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Strahan waterfront | © Paul Fleming
Strahan waterfront | © Paul Fleming

The Most Underrated Towns In Australia

Picture of Ellie Griffiths
Updated: 9 February 2017
There are many hot spots across Australia from the famous Sydney to the less famous, but highly popular, Noosa and Broome. However, if you’re looking for a holiday, day trip or a simple escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, then why not discover the quieter and up-and-coming towns of Australia.

Maroochydore, Qld

Rather than heading to the rainforest and surf centre of Noosa, why not take a detour and spend your time in the Sunshine Coast’s urban centre, Maroochydore. Even if you’re looking to dip your feet in the water, you can splash your way through the beaches during the day and then make the most of the multicultural cuisine and live music scene to take you right through the night.

Maroochydore, Qld, Australia

Maroochydore Beach, View to Old Woman Island | Courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland

Maroochydore Beach, View to Old Woman Island | Courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland

Strahan, TAS

Lying on the edge of the Wilderness World Heritage Area in Tasmania on the west coast is a small town with a dark past. The harbour-side town of Strahan has come a long way since the days of convicts and pioneers; today, there are artisan wares, eateries serving up some delicious meals, sand dunes and beaches to explore, jet boat rides and kayaks – the list is endless. However, if there’s one thing you mustn’t miss, it is a journey through to Hogarth Falls.

Strahan, TAS, Australia

Strahan Waterfront | © Wai Nang Poon

Strahan Waterfront | © Wai Nang Poon

Chiltern, Vic

In the 1850s, Chiltern was one popular town with the discovery of quartz and then the gold mining boom; however, following this, the city began to turn back to its small-town living. Today, as you walk through the town, its well-preserved historic buildings – from the mid-1800s – will take your breath away, and then you can head to the outskirts of Chiltern where you’ll find the Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park.

Chiltern, VIC, Australia

Chiltern | Courtesy of North East Victoria Tourism © Peter Dunphy

Chiltern | Courtesy of North East Victoria Touris/© Peter Dunphy

Evandale, TAS

North Tasmania’s picturesque town lies on the banks of the South Esk River. Due to many of the buildings within the town still standing in their original condition, Evandale is today classified as a Georgian village by the National Trust – with Clarendon House, one of the greatest Georgian houses in Australia, still standing. Despite these unspoiled buildings, the surrounding countryside seems to be something out of a fairytale and will make you want to sit down with a good book and while the day away.

Evandale, TAS, Australia

Evandale | Courtesy of Tourism Tasmania © Ray Joyce

Evandale | Courtesy of Tourism Tasmani/© Ray Joyce

York, WA

Travelling 1.5 hours inland from Perth, you will come across one of the most picturesque and the oldest inland town in Western Australia. Founded in 1831, York is home to many historic buildings lying adjacent to stunning farmlands of the Avon Valley. With an abundance of annual events and festivals, it’s the vintage motor vehicles that roam the town that will have you stopping and staring.

York, WA, Australia

Avon Terrace streetscape, in York | Courtesy of Tourism Western Australia

Avon Terrace streetscape, in York | Courtesy of Tourism Western Australia

Lancelin, WA

This small fishing town, north of Perth, doesn’t seem like a place for everyone; however, it is the sand dunes near Lancelin that will have you walking into town with the biggest smile on your face. Not only is it nestled between two large islands and sand dunes that go on for days, but there are also a string of shipwrecks along the coast awaiting keen scuba divers to explore. A trip to Lancelin will bring plenty of fun for the entire family.

Lancelin, WA, Australia

Safari Trek 4 wheel drive on sand dunes at Lancelin | Courtesy of Tourism Western Australia

Safari Trek 4 wheel drive on sand dunes at Lancelin | Courtesy of Tourism Western Australia

Mudgee, NSW

When talking about wine, it’s easy to think about Western Australia’s Swan Valley and New South Wales’ Hunter Valley; however, what you may not know is that 261 kilometres north-west of Sydney lies the third largest grape-producing region in the state. The town of Mudgee has been known for producing rich (and delicious) wine since the 1850s and is surrounded by lush vineyards that are well worth the visit.

Mudgee, NSW, Australia

Kangaroo in a Mudgee vineyard. | © Amber Hooper

Kangaroo in a Mudgee vineyard | © Amber Hooper