There are numerous charming small towns in Australia. If you intend to travel Down Under, you will only be rewarded if you venture off the beaten path and spend time in some of our most charming small towns. Continue reading to find out more.
Although Sydney, Melbourne, Cairns, and Byron Bay are popular tourist destinations, small towns and villages in Australia have much to offer.
They are all quite beautiful and charming in their own way, whether they are in the heart of our bushland and countryside or by the beach.
Each location on this list has its own unique characteristics. Stunning beaches and historic structures. Unique festivals or exquisite gourmet cuisine.
If you want to travel off the beaten path in Australia, you should strongly consider adding these locations to your itinerary.
Here is our list of the best Australian small towns to visit, organized by state and territory.
SMALL TOWNS IN AUSTRALIA: VICTORIA
APOLLO BAY, VIC
Population size: 1598
Peoples of Wadawuurung, Eastern Maar, and Gunditjmara are the traditional owners.
Victoria’s beachfront Apollo Bay is situated smack in the middle of the Great Ocean Road.
This breathtaking route is extremely popular with both locals and tourists. With the popular surfing destination Bells Beach on one end and the magnificent Twelve Apostles on the other, this region of the world is rich in natural beauty.
The beach is the primary attraction, and rightfully so. The majestic beauty of the crashing waves refreshes the spirit. Additionally, there is a patrolled area for safe swimming.
Café 153 offers excellent coffee, and the scallop pies at Apollo Bay Bakery are legendary. Even if you’re not staying in Apollo Bay, you must stop for lunch!
If you have a few days, there are numerous things to do.
Visit the Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge by car. The trip takes about 90 minutes, and these attractions are frequently crowded. Get an early start to avoid the Melbourne-bound day trip buses.
Explore the historic Cape Otway lighthouse on your way back. The Great Otway National Park offers tranquil walks and waterfalls close to town, and the Otway Fly Treetop Walk provides access to the gumtrees.
Population size: 1728
Traditional Owners: Dja Dja Wurrung individuals
Clunes is Victoria’s most historically significant town.
A stroll along the main street will transport you to the 1850s.
This was the time when gold was first discovered, and miners from all over the world flocked to Ballarat and Bendigo in an attempt to strike it rich.
The town is 140 kilometers (100 minutes) from Melbourne, making it an ideal day-trip destination for the gold field region.
But Clunes is not only concerned with gold.
Booktown Festival, the largest annual book event in Victoria, is held there. This literary extravaganza attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from across the nation in a single weekend.
Clunes is also a film lover’s paradise, as numerous Australian films and television shows have been filmed here, including “Mad Max,” which launched the career of Mel Gibson, and “Ned Kelly,” starring the late Heath Ledger. It is still used as a film backdrop today.
Population size: 2548
Traditional Owners: Dja Dja Wurrung individuals
Many cities and towns you visit leave you more exhausted and stressed. Daylesford is an exception to this rule.
Daylesford is located in the heart of Spa County in Victoria and offers an abundance of activities for a relaxing vacation.
Surrounded by natural springs, walking through the Mineral Springs reserve is a wonderful (and free) activity. Fill your water bottles with pure mineral water straight from the source.
After this, take advantage of the water’s curative and restorative properties by visiting the renowned Hepburn Bathhouse, which has been in operation since 1895.
Warm natural springs can be enjoyed here. Then, select from the extensive menu of treatments and massages designed to improve your well-being.
Once you have reached a state of calm, sample some of the local natural produce.
The local farmers market provides a variety of high-quality, locally produced goods. This is a great place to stop before visiting Daylesford Cider.
Enjoy one of their organic apple ciders in the lovely gardens, and in the winter, relax with live music by the fire.
Population size: 5280
The Gunaikurnai people are the traditional owners.
Maffra is one of those small, unremarkable Australian towns located just off the Princes Highway in Gippsland.
This town was once the location of a Devondale Milk factory (now owned by a Canadian multi-national).
Two things make Maffra well-known or renowned.
First, there is the Maffra Pie.
This delectable pastry is available for takeout throughout the entire Gippsland region.
It is the finest example of a tender, flavorful pastry filled with premium ground beef and gravy. The Maffra Bakery has been producing these exquisite pastries for more than half a century.
The Gippsland Vehicle Collection, created by three friends and a bar, is the second thing Maffra is known for.
Today, the Gippsland Vehicle Collection welcomes visitors and automobiles from all over Australia.
The Shed, as it is commonly referred to in its neighborhood, regularly rotates its automobile collections and hosts auto shows throughout the year.
The Gippsland Vehicle Collection has received numerous local tourism awards and has earned a four-star rating on TripAdvisor.
Additionally, Maffra is famous for its tree-lined main street. Stretch your legs along the town’s main street while perusing the small shops or sipping a latte at one of the many cafes.
Population size: 1114
Traditional Owners are the Wadawuurung, Eastern Maar, and Gunditjmara peoples
Along Victoria’s well-known Great Ocean Road is the thriving town of Lorne.
During the height of the tourist season, Melbourne residents flock to the area for day trips and weekend getaways.
Out of season, the town is completely transformed. It still generates buzz. Typically, all stores will be open year-round.
There is an excellent information centre and historical display about the construction of the Great Ocean Road in the city.
The main attraction is the beautiful beach and the forest that reaches all the way into town.
The views from Teddys Lookout on the outskirts of Lorne are breathtaking, as they overlook the winding ocean road and the ocean. Additionally, koalas are frequently spotted in the manna gum trees along the path.
Erskine Falls is the best walk from Lorne (after lunch at the eatery Cafe Kaos).
It begins near the supermarket and covers less than 8 kilometers in approximately 3 hours.
These falls are one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Victoria, and Lorne is an ideal location from which to walk to them.
SMALL TOWNS IN AUSTRALIA: NEW SOUTH WALES
NELSON BAY, NSW
Population size: 5,396
Traditional Owners: Worimi citizens
Less than three hours’ drive north of Sydney lies one of the country’s best-kept secrets and one of the most charming small towns in Australia.
This small peninsula is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, and it’s easy to escape the crowds.
The Stockton sand dunes, which stretch from nearby Newcastle to the coast of Port Stephens, are an interesting feature.
These 32 km long shifting sand dunes are the longest in the southern hemisphere and can be explored by 4WD or sand boarding.
At low tide, you can walk across the exposed sand of “Fingal Spit” and visit the lighthouse if you enjoy walking.
Tomaree Head is a nearby trail that is also worth exploring. Take a brief but steep ascent to the summit, where you will be rewarded with sweeping views of the surrounding area.
If you are fortunate, you may observe the telltale water plumes of migrating Humpback Whales.
Fan of marine life and fish in general? In Nelson Bay, you can embark on a cruise to observe dolphins.
The boat will take you out of the bay and provide you with breathtaking views of the coast. There is also a high likelihood of spotting the resident dolphins.
There are numerous locations where you can rent a surfboard, stand-up paddle board, or kayak if you are more daring.
Population size: 10,923
Traditional Owners: the Mudgee and Dabee ethnic groups
Mudgee is a thriving and expanding town located north-west of Sydney.
The town is surrounded by hills and has a thriving wine industry. It can be reached in three and a half hours via the Blue Mountains and Western Plains.
In contrast to the Hunter Valley, Mudgee’s wineries are family-owned, giving them a warm and inviting atmosphere.
Mudgee also has fantastic restaurants, both in the city and in wineries. The city has attracted real talent in this field, and some residents have embraced a sustainable food culture wholeheartedly.
Mudgee is a weekend destination with a variety of accommodation options for all types of travelers. Choose a quaint B&B on a hill overlooking a valley or one of the other accommodations in town.
Even scenic hot air balloon rides over the entire city are available.
Mudgee is an excellent destination for food and wine lovers who wish to escape the hustle and bustle of Sydney. You will receive the kind of hospitality that is unique to Australia’s small towns.
Population size: 206
Ellenborough Falls, a beautiful waterfall, is probably the most well-known feature of this tiny mountain town.
It is one of the longest single-drop waterfalls in the Southern Hemisphere, at 200 meters.
You can see for yourself why this is one of the Manning Valley’s most popular natural attractions by stopping at one of the numerous vantage points along the descent trail.
It’s particularly cool that when you reach the bottom, you can stand beneath the spray and take photos from one of the vantage points.
However, the waterfalls are not the only reason to visit Elands.
In addition, there is a small community of artists and hippies who have decorated and made the town feel like home.
Please visit the Oxygen Farm Trail and The Rapids.
At The Rapids, you can slide down a naturally smooth cliff face into a shallow basin or simply sunbathe on one of the warm, dark rocks.
Population size: 3000
The word ‘Narooma,’ which means “clear blue water” in Yuin, is the only way to describe the expansive views that greet you as you approach the coastal resort.
Without the crowds, Narooma offers pristine waterways, seaside relaxation, and an abundance of wildlife.
Many of the old wooden boathouses that line the estuaries provide fresh local seafood. You can swim, cast a line, play a round of golf on the cliffside, or simply relax in the sun.
Explore nearby historic Central Tilba and learn about the traditional past of Mount Gulaga.
Visit Montague Island, a former lighthouse that is now a nature reserve containing a large seal colony and approximately 90 species of birdlife.
A charter will bring you out to fish, snorkel, or swim with the seals, departing from the town wharf.
During their annual migration, the whales put on a spectacular show from September to November.
Enjoy a whale-watching tour, or simply observe them from one of the numerous viewing platforms along the 10-kilometer scenic pathway between Dalmeny and Kianga.
You can observe seals, dolphins, stingrays, and pelicans competing for food from the Mill Bay boardwalk or the numerous beaches. There are even emus and kangaroos.
JERVIS BAY, NSW
Population size: 391
Traditional Owners: language groups Dhurga and Dharawal
Jervis Bay, located 207 kilometers south of Sydney on the stunning South Coast of New South Wales, is ideal for a weekend getaway or longer.
Do you daydream of beaches with silvery sand, turquoise water, dolphins, penguins, and sea dragons, as well as breathtaking vistas? Then Jervis Bay is where you should be.
A morning stroll through the Jervis Bay National Park is possible. You may share the walking trails with one or two kangaroos.
From May to November, whale watching season is underway, and Huskisson offers whale watching cruises.
The Jervis Bay Marine Park offers up to fifty dive sites for scuba divers throughout the year.
Booderee National Park is the place to go if you enjoy camping and secluded beaches and coves. Green Patch, Bristol Point, and Cave Beach all provide camping opportunities.
The coastal communities of Vincentia, Callala Bay, Huskisson, and Hyams Beach offer a variety of lodging options to accommodate all budgets.
In recent years, Jervis Bay and its environs have become renowned for their culinary delights, particularly in the town of Huskisson.
It will be difficult to depart once your vacation is over.
Population size: 11,349
Traditional Owners are the Darkinyung
Terrigal is somewhat larger than other small towns in Australia; in fact, it is one of the most important towns in the Central Coast region, roughly an hour north of Sydney.
It is one of the best starting points for exploring the Central Coast because of its beach and coastal scenery.
Terrigal Beach is magnificent; it is a long, dramatic crescent of magnificent Pacific sand.
The majority of the town’s restaurants, along with the hotel and vacation apartments, are clustered near the southern end of the beach. The northern end of the lovely lagoon is considerably more tranquil.
In addition to the small bay at the Haven and the Skillion, a dramatic headland and cliff with a beautiful park behind, the best of Terrigal’s scenery is located at this end of town.
The next suburbs south of Terrigal are North Avoca and Avoca Beach, which contain one of the coast’s finest beaches.
Both the Bouddi National Park in the south and the Wyrrabalong National Park in the north are unexplored gems.
SMALL TOWNS IN AUSTRALIA: QUEENSLAND
AGNES WATER & 1770, QLD
Population size: 76
This Australian town has to be among the smallest!
The Town of 1770 (officially spelled 1770) is the location of James Cook’s second landing in Australia.
Along with the nearby town of Agnes Water, it’s a great place to get back to basics amidst the Australian coastline’s natural beauty.
It is a relatively tranquil area with numerous activities.
Paddle boarding, kayaking, surfing, and walking along the coast are available, as well as boat trips to the Great Barrier Reef’s southernmost region.
It has all the grandeur of the north of Queensland, but the surf, which diminishes as you travel further north, is still present.
The town of 1770 is now a protected area where no new construction is permitted, so nearby Agnes Water continues to grow and offers the majority of available accommodations.
There are campgrounds, hostels, cabins, and motels available.
If you’re looking for a place along the Queensland coast that is tranquil and relaxing but also offers a variety of activities, you should visit 1770!
AIRLIE BEACH, QLD
Population size: 1208
Airlie Beach is a small gem that has traditionally attracted fewer tourists than other coastal Queensland cities, such as Cairns.
It is the gateway to the southern Great Barrier Reef and the Whitsunday Islands and provides easy access to Whitehaven Beach, Australia’s most photographed beach.
The town’s laid-back atmosphere makes it popular among backpackers.
The main street is where everything is, and on Sundays, the esplanade hosts a weekly market with only locally produced goods.
This area is visited by saltwater crocodiles and has an issue with box jellyfish during certain times of the year.
This should not deter you, especially since they have a beautiful lagoon on the waterfront where you can swim year-round.
Additionally, you can sail to the Great Barrier Reef and fly to the Whitsundays.
SMALL TOWNS IN AUSTRALIA: SOUTH AUSTRALIA
COOBER PEDY, SA
Population size: 1762
Coober Pedy in South Australia’s Outback has to be one of the most fascinating small towns to visit in Australia.
Coober Pedy is 850 kilometers north of Adelaide and is best known for being the opal mining capital of the world and for having residents who live in underground dugouts.
There are no trees, little water, and numerous red dirt hills strewn throughout the town, giving it a Mars-like appearance.
A visit to Coober Pedy is incomplete without staying in an underground hotel. The rock walls provide natural air conditioning against the oppressive desert heat, and it is a surreal experience to sleep underground.
Check the local Comfort Inn’s rates in order to experience it for yourself.
You can also tour underground churches and restaurants and underground homes, including one with a swimming pool.
While in Coober Pedy, you must take a mine tour to learn how opal is extracted before purchasing a souvenir to take home.
SMALL TOWNS IN AUSTRALIA: WESTERN AUSTRALIA
MARGARET RIVER, WA
Population size: 4415
Traditional Owners are the Wadandi
Margaret River, tucked away in the beautiful southwest of Australia, is synonymous with award-winning wine, world-class surf breaks, and breathtaking scenery.
Although the surrounding region is what attracts visitors to the Margaret River area, the town itself has much to offer tourists as well.
Margaret River remains a rural community at heart. This bustling rural community is replete with modern and elegant additions.
The primary thoroughfare along Bussel Highway is becoming a center for trendy cafes, boutiques, wine bars, and galleries.
If you’re looking for a sophisticated evening out, look no further than Must Wine Bar, which offers exquisite regional produce and wine.
Settlers Tavern has entertained crowds for decades with its traditional pub fare and lively atmosphere, and it remains the best venue in the southwest for live music.
The queues of gnarly surfers and hipsters at the Margaret River bakery are well worth the wait, not least because of the bakery’s kitschy interior and plush purple velvet seats.
There are over 100 wineries, incredible breweries, legendary beaches, and enormous Karri forests to explore.
Population size: 868
Northampton is an Australian town located approximately five hours north of Perth.
The most intriguing feature of the city is the prevalence of painted fiberglass sheep. This is the result of the local “Ewe-Turn” festival.
First held in 2018, there was a competition where locals, artists, businesses and community groups could enter a painted sheep.
It is hoped that placing sheep around the town will increase tourism.
Northampton is close to several notable Western Australia landmarks, such as the pink Hutt Lagoon.
ROTTNEST ISLAND, WA
Population size: 334 (plus numerous quokkas)
Towel, swimsuit, hat, and sunscreen are all present.
Rottnest Island is a beautiful and relaxing oceanfront destination that is ideal for weekend getaways or day trips.
Rottnest Island, which is located off the coast of Perth, is accessible via a 1-1.5-hour one-way ferry ride (Book your ticket in advance).
Once you’ve reached the island, you can swim or snorkel in the azure waters, or relax on one of the sixty beaches.
You can also rent a bicycle to explore the island on two wheels or take a hop-on, hop-off bus tour to visit the island’s picturesque sites.
Not to mention the international celebrities that call the island home: the quokkas!
Quokkas are lovable marsupials that are inquisitive and will approach anyone they encounter.
Quokkas are found in designated areas on the island and in the vicinity of the Settlement Shops.
If you’re in the Settlement Shops, keep an eye out for peacocks parading or take a break at one of the many cafes.
Rottnest island is undoubtedly one of the best activities in Perth.
Population size: 1062
Yallingup, tucked away in the southwest corner of Western Australia, is a beach town.
The town has beautiful beaches with white sand and crystal clear water, ideal for a refreshing swim.
If you’re a watersports enthusiast who enjoys windsurfing, the strong winds of Washington and the state’s remote location could mean you’ll have the oceans to yourself.
Although Yallingup is a small town in a vast country, there are many things to do there. As a result of the region’s climate, which is cooler in the south, there are numerous excellent wineries spread throughout the region. Yallingup is no different!
Take a tour of the wineries to determine which beverage piques your interest and even purchase a souvenir bottle.
The location of Yallingup within the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park is also close to the larger nearby towns of Capes.
The park’s many caves are a popular destination for viewing some of nature’s most fascinating creations.
Canal Rocks is unquestionably the crowning glory of Yallingup. The crashing waves and red stones have an otherworldly quality, and climbing around them is quite the adventure.
With breathtaking landscapes and the freedom to roam, what else could you ask for? It’s a great place to escape to if you want to explore some Australian small towns.
A description of a road trip from Perth to South West Australia.
SMALL TOWNS IN AUSTRALIA: NORTHERN TERRITORY
Population size: 887
Traditional Owners are the Anangu
According to the 2016 census, Yulara is a small town in the Southern Region of the Northern Territory of Australia with a permanent population of fewer than 900 people.
It is also a popular tourist destination, as it is where the majority of Uluru tours begin and where all the area’s hotels and campsites are located.
The town is organized around one major roundabout, with a central square containing all of the shops and restaurants.
The entrance to Uluru & Uluu-Kata Tjua National Park is a 20-minute drive from Yulara.
There are many tours available in town that will take you to see magical things like the sunrise over Uluru, an evening at the Field of Light, and hiking in Kata Tjua.
Even though the town itself may be a bit sleepy, there are many beautiful things to see and do in the surrounding area.
Why not take a tour of the base of Uluru, followed by a possibly breathtaking sunset?
SMALL TOWNS IN AUSTRALIA: TASMANIA
LOWER CRACKPOT, TAS
Population size: undetermined
Lower Crackpot is one of the most interesting small towns in Australia, and it’s buried deep within Tasmania’s Promised Land (yes, it’s a real place with that name).
Lower Crackpot is the prize for successfully navigating the largest labyrinth in the Southern Hemisphere, Tasmazia, and reaching its center.
This location contains a 1/5th scale model town. Numerous structures honor Australian history and culture.
It is a fantastic place to explore alone or with children!
Is Lower Crackpot trustworthy? Although the population is minuscule, the town has its own postcode and you can send postcards with this stamp to friends and family.
Population size: 880
Richmond is a beautiful Tasmanian town located only thirty minutes from the state capital, Hobart.
It is one of the most charming (and historically significant) small Australian towns.
Due in part to a large number of original colonial buildings from Tasmania’s convict past, this town with a population of less than a thousand has an old-world charm.
It is the ideal destination for a day trip from Hobart because, despite its size, there are many things to do and see!
Nestled in the Coal River Valley are numerous award-winning vineyards and restaurants in and around the town, as well as a large number of charming cafés in the sandstone buildings of the city center.
The old-fashioned candy store is a favorite among tourists and locals due to the enormous glass jars of candies displayed on the walls and the tempting ice-creams available.
At “Old Hobart Town,” you can stroll across Australia’s oldest still-used bridge while watching ducks, explore a massive maze, or marvel at a miniature replica of colonial Hobart.
If you wish to learn more about the town’s convict history, you can also visit the Richmond Gaol. Saturdays also feature a charming village market on the local green.
There are numerous art galleries and antique shops, and you can even dress in colonial attire for a photoshoot!
Richmond is a truly charming small town that merits a visit. Here is a comprehensive list of cool things to do in Richmond.
Topic: 21 BEST SMALL TOWNS IN AUSTRALIA TO VISIT
Participate in Our Community “I Left My Heart in Australia” .A place where members can open up to one another, share their travel stories and photos, and experience a new way to travel Australia – together.