Yes, yes, if ‘Melbourne’ was a regional destination, she’d have taken this title faster than you could shriek ‘Degraves Street’ – but we asked you to nominate regional escapes, not cities, and what area could be more deserving than our humble Sunshine Coast hinterland?

Granted, it isn’t found in one of our obvious foodie locations, but it is the original home of Australia’s tree-changers, and when you’ve been luring ex-city slickers (and their caffeine habits) to your hills for several decades, your café scene learns to pull up its socks pretty quick smart. Expect honesty boxes and dirt roads mixed with slick menus and modern décor.

Runners-up: Best Regional Café Culture

2. Margaret River, WA
3. Mornington Peninsula, Vic
4. Byron Bay Hinterland, NSW
5. Southern Highlands, NSW

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