Australian Traveller’s first-ever Readers’ Choice Awards for 2011; results for Best Self-Catering Stay in Australia. THE WINNER:

PEPPERS BALÉ SALT KINGSCLIFF

North of Byron Bay’s backpacker hub, at the southern end of the family-friendly Gold Coast (but over the border in NSW), you’ll find a nice little pocket of peacefulness called the Tweed Coast. AT readers enjoy staying at Balé Salt Kingscliff for its “great-sized apartment, beautiful surrounds and great location”. Apparently the pool area is pretty nice too. It’s the luxe end of holiday rentals, with a pillow menu, air-conditioned guest lounge with complimentary coffee and tea, and a welcome platter on arrival with local bottled Mount Warning water. If the villas’ modern kitchens don’t inspire you, there’s in-room dining available and an on-site restaurant. 
THE DETAILS Pass St, Kingscliff, NSW. 1300 737 444; peppers.com.au/bale-salt
 
RUNNERS-UP:
 
2 GRAND MERCURE APARTMENTS, DOCKLANDS
Easy access to the CBD, with rooms looking out over the waterfront and multimillion-dollar yachts. grandmercureapartments.com.au
3 MERITON SERVICED APARTMENTS, BROADBEACH
Modern, bright, high-rise apartment living on the Gold Coast. meritonapartments.com.au
4 ROTTNEST ISLAND AUTHORITY UNITS 
Heritage cottages, historic bungalows and basic units on a beautiful, bike-friendly island close to Perth. rottnestisland.com
5 FRASER ISLAND BEACH HOUSES
Big, airy beach houses set around a communal pool on Fraser Island’s east coast. fraserislandbeachhouses.com.au
 
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