BUNDY'S BEST: Bundaberg Rum Distillery is among the Bundaberg entrants in the Queensland Tourism Awards.
BUNDY'S BEST: Bundaberg Rum Distillery is among the Bundaberg entrants in the Queensland Tourism Awards.

Interest in visiting Bundaberg is up 85%

IN THE lead up to Australia Day, Wotif.com has released its 2018 Australian Town of the Year awards with Bundaberg a very close runner-up.

The Rum City was nudged out of top position by Mackay in Central Queensland.

Bundaberg's nomination came after year-on-year interest in Bundaberg as a destination jumped by 85 per cent on the site.

The other good news was Bundaberg was an affordable destination with an average accommodation rate on Wotif.com of $128 a night.

With half of all Australians looking to make their next trip a local one and two-thirds seeing domestic travel as a way to reinvest in the local economy, the awards, based on a Wotif pricing and demand index, call out the local hotspots which should be on every bucket list.

"This Australia Day, we want to bring to the forefront the versatile personalities of our top towns,” Wotif.com's Kirsty La Bruniy said.

"From those that give your social feed some major hipster creds (looking at you Byron) to our very own rum capital Bundaberg, every town has a yarn to tell about what makes them famous and worthy of being awarded one of the nation's best.

"With boundless plains to explore, there's no better time than Australia Day to plan a local trip in 2018.”

HOT WEATHER: Caloundra visitors Kathia and Augusto Pimenta enjoying the cool breezes at Elliott Heads river mouth.
HOT WEATHER: Caloundra visitors Kathia and Augusto Pimenta enjoying the cool breezes at Elliott Heads river mouth. Mike Knott BUN110117BEACH2

Town of the Year 2018

Mackay, QLD: a melting pot of all things that make the perfect Aussie holiday.

Runners-up

1. Shepparton, VIC: This Goulburn River town is home to so much more than SPC tinned fruit, such as the multiple art centres, including antique cars to ceramics and paintings you can purchase.

2. Mildura, VIC: Surprisingly famous for producing more grapes than oranges - while the juice misleads all of us, we're happy to settle for wine.

3. Bunbury, WA: The best place to go for a dip with a bottlenosed dolphin.

4. Bundaberg, QLD: Rum, rum, glorious rum! Need we say more?

5. Lakes Entrance, VIC: Never underestimate the fun you can have at a Shell Museum, and the Ninety Mile Beach.

6. Townsville, QLD: Great Barrier Reef. That is all.

7. Port Macquarie, NSW: One of the classic Aussie holiday spots fondly known as 'Port Mac'.

8. Byron Bay, NSW: Always has been, always will be the trendiest surf town in Australia.

9. Batemans Bay, NSW: Home to some of the best snorkelling trails in NSW.

10. Echuca, VIC: Known as 'The Murray's living legend', take a trip back in time in this historic town.



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