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Threat presents opportunity for a staycation

Beautiful Bright looks like a European village


Threat presents opportunity for a staycation

With international travel out of the question, it’s an opportunity to have a good look around at home as soon as the border lockdowns are lifted. DALLAS SHERRINGHAM lists the country towns of regional Australia that hold a special place in his heart.

The push for Australians to take a holiday in the drought, flood and bushfire ravaged regions of our nation had gained great momentum in 2020, long before international flights were cancelled and global travel ruled out.

To include as many towns as possible in my list of favourite places to go for a holiday at home, I have kept descriptions to a minimum, but the links will provide more details.

So, here we go:

Say G’day to Dad and Dave on the Road to Gundagai


An historic little town set beside the Murrumbidgee, halfway been Sydney and Melbourne. Check out the Dog on the Tuckerbox and the statues of Dad and Dave and family.


Beautiful Bright looks like a European village


This town may well be the most beautiful in regional Australia. The way the parks, gardens, clock tower and streets all intermingle perfectly remind me of a European village. It is just off the Sydney to Melbourne Highway and you could easily spend several days just relaxing and breathing in the fresh air.


Enjoy a cold one and a yarn in Outback Cloncurry


Cloncurry’s links to Qantas are well known, but it is a real Outback town with wide streets, great pubs and cafes and friendly locals wearing big hats. 


Blueys Beach in unspoilt Pacific Palms


There’s not much to see and do in Tea Gardens – but there is tranquility.  It is the kind of place you relax, walk around, have coffee and talk to the locals. I have spent a couple of relaxing short breaks in Tea Gardens and nearby Hawks Nest. Best of all, you can catch the ferry to Nelson Bay and there is a good chance you will see Dolphins on the way. While in the region, Boomerang, Blueys and Elizabeth Beaches are superb and Seal Rocks and Forster are a short drive away. Make sure you have breakfast and/or lunch at Kembali Café, the best beach eatery on the entire Coast.



Historic town in a stunning riverside setting with beautiful Cameron Park stretching the length of the main street. The Wellington Caves are breathtaking and a perfect place to camp or stay. Right next door is the 18-hole championship golf course, which has the best setting of any course in regional Australia.



A thriving, friendly, historic town with a long history of mining, cattle and war service. You can attend the cattle sales, explore the bunkers from World War II or just sit in the main street and watch the country folk go by. The town even had its own stock exchange in its heyday. You could easily spend a week looking at the historic pubs, homes, parks and public buildings.


Peterborough, Australia’s railway town


If you love trains, you’ll love Peterborough. It is Australia’s railway town with big steam locomotives on display, historic plaques and tributes to the men who “worked the line” rain, hail or shine.



Another regional city where you could easily spend a week or more exploring. History abounds and the mines are fascinating with the “hill” perched beside the main street. Silverton, 20 minutes out of town, is the movie capital of the Outback. Lots to see and do in a city that really makes you feel welcome. I stay in the original home of Broken Hill’s first doctor, which has been lovingly restored to its original grandeur.

And here a few more towns I love to visit: Echuca and its paddle steamers, Temora and its historic aircraft, Bendigo and its trams, Young and its cherry orchards, Roma and its oil museum and history galore, Tibooburra with its artistic pub, Barrington Tops and its unique forests, Coonabarabran – gateway to the Warrumbungles, Gulgong – The Town on the Ten Dollar note … the list goes on.

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