“Bay a jewel in tourism crown”

Great Ocean Road jewels Apollo Bay and Lorne have charmed their way to top 14 rankings in a new listing of Australia’s 100 best towns.

Apollo Bay was ranked Australia’s eight most desirable town to visit, Lorne 14th and Queenscliff 29th on a list compiled for Australia Traveller Magazine. Port Fairy came in at number five.

Yamba in NSW was ranked Australia’s top town by a panel of 12 people of different sectors of the tourism industry. Esperance and Port Douglas were second and third and fire devastated Marysville ranked 56th. Lofty ratings for Apollo Bay and Lorne came as little surprise to residents and regional tourism representatives yesterday.

Lifelong Apollo Bay resident Les Noseda, 72, said the town had grown enormously but retained its charm. “I suppose having grown up here you take lots of things for granted, but then when you are talking to lots of people who come here for holidays they say they’re so impressed with the tranquility and it’s basically undeveloped in a way,” Mr Noseda said.

It’s more like a country town. Of course on the one side we have got the sea and beautiful clean beach and the other side the lovely Otways with is waterfalls and walks.

Australian Traveller editor Greg Barton said judges had pared a list of almost 400 towns by visiting each and answering the central question of whether they would urge friends to add one hour to their trip to visit.

Mr. Barton hailed Apollo Bay as a place where people could not help but stop and linger and said iconic Lorne had little trouble impressing judges. He said judges realise they could never hope to compile a list to satisfy all opinions and urged people to put their opinions forward via The Australian Traveller website.

1. Yamba NSW
2. Esperance WA
3. Port Douglas QLD
4. Broome WA
5. Port Fairey VIC
6. Beechworth VIC
7. Byron Bay NSW
8. Apollo Bay VIC
9. Strahan TAS
10. Margaret River WA

• Port Fairey – #5
• Beechworth – #6
• Apollo Bay – #8
• Bright – #12
• Lorne – #14
• Mallacoota – #15
• Daylesford – #19
• Portsea – #21
• Queenscliff – #29
• Echuca – #35
• Marysville – #56
• Rutherglen – #68
• Walhalla – #76
• Mildura – #77
• Dunkeld – #81
• Halls Gap – #90

Article written by Danny Lannen

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Steve Ryan Photography

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