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Australian hotspots shine on world stage

Once again, Australia has shown that we can have world-class holiday experiences in our own backyard.

In the latest instance, two Aussie destinations have received international acclaim in the annual Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards for 2021.

The NSW hotspots of Shoalhaven and Mudgee made the cut in the travel company’s worldwide Top Emerging Destinations category – as voted by the site’s users – alongside exotic locations in France, Brazil, Mexico, and more. Shoalhaven nabbed eighth place while Mudgee was named the tenth best location in the category.

And in further good news, Tasmania’s iconic Freycinet National Park was voted no.18 in Tripadvisor’s inaugural global national parks list.

Here’s what you need to know about these hotspots…

Lake Conjola symbolises the lure of Shoalhaven. Credit: Jordan Robins.


Where is it?

Shoalhaven is a sub-region of the wider South Coast NSW area. It begins in Nowra in the north – 160km south of Sydney – and stretches down to Durras North another 110km away.

What’s so good about it?

Just about everything! The area is nestled between mountains and coastline, so expect stunning scenery. Shoalhaven teems with astounding beaches, shimmering lakes, and other enticing waterways alongside national parks and reserves laden with goodies.

Cellar doors abound as do quality restaurants, cafés, other eateries, and markets, many of which showcase the area’s rich assortment of fresh local produce.

Among it all are dozens of inviting towns and villages dotted around the eye-catching landscapes. And the climate in these parts is reliably inviting.

The ideal city escape. Location: Cupitt's Winery, Ulladulla. Credit: Destination NSW.

Bawley Point is in the thick of the action. Credit: Destination NSW.


Where is it?

265km northwest of Sydney in the Central NSW region.

What’s so good about it?

This vibrant town offers the perfect escape from Sydney. Soak up a fascinating past, be immersed by gorgeous scenery, and let the tastebuds run wild in this renowned wine region where the food is as delectable as the vino.

There’s plenty for families to do in Mudgee, and the charm-filled historical villages that surround it demand your footprints, too. 

Mudgee shines bright. Credit: Destination NSW.

Where can I stay?

BIG4 Mudgee Holiday Park. This pleasant accommodation option is close to the town centre and yet among spacious, tranquil grounds that feel far removed from anywhere.

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Want more of Mudgee? Read this excellent guide here.

Mudgee's many wineries are sure to entice. Location: Lowe Wines. Credit: Destination NSW.

Freycinet National Park

Where is it?

170km northeast of Hobart on the Freycinet Peninsula.

What’s so good about it?

The park bursts with natural gems, led by the imposing peaks of the Hazards mountain range. Wineglass Bay is the hero here but it’s far from the only take-me-there beach in these parts. Booming boulders, variable wildlife, and breathtaking coastal views are among other highlights.

While Wineglass Bay is the hero of Freycinet, it's not the park's only head-turning attraction. Credit: Lauren Bath.

Where can I stay?

BIG4 Iluka on Freycinet Holiday Park. The Coles Bay holiday park is situated on the doorstep of Freycinet and opposite Muirs Beach. Perfect!

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Coles Bay has stolen a slice of prime real estate. Credit: Stu Gibson.

Was Australia ripped off? We had just one national park on the list! We think these stunners should’ve all made the cut as well – see more.
Can’t explore these world-class locations? Find plenty more here.

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