Clare Lynton
August 6, 2020

30 Top Destinations to Visit in Regional Australia 2022

How well do you really know Australia?

It all started with this simple question. The more we connected with travellers, the more we realised: Australia is much more than white sandy beaches and kangaroo-watching (no offence Skippy!). 

Enter the challenge: To re-discover Australia - beyond the major cities. To get out of our usual haunts and find new favourites. To support local business, to discover what a modern, regional Australia has to give.

So we asked 10 travellers who love getting off the beaten track and out of their local 'burb to help out. Each has selflessly shared their secret spots and snaps to make up this Top 30. (Be sure to thank them if you visit!) It's Australia like you’ve never seen it before: those places that fly under the radar, those undiscovered gems - through the eyes of the modern traveller.

Click on your home state or further afield to start the adventure:

New South Wales | Victoria | Queensland | Western Australia | South Australia | Australian Capital Territory | Tasmania | Northern Territory | External Territories

New South Wales

1. Blue Mountains National Park, NSW

Nominated by Natasha Holland

There are so many amazing bushwalking tracks and hikes to explore throughout the Blue Mountains National Park (Country of the Dharug and Gundungurra peoples). Each visit allows you to experience something completely different. My recommendation is to spend at least one night in one of the many campsites. It’s great being able to pitch your tent amongst the tall trees, light a campfire (when there’s no fire ban of course!) and enjoy the local wildlife and sky full of stars. For COVID-safe travel, as of 1st June 2020, all camping in NSW national parks requires a booking and although many of the national park’s campsites have no camping fees, a $6 booking fee applies.

2. Bingie Bingie Point, NSW

Nominated by Lauren Sutton

Bingie Bingie Point is located between Congo and Tuross and is part of the Eurobodalla National Park (the traditional country of the Yuin People). The point has a spectacular display of igneous rocks which are 415 to 370 million years old, and are quite different from the geology of the rest of the area. Protruding 500 metres from the coastline, it’s the perfect place for scenic views, whale watching, and birdwatching all year round. And with beautiful beaches on both sides, it’s also perfect for beach walks or surfing!

3. Worimi Conservation Lands, NSW

Nominated by Natasha Holland

Since 2019, this Aboriginal-owned park has been trialling the Ganyamalbaa Camping Area, a unique experience on the sand dunes with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. Offering 15 spacious campsites accommodating up to 8 campers, each comes with a firepit (though other facilities like a portable toilet are BYO). Access is by 4WD vehicles only, but if you don’t have one it’s worth hiring for this experience, especially as beach and dune driving is one of the most popular activities here. Around 90–120 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins live permanently in the waters around Port Stephens – Great Lakes Marine Park so the chances of spotting dolphins surfing and jumping out of the water is also high!

4. Mount Kosciuszko, NSW

Nominated by Lauren Sutton

A walk to the summit of Mount Kosciuszko should be top of your list if visiting in the warmer months. At 2228 metres, the summit is the highest point in Australia, and offers spectacular 360-degree views across the Snowy Mountains. We started from Thredbo, catching the chairlift up to Eagles Nest to begin the hike. From here the hike is 13km return (about 4–5 hours). Even though it was the middle of summer it was pretty cold. The weather can change quickly so ensure you pack clothes for all weather conditions. The best time to visit is in Spring/Summer when there are plenty of alpine wildflowers in bloom!


5. Redwood Forest, VIC

Nominated by Helena Bradbury

Who knew there were California Redwoods in Victoria? The Redwood Forest is a little over one hour’s drive from Melbourne and part of the Yarra Ranges National Park. The plantation was originally started as an experiment but now it’s an area for the public to enjoy with almost 1,500 trees towering over 50 metres high. People often visit the Yarra Valley wineries and nearby waterfalls, but this forest really is a well kept secret. Stepping inside is like entering another world: silence, the smell of pine and seemingly endless rows of redwood trees. There’s lots of parking onsite, providing a great addition for any trip to regional Victoria, or day trip from Melbourne.

6. Mount Buffalo, VIC

Nominated by Eliza Sum

Head for the hills for one of the most dramatic sunrises you'll ever see. Sheer cliffs plunge hundreds of metres down at The Gorge, with a panoramic view of Victoria's alps glowing gold as the sun creeps over the peaks. Whether you're a novice walker or seasoned hiker, there's no shortage of trails. At Ladies Baths Falls, an icy dunk in the clear waters is the reward at the end of a short, easy stroll. The Chalwell Galleries track is more of a scramble than a walk, with narrow rock passages opening out to a rocky outcrop and view of Victoria's tallest peak, Mt Bogong. Cap it all off at sunset by heading to The Horn, for uninterrupted High Country views enjoyed at the mountain's highest point (1723m).

7. Wilsons Promontory National Park, VIC

Nominated by Eliza Sum

Choose your adventure at "The Prom": relax on the beach, climb a mountain or embark on a multi-day coastal hike. Squeaky Beach is arguably the national park's most popular spot to pitch the beach umbrella, and for good reason. With its gentle waves and sparkling quartz sand, it's an idyllic location for lazing on a sunny day. Oberon Bay is an easy day walk that can easily be transformed into an overnighter, with a basic campground at the end for weary walkers to rest their legs. Just make sure you store your food safely from the prying paws of tent-raiding wombats!

8. Black Spur, VIC

Nominated by Harry Pope

Black Spur forest is around an hour drive out from Melbourne city and has some of the richest green ferns I have seen in Victoria. Every time I shoot photography here, I walk away with some amazing pictures. The real secret is to get to Black Spur when It's foggy as this is when the whole place makes you feel like you're in a Jurassic Park movie. You can also take a stroll off the beaten path and get lost in the forest - and if you time it for when the sun comes up, the forest will put on a show of light rays twinkling between the tall trees.

9. Port Fairy, VIC

Nominated by Jake Cassar

Just past the Great Ocean Road (and only 3.5 hours from Melbourne!) this charming heritage township and fishing village is often overlooked. There’s a strong ‘ye old’ vibe, with Victoria’s largest number of listed heritage buildings outside Melbourne. Norfolk pine trees line the road into town and many other streets, giving a fairy-tale like feel. Great walks, beaches, wildlife, swimming, lush food and local produce, history, lively pubs… There are four pubs in town. Which is actually pretty nuts for a town of only 3,000 people. But each one has something different going for it - you have to visit them all!

10. Twelve Apostles, VIC

Nominated by Harry Pope

I'm sure everyone knows the Twelve Apostles but it will always be one of my all time favourite places to visit in Australia. It only takes that one time with an amazing sunset for this to be a highlight of your Australian road trip. I feel like every time I end up along the Great Ocean Road, this is the spot I want to watch the sun set. It's natural beauty (even on foggy days!) and the great vantage points you can get leads to some amazing photos, and really does make the Twelve Apostles special.

11. Cape Schanck, VIC

Nominated by Thomas Lo

Driving down the Mornington Peninsula for a quick day trip from Melbourne had become a regular visit every few months, with a mix of delicious food, wine and sculpture gardens at our usual favourites of Montalto, Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Gardens, Pt Leo Estate, Red Hill Estate. This time though we decided to getaway for the long weekend to treat ourselves with a stay - the boardwalk to Cape Schack Lighthouse, overlooking the Bass Strait, was pretty special. I’d definitely recommend spending a few days to enjoy the most of the area at a slower pace.


12. Atherton Tablelands, QLD

Nominated by Eliza Sum

Looming behind sunny Cairns is a wonderland for waterfall chasers and wildlife lovers alike. The Atherton Tablelands are a lush landscape of tumbling cascades, thick rainforest — and some of Australia's most unique fauna. Spot a frolicking platypus in Yungabarra, and keep your eyes peeled for the elusive tree kangaroo. Magnificent cassowaries can often be spotted crossing the region's winding roads, before disappearing into the undergrowth. Exploring the region's famed waterfall circuit will take you to three splendid spots — Millaa Millaa Falls, Zillie Falls and Ellinjaa Falls. But there's more to see off the beaten track, including the dramatic Clamshell Falls and its tiny waterholes, perfect for a private dip.

13. Daintree & Cape Tribulation, QLD

Nominated by Natasha Holland

In the oldest rainforest in the world, you can truly immerse yourself in nature and disconnect – you’ll have no phone signal pretty much the whole time you’re up here! Spend a leisurely morning at Kulki Beach, where UNESCO World Heritage Sites meet: the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. Swimming is completely off limits though as it’s home to saltwater crocodiles! Make your way to Cape Trib Farm to taste a wide variety of delicious tropical and exotic fruits – chocolate pudding fruit, anyone?! Finish your day on a Daintree River Evening Tour with Dan Irby's Mangrove Adventures. Dan is incredibly knowledgeable and has eyes like a hawk. Gently floating along the river, spotting animals and watching shooting stars in the sky on Dan’s boat has been a highlight of my visit each time.

Western Australia

14. Denmark, WA

Nominated by Reuben Black

If being surrounded by a beautiful river, thick forestry, sprawling beaches and an amazing culture is something you’re about, Denmark is the place to be. I’ve been coming here ever since I was a kid and the place never fails to amaze me. Although Greens Pool should be on the top of your list of spots to visit in this area, there are plenty of walking and cycle trails (including the WOW trail) which are a must-do. There are plenty of camping and accommodation opportunities set in pristine locations, and special attention should also be put towards the Denmark Arts Markets, which run in the summer months.

15. Dirk Hartog Island, WA

Nominated by Jeremy Drake

The landing spot of the first Europeans to visit this continent did not happen in Botany Bay in Sydney, in fact it was at Cape Inscription on Dirk Hartog Island in 1616 (over 100 years earlier) by a Dutch Merchant ship and its captain, Hartog. At over 14 hours’ drive north of Perth, this adventure will test your 4WD skills. You must also launch your car from the most westerly point of mainland Australia - steep point - onto a single car barge - the only way to access the island's boutique Eco-Lodge.

16. Bluff Knoll, WA

Nominated by Reuben Black

As south Western Australia’s tallest peak, Bluff Knoll is as equally challenging as it is rewarding. It has become known as the one place where you can see snow in WA for a few days every year, encouraging many to make the 4-hour pilgrimage from Perth. Many climb up the mountain to catch the sun rising and setting over the horizon, but come prepared. If you aren’t feeling up to it, there are plenty of other peaks to climb in the surrounding Stirling Ranges (and which vary in difficulty), as well as the nearby Porongurups. Staying at the Stirling Ranges Retreat is your best bet. With a bonfire lit every night and 200m proximity to the gate of Bluff Knoll, it’s truly a no brainer.

17. Dunsborough, WA

Nominated by Reuben Black

With Eagles Bay, Injidup Spa, Castle Rock, and plenty of wineries just around the corner, this area of the south-west is your one-stop-shop for a great time. With plenty of Airbnbs, camping and hotel stays in the area, there’s no excuse not to come down and give this gorgeous region a shot. Likewise, if you’re into surfing or mountain biking, the famed Margaret River region is only 45 minutes away, the perfect distance for a day trip. There are so many things to do and areas to explore in this breathtaking area, you definitely don’t want to miss out.

South Australia

18. Kangaroo Island, SA

Nominated by Jake Cassar

Wild, rugged and featuring more kangaroos than cars on the road, the island is widely acclaimed as Australia’s Galapagos. The vast sea of eucalyptus trees are filled with sleepy koalas and echidna sightings are not rare. Also a gourmet food lovers’ secret, the island’s food producers are tight-nit and take on an innovative approach to sustainability. Fresh King George Whiting, the last surviving pure Ligurian bee in the world, award winning craft gins made with local botanicals foraged on the island.. This, teamed with breathtaking beaches, luxury accommodation and unique rock formations, has to be one of Australia’s best kept secrets.

19. Coober Pedy, SA

Nominated by Helena Bradbury

Known globally for its opal mining, the town came to being after the first opal was discovered in the early 20th century. Its uniqueness is not just the remote location in northern South Australia, but the underground dugouts that most residents live in due to the extreme heat. Stay in one of these unique underground houses, visit the Opal Mining Museums, chat to the friendly locals about life out here. Then see the otherworldly landscape of the Breakaways and enjoy the spectacular sunsets in one of the most fascinating towns of Outback Australia.

20. Big Red, Simpson Desert, SA

Nominated by Jeremy Drake

Originally known as Nappanerica, Big Red is the first in a series of 1,140 parallel dunes and is the unofficial finish line or departure point for most Simpson Desert crossings. From above, this section of the outback looks as if someone has laid a tablecloth down flat and pinched it every few centimetres.

Australian Capital Territory

21. Legoland in Namadgi National Park, ACT

Nominated by Lauren Sutton

Legoland can be difficult to find on a map or walking guide but that’s what makes this place even more special. The track is relatively flat and takes you through the trees along the ridge line. We spent hours exploring the huge boulders, weaving through tunnels and climbing through cracks and crevices. There are also plenty of secluded places to sit with a view over the valley below, perfect for a picnic lunch. Please note the national park is currently closed following the devastating 2019–20 bushfires, but stay up to date with park closures here.


22. Cradle Mountain, TAS

Nominated by Lochie Bevis

Cradle Mountain is probably Tasmania’s most iconic peak, nestled in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park on the North-West coast. This location is a must see for any visitor to the state, whether you’re a photographer, an experienced hiker or just love the outdoors. The national park offers a wide range of walking options, varying from easy to challenging!

23. Binalong Bay, TAS

Nominated by Harry Pope

One of my favourite trips of all time was to Tasmania as I got to experience its vastly differing landscapes. In Tasmania you have mountains, beaches, forests and waterfalls - pretty much everything you could want on a road trip. Binalong Bay is definitely a highlight. This area is famous for the Bay of Fires which is an orange rock formation on the beach. I have never experienced a better sunrise than the one we had on Binalong Bay. What's even better is you can camp right on the beach - makes getting up for sunrise that little bit easier!

24. Freycinet National Park, TAS

Nominated by Lochie Bevis

Freycinet National Park is on Tassie’s east coast and is well known amongst locals for its crystal clear, aqua blue waters and white beaches. Home to icons such as Wineglass Bay (pictured), Honeymoon Bay and Friendly Beaches, the national park offers something for everyone, from an easy 20 minute walk to a lookout with an epic view over the bay to multi-day hikes around the peninsula.

25. Bridestowe Lavender Farm, TAS

Nominated by Lochie Bevis

Bridestowe Lavender farm is another hit with locals and tourists alike. Located in Tasmania’s North-East it offers an epic view in summer months during bloom. According to the owners of the farm, the rows of lavender would be equal to about 200km if laid end to end. The farm covers around 250 acres and is in an incredibly picturesque location, with Mount Arthur serving as a fitting backdrop.

26. Mountain Valley, TAS

Nominated by Natasha Holland

Tucked away amongst the mountains of North West Tasmania, Mountain Valley is an eco-retreat that offers a place to enjoy tranquil nature, swimming, hiking and a glimpse of some of Tasmania’s unique wildlife. Just over an hour’s drive from Cradle Mountain, spend time exploring deep river gorges, glow worm caves, fern glades, ancient rainforests, glacial lakes and waterfalls. Dusk brings Tasmanian Pademelons darting out into open areas to feed and platypus down by the river. What makes this place really magical, though, is that there is a high chance you’ll get to see a Tassie Devil! If you’re willing to wait up long enough you can watch wild devils and quolls feeding from the comfort of your log cabin. It remains one of my favourite Aussie wildlife experiences to date.

27. Freycinet Marine Farm, TAS

Nominated by Thomas Lo

Three days into our roadtrip from Launceston to Hobart, we arrived in Coles Bay and spent a couple of nights in a private little Airbnb here. “You HAVE to visit the oyster farm!” - our friends and culinary connoisseurs had recommended, and boy were we glad we did. It was chilly and slightly drizzly as we headed out at 9:30am with another couple for the Oyster Bay Tour, put our waders on, got into the water and learnt how oysters were farmed in their special cages - from teeny pebble sizes to large 10 year old ones. Then - a dozen and a half fresh oysters, a steaming hot pot of mussels, and a bottle of bubbly to go - all before 11am. Delicious, eye-opening, and I now have a greater appreciation for where oysters come from!

Northern Territory

28. Nitmiluk National Park, NT

Nominated by Jake Cassar

If you’re eager to embrace the Outback and Dreamtime, head here. Katherine Hot Springs, fringed with paperbark and pandanus found in the middle of town, is worth a stop to bliss out. Then head to the real attraction - Nitmiluk Gorge. Carved out of the sandstone cliffs of the Katherine River over thousands of years, the gorge snakes its way for 12km along the Arnhem Land Plateau on its way to the sea. Estimates date the 400 recorded rock art sites at 10,000 years old. Nitmiluk is a destination that brings together culture, nature and adventure all in one.

29. Bitter Springs, NT

Nominated by Helena Bradbury

One hour’s drive south of Katherine in the Northern Territory is the crystal clear turquoise waters of Bitter Springs. Although nearby Mataranka Springs is more well-known, Bitter Springs is only 2km from Mataranka town and much quieter. This, together with the free parking and nearby campsite, means you’re more likely to find long term travellers and backpackers hanging out here for the day. The waters are warm, but still cooler than outside air temperature - the perfect place to relax as you drift with the gentle current through the bush, under the shade of the tree canopy. An oasis in the middle of the red dust Outback.

External Territories

30. Norfolk Island

Nominated by Jeremy Drake

An Australian external territory in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, occupied predominantly by the descendent families of the Pitcairn Islanders who were made famous by their mutiny of the Bounty. Flanked by huge pine trees, endless vistas and some of the best beaches on the planet. An adventure paradise.

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