Published on June 4th, 2021
These 15 most scenic small towns in Australia you should visit to recharge your batteries and feel alive in nature’s Playground. Visiting this region is honestly a refreshing break for those who want to take a break from high-rise buildings and skyscrapers and reconnect with the body, mind and soul.
1. Yamba NSW
How Yamba in the Clarence Valley on the NSW North Coast hasn’t become the next Byron Bay is anyone’s guess. That’s not to say it’s a complete secret; but with its world-famous surf breaks, perfect beaches and a town with the right amount of buzz, it should be Australia’s favourite beach escape.
Yamba is a town in northern New South Wales, Australia at the mouth of the Clarence River. The first European to visit the area was Matthew Flinders, who stopped in Yamba Bay for six days in July 1799.
The town economy is strongly based on fishing and tourism, but has a diverse range of influences, due to the ‘Sea Change’ phenomena and the large number of baby boomers who are starting to retire to the warmer climates.
2. Esperance WA
Esperance is best known for its long stretches of pure, white sand. Sand that quite literally shimmers in the sunlight. White sand is so bright that it’s blinding.
Esperance is a town on the south coast of Western Australia. Its beaches include calm Blue Haven, and West Beach, with its surf breaks. Nearby, Cape Le Grand National Park has beaches like Lucky Bay, plus heathlands and wildflowers. Offshore, the Recherche Archipelago islands shelter fur seals and sea lions. On Middle Island, Lake Hillier is a striking shade of pink. In town, Pink Lake is sometimes pink.
3. Port Fairy VIC
Port Fairy is a coastal town in south-western Victoria, Australia. It lies on the Princes Highway in the Shire of Moyne, 28 kilometres west of Warrnambool and 290 kilometres west of Melbourne, at the point where the Moyne River enters the Southern Ocean.
4. Byron Bay NSW
Byron Bay is a coastal town located on the far-north coast of NSW, Australia. It is home to Australia’s most easterly point and the iconic Cape Byron lighthouse. It is also known for its spectacular beaches, unique shopping and dining experiences, world-class festivals, and vibrant community spirit.
Cape Byron State Conservation Park is on a headland with a lighthouse. Between June and November, humpback whales can be spotted from headland viewpoints such as the Captain Cook Lookout.
In Cape Byron Marine Park, you can snorkel in the crystal clear waters, dive off famous Julian Rocks and kayak up close to dolphins or whales during whale-watching season. The Cape Byron walking track has stunning ocean views or follow trails through ancient rainforest around Wollumbin (Mount Warning).
5. Apollo Bay VIC
As a popular tourist destination, Apollo Bay offers both swimming and surf beaches, as well as a large boat harbour and marina. Overlooking Apollo Bay are rolling green hills, which create quite a scenic backdrop when viewed from the beach, foreshore and shops.
Apollo Bay is an Australian town in southwestern Victoria. It’s a stop on the Great Ocean Road, a driving route that winds along the coast, passing through the Great Otway National Park. The park covers rugged coastline, beaches and the mountains of the Otway Ranges. Waterfalls dot the park, including the 3 cascades of Triplet Falls. In town, the hilltop Marriners Lookout offers panoramic views over the ocean.
6. Margaret River WA
The Margaret River region is known around the world for its top quality wines and food. While the region produces less than three per cent of Australia’s wine, it accounts for more than a fifth of its premium wine.
Margaret River is a small town south of Perth in western Australia, known for its craft breweries, boutiques and surrounding wineries. Beaches and surf breaks line the nearby coast, whose waters host migratory whales (Jun–Nov). Stretching between 2 lighthouses north and south of the town, the long-distance walk, the Cape to Cape Track, fringes the limestone caves and sea cliffs of Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park.
7. Augusta WA
Augusta is a town on the south-west coast of Western Australia, where the Blackwood River emerges into Flinders Bay. It is the nearest town to Cape Leeuwin, on the furthest southwest corner of the Australian continent. In the 2001 census it had a population of 1,091; by 2016 the population of the town was 1,109.
Augusta was a summer holiday town for many during most of the twentieth century, but late in the 1990s many people chose to retire to the region for its cooler weather. As a consequence of this and rising land values in the Augusta-Margaret River area, the region has experienced significant social change.
8. Airlie Beach QLD
Airlie Beach is a coastal locality in the Whitsunday Region of Queensland, Australia. In the 2016 census, Airlie Beach had a population of 1,208 people. It may be a fair distance from Queensland hotspots like Cairns and Brisbane, but Airlie Beach is well worth a visit. It’s not only located on the Great Barrier Reef, but it’s also home to the world-famous Whitsunday Islands. If you need even more reasons to visit Airlie Beach, then keep reading.
9. Broome WA
Broome is a beach resort town in western Australia’s Kimberley region. Along its Indian Ocean coastline, the white sands of 22km-long Cable Beach offer a dramatic backdrop for sunset camel rides. At Gantheaume Point nearby, dinosaur tracks are revealed in the beach’s red rocks during low tide. Broome’s historic Chinatown overlooks Roebuck Bay, a jumping off point for cruises to local pearl farms.
10. Birdsville QLD
One of Queensland’s most remote towns is also its most renowned. Perched on the eastern edge of the Simpson Desert, Birdsville is surrounded by vast gibber plains and braided Channel Country.
Birdsville is a rural town and locality in the Shire of Diamantina, Queensland, Australia. In the 2016 census, the locality of Birdsville had a population of 140 people. It is a popular tourist destination with many people using it as a stopping point across the Simpson Desert.
11. Port Douglas QLD
Port Douglas is approximately 1 hour from Cairns by road and 15 minute by helicopter or light aircraft. It is considered one of the best coastal road drives in Australia.
Port Douglas is a town on the Coral Sea in the tropical far north of Queensland, Australia. It’s known for its beach resorts and as a base for visits to both the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest reef system, and Daintree National Park, home to biodiverse rainforest. In town, Macrossan Street is lined with boutique shops and restaurants. Curving south is popular Four Mile Beach.
12. Cygnet TAS
The bay on which Cygnet sits was originally named by the Indigenous people who occupied a large territory in South East Tasmania, including Cygnet, Hobart and Bruny Island. Tasmanian leader & elder, Wooraddy, came from Bruny Island. The bay was later named Port des Cygnes (Port of Swans) by French navigator Bruni D’Entrecasteaux in 1793, because he observed a large number of black swans in the area.
Cygnet is a small hamlet and an outlying suburb of Hobart along Tasmania’s southern coast. This small alternative lifestyle town is sandwiched right in between the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and the mighty Huon River.
13. Beechworth VIC
Beechworth is nothing short of cute, a charming town perched among a wild rocky landscape. As it steps into its role as a popular holiday spot for Australians and international visitors alike, Beechworth bridges the gap between new and old world tourism, making it a unique hot spot worth checking out!
Beechworth is a well-preserved historical town located in the north-east of Victoria, Australia, famous for its major growth during the gold rush days of the mid-1850s. At the 2016 census, Beechworth had a population of 3,859.
Beechworth is the ideal escape for those needing to recharge their batteries and reconnect with the body, mind and soul. Discover for yourself the sights and sounds of the beautiful surrounds of Beechworth.
14. Kalgoorlie WA
Places, famous or infamous, for which Kalgoorlie is noted include its water pipeline, designed by C. Y. O’Connor and bringing in fresh water from Mundaring Weir near Perth, its Hay Street brothels, its two-up school, the goldfields railway loopline, the Kalgoorlie Town Hall, the Paddy Hannan statue/drinking fountain.
Kalgoorlie is a city in the Goldfields–Esperance region of Western Australia, located 595 km east-northeast of Perth at the end of the Great Eastern Highway.
15. Alice Springs NT
Alice Springs is as famous for the personality of its locals and contemporary and traditional art as the natural wonders. Its natural wonders include the stunning Larapinta Trail and the MacDonnell Ranges, which surround it.
Alice Springs is a remote town in Australia’s Northern Territory, halfway between Darwin and Adelaide, both 1,500km away. It’s a popular gateway for exploring the Red Centre, the country’s interior desert region. Its 1872 origin as part of the Overland Telegraph Line (linking Darwin and Adelaide) is preserved in the vintage buildings and equipment at the Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve.
While there is plenty to do in the town itself, Alice Springs is also a great base for exploring the natural wonders of the outback, including Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon, the West MacDonnell Ranges.