Silver lining for NSW destinations

Coffs Harbour in New South Wales sits atop the list of the best Australian destinations for travellers in 2020.

The home of the Big Banana shared the limelight with other NSW regional and coastal spots Batemans Bay and Katoomba, which were voted fourth and eighth respectively.

“With Coffs Harbour in first place, Batemans Bay in fourth and Katoomba ranked eighth, Australia clearly agrees these NSW towns are bucket list destinations for all Australians,” said Stuart Ayres, minister for jobs, investment, tourism and Western Sydney.

“Tourism is incredibly important to many NSW communities and businesses, so now’s the time to love NSW and get out, explore our own backyard, spend ‘locally’ and stay ‘locally’. In the year ending September 2019, domestic overnight visitors generated an invaluable $13.9 billion in tourism-related spend for regional NSW.”

Coffs Harbour local Gurmesh Singh said the award confirms that Coffs Harbour is a dream holiday location.

“What’s not to love about Coffs Harbour? We have 60km of spectacular coastline, lush hinterlands on our doorstep and an abundance of world-class produce matched by outstanding hospitality,” he said.

“Coffs Harbour is a really special community with a proud history of welcoming visitors from across Australia and the world – this award reinforces why people should book a break in Coffs now.”

Batemans Bay on the South Coast offers visitors magnificent beaches, fresh seafood and an abundance of water sports, while Blue Mountains’ Katoomba is home to the iconic Three Sisters and provides visitors with world-class bushwalking and adventure tours.

It’s a silver lining for a state recently smothered by bushfire clouds. NSW had the most entrants in the top 10 of any state or territory.

“During what is an incredibly tough time for many parts of the country, this year’s awards are more relevant than ever, as a way of recognising the hard-working tourism operators and local businesses who make up Australian tourism – the driving force behind many regional communities,” said Wotif managing director Daniel Finch.

Wotif’s top 10 Aussie towns for 2020 are:

10. Maroochydore, Queensland

9. Margaret River, Western Australia

8. Katoomba, New South Wales

7. Albany, Western Australia

6. Port Fairy, Victoria

5. Cairns, Queensland

4. Batemans Bay, New South Wales

3. Airlie Beach, Queensland

2. Mackay, Queensland

1. Coffs Harbour, New South Wales

Destination NSW is capitalising on the spotlight on the state, sharing 10 of its own highly recommended destinations –along with their recommended attractions.

  • Coffs Harbour – home of ‘The Big Banana’
  • Batemans Bay – eat at Clyde River Oysters
  • Katoomba – visit the Three Sisters
  • Lithgow – explore the State Mine Heritage Park
  • Kangaroo Valley – marvel at the Pioneer Village Museum
  • Mittagong – say ‘cheers’ at the Fitzroy Inn
  • Goulburn – say ‘cheese’ at The Big Merino
  • Coolamon –learn about the history of the Up-To-Date Store
  • Wentworth – sail with the PS Ruby steamboat
  • Gunnedah – learn about the inspiration for Dorothea Mackellar’s poem My Country.

Make sure to check out more #RecoveryWeekend destinations and help get bushfire ravaged regions back on their feet.

Have you visited any of these towns? Do you think Coffs Harbour deserves its crown?

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Related articles:
Coffs Harbour more than a big banana
Top 30 Aussie destinations
Australia’s most popular city

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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