Popular wine town retains tourism title

·2-min read

Cellar-door operators in the NSW town of Mudgee have been given another reason to pop open some bottles.

Known for its fine foods and century-old winemaking history, the central western town less than four hours' drive from Sydney has claimed the title of Australia's top tourism town for the second consecutive year.

The Top Tourism Awards recognise Australian towns that offer exceptional visitor experiences and are committed to building the industry.

Tourism industry boss Evan Hall said Mudgee played a big part in leading a nationwide regional recovery.

"With passionate local operators who connect with visitors at a local, national and international level, Mudgee offers places of historic and cultural significance, and an authentic country town experience," Mr Hall said on Tuesday.

Exmouth, the gateway to the pristine Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area in Western Australia's far northwest, was named the best small tourism town.

It is home to a popular coral reef, breathtaking canyons and limestone ranges.

"The town really comes together to promote its natural beauty on land and in the water as one of the world's top destinations for marine wildlife," Mr Hall said.

Home to an ancient rainforest and known for its rugged history, Strahan on Tasmania's wild West Coast was named the best tiny tourism town.

The town of just over 650 residents is often described as one of the most isolated places in Australia.

"Pristine waterways and cool-temperate rainforest flank this delightful former port," Mr Hall said.

This year's competition saw 148 finalists whittled down through a combination of people's choice votes and an expert industry panel.

Phillipa Harrison, from Tourism Australia, said the awards recognised the hard work and commitment of local communities that had done it tough over the past two years.

"Our tourism towns are the front line in delivering the high-quality visitor experiences that help to make Australia one of the most desirable destinations in the world," Ms Harrison said.



GOLD: Mudgee, NSW

SILVER: Bendigo, Victoria

BRONZE: Mandurah, Western Australia


GOLD: Exmouth, Western Australia

SILVER: Sheffield, Tasmania

BRONZE: Port Fairy, Victoria


GOLD: Strahan, Tasmania

SILVER: Winton, Queensland

BRONZE: Mount Macedon, Victoria