Top 10 Regional Australia Destinations

Exploring Hidden Gems

Australia’s regional towns are a treasure trove of natural beauty, cultural richness, and unique experiences just waiting to be discovered. From the rugged Outback to the charming countryside, each destination offers its own distinct allure.

Let’s embark on a journey to explore Southern Cross Motel Group’s top 10 regional Australia destinations, showcasing the beauty and diversity of the land down under.

  1. Cloncurry, Queensland

Known as the “Friendly Heart of the Great North West,” Cloncurry is a vibrant Outback town steeped in history and surrounded by breathtaking landscapes. Visitors can explore the heritage-listed Mary Kathleen Memorial Park, which is home to the Mary Kathleen Mine (with its stunning blue coloured water), delve into the region’s mining past at the Cloncurry Unearthed Visitor Information Centre, and marvel at the stunning sunset views from the iconic Mary Kathleen Lookout.

Cloncurry is also home to the Chinaman Creek Dam which is located just 5 minutes from the centre of town and is a great place to swim, walk or paddleboard. Cloncurry is also part of the Australian Silo Art Trail and the Cloncurry Water Tank is a masterpiece by artist Joel Fergie that is a must see when you’re in the area.

Top 10 Regional Australia Destinations

  1. Mackay, Queensland

Surrounded by lush rainforests, pristine beaches, and the sparkling waters of the Coral Sea, Mackay is a coastal paradise waiting to be explored. Visitors can soak up the sun at popular beach destinations like Harbour Beach, Lambert Beach and Eimeo Beach, explore the vibrant arts and culture scene at the Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre, and discover the region’s rich marine life at the Mackay Marina.

The Blue Lagoon in the centre of town is a popular place to take the kids to cool off on a hot day and the Botanic Gardens is a great option to spend the day wandering around as well. Jump on the Wildcat boat and snorkel in the waters around Mackay or join a tour of Eungella National Park to see if you can spot a platypus.

Top 10 Regional Australia Destinations

  1. Rockhampton, Queensland

Known as the “Beef Capital of Australia,” Rockhampton is a bustling regional hub renowned for its vibrant culture, historic architecture, and picturesque riverfront precinct. Visitors can experience the thrill of the Great Western Hotel rodeo, explore the heritage-listed buildings of Quay Street, and embark on scenic river cruises along the Fitzroy River.

Spend the afternoon hiking up Mount Archer to watch the sunset, take the kids to the Botanic Gardens and explore all the animals at the Rockhampton Zoo, or explore the Capricorn Caves during a tour. You can also jump on a boat and do a day tour of Great Keppel Island where you can snorkel with tropical fish, turtles and the manta rays that frequent the area.

Top 10 Regional Australia Destinations

  1. Gladstone, Queensland

Nestled on the shores of the stunning Gladstone Harbour, Gladstone is a vibrant coastal city renowned for its pristine beaches, world-class fishing, and vibrant arts scene. Visitors can explore the marina precinct, relax on the golden sands of Tannum Sands Beach, and discover the region’s rich maritime history at the Gladstone Maritime Museum.

Jump on a boat and spend the day at Heron Island or Wilson Island where you can kayak, swim or snorkel in the crystal clear water around the islands. Take a drive to the town of 1770 or Agnes Waters and sign up for a surfing lesson or tour the area on a Lark Tour (a very unique boat with wheels that enables you to ride across deserted sandy beaches!).

  1. Wide Bay Burnett, Queensland

Stretching from the pristine beaches of Hervey Bay to the rolling hills of the hinterland, the Wide Bay Burnett region is a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors can swim at the beautiful beaches at Hervey Bay, explore the majestic beauty of K’Gari (formally known as Fraser Island), and discover the region’s rich agricultural heritage at historic sugar cane plantations.

Whether you want to see baby turtles hatching at Mon Repos, do a tour of the Bundaberg Rum Distillery or snorkel in the crystal clear waters of Lady Musgrave or Lady Elliot Islands, Bundaberg is a definite must see when visiting the Wide Bay Burnett area.

Maryborough is host to the famous Mary Poppins festival in June each year, where fans of the movie dress up and hit the streets, parading about in a storytelling program that includes a mix of art, culture, music and literature.

  1. Chinchilla, Queensland

Famous for its bi-annual Melon Festival every second February, Chinchilla is a bustling town nestled in the heart of the Western Downs. Snap a selfie with the Big Melon and enjoy the festivities when the Melon festival takes place. Take part in free family friendly activities like melon skiing, melon pip spitting, melon bungy and melon chariot races, or just enjoy the street parade and beach party.

When the Melon Festival is not in full swing, visitors can also explore the Chinchilla Botanic Parkland which offers kids a water play area and prehistoric flora and fauna to explore. Sample delicious local produce at the Chinchilla Markets, or experience nature at its best at the nearby Chinchilla Weir, where you can launch your kayak, throw in a fishing rod and spend a relaxing day on the water.

Top 10 Regional Australia Destinations

  1. Lithgow/Seven Valleys, New South Wales

Located near the scenic Blue Mountains in New South Wales, Lithgow and the Seven Valleys region offer a picturesque escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Visitors can explore the historic Lithgow Ironworks and Blast Furnace Park, marvel at the stunning views from Hassan’s Walls Lookout, and embark on scenic hikes through the region’s lush national parks.

The Blue Mountains National Park is one of the country’s premier destinations for hiking and immersing oneself in nature. The Blue Mountains National Park stands as one of the premier destinations in the country for hiking and immersing oneself in nature’s wonders. Delve into a myriad of trails, ranging from leisurely strolls to challenging treks, unveiling hidden caves, enchanting glow worm tunnels, and breathtaking waterfalls waiting to be discovered by eager visitors.

  1. Parkes, New South Wales

Famous for its annual Elvis Festival and the iconic Parkes Observatory, Parkes is a delightful little town nestled in the heart of country New South Wales. Every January, Parkes comes alive with the vibrant spirit of the Elvis Festival, celebrating the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll in all his glory. From dazzling tribute performances to iconic Elvis-themed events, the festival transforms the town into a glittering homage to the music, style, and charisma of Elvis Presley.

Visitors can explore the fascinating world of astronomy at the Parkes Observatory where you can seek solace beneath the stars as you gaze up at the night sky on a journey through space and time. Discover the town’s rich agricultural heritage at the Henry Parkes Centre, where you will be greeted by a treasure trove of exhibits and artifacts offering a glimpse into Australia’s past.

  1. Narrabri & Dubbo, New South Wales

Surrounded by rolling plains and picturesque countryside, Narrabri and Dubbo offer a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Visitors can explore the natural beauty of the Pilliga Forest, encounter native wildlife at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo, and immerse themselves in the region’s rich agricultural heritage at the Dubbo Observatory and Visitors Centre.

Narrabri is the perfect area to go hiking with Mount Kaputar National Park in such close proximity. This area is a fantastic wilderness escape in regional New South Wales with waterfalls, lookouts and nature trails featured all throughout the national park.

  1. Tennant Creek, Northern Territory

Located in the heart of the iconic Australian Outback, Tennant Creek is a rugged frontier town steeped in Indigenous culture and history. Visitors can explore the ancient rock formations of the Devils Marbles, immerse themselves in Aboriginal art and culture at the Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre, and embark on unforgettable outback adventures along the iconic Barkly Highway.

Anyone travelling from Alice Springs to Darwin needs to stop off in Tennant Creek to explore the Barkly region, which is known for it’s cattle stations, gold mining heritage, lakes and ancient rock formations. Book in to do one of our sunset workshops where you can discover an opportunity to learn about bush culture, medicines and cooking.

Top 10 Regional Australia Destinations

From the sun-drenched beaches of Queensland to the rugged Outback of the Northern Territory, these top 10 regional Australia destinations offer a diverse array of experiences just waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, there’s something for everyone in the hidden gems of regional Australia. So, pack your bags, hit the road, and embark on the ultimate Australian adventure!

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