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Australia's top 100 towns

Yamba ... Australia's best town (AAP Images)
Yamba ... Australia's best town
Australian Traveller magazine has released their list of Australia's 100 best towns. And you might be surprised to see who made the list (and even more surprised who didn't). Check out the top ten and see if you agree with the industry experts:
Yamba, NSW
The small town of Yamba (population: 5,600) on the coast in New South Wales topped this year's list. The quiet fishing town boasts awesome surf, beautiful weather and a laid-back pace that sparks comparison to Byron 20 years ago.
Esperance, WA
Touted as the most beautiful rural coastline in all of Australia, Esperance has a lot to live up to. Just a short distance from Perth (by WA standards, that is ... 740 kilometres) the white sandy beaches and idyllic waters have been attracting European visitors since 1628.
Port Douglas, Qld
This perennial favourite comes as no surprise. Rainforest? Check. Reef? Got it. Resorts? If you can afford 'em. Shops and restarants a plenty? Indeed. The 70 kilometres that separate Port Douglas from Cairns might as well be five hundred clicks ... the pace and lifestyle are both worlds away.
Broome, WA
Multicultural Broome is a small city with a big personality. With Cable Beach and the Kimberley in Broome's backyard there are endless sun/sand/sea and adventure activities to keep you occupied and coming back for more.
Port Fairy, Vic
Victoria's oldest port offers a taste of the Irish in a traditional fishing town. It was a favourite hunting ground for whalers and sealers in the early days, and then a destination for Irish immigrants fleeing the potato famine back home. Spend a weekend exploring the cafes, lighthouses and pubs that make this town so charming.
Beechworth, Vic
For some of the best old school architecture in all of Australia, look no further than beautiful Beechworth. The town centre offers a big slice of the 19th century ... you get the feeling you could bump in to Ned Kelly himself when you walk by the courthouse. Be sure not to miss the microbreweries to boot.
Byron Bay, NSW
Oh, Byron. I can't quite understand the appeal of this coastal oasis myself (apart from the taqueria that serves up some of the best Mexican food in Oz), but it remains a favourite of the filthy backpackers AND the filthy rich.
Apollo Bay, Vic
Outdoorsy-types are catered for brilliantly at Apollo Bay. It marks the start of the Great Ocean Walk, and with a beautiful beach on one side and the Otway Ranges on the other, the scenery is second to ... well, about seven places on this list, but you get the idea. There are plenty of trails to explore, and the town itself has many of the creature comforts of the big smoke, without the sass.
Strahan, Tas
According to AT, "it's a crime not to visit Strahan if you head to Tasmania. It really is an amplification of everything that Tasmanian tourism stands for". And I guess they are entitled to their opinion. But MY take on Strahan is very different ... here you'll find a fabricated Disney-esque 'Main Street, USA' of shops and businesses, but beautiful waterways to explore not far from the farce of 'town'.
Margaret River, WA
Margaret River is a jack of all trades. Wine aficionados have some of the country's best drops at dozens of cellar doors, surf buffs have big waves and quiet beaches all to themselves, and golf fans have courses that warrant the journey in and of themselves.
Check out the full listing of Oz's top 100 towns, in order, on the Australian Traveller website.

What do you think of this top ten? Any truth in these picks? Which Australian town do you think should be number one?

User comments
Having been to Broome I discovered that the local caravan parks are the most arrogant, rude people that I have encountered. I must say tat with the exception of the Broome Caravan Park who actually were obliging while helpful when needing a van site. The worst was Robuck who were arrogant and totally rude. Then came Cable Beach Van Park who were just as arrogant. The local people are very anti tourist seekers while being quite rude. I certainly would not advise anyone to visit Broome and if they do just be wary and on guard.
I think the residents of Strahan would object to their village being described as "fabricated" and "disneyesque", not to mention "Main Street, USA". It's been a port for two centuries, and many of the buildings are historical. I would suggest if you find the town "farcical" it's probably because of your own expectations of what small-town authenticity should look like.
Typical Eastern States taking out the majority of the ranking. I could name at least 4 places in South Australia that could out rank the ones from the Eastern part of Australia. 1. The Barrossa Valley (where Australia's greatest wines come from). 2 Port Lincoln (where the famous horse Makybe Diva was born and bred) 3. Wallaroo (where some of our foreign exchange occurs and is one of the notorious fishing spots in SA) and 4. Port Adelaide (the old Port of Adelaide where the old run down town is becoming one of Australia's iconic Ports. So While those places may and have a right to be mentioned...there are far better choices in SA than in Victoria or New South Wales. At least some places from the West have been given a mention!!! But if you are asking the best town....I would say the Barrossa Valley in SA!
I was amazed to see that Port Macquarie was not in the top 10 Towns, It's got everything going for it, beaches, shops, doctors, wildlife, good accomodation. I don't need to go else where for holidays as I can't beat Port!!
Having seen a fair bit of Australia, it would seem to be almost impossible to pick 100 towns and not leave out some very beautiful places. St Helens Tasmania is one place left out. It has everything you could want as far as an idyllic lifestyle is concerned. It does not have the large supermarkets but the locals don't seem to care too much. It is a very clean and tidy town with a beautiful climate. Should be at least No 101.
Esperance is the best kept secret in Australia. It is just a wonderful place to visit live. The beaches are second to none. And the town is just so laid back with lots of super restaurants and top pubs. A great place to chill out and get away from it all.
Why is it Annie that you are so quick to turn to racism. If you don't like the multicultural people in australia, why don't you go back to where you came from? Australia is just beautiful and Im gald I live here.
Yamba is a hole I can't believe it's number one because it's definitely a number two and looks like one. It's a mud flat with a hill. Byron bay is so overrated deros, bludgers, low-lifes, the only people who like visitors are the shopkeepers and thank god they are always friendly it makes up for the rest of the population. Port douglas is a little overrated and full of bogans on the weekends. Cooktown is great for a photo but is really a only one better than Yamba. If you want to see a great town try Gisborne in Vic, Noosa in Qld, Port Fairy in Vic, Bendigo in NSW, Lanceston in Tas, Toowomba in Qld, Loxton in SA.
I wouldn't like to try and list the top ten spots in Oz as it would be a difficult job but I am disappointed that Yabanjin, China is not allowed to have an opinion without being howled down by other Aussies! Can't take a little negative criticism about a not very important survey? How gauche!
Tamworth at 57...that's ok although looking at same towns preceding us on the list it makes you wonder what the criteria is,aside from,very obviously ,beaches! Been here for 5 generations,moved twice,keep coming back...lurve the place!!! Dont mind Armidale either except for the freezing winters,sorry it didn't make the cut but...to those who knock Tamworths inclusion and belittle its hard earned status a word of advice every salesman learns as lesson one...dont knock the opposition in a bid to sell your own product!!!...sad Armidilian comments really. Tamworth rules the North West Slopes and Plains...LOVE IT!!!!

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