February 03, 2023
9 mins Read
If you love travelling regional Australia, you’re probably already familiar with our exclusive list of Australia’s top towns but have you ever wondered which towns lay claim to being the most welcoming? The places that welcome out-of-towners with open arms and a friendly, “G’day, mate”.
Booking.com recently announced the results of its Traveller Review Awards, rewarding the best hosts for hospitality and friendliness based on a pool of over 240 million verified customer reviews.
The reviews also revealed the top 10 most welcoming towns in Australia. Here are the towns that made the list.
On the Great Ocean Road.
Set along the scenic Great Ocean Road, Port Campbell is in close proximity to the rocky platform of London Bridge, the Loch Ard Gorge, Gibsons Steps, and the Twelve Apostles.
Visiting Port Campbell is great at any time of year and it’s a wonderful place to stay as it’s surrounded by some of the most iconic attractions of the Great Ocean Road.
Start the day by taking a dip at Port Campbell Beach, then a little further along the beach head up the stairs to sweeping views of the beach and the town itself. If you’re keen on some more walking, you can hike the four-kilometre Port Campbell Discovery Walk too.
Then unwind at The Sow & Piglets Micro Brewery after a stunning day out in nature.
Halls Gap is next to Grampians National Park in Victoria.
Halls Gap is known as the gateway to Grampians National Park.
With its multitude of accommodations, eateries and shopping, Halls Gap is the perfect place to stay when exploring the ancient mountain ranges, natural flora and fauna, waterways and waterfalls and stunning views of the Grampians.
In South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula.
Being the Seafood Capital of Australia.
Become one with the water at any of Port Lincoln’s beautiful beaches where you can swim, paddleboard, surf, fish, or just walk – chances are you’ll find a secluded beach to enjoy all to yourself.
Take a scenic drive anywhere from the town centre, and you’ll also discover many coastal lookouts where birds and sea creatures are just waiting to put on a show.
In the Darling Downs farming region.
Being Queensland’s largest inland city.
Despite its location within the Darling Downs farming region, Toowoomba feels far from an agricultural outpost.
The city’s streets are peppered with Victorian-era architecture, and the odd art deco building, including more than 50 heritage-listed sites.
From the huge Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers and its 150 public parks to quirky little rail museums and the city’s nascent art scene, there are plenty of things to do in Toowoomba.
A one-and-a-half-hour drive from Brisbane.
The cute-as-a-button town of Montville is considered by many to be the creative heart of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.
More a village than a town thanks to its tiny population, Montville is teeming with charming boutiques, studios and art galleries boasting work by both up-and-coming and established local artists.
Illume Creations sells glass sculptures and vases from local artist, Tina Cooper; Montville Art Gallery is housed in a 1920s Queenslander showcasing works from more than 30 award-winning artists; and don’t miss Secrets on the Lake Gallery – beautifully designed with magical views of Lake Baroon.
Right next door to Montville, just 90 minutes north of Brisbane.
Set within the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, it’s a cool retreat in the shade of the Glass House Mountains.
Maleny is a lush and tropical town with a calming and relaxed vibe. Start the day bright and early with a walk along the Maleny Trail for the chance to catch a glimpse of the shy platypus swimming in waterways at sunrise.
Nearby, on Maple Street is Colin James Fine Foods, renowned for serving the best ice cream in Queensland. Make sure you try some of the more exotic flavours, such as pistachio and rosewater.
The Brouhaha Brewery is also a must-visit. Order a beer paddle to sample a small selection of beers on tap and grab lunch while you’re there.
On the east coast of Tasmania, two-and-a-half hours north-east of Hobart or two hours and 10 minutes south-east of Launceston.
Being the main entrance point for visitors to the Freycinet National Park.
Coles Bay sits beneath the pink-granite peaks of the Hazards range and overlooks serene Great Oyster Bay.
It’s a haven for wildlife, with good chances of spying pademelons, echidnas, wombats, white-bellied sea eagles and wallabies. For the botanically inclined, native orchids are most prolific in October and November.
Denmark is a four-and-a-half-hour drive from Perth, or you can fly to nearby Albany and hire a car for the 40-minute trip into town.
A vibrant little town in WA’s far south, Denmark is characterised by beautiful seascapes and a tight-knit community who are passionate about producing top-quality food and award-winning wines.
The beaches in Denmark are a major drawcard – try Ocean Beach for waves or the placid Greens Pool waterhole for snorkelling.
After a day of swimming, grab a homemade pie from Denmark Bakery in the town square before tackling the scenic section of the Bibbulmun Track towards Walpole.
Walk the whole way there and on to the Valley of the Giants. Its Treetop Walk through the canopy of 400-year-old trees is mesmerising.
Mildura is a city in northwest Victoria. It sits on the banks of the vast Murray River.
Considered the fruit basket of Victoria’s far northwest, Mildura is a small town with big surprises. Its main claim to fame is that 95 per cent of Australia’s dried fruit is produced here.
The town loves food and that’s no secret. There are a lot of cool little cafes and restaurants to choose from: the award-winning Stefano’s is bound to send your taste buds into a frenzy and Trentham Estate Winery & Restaurant offers a wide range of wines produced on the banks of the famous Murray River.
Margaret River is just under a three-hour drive from Perth.
Margaret River is a triple threat of fine dining, world-renowned wine country and enviable surf breaks, all while still retaining its country town charm.
No visit to Margs, as it’s known locally, would be complete without calling into a winery.
If you’d rather be active, hire a bike and hit up the nearby mountain biking trails. Before farewelling Margaret River enjoy a visit to Wilyabrup Dreaming Pottery.
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There must be some welcoming little towns in NSW
Five of the ten friendly towns are in Queensland with two in Victoria, two in WA, one in SA and none in NSW. We must be a real bunch of grumpy guts – what will it take for us to lift our game?
All these towns sound absolutely delightful however what does it say about NSW that not one is from there?
I have been to 5 of the towns listed, big one you missed is Moonta on the York Peninsula, it’s a great little town has something for everyone, plus beautiful beaches.
My Mum lives around there we have spent many glorious holidays in the area.
My father was born on Tamborine Mountain in 1917. His family ran the Post office and also the bus that ran from Tamborine to Brisbane. He tells how aboriginal families and whites looked after each other and that they all lived in harmony with the rainforest.
Development there is so sad and never ever ought to have been allowed