NSW Top Tourism Town

Awards 2021

Congratulations to the winners!

Top Tourism Town under 5000

Top Tourism Town over 5000

Judges Choice Awards 

Video highlights of Top Tourism Town Awards finalists!

Read Destination NSW's coverage of the Top Tourism Town Awards presentation from Minister for Jobs, Investment and Tourism, The hon. Stuart Ayres at the Local Government NSW Destination and Visitor Economy Conference in Port Macquarie.




NSW Tourism Industry Council is on the search to find New South Wales' Top Tourism Town 2021 in two categories; towns with over 5,000 residents and towns with fewer than 5,000 residents.

The Top Tourism Town Awards provide communities, business chambers, visitor centres and local governments the opportunity to showcase what makes their town special and unique, encourage tourism development, increase visitation and drive the visitor economy of our beautiful state.

Why vote for a top tourism town?

Let's face it, Tourism has been hit hard over the past couple of years. Drought, bushfires, floods and COVID-19 have had a devastating impact on the individuals, communities and businesses that form the backbone of our tourism industry. An industry that injects $38.1 billion into the NSW economy.

Through the NSW Tourism Industry Council we learnt pretty quickly that despite all the setbacks these communities refuse to throw in the towel - this is what inspired us. If they're willing to fight, we'll back them all the way. 

We can't guarantee the international tourism dollar anytime soon but we can get you to consider what's on our own doorstep. So please, spread the word, share the love! 

Voting open from 9:00 AEST, Friday 7 May to 17:00, Friday 14 May 2021. 
Winners will be announced on 27 May, 2021, and will represent NSW at the Australian Top Tourism Awards later this year.
Terms & Conditions


top tourism town


Towns with a population under 5,000 residents. 
Towns are listed alphabetically. Please click on the sign next to a town's name to access that town's page.

Located on the mighty Murray River, Barham and twin town Koondrook ooze charm and character galore. 

Platypus frolic in the Wingecarribee River as the morning sun peeks over majestic oaks in historic Berrima

Enjoy the scenery of the open road as you make your way to simpler times, like carefree childhood holidays.

Nestled on the banks of the Nambucca where saltwater meets fresh lies the creative town of Bowraville.

A taste of modern country charm, Broke Fordwich is waiting to welcome you to its stunning peaceful pocket of the Hunter.

Somewhere in time, a truly authentic experience of life in a village; you may never want to leave Carcoar.

Take a deep relaxing breath of the salty ocean air at Culburra Beach, a typical Aussie coastal town with a laid-back vibe.

Anchored boats bob by the beach, kids build sandcastles as the ferry from Palm Beach moors... Ettalong

Emerse in arts & culture, take in captivating scenery and allow yourself to indulge in quality food and wine.

A reputation for the whitest sand in Aus, crystal clear waters, diverse sealife and an extensive foodie scene

Bring your bucketlist! Australia’s Alpine Playground is full of thrills for every season.

In picturesque landscapes brimming with chic café culture, food, wine, art and retail is Jugiong.

Drive winding roads over Morton National Park's escarpments into one of only 7 closed valleys in the world.

A little Scottish town nestled on the banks of the Clarence filled with historic charm and beauty.

The gorgeous countryside of the Central Tablelands has got everything you need for a well-deserved break.

With a population between 2 - 7, located 2hrs north of Broken Hill we never stop amazing visitors.

Mogo is the well-kept secret in the Eurobodalla coastal wilderness.

The sun dappled greens of paddocks and trees, iridescent blues of a cloudless sky, it's Nana Glen

The most spectacular scenery in rural NSW and the heart of the Tablelands Way, Oberon.

Flourishing on a magical blend of pioneer history, world-class coastline and the welcome of proud locals.

Tranquil St Georges Basin on one side, the sparkling Pacific Ocean on the other, it's a water baby’s paradise.

When exploring the northern stretch of the Central Coast, Toukley offers the complete coastal package.

Arriving to Tumbarumba you will first notice the seasonal colours swathed across the landscape.

Curving through the undulating landscape of the Tweed Valley, alongside the clear waters of the Oxley River.

The little hamlet of Willow Tree on the New England Highway is buzzing with visitors most days.

An area renowned for its premium wines, but there is so much more to this stunning valley than wine! 

top tourism town 


Towns with a population over 5,000 residents. 
Towns are listed alphabetically. Please click on the sign next to a town's name to access that town's page. 

Centered on an island at the mouth of the Richmond River, Ballina is a breath of fresh air! 

Bathurst is a city of surprises in one of the most fascinating and diverse regions of NSW

It’s time for room to run and play and to re-connect with those most important to you in Dubbo.

Mother Nature bestowed bountiful, natural beauty on these idyllic NSW mid coast twin towns.

The dreamlike ambiance of Grafton’s Jacaranda-lined avenues and parks tops the to-do list!

One of Australia’s most vibrant, cosmopolitan centres located in the heart of the Riverina.

The bustling beach hub of Kingscliff has long been a mecca for that quintessential Aussie seaside escape.

On a Lithgow lookout below the clouds stretches a valley second in size only to the Grand Canyon.

On the banks of the mighty Murray River are the idyllic border towns of Echuca Moama.

From the Wiradjuri word Moothi, Mudgee means ‘nest in the hills’, the beautiful foothills of Cudgegong Ranges.

An idyllic combination of urban buzz and coastal cool, Newcastle is home to pristine beaches and world-class dining.

Unless you live under a rock you'd have heard the buzz about one of NSW’s coolest regions to visit, Orange!

Exceptional heritage with modern twists. Pokolbin is a gorgeous town in the heart of the Hunter Valley.

More than music: A vibrant arts scene and incredible dining with wide, open spaces and natural beauty.

Time spent at Terrigal can involve brunching, lunching, swimming, shopping,  fishing, fine dining and surfing.

Where wineries, luxury stays and hiking meet the sea; Welcome to Ulladulla


NSW Top Tourism Town Awards - FAQs

1. Who can vote?
Anyone (everyone!) over the age of 18.

2. How many times can you vote?
One vote per person per category: once for a town with a population over 5,000, once for a town with a population under 5,000. You don't have to vote in both.

Multiple votes from the same email address in the same category will void all votes in all categories from that email. If you rally your family or colleagues to vote (please do!), don't all use a generic work contact eg: info@mywork.com.au. Make sure you all use different email addresses. 

3. Do I have to be a member of Business NSW to vote? 
No. We want everyone to get behind the initiative. So, share the link to these pages everywhere you can think of. You snooze you lose - get campaigning now! 


4. How were towns nominated? 
Towns across NSW were invited to nominate themselves. To support their nomination entrants were required to submit; an inspiring editorial; a three or four day itinerary; an image gallery; and a captivating video which was then formally judged by a panel of 12 leading tourism experts. The nominees individual pages on this website represent some of the highlights of their full entries. 

5. How are the winners judged? 
Three judges reviewed each entry independently then came together to agree on the finalists that we present you with today.  Public voting is open for seven days starting Friday 7 May. The judges votes will count for 50% of the final tally, the public vote will count for the other 50%. Winners will be announced 27 May, 2021.

Now it's up to the general public to cast their votes and decide which towns are the Top Tourism Towns in New South Wales!  

In no event will the judges be held responsible for any comment, viewpoint, or expression whether expressed or implied, concerning the standard or quality of an entrant’s submission. Entrants agree not to bring any claim against any of the judges, award co-ordinators, NSW Tourism Industry Council/ Business NSW or Award sponsors. Entrants agree that the judges’ decisions are final and that no correspondence will be entered concerning such decisions.


About NSW Tourism Industry Council  

Powered by Business NSW, the NSW Tourism Industry Council helps businesses operating in the Visitor Economy maximise their potential to ensure New South Wales remains the number one tourism destination in Australia.