are planning three-day getaways in their own backyard this year with 44 per cent basing their decision on financial reasons amid the rising cost of living, leaving little in the family budget. Average for the holidays.
Wotif CEO Daniel Finch said trends have consistently shown that Australians are committed to opting for domestic destinations for their getaways.
“While cost considerations are top of mind for everyone this year, it’s clear that travelers are not deterred and are instead prioritizing accessible and experience-rich getaways,” he said.
“We know that 29 per cent of Australians are open to traveling to new destinations this year to keep costs down, and we hope that by highlighting these deserving destinations, all of which are extremely accessible, the awards will inspire Australians to explore and connect with regional destinations beyond. the typical tried and tested.