NSW Top Tourism Town Finalist

Welcome to

Small Tourism Town: population of less than 5,000 people, but more than 1,500

09:00 Mon 29 April - till - 17:00 Mon 13 May.

Members of the public may lodge only one vote for one town in each category. See Terms & Conditions.

Is there a mini-break calling you?

Seeking outstanding walks and views? Luxurious accommodation, good food, a glass or two of wine and enough time to reconnect and refresh? Try two nights, three days in Gloucester, basecamp to the World Heritage Barrington Tops.

You’ll find Gloucester at the foot of the monolithic Bucketts Mountains, offering a wide range of experiences. And it’s the closest town to the World Heritage Barrington Tops.

While there is a vast array of places to stay, if you’re after something just for couples, try The Great Escape Lofts. Big beds, spa bathroom, charming décor and a solid 4.5-star rating. Plus, its walking distance to coffee shops and loosen-your-belt eateries along with quirky local stores.

If you can tear yourself away from the myriad of baked goods and local produce on offer, take a drive up to the Wilderness Area of Barrington Tops; with two sections easily accessible from Gloucester. Okay, there are some dirt roads to navigate, but you wouldn’t expect a World Heritage experience without them. Both are day trips, so pack some of those tasty items from the main street cafes, along with warm clothes as the weather conditions can change rapidly, and you can tell yourself you’re walking off the goodies you ate earlier – or plan to eat. 

A day trip to the Gloucester Tops combines a winding country road with several river crossings revealing great views of the valley as you slowly drive up the mountain. A short walk to the stunning Gloucester Falls, along with the spectacular Andrew Laurie Lookout and Antarctic Beech Forest completes the experience. A casual drive back to The Lofts, maybe a barbecue, a glass of wine and a spa to round off the day. Day one sorted.

Day two, take the opportunity to explore Gloucester closer to home? There is so much to see within easy walking distance of The Lofts, including several cafes with alfresco dining along the busy main street. We mentioned this earlier, but seriously, the food is good here! The Common at the corner of The Meeting Place is open early, for the coffee and breakfast connoisseur. Close by you’ll find the Art Gallery and Visitor Information Centre. Drop in for local intel on events, food, drink and activities. While walking along the main street you may spy fascinating insights into local history with colourful mosaics in the footpath and informative plaques on some older buildings providing brief site histories.

Beneath the shadow of the magnificent Bucketts Mountains, Gloucester District Park is only a stone’s throw from the main street. Pick up a picnic lunch from Batter & Dough (yes, more food) and meander along to one of the most picturesque and well-planned park areas in NSW. A park which is home to many different sports, but also features a wonderful passive recreation area with picnic tables, a pretty walk along the banks of the Gloucester River, Minimbah Bush Tucker Garden and the fascinating Human Sundial, enticing you to spend a relaxing couple of hours just soaking up the beauty of the area. There is also an Olympic Swimming Pool in the park, which is open during summer, and a hydrotherapy pool open all year round. Should you happen to be in Gloucester on a Saturday, join the weekly Park Run – you know, to work off the picnic from Batter & Dough. Are you sensing a theme here? The food is, well, marvellous. Maybe a meal at one of the Pubs or clubs to round off the day, where the locals love sharing a yarn or two with visitors.

Gloucester Markets are run on the second Saturday of every month, a must visit to experience local country markets featuring fresh food, wines and crafts.

What better way to round out this trip than to drive up to the northern section of the Barrington Tops and visit Aussie Ark before you depart. Aussie Ark was established in 2011 as Devil Ark, with a focus on saving the Tasmanian devil from extinction and is now home to several endangered species. This region is the highest on mainland Australia outside the Snowy Mountains, at 1500 metres above sea level, receives snowfalls in wintertime and is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia. With several places to stop and take in the vastness of this area, it is easy to imagine places where no one has walked for hundreds of years. There are several must see spots on the way, such as the Devils Hole Lookout, the sphagnum moss area of Polblue, and “The Firs” - so much diversity, so much beauty.

While the Barrington Tops may lure you to the region, Gloucester will entice you to stay. Stunning views, big beds, fabulous food, chatty locals. Maybe you need more than a mini-break for this one?


Vote for this top town in the 2024 Top Tourism Town Awards


Rediscover in Gloucester Couples 3-day Escape Itinerary
 DAY 1

 To the South of Gloucester, Gloucester Tops National Park provide a stunning preview of the World Heritage Wilderness the nearest to Gloucester. Be rewarded with spectacular wilderness walking experiences, breathtaking waterfalls and a vista of astonishing diversity.
 Gloucester Tops Scenic Drive 2 


Keen to enjoy a freshly prepared meal? want to relax and re-invigorate? Back in Gloucester, nestled at the rear of Nannas Homewares and Antiques is a small Cafe with a quiet ambience, perfect to dissect the mornings' adventures.

 If it's luxury you seek, you can't go past The Great Escape Lofts. The well appointed self-contained loft apartments are an easy walk to Gloucester's CBD area. All are classic, sleek and elegant - yet thoughtful individual touches makes each one unique, and your very own luxury haven. 

Enjoy a relaxing walk through the main street to Gloucester District Park. Soak up the stunning park area while listening to the birds and the sounds of the river beside the walking track around the park

 The Kitchen at the Roundabout Inn is the perfect place to finish off the day. With a relaxed atmosphere, a seasonal menu with a focus on local and specialty ingredients, incredible wines and sublime service, you are in for an amazing dining experience.


Three days in GLOUCESTER

Filled with charm and history, Gloucester is nestled at the foot of the Bucketts Mountain Range (the Buccan Buccans) and is the closest town to the World Heritage Barrington Tops. 

Renowned for its crystal clear rivers, beautiful countryside and friendly locals, it is a popular destination within an easy drive from larger centres. With a variety of accommodation options and eateries focussed on outstanding local produce, it is a desirable stopover for tourists travelling north toward the coast, inland to the Tablelands or south toward Newcastle and Sydney and is the jewel in the Barrington Coast crown.


Share the love

If you believe this top town deserves a top spot at this year's awards, get your friends and family on the case.
Share this page with your network via the social icons below.