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Here Are The 10 Small Aussie Towns Everyone’s Heading To In 2020

It’s been a weird year. Our travel addictions currently have to revolve around Australia (although New Zealand, Japan and Singapore might happen sooner than we think) but it looks like we’ve warmed up to the idea pretty quickly.

Booking.com looked at the travel patterns emerging from their platform this year. The average distance travelled last winter to the one just passed dropped from an average of 3329 kilometers per trip to just 820 kilometers — about the distance between Sydney and Byron Bay.

While the top booked destinations won’t be a surprise with — Sydney, Gold Coast, Brisbane and Perth taking out the top spots — it was the rural gems that really saw an unexpected growth in popularity.

In fact, the top 10 trending domestic destinations that were re-discovered from June 1 to August 31, by comparing the year-on-year difference, were all out of the city.

I mean, just look at this list though, you all have good taste in travel.

#10 Montville, QLD

 

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Up in the stunning Hinterland of the Sunshine Coast, Montville has been popular amongst the locals for a while now, but everyone else seems to be catching on. This small town is quaint as heck, backed by the Blackall Ranges and even has some epic accomodation — like this cabin amongst the trees.

#9 Leura, NSW

 

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This is the best town in the Blue Mountains, prove me wrong. Right in amongst the beauty, yet generally a bit less crowded than Katoomba (where the Three Sisters reside), the main strip has good food at cute cafes and amazing stores if you feel like shopping.

#8 Mudgee, NSW

 

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Did somebody say, wine? Mudgee is becoming more popular for its wine offerings but it still often overlooked for the more well-known Hunter Valley. The brilliance of Mudgee shouldn’t be down-played though. Check out our out-of-towner guide here.

#7 Jindabyne, NSW

 

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On the edge of Kosciuszko National Park, Jindabyne is the perfect option for an economical snow trip in winter, or just a cute rural town visit any other time of year. Enjoy the beautiful scenery, great hikes, and plenty of cute cafes and shops to keep you entertained.

#6 Geraldton, WA

 

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Popping over to Western Australia, the locals can’t get enough of  Geraldton. The Mediterranean climate of this small beachside town makes it easy to understand why. You’ll get plenty of shots for the ‘Gram — from sunsets to smoothies. There’s also a historic trail to follow.

#5 Exmouth, WA

 

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Beautiful, beachside and very affordable compared to your more popular beach spots, Exmouth is loved by WA locals. Not to mention, it’s right by Ningaloo Reef which is basically Australia’s ‘other’ great reef — with over 250 species of coral and 500 species of fish.

#4 Agnes Water, QLD

 

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This tiny (and I mean tiny) town right next to The Town Of 1770 is actually so beautiful, I’m not surprised it’s finally getting recognised. Honestly, when I camped there earlier in the year I was shocked I hadn’t heard of it before. There are just enough places to eat you won’t go hungry, but if you’re looking for a city escape, this is it.

#3 Kalbarri, WA

 

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This resort town is known for its dramatic seaside cliffs, beach and wildlife. For those who like to explore nature, you’ll love getting into Kalbarri National Park next door, home to dolphins and seasonal humpback whales, as well as rocky gorges and striking natural bridge rock formations.

#2 Carnarvon, WA

 

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Sitting about 900 kilometres north of Perth, Carnarvon is the perfect place to escape for a weekend. Enjoy calm beaches, a very cool Cactus Garden (perfect for your Instagram) and the perfect place to adventure in for a day trip to the red dirt of the outback.

#1 Stanthorpe, QLD

 

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Head inland to this small rural town inside the Granite Belt. It’s only a day trip away from Brisbane, but you’re doing yourself a massive favour by staying for at least a weekend. It’s a foodie’s dream with wineries, cheesemakers and more. It’s also home to one of the best pie shops in Australia, so there’s that.

(Lead Images: Unsplash / Nick Dunn)