While Sydney, Melbourne, Byron Bay, and the Whitsunday Islands are undoubtedly some of Australia’s most breathtaking locations, the continent also holds a number of lesser-known locations that offer visitors one-of-a-kind experiences.
From the North to the South, Australia is dotted with charming small towns that, despite their small size, offer a glittering array of attractions, such as picturesque beaches, magnificent national parks, outstanding restaurants, wine tastings, charming art galleries, and more.
This post is for you if you’re a wide-eyed traveler who longs to discover Australia’s unusual locations. Discover the 20 underrated Australian cities in the following paragraphs on your upcoming trip!
Australian Small Towns
Around 1,700 small towns can be found in Australia, most of which are concentrated in the southeast and along the eastern seaboard. The odd Cooladdi (Aboriginal for “Black Duck”), located in southwest Queensland between Quilpie and Charleville, is the smallest town in all of Australia. Even though Coolidge once had 270 residents, it is now a ghost town with only four people living there.
There are other excellent options in Australia, even though the picturesque Cooladdi might not be the first choice when it comes to small cities to live in. In actuality, 2.3 million people in Australia were residing in small towns as of the 2016 Census. In Queensland, Airlie Beach and Maleny, as well as Geelong, which is located southwest of Melbourne, are some of the best small towns to live in.
The 20 Most Beautiful Small Towns In Australia Worth Visiting
Small Towns In Australia: #1 Broome, Western Australia
On the shore of the Indian Ocean is a small settlement called Broome, also called Rubibi by the Yawuru natives. The town, which is located on the traditional Yawuru lands, was first visited by Europeans in the 17th century, at a time when the local pearling industry was booming. John Forest didn’t select a location for the town until the end of the 19th century, and Sir Frederick Broome, the governor of Western Australia at the time, was honored in the town’s name.
The town expanded to include sights and tourist attractions over the ensuing decades as a result of the West Australian mining boom and rising tourism.
You can still see some of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who still make up about 1/5 of the population, if you visit the headstones in the Japanese Cemetery and the Memorial to the Indigenous Female Pear Divers in the city.
You can go to Cable Beach as well. The beach is full of charm and is known for its 22 kilometers of white sand; it is regarded as Broome’s crown jewel. Turn into Wharf Restaurant to unwind and sample some of the incredible seafood in a classic Kimberley setting.
Small Towns In Australia: #2 Port Douglas, Queensland
One of Australia’s most picturesque small towns, Port Douglas is only an hour’s drive from Cairns. The best months to visit the town are September, October, and May, which are off-peak months from September to May when the beach is less crowded with tourists.
Similar to Broome, Port Douglas was growing as a result of the mining and logging industries, with settlements beginning to appear near Mossman River as early as the early 19th century. But the town wasn’t actually founded until the century was over.
The Four Mile Beach should be on your itinerary if you’re visiting Port Douglas. After tanning, explore Port Douglas’ historic sites, including St. Mary’s by the Sea, Port Douglas Wharf, and Port Douglas Court House Museum.
If at all possible, schedule your trip to coincide with the Port Douglas carnival in May, when the streets of the city are decorated with color and more than 10,000 people attend. If you plan to visit the city in October, be sure to schedule your travel and accommodations to coincide with either the Great Barrier Reef Marathon Festival or Porttoberfest, a folk festival.
Small Towns In Australia: #3 Tennant Creek, North
For those wishing to travel and experience traditional Australia, Tennant Creek in Australia’s north is a true must-visit; more than half of the town’s residents are indigenous. The Waramungu people have been residing in the area for thousands of years, and the first European explorer only discovered the country in the middle of the 19th century.
The buildings of the telegraph station can still be visited today. In the decades that followed, an Overland Telegraph connecting Melbourne to London was built.
The city grew quickly after gold was discovered; you can still see the old bakery building from 1937, and even today, thanks to the owner of the richest gold mine in the region, Rising Sun Mine, every child and visitor to the city receives a Christmas gift at the Tennant Creek Christmas tree event, which is a must-visit if you’re considering a staycation in Australia during the month of December and the Christmas holidays.
Go-karting and the Nyinkka Nyunyu Arts and Cultural Centre both offer opportunities to learn about Aboriginal life, history, and culture while you are in the area.
Small Towns In Australia: #4 Kalgoorlie, Western Australia
Approximately a 6-hour drive from Pert in Western Australia’s Goldfields-Esperance Region, Kalgoorlie is a historic country town with stunning 19th-century architecture. The city’s name literally translates to “place of the silky pears” and comes from the Wangai language. But the city wasn’t actually founded until the beginning of the 20th century, at the height of the gold rush in Western Australia.
Today, staying in one of the historic hotels and taking a stroll through Boulder’s historic Town—which includes the town hall and other structures dating back to 1882—are the best ways to experience the city’s laid-back atmosphere. Visit Hoover’s Cafe or have dinner at Exchange Hotel Kalgoorlie to sample the regional fare.
Small Towns In Australia: #5 Kununurra, Western Australia
Due to its picturesque hills and ranges, Kununurra, in Australia’s far north, makes our list of the most picturesque small towns you must visit. It is only 45 kilometers from the Northern Territory border. In contrast to other towns, the river plays a significant role in agriculture and the community’s economy; the town’s name literally translates as “river” in the Miriwoong language.
Kununurra is a great location for river beach vacations because of the Ord River, Valentine Spring, Black Rock Creek, Middle Springs, and other waterfalls and swimming holes.
At the Diversion Dam, Buttons Crossing, or Ivanhoe Crossing, you can go fishing or go swimming. If you’re considering a long weekend staycation, put Lake Argyle on your road trip itinerary since Kununurra is only an hour’s drive from Australia’s largest man-made lake.
Bird-watching is a must-do if you share our love of the outdoors, as you can see a variety of wild birds, including estrildid finches, in the Ord Irrigation Area Important Bird Area.
Small Towns In Australia: #6 Melrose, South Australia
The oldest and, arguably, one of the most picturesque small towns in Australia is Melrose in the Flinders Ranges. This town, which was formerly known as “Mount Remarkable,” is located less than three hours’ drive from Adelaide. Since the 1840 arrival of the first European settlers, the city has largely escaped the effects of globalization.
If you enjoy being in nature, you should go to the town because the Mount Remarkable National Park is home to many different species, including goannas, emus, echidnas, and kookaburras. The park is home to 117 native bird species, including wedge-tailed eagles and Australian ringneck parrots.
When planning your trip to Melrose, try to visit during the months of June or August, when the Fat Tyre Festival (an off-road and freak bike festival) and the King of Mount trail race, which attracts walkers and runners to race to the top of Mt. Remarkable, respectively, take place.
Small Towns In Australia: #7 Beechworth, Victoria
Most likely, one of Australia’s most amazing small towns is Beechworth. This hidden gem in Victoria is frequently left off lists of Australia’s top tourist destinations.
However, the town has a wealth of picturesque locations where anyone on vacation can spend some time going on an adventure (take on the tracks and try cross-trail cycling) or visiting natural attractions like landscapes and waterfalls.
The town now has a new Spa Beechworth if you’re yearning for a much-needed vacation of rest and relaxation. Do not forget to take advantage of the opportunity to send a free telegram from Beechworth to your loved ones after exploring the area, taking brief nature strolls by yourself, or participating in the Historic Precinct walking tours. However, when relaxing in your hotel room at night, you can remotely access the Burke Museum’s historical and family history online collections.
Small Towns In Australia: #8 Yamba, New South Wales
NSW’s Yamba is a small coastal community. While Yamba beach still has plenty of openness, wilderness, and intimacy to offer, Bayron Bay may have been among the best beach vacation spots a few decades ago. However, in addition to lazing on the beach, it is also worthwhile to travel here if you want to go surfing or explore the city.
Pet owners are welcome at one of the Yamba beaches; they can let their dogs run free at Pippi Beach. However, for those seeking untamed, undeveloped beaches, Convent Beach is the way to go. Here, you can relax amidst the cliffs and vegetation.
Visit Irons and Craig, one of the best coffee shops in Yamba, before taking a stroll along the beach. The Yamba farmers and producers market is open every Wednesday morning. Here, you can purchase organic fruit that the locals have harvested from their own backyards.
Small Towns In Australia: #9 Port Fairy, South-Western Victoria
Another coastal community in Victoria, Port Fair is situated in southwestern Australia. It’s a great day trip or weekend destination for anyone visiting Victoria’s capital and is only a three-hour drive from Melbourne. Port Fairy is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience and immerse themselves in quaint village life. The city’s history is ever-present and can be seen in the city’s wide streets lined with 19th-century cottages, old stone churches, and the old fishing village port.
You can stroll around the neighborhood port, go stand-up paddle-boarding, or enroll in a surfing lesson for a more daring activity. As you make your way through the old part of the town, stop by a number of boutiques and antique shops.
Learn more about the Port Fairy Maritime and Shipwreck Heritage Walk’s past before you participate. If you intend to travel to Port Fairy in the spring, be sure to attend the March Port Fairy Folk Festival.
Small Towns In Australia: #10 Strahan, Tasmania
Another one of Australia’s charming small towns, Strahan is a harborside community on the country’s western coast. In contrast to other small Australian towns, Strahan is situated in the middle of the coast and is tucked away on the shores of Macquarie Harbour.
It is a gateway to the Franklin-Gordon Wild River National Park and is situated in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. You can reserve a boat cruise that takes you to the Gordon River’s rainforests if you want to visit the park and get up close to the wildlife.
The Strahan Island, which was once a notorious prison for convicts and is still full of tales from the days of the pioneers and convicts, has something to offer for those interested in history, too.
Today, it is safe to stroll the streets of Strahan and visit the local shops that offer handcrafted goods. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the enormous sand dunes and take a quick walk to Hogarth Hills to look for platypus if you love the outdoors.
Small Towns In Australia: #11 Lorne, Victoria
Lorne, a popular stop along the Great Ocean Road tourist route, is situated in Victoria’s Louttit Bay. It bears the name of Captain Lorne, who in 1841 sought safety after a shipwreck.
Today, the town offers pier fishing for whiting and barracuda in addition to surfing and tanning. But Lorne is more than just one of Australia’s most picturesque small towns.
Going to Otway National Park is a good idea if you enjoy the outdoors because you can see the stunning Erskine River Falls there. The best time to experience Loren is during the summer, when you can camp outdoors, but you can plan your trip to coincide with major celebrations like the Great Ocean Road Marathon or New Year’s Eve.
But if you love the outdoors, be sure to check out the cascading waterfalls where you can spot kangaroos grazing on the grass and koalas dozing in tree branches.
Small Towns In Australia: #12 Burnt Pine, Norfolk Island
Burnt Pine has many stunning natural areas to explore, so be sure to set aside at least one day (we recommend a weekend!) for the area. Visit Norfolk Island National Park to see the stunning red sand dunes or visit St. Barnabas Chapel to see the exquisitely decorated wood ceilings and glass windows.
Climb Mount Pitt, gaze over Philip Island, or visit Queen Victoria’s Garden for stunning man-made landscapes for inspiration. After a long day of exploring the town on foot, unwind in Norfolk Island’s Golden Orb Bookshop and Café or satiate your hunger with a delectable salad at High Tide Kitchen.
Small Towns In Australia: #13 Nelson Bay, New South Wales
The largest town in the Port Stephens area and arguably one of the most picturesque small towns in Australia, Nelson Bay is ideally situated for weekend getaways when you want to settle down and explore the area.
Here, you can take a cruise to see a sunset on the beach or go to the Port Stephens Great Lakes Marine Park to look for dolphins. With Dolphin Swim Australia, you can also swim with wild dolphins if you arrive between September and May. But marine life doesn’t end there.
In the Fly Point-Halifax Aquatic Reserve, you can go whale watching or scuba diving to see sponge gardens, soft corals, and even sea turtles. Visit the Nelson Head Lighthouse, which was built in the 19th century and is on the heritage list, and enjoy a cup of coffee nearby.
Visit Tomaree National Park, Fingal Bay, or the enormous Stockton Bight sand dunes in the Worimi Conservation Lands to make it a fully natural getaway.
Small Towns In Australia: #14 Quoeenscliff, Victoria
Queenscliff is for lovers of history. There is a lot to see and do in this small, charming town in Victoria, Australia, from the Bellarine Railway to the Fort Queenscliff Museum and Queenscliff High Light. Visit maritime and historical museums after relaxing on the beach (which is much less crowded than most Victoria beaches).
Discover the military history of Fort Queenscliff from the 1860s onward, and take the guided tour to see the fort and enter it. Plan your trip for November if you’re going to the seaside town during the off-season to attend the Queenscliff Music Festival.
Small Towns In Australia: #15 Mossman, Queensland
For those looking to unwind in nature, Mossman in Queensland, Australia, is a must-visit destination. The region has a lot more to offer and is undoubtedly among Australia’s most picturesque small towns.
Take a Mossman rainforest tour, go drift snorkeling, and stroll through Mossman Gorge beneath enormous rainforest trees; you won’t believe your eyes!
You can also take a food trail tour, meet the local farmers who raise the fish and produce the wine, and fully appreciate the Port Douglas region.
There are crocodile express tours available for those seeking some adrenaline rush, but a sunset cruise is offered daily in the lagoon for those seeking peace and beauty instead.
Small Towns In Australia: #16 Apollo Bay, Southwestern Victoria
At the base of the Otways, in southwest Victoria, is the small town of Apollo Bay. As one of the most beautiful stops along Australia’s Great Ocean Road, which runs through the Great Otway National Park, this small seafood village became a popular travel destination. Apollo Bay, which can be reached from Melbourne in 2.5 hours by car, provides a wide range of activities.
You can rent a kayak and tour the pristine coastline if you want to spend some time at the beach. If you’re feeling particularly daring, you can also go surfing, paddle boarding, or diving.
Visit the Great Otway National Park in Apollo Bay for some well-deserved time in the outdoors. This park is home to numerous waterfalls, including the three cascades of Triplet Falls, as well as beaches and mountains.
Small Towns In Australia: #17 Margaret River, Perth
Margaret River is a relaxed small town situated in the valley of the named Margaret River, south of Perth, Western Australia. The Margaret River Wine Region, which contains 215 wineries, 5,017 hectares of vineyards, and numerous boutique wineries, is the main attraction for tourists to this area.
The Margaret River Wine Region, a multi-award-winning wine region, produces 20% of Australia’s premium wine and offers visitors a choice of over 90 cellar doors.
The Margaret River region, which is well-known as the classic vacation spot in Western Australia, also provides a number of family-friendly activities. The 140-kilometer Cape to Cape Track, a bike tour, and some of the limestone caves that are located beneath the Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge are all options for nature lovers.
Small Towns In Australia: #18 Augusta, Western Australia
A view of Flinders Bay in Augusta, Australia’s blue, unpolluted ocean.
One of the best family vacation spots in Australia is Augusta, which is situated where the Blackwood River enters Flinders Bay. Within 3.5 hours from Perth, this small town is a well-liked vacation spot, especially from June to September when whales migrate to the waters of Flinders Bay.
In fact, during that time of year, about 35,000 whales pass by this coastline. Climbing the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, which offers a breathtaking view of the spot where two oceans converge, is another fantastic activity in Augusta.
Small Towns In Australia: #19 Victor Harbor, South Australia
At Australia’s Victor Harbour Beach, a sunset in the color orange.
During the summer months, Victor Harbour ranks among the most popular tourist destinations in Austria. This small town is situated within the City of Victor Harbor, South Australia, and is surrounded by beaches, rock cliffs, and rivers, creating the ideal setting for an adventurous vacation.
In the summer, there are beachside markets held every second and fourth Sunday of the month, beach volleyball matches on the pier, and boat tours of the ocean.
However, if you’re thinking about going to Victor Harbour in the winter, there are still plenty of wonderful attractions there, including the Hindmarsh Falls, which are best seen after a lot of rain.
Small Towns In Australia: #20 Esperance, Western Australia
Jumping kangaroo on Australia’s Lucky Bay Beach’s white sand.
One of Australia’s most beautiful beachfronts is in Esperance. This small town is blessed with fine quartz sand beaches and some of the clearest waters in the nation. It is situated on the south coast of WA. Near Esperance, there are two main attractions.
The first one is Pink Lake, a lake that used to be pink due to its high salt content. Although the lake had not been pink for more than ten years, once the Esperance Shire Council begins the salt-pumping plan, it is possible that it will turn pink once again.
Kangaroo watching on Lucky Bay beach, where the marsupials frequently sunbathe on its white sand, is another well-known attraction in the city. Driving alongside the city’s uninhabited islands and snorkeling in the Woody Island Nature Reserve are two more must-see activities in Esperance.
How many small towns are there in Australia?
There are about 1,700 small towns in Australia. The majority of them are found in the southeast and along the country’s eastern coastline.
Where is the least populated place in Australia?
Australia’s least populated city is Darwin. The city has 148,564 residents and a density of 703 people per square kilometer.
In Australia, there is a lot to see and do. Watch out and discover Australia’s best small towns hidden beneath its busiest cities and beaches.
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Topic: The 20 Most Beautiful Small Towns In Australia Worth Visiting
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By: Travel Pixy