Top tourism towns 2022 announced

The Top Tourism Town awards recognise Australian towns with a population of more than 5000 people, which offer amazing visitor experiences and are committed to working collectively to increase visitation to the region. Winners are determined by a state and national-level voting process combining people’s choice votes and an industry judging panel.

Gold: Mudgee, New South Wales

The town of Mudgee in NSW won gold for the second year in a row, with the ceremony held this past week at Parliament House in Canberra.

The great wine town of Mudgee offers something for every kind of traveller. The wineries perched atop rolling hills serve award-winning wines and gourmet food, art and music are at its core and the whole town is shaped by a strong sense of community.

Set on the banks of the pretty Cudgegong River, Mudgee still possesses all the character of its 19th century past.

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“Mudgee has done it again, and we congratulate the town on winning gold as Top Tourism Town in Australia for 2022,” said Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC) chair Evan Hall.

“Mudgee, in the Central West of NSW, is renowned for its strong food and wine scene, and continues to lead regional tourism recovery across Australia. With passionate local operators who connect with visitors at a local, national and international level, Mudgee offers places of historic cultural significance, and an authentic country town experience,” he said.

Read: Best NSW road trips for first timers

“The awards form part of the new Quality Tourism Framework, which combines multiple tourism accreditation, business development and awards programs into a single, user-friendly online tool to develop tourism businesses of all sizes all over Australia to grow their market.”

Silver: Bendigo, Victoria

Taking silver is the vibrant city of Bendigo, which boasts a rich history, grand architecture, and magnificent gardens.

It is regional Victoria’s premier arts and cultural destination, bursting with historic buildings, hidden laneways, modern street art, and fascinating exhibitions hosted by the Bendigo Art Gallery.

Recently named Australia’s UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, Bendigo celebrates a paddock-to-plate philosophy with businesses using local produce and wine to create unique food experiences.

Visit the largest stupa in the Western world, Australia’s oldest working pottery, or take a ride on Bendigo’s Talking Trams – there is something for everyone to explore.

Read: Great country pubs

Bronze: Mandurah, Western Australia

Less than an hour from Perth, Mandurah is known for its beautiful waterways and relaxed holiday atmosphere.

With an estuary twice the size of Sydney Harbour, Mandurah is one of Australia’s most spectacular playgrounds for boating, fishing and wildlife watching. The Mandurah Estuary and Peel Inlet provide endless water-based activities such as riding waterbikes, floating on barbecue boats, houseboating and many more. No trip to Mandurah is complete without a boat cruise through the canals.

Blessed with endless stretches of pristine coastline, tree-lined walkways, plenty of attractions and safe swimming beaches; Mandurah is the perfect family holiday destination.

See the full list of category finalists and winners below. For more information on the Top Tourism Awards by ATIC, visit here.

Top Tourism Awards 2022

Top Tourism Town

Gold: Mudgee, NSW

Silver: Bendigo, Victoria

Bronze: Mandurah, Western Australia

Small Tourism Town

Gold: Exmouth, Western Australia

Silver: Sheffield, Tasmania

Bronze: Port Fairy, Victoria

Tiny Tourism Town

Gold: Strahan, Tasmania

Silver: Winton, Queensland

Bronze: Mount Macedon, Victoria

Have you visited any of these top tourism towns? Which Aussie town would you nominate? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Ellie Baxter
Ellie Baxter
Writer and editor with interests in travel, health, wellbeing and food. Has knowledge of marketing psychology, social media management and is a keen observer and commentator on issues facing older Australians.
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