Top ten Aussie towns to visit on your next road trip

Two women laugh over a road trip map in their car, Australian desert background

You’re not alone if isolation has given you a renewed appreciation for your own backyard. According to Wotif CEO Daniel Finch, 88% of Australians are planning on travelling within their own country this year. 

Now that public health and border restrictions are easing, we reckon it’s time to celebrate our island’s breathtaking natural beauty with a tour of its most beautiful towns. Thankfully, the Top Ten Aussie Towns of 2022 have just been announced. So why not make your next holiday a road trip to these scenic destinations?

(Don’t forget to check up on the ol’ car insurance, too, while you’re at it – vacation is not the time to get caught out with unwanted expenses).

Without further ado, here are the top ten Aussie towns to visit for this year’s road trip.

1. Launceston, TAS (2022 Aussie Town of Year)

Magic hour view of Launceston intersection

This legendary little haven in the wilds of Tasmania remains heckin’ underrated. Nestled within a verdant wine region famous for its culture, nature, and pastoral charm, there’s always plenty to explore and do in Tassie’s second largest city. 

Admire the chasm of Cataract Gorge or wander the largest regional gallery in Australia. Locals recommend checking out the  Harvest Launceston Community Farmers Market on Saturday mornings. It’s events like this that earned Launceston recognition as a “UNESCO City of Gastronomy”.

2. Caloundra, QLD

Beach view of Caloundra, Queensland

This sweeping town on the Sunshine coast has more to offer than just sapphire waters and ivory sands (though that already sounds divine). With plenty of beaches, markets, boutiques and attractions, Caloundra is perfect for swimmers, couples, and families seeking a seaside getaway. 

3. Tamworth, NSW

Magic hour view of Tamworth, NSW

The country music capital of Australia has certainly made a name for itself worldwide. Celebrated this year in April instead of the usual January, the Country Music Festival established Tamworth as a regional hub of art and culture, but there’s still plenty to do year-round. Surrounded by rolling hills and picturesque country drives, it’s easy to get lost among the area’s many natural parks and waterfalls. Grab a selfie in front of the Big Golden Guitar and get amongst the rural vibes. 

4. Yarra Valley, VIC

Yarra Valley with a hot air balloon at dusk
Photo by Hendra Pontomudis

Up in the Dandenong Ranges just outside of Melbourne, locals know the Yarra Valley as a  heaven-sent refuge from citylife. Romantic and dramatic, this place has all you need for a luxurious escape. Try the quality local food and wine, or float above it all in a colourful hot air balloon. There’s a range of accommodation options to suit your adventure tastes, too, all alongside breathtaking natural views and scenery

5. Adelaide Hills, SA

Sunset view of a vineyard in Adelaide Hills, SA

Aptly named, this rolling, sylvan countryside locale just east of Adelaide boasts bountiful vineyards, exquisite natural surroundings, and year-round seasonal highlights. Never short of local colour, Adelaide Hills is perfect for a cosy, rustic getaway from urban living. Upcoming autumn highlights include a wash of red leaves in the Mount Lofty Botanic Garden and apple/fig picking.

6. Bright, VIC

Autumn suburb in Bright, Victoria

Adding to our collection of absolutely charming town names, the mountainous Bright is the perfect holiday spot for outdoor enthusiasts. Carved with beautiful valleys, crystal rivers, and snowy peaks, there’s plenty of nature to soothe your soul. Take a tour of the bike trails before resting up at the rustic breweries, day spas, or wellness boutiques.

7. Hervey Bay, QLD

Jetty on the seaside in Hervey Bay, Queensland

Located three and a half hours north of Brisbane, Hervey Bay (pronounced “haa-vee”) is the natural cove between the World Heritage listed K'gari (Fraser) Island and the mainland. Home to nearly 14 kilometres of beach, Hervey Bay is famous for its whale watching tours and mild climate, making it a sunny oceanside destination year round. 

8. Halls Gap, VIC

A white woman stands on a cliff's edge overviewing Grampians National Park

Placed at the heart of a stunning national park, Halls Gap serves as the “Gateway to the Grampians”. Treat this iconic tourist village as your basecamp while embarking on highland adventures, with plenty of accommodation, eateries, and shopping to enjoy alongside ancient and epic landscapes. 

9. Batemans Bay, NSW

A white man walks down the pier at Batesman's Bay

Batemans Bay and the surrounding Eurobodalla region has long been a jewel of the NSW South Coast. Known for marrying the best of civilisation and nature, Batemans Bay caters to everyone’s idea of a perfect holiday. Take the kids on a trip thirty minutes south to the Mogo Zoo, or surprise your significant other with a luxurious stay in a houseboat. Explore the ancient heritage sites and magnificent rock formations, or try out the fresh seafood and watersports on both the Clyde River and shimmering sea.

10. Busselton, WA

A view of the famous blue jetty out into the Indian Ocean at Busselton, Western Australia

Last but not least, Busselton rounds out our top ten by encompassing boundless ocean views, heritage adventures, and vivid sunsets on the Indian Ocean. Only a two and a half hour drive from Perth, Busselton rests at the edge of cellar country, with Margaret River vineyards within driving distance of its turquoise vistas. Have a walk on the nearly two kilometre long historic jetty while watching for the annual whale migrations from May to December, or sample the artisanal food and crafts. 

Why having car insurance is important

If you’re planning a road trip to any of these incredible destinations, be sure to check up on your car insurance policies beforehand. Remember: it’s required by Australian law to have a minimum coverage, usually Compulsory Third Party Insurance (CTP). Check out our FAQ below for more details, or peruse some best Australian car insurance policies.

FAQ

What kind of car insurance do I need in Australia?

No matter where you live in Australia, you are required to have a minimum level of car insurance, usually Compulsory Third Party Insurance (CTP). However, the rules can vary slightly in different states and territories, so be sure to get clear about what best applies to your situation.

Does travel insurance cover driving a car?

There are a few different kinds of travel insurance that cover the costs of driving a car, particularly rental car excesses or liability protection from accidents. These kinds of coverages are usually included in comprehensive policies (as opposed to basic) in both domestic and international travel insurances. At the end of the day, however, whether you’re vacationing locally or abroad, travel insurance is a must, so it’s important to consider your needs when choosing the policy that’s right for you.

Can I get travel insurance in Australia?

Absolutely; check our list of Australian travel insurance providers to get started.

What are some common car insurance exclusions?

There are a few no-brainers when it comes to car insurance exclusions. For example, you’re very unlikely to get a pay out for drug and alcohol related driving offences, or other illegal activities like driving without a licence or in an unregistered vehicle. However, there are some grey areas, too, like whether you’ve overloaded your car, or what level of roadside assistance is available to you. The key is to make sure you understand what’s covered in your policy before filing your claim.

We’ve written up the seven most common things not covered by comprehensive car insurance if you’d like to learn more.

What are the best car insurance policies?

We’re glad you asked! Every year our research team combs through thousands of car insurance policies and puts them through rigorous testing processes to measure quality against price, revealing the very best policies currently on the market. Check out Mozo’s Expert Choice Awards for the best car insurance to compare and save.

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