Australia is most famous for the urban landmarks of the Sydney Opera House and Melbourne’s laneways and its natural beauty; like Uluru, a vast Aboriginal rock in the middle of a red desert, and countless sandy beaches. But plenty of small towns in Australia are well worth visiting too. These spots contain close-knit communities and are often the gateway to beautiful surrounding nature. These spots are perfect to visit whether in Australia on vacation or for a longer time, and are popular with travelers of all ages.
Widely known as Australia’s hippie capital, beautiful Byron Bay spans gorgeous coastline and backs onto glorious jungle. There’s lots of attractions within the town, including the legendary lighthouse, tropical tree sanctuary and the white sand beaches, and lots of natural beauty in the hinterland too.
But Byron Bay’s best attraction is probably the unique vibe of the town. It’s somewhere where everyone is accepted and all cultures appreciated. The town is brimming with quirky cafes and colorful shops; and one of its youth hostels is set within the jungle itself!
Visitors from all over the world come to Byron Bay and fall in love with the place; the only difficulty is leaving!
Technically a suburb of Perth, but metaphorically miles away from the hubbub of city life, Fremantle is a quirky town south of the Western Australian capital. The old buildings are beautiful and the town is full of amazing restaurants and bars.
Fremantle comes alive in the summer, when Perth is rain-free and temperatures soar. If you end up overheating, the sea lines the seafront and there’s a few gorgeous beaches to dip in.
And don’t leave Fremantle without trying some local beer at the local brewery and eating some fresh seafood from the town’s port!
One of the most isolated spots in Australia, yet a popular hub with both backpackers and older travelers, the town of Broome has a distinctive culture and the most wonderful beaches.
Northern Western Australia is proper four wheel drive country, so if you have one of these vehicles, you’ll be able to drive straight onto the beach – just watch out for the camels that walk up and down the sands each day! Cliff jumping is popular at the other end of Cable Beach; a sandy bay that is renowned for its gorgeous sunsets, where the sun sinks into the ocean while setting the sky on fire in a scenic display of oranges, reds and pinks.
The town of Broome has an intriguing history, including an old Chinatown and lots of shops built around the pearling industry.
One of the prettiest places on the East Coast, Noosa has wonderful beaches and a fantastic small town vibe, with lots of bars, cafes and restaurants which are loved by locals and tourists alike.
Visitors flock to Noosa to enjoy the famous National Park and take part in an everglades tour. It is one of the only places in the world where the everglades can be explored by kayak or foot and is definitely one of the best things to do on Australia’s East Coast!
But perhaps the best thing about Noosa is the wonderful community built up around the town and the great small town vibe of the area.
Cape Tribulation, right in the heart of far north Queensland, is definitely one of Australia’s most unique small towns. It’s on the edge of the Daintree Rainforest, and enjoys a tropical climate. It’s got some of Australia’s most intriguing wildlife, with crocodile and cassowary warning signs abundant!
There’s loads of activities to take part in within the town and surrounding area, including jungle tours and Aboriginal experiences. Cape Tribulation is all about the outdoor adventures and tropical atmosphere, but there’s lots of restaurants and bars to enjoy within the town itself.
It’s a gateway to the wet tropics and the fantastic flora and fauna that the rainforest area offers, and is one of the best small towns to visit in Australia for sure!
And these are just some of the best small towns in Australia! Other amazing spots include the popular destinations of towns such as Airlie Beach, Exmouth, Margaret River and Esperance, where more ‘off the beaten track’ destinations are outback town Broken Hill and many of Tasmania’s communities. They’re a perfect place to get a slice of real Australia and relish in the unique natural beauty that this country offers.
Antoine is a Canadian traveler on a mission to visit as many places in the world as possible and find the most interesting, overlooked and authentic experiences in each location. He currently lives in the Cayman Islands but spends a great deal of time travelling around all 6 continents. Follow his adventures on www.travelinglife.com.