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Linger longer – destinations that demand more time

With NESCAFÉ BLEND 43

Some places don’t get the attention they deserve.

Locations that are viewed as stopover points on the way to elsewhere, which are, in fact, jam-packed with unheralded attractions.

Partnering with the team at NESCAFÉ BLEND 43, we’re highlighting a bunch of bold Aussie destinations with the ability to provide a memorable and smooth escape. End points in their own right.

So, sit back, and picture yourself putting the kettle on for a cup of bold and smooth coffee at one of these action-packed locations.

Forbes deserves much more than a flying visit. See more below. Credit: Destination NSW.

Where to go in NSW

Tamworth

This city in northwest NSW gets lots of love in January for the annual country music festival, but it’s also a great place to be at any other point throughout the year. From giant guitars to cute animal encounters, you’ll wonder why Tamworth wasn’t on your escape list a lot sooner.

This gigantic guitar signals your arrival at Tamworth, but the city is no one-hit wonder.

Must-do attractions

  • Tamworth Marsupial Park provides unending entertainment for little ones. Think animal interactions, an adventure playground, and scenic walks (adults, that one might appeal more to you).
  • ‘Get on the beers’ (responsibly) at The Welder’s Dog with its locally crafted brews.
  • Go big and snap a photo of The Big Golden Guitar. Did you even go to Tamworth if you didn’t capture a selfie here?
  • Admire pretty panoramas at Oxley Scenic Lookout. 
  • Embrace the region’s admiration for toe-tapping tunes at the Country Music Hall of Fame.
  • Wander the beautiful Tamworth Regional Botanic Garden with over 28ha of beauty to explore.

Where to stay: BIG4 Paradise Tamworth.

There's great sights from great heights at Oxley Scenic Lookout.

Goulburn

Boasting a country charm and perfectly positioned just two hours from Sydney, Goulburn is a destination ready to be on your radar. With stunning rural landscapes, boutique shopping, casual dining, and much more, you’ll quickly discover why Goulburn warrants extended time.

Grab a cuppa and settle into Goulburn. Credit: Paul Livingston/Capital Country Tourism.

Must-do attractions

  • Shop ‘till you drop along Auburn St, better known as ‘the country mile of shopping’.
  • Pack a picnic and venture to Wollondilly River for walking trails and picnic-perfect opportunities.
  • Hit up Belmore Park for heritage on a self-guided tour, or let the kids run free at the children’s playground.
  • Be amazed at the Big Merino, a 15.2m-tall concrete ram. Climb to the top and see the world through its eyes.
  • View historical steam engines and observe the transition from steam to diesel at the Goulburn Rail Heritage Centre.

Where to stay: BIG4 Governor’s Hill Carapark.

Local icon: The Big Merino. Credit: Destination NSW.

Forbes

Best known for its gold-rush days and bushranger history, Forbes is nestled in the Lachlan Valley and offers more than just fascinating history to soak up. Heritage-listed buildings, arts and culture, and an annual food festival are just a few reasons you’ll want to flock to Forbes instantly.

Absorbing history meets vivid scenery at Forbes. Location: Victoria Park. Credit: Destination NSW.

Must-do attractions

  • Car enthusiasts will enjoy the restored motor displays at McFeeters Motor Museum.
  • Leg it to Lake Forbes for birdlife spotting and exercise opportunities with cycling and walking tracks.
  • Snap a selfie in front of the ‘amazing’ sign, which forms part of the Sculpture Down the Lachlan Project.
  • Familiarise yourself with the Wiradjuri culture and traditional stories at the Wiradjuri Dreaming Centre.
  • Self-guide your way through Forbes CBD and delve into the town’s unique heritage on a Forbes Heritage Walk.

Where to stay: BIG4 Forbes Holiday Park.

Marvel at much machinery at McFeeters Motor Museum. Credit: Destination NSW.

Where to go in QLD

Warwick

Warwick is known for its elegant sandstone buildings and being Queensland’s first inland settlement. Sitting pretty on the banks of Condamine River, this city is also known as the ‘Rose and Rodeo Capital’ and offers plenty for visitors.

Warwick is well-known for its elegant sandstone structures. Credit: Southern Queensland Country Tourism.

Must-do activities

  • Stop and smell the roses at Queen’s Park, spot the horse sculptures, and enjoy bird watching.
  • Get your walking shoes on and try any or all of the five walks of Warwick. There’s the CBD Walk, Dairy Walk, Railway Walk, ‘Weewondilla’ Hill Walk, and River Walk.
  • Explore the fascinating Australian Rodeo Heritage Centre.
  • Check out views fit for royals at Mt Castle Lookout.
  • Scrap what TLC recommended and chase the Queen Mary Falls.
  • Take to the water for boating, fishing, or simple relaxation on Leslie Dam.

Where to stay: BIG4 Warwick Holiday Park.

Want more? Check out our comprehensive beginners' guide to Warwick here.

Do go chasing waterfalls, like Queen Mary Falls. Credit: Southern Queensland Country Tourism.

Ayr

This sweet country town is in the heart of QLD’s sugarcane-growing region. Sitting about 90km south of Townsville, Ayr is found on the Burdekin River banks. From places to play, eat, see, and rest, Ayr encourages visits for all.

Ayr and its surrounds are full of captivating experiences. Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.

Must-do activities

  • Marvel at the Ayr Nature Display’s preserved collections (seashells, fossils, butterflies, and more).
  • For live performances and local events, the Burdekin Theatre is the home of arts and entertainment.
  • Venture to picturesque Cromarty Wetlands (pictured above).
  • Go on a dive adventure to the SS Yongala shipwreck with Yongala Dive.
  • Watch a movie under the stars at Stardust Drive-in Theatre.

Where to stay: BIG4 Ayr Silver Link Caravan Village.

Head underwater to explore the fascinating SS Yongala. Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland/Nigel Marsh.

Where to go in VIC

Shepparton

A vibrant and culturally rich city located on the Goulburn River, Shepparton is noted for its cultural goodies and range of outdoor activities. If a big city escape is what you’re after, then Shepparton is the rural refuge you require.

Extend your stay in Shepparton and milk its many attractions, several of which are free to visit.

Must-do activities

  • Connect with culture at the revamped Shepparton Art Museum, which houses a variety of exciting exhibitions.
  • Immerse yourself in the various landscapes of the Australian Botanic Gardens Shepparton.
  • Picnic at pretty Victoria Park Lake.
  • Take the kiddies to Kids Town Adventure Playground for hours of fun on slides, tree houses, swings, and sandpits.
  • Admire Moooving Art, an ever-changing public art expo of 3D cows.
  • Uncover local heritage at Shepparton Heritage Centre.

Where to stay: BIG4 Shepparton Park Lane Holiday Park.

The Australian Botanic Gardens Shepparton introduces you to an array of local landscapes.

Wodonga

Bordering NSW and separated from its close mate Albury by the Murray River, Wodonga is classified as one of Victoria's fastest-growing regional areas. Arts lovers will enjoy the city’s unmissable artistic representation with galleries, sculptures, and a vivid creative scene to embrace.

Wodonga is surrounded by gorgeous vistas and offers plenty for extended stays.

Must-do activities

  • Take in sweeping views along a walking trail at McFarlanes Hill.
  • A visit to the nearby Army Museum Bandiana is a must. It is one of Australia's leading and most diversified army museums.
  • Hop on a bike and take in the scenic tracks of the High Country Rail Trail.
  • Noreuil Park Foreshore is a great area to enjoy the best of the Murray River.
  • Lake Hume is a terrific spot to enjoy water sports or a picnic.
  • Located 30min outside of Wodonga is Rutherglen, a wine-tasting region waiting to be discovered.

Where to stay: BIG4 Borderland Wodonga.

Army Museum Bandiana is a must-visit attraction.

Where to go in SA

Coober Pedy

Located in northern SA, Coober Pedy is a destination many know but might not have visited yet. It’s where the outback meets the underground with locals living literally beneath the ground. So, as you can imagine, this is one unique place to unearth.

Coober Pedy is definitely distinct. Credit: South Australian Tourism Commission.

Must-do activities

  • Meet orphaned kangaroos and other adorable wildlife at Josephine’s Gallery and Kangaroo Orphanage.
  • See quirky décor and visit the home of a crocodile hunter at Crocodile Harry’s Underground Nest.
  • Fascinated by churches? Coober Pedy delivers with a beautiful Serbian Orthodox Church and a catacomb church.
  • Movie fans can snap pics at Spaceship from Pitch Black.
  • Day trip to Kanku-Breakaways Conservation Park, which covers 15,000ha of mind-boggling scenery.

Where to stay: BIG4 Stuart Range Outback Resort.

The scenery is simply stunning at Kanku-Breakaways Conservation Park. Credit: Elise Cook.

Where to go in TAS

Ulverstone

Situated on Tasmania’s stunning northern coast is this pretty seaside town. It makes for the perfect break away with inviting coastal paths and stunning swimming beaches. And it’s within easy reach of so many gems.

Ulverstone suits stays relaxing or adventurous. Credit: S. Group.

Must-do activities

  • Adventure to gobsmacking lookouts at Leven Canyon.
  • While at Leven Canyon, make your way to Preston Falls to see a 25m cascading waterfall.
  • Anzac Park is a fantastic family-friendly space with pleasant walks and children’s play areas.
  • History buffs will enjoy the information to absorb at Ulverstone History Museum.
  • Jump in the car and after just 25km you’ll reach Gunn Plain Caves, which interestingly were discovered by a possum. It doesn’t get more Aussie than that!

Where to stay: BIG4 Ulverstone Holiday Park.

Preston Falls make an essential day trip from Ulverstone.

Where to go in WA

Dongara-Port Denison

Head 3.5 hours north of Perth until you find yourself on the breathtaking Coral Coast, where sitting pretty, you’ll locate the twin towns of Dongara and Port Denison. This is an excellent base for exploring the coastline and splashing into surrounding water-based activities.

The twin towns of Dongara-Port Denison serve up stunning views. Credit: Greg Snell

Must-do attractions

  • Step back in time on a Dongara Heritage Walk.
  • Take out a kayak for a serene day on the water on the Irwin Riverbank.
  • Walk or bike the Calico Trail and enjoy the magnificent surrounds.
  • Get up close for a snap of The Big Western Rock Lobster.
  • Relax, unwind, and tuck into fish and chips at Port Denison Marina.

Where to stay: BIG4 Dongara Denison Beach Holiday Park.

And there's a definite 'linger longer' vibe here. Credit: Australia's Coral Coast.

Want the lowdown on other destinations that demand more time? We spill the beans here.

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