Launceston takes out 2022 top Aussie Town of the Year Award

Launceston is the winner of the 2022 Aussie Town of the Year Awards, as determined by a Wotif data index that looks at accommodation affordability, quality, and traveller satisfaction.

The index rates the country’s top destinations for 2022 and aims to highlight the best of Australia’s diverse destinations and encourage Aussies to explore their own backyard.

Wotif research reveals that 71 per cent of respondents intend on travelling interstate, and almost a third (31 per cent) plan to stay within Australia regardless of international gates reopening.

“[This year] is set to be a pivotal year for domestic tourism,” says Wotif managing director Daniel Finch.

“While many Aussies have travelled over the past 24 months, few have had the chance to really explore and travel across state borders. It’s incredibly promising to see that 88 per cent of Aussies planning to travel this year are looking to stay within Australia, and our hope is that these awards inspire Aussies to try something new and get back to exploring this beautiful country.”

Launceston has been added to many a travel wish list, as Tasmania has steadily climbed the trending destination ranks for the past few years.

The Wotif research indicates 21 per cent of Aussies say their desire to travel to Tasmania has grown in the past 12 months, with NSW and Victorian traveller leading the charge.

“Launceston’s fresh produce, sparkling wine and commitment to great food is world famous and with some of Tasmania’s most spectacular natural landmarks just a short drive away, including Tamar Valley, Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park and the Bay of Fires, there’s little doubt why demand for the city has grown by over 125 per cent,” says Mr Finch.

“Offering great affordability, with an average daily accommodation rate of $160 in 2021, several new hotels in the city and endless experiences on offer, a trip to Launceston is every bit worth the hype.”

Six states placed in the top 10, with Victoria the most decorated state, with three destinations making the final list: Yarra Valley, Bright and Halls Gap.

Two Queensland destinations, Caloundra and Hervey Bay also made the list.

Wotif 2022 Aussie Town of the Year Award winners are:

1. Launceston, TAS

“Arguably Australia’s newest foodie hub, with a UNESCO City of Gastronomy title to prove it. Boasting world class wineries, restaurants and the stunning Cataract Gorge, just a short walk from the city centre, travellers will be leaving feeling full and happy.”

Read: What you should do on a two-night stay in Launceston

2. Caloundra, QLD

“With a string of excellent beaches on offer, the coastal town of Caloundra is paradise for swimmers and surfers alike. The aquatic activities don’t stop there, with kayaking, paddle boarding and windsurfing also on offer for the perfect summer getaway.”

3. Tamworth, NSW

“Australia’s country music capital is also home to one of the country’s most renowned Big Things: the 12-metre high Golden Guitar. With plenty of country charm and hospitality, Tamworth also features an award-winning regional playground and marsupial park, galleries, museums and national parks.”

4. Yarra Valley, VIC

“Less than an hour from Melbourne, Yarra Valley offers an abundance of character and charm – historic homesteads, cellar doors, craft distilleries, and a century-old steam train through the Dandenong Ranges.”

5. Adelaide Hills, SA

“A convenient 30-minute drive from South Australia’s capital city, Adelaide Hills still feels like a world away with rolling landscapes, renowned wineries and the town of Hahndorf, Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement.”

6. Bright, VIC

“Nature lovers need look no further than Bright, where life is lived outdoors. From rivers and lakes to mountains and valleys, the area offers walking and hiking for all levels and some of the best cycling in Australia.”

Read: Best day trips from Melbourne

7. Hervey Bay, QLD

“With swimming, hiking, whale watching, or a trip to K’gari (Fraser Island) on offer, Hervey Bay appeals to so many and is a must-visit.”

8. Halls Gap, VIC

“An adventure enthusiast’s paradise in the heart of Grampians National Park, Halls Gap offers abseiling, rock climbing, bush walking and cycling. In addition to some amazing wildlife and native plants, ancient rock art showcases the region’s Indigenous history.”

9. Batemans Bay, NSW

“Crystal blue waters and a laid-back community make Batemans Bay the perfect place to slow down and connect with nature, all while supporting a deserving region.”

Read: Coffs Harbour and Batemans Bay honoured as top tourism spots

10. Busselton, WA

“The gateway to the world famous Margaret River Wine Region, Busselton’s natural beauty, abundance of space, fine wine and fresh coastal air is, as the locals call it: ‘the remedy to modern life’.”

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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