Australia is the largest country in Oceania and is enclosed by the Indian and Pacific Oceans. A traveler’s paradise, Australia is a county on almost every tourist’s travel bucket list, if not for the Sydney Opera House then for the Great Barrier Reef or the Outback with its gigantic Uluru rock. But, Australia isn’t all about the big sights and popular cities, the country is also home to many small towns which are equally rewarding in terms of attractions while at the same time offer a more laid back and peaceful atmosphere. Here’s our pick of the most scenic small towns in Australia.
1. Alice Springs NT
Usually referred to as “Alice,” Alice Springs in the Northern Territory could very well be regarded as a sanctuary to Australia’s outback charm. A pioneering history, deserts as far as the eyes can see, breath-taking gorges, and well-established historic Aboriginal communities, Alice Springs serves as the base for various hikes and other such outdoor activities. The most prominent factor of this small town is its “close” proximity to Uluru, Kata Tjuta and the Kings Canyon. The town hosts quite a few annual events so check the calendar before you arrive. Activities such as Outback Ballooning, Camel Rides, and Quad-biking are extremely popular in the area. Clear stargazing can also be enjoyed in the town so wherever you are, just tip your head over and admire the sheer beauty
2. Kalgoorlie WA
A classic country town in Western Australia, Kalgoorlie retains its old-worldly charm and a 19th century appearance. The presence of gold in the area makes for an adventurous experience for visitors who can participate in exploring one of the gold mines such as Superpit. If you are here between August and October, don’t miss the wildflower season. Kalgoorlie is also an extremely RV-friendly town, so you can conveniently pitch up your very own motor home here. The area is also dotted with museums and mines highlighting the importance of gold for the town.
3. Beechworth VIC
An extremely well-preserved historic town, Beechworth has come a long way from being a major town during the gold rush days to a town known for its wineries and tourism business. The town is also home to many notable museums and annual festivals. Visit the Woolshed Waterfalls, Beechworth Historic Courthouse, and for something eerie, take a ghost tour to the Beechworth Lunatic Asylum.
4. Cygnet TAS
A cuddly, little township, Cygnet lays tucked amid D’Entrecasteaux channel and the Huon river. Over the period of time, the town has evolved into an artsy community while still functioning as a significant fruit-producing area. Surrounded by natural landscapes all around, Cygnet’s popular attractions include the Randalls Bay, the Verona Sands, the Cygnet Art Trail, and the many wineries. For something more adventurous, hike through the gorgeous hills that surround the town.
5. Port Douglas QLD
A quaint, beautiful fishing village on the Coral Sea, Port Douglas is known as the entrance to the Great Barrier Reef, the largest reef system in the world as well as the Daintree National Park, home to the world’s oldest living rainforest. However, the supreme attraction in the town is the stretch of palm-fringed, white-sand coastline aptly named as the Four Mile Beach. A great spot for swimming, snorkeling with turtles and some beach volleyball, Port Douglas also plays host to a number of delightful seafood eateries.
6. Birdsville QLD
This is your chance to experience the true outback Australia. Birdsville is surrounded by wilderness typical to the Queensland region and at the same time, this small town enjoys the exquisiteness of the Diamantina River and the austerity of the Simpson Desert. Try to plan your visit in September to enjoy the annual Birdsville Cup – the yearly horse-racing competition that attracts thousands of visitors from around the country. Either way, a beer at one of the traditional outback pubs, a 4WD excursion to the imposing sand dunes, and a flight to the picturesque Lake Eyre are good enough reasons to visit.