But thanks to its proximity to the spectacular Hunter Valley wine region, the NSW town of Cessnock has just stumbled onto a list of Australia’s top 10 cities.
TripAdvisor has just released its list of the best destinations in Australia and the South Pacific as part of its Travellers’ Choice awards.
In what is sure to upset Melburnians, Sydney was declared the winner, thanks to its world-famous landmarks, beaches, historic precincts and food and drink scenes.
In second place was the Gold Coast, with Melbourne making the list at number three.
Brisbane was fourth, Hobart was fifth, the resort town of Port Douglas was seventh, Perth was eighth, Adelaide was ninth and Cairns rounded off the top 10.
Darwin and Canberra were the only Australian capital cities to not make the top 10.
And among those heavy hitters was humble Cessnock — about 50km from more famous Newcastle — which earned sixth spot as the “perfect base” for wine lovers visiting the Hunter Valley region.
“The largest town in one of Australia’s oldest wine region, Cessnock is the perfect base for exploring Hunter Valley’s acclaimed wineries, vineyards and cellar doors,” TripAdvisor said.
“A wine lover’s paradise, Cessnock boasts of over 100 wineries in the area. Rounding out its classy appeal are the chic cafes, gourmet eateries, boutique accommodation and world-class golf courses.
“Families can also make a trip out to the Hunter Valley Zoo and Werakata National Park.”
But it had nothing on Sydney, which earned the top spot on TripAdvisor’s list for the third consecutive year.
“With its scenic beaches, thriving cafe culture and iconic attractions, Sydney’s third consecutive win just goes to show how much of a favourite it is among our global community of travellers,” TripAdvisor communications director in Asia Pacific, Janice Lee Fang, said.
She suggested travellers consider visits to the Harbour City outside the peak seasons when they can save as much as 25 per cent on flights and accommodation.
“We recommend visiting during shoulder or off-peak seasons when travellers can use TripAdvisor to explore Sydney at a great price but with fewer crowds,” she said.
TripAdvisor also revealed London had also topped the Travellers’ Choice list of 10 best destinations in the world.
No Australian city made that list but Aussie favourite Bali came in at number five.
Top 10 Travellers’ Choice Destinations in the World
1. London, United Kingdom
2. Paris, France
3. Rome, Italy
4. Crete, Greece
5. Bali, Indonesia
6. Phuket, Thailand
7. Barcelona, Spain
8. Istanbul, Turkey
9. Marrakech, Morocco
10. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Top 10 Travellers’ Choice Destinations in Australia:
1. Sydney, NSW
2. Gold Coast, Queensland
3. Melbourne, Victoria
4. Brisbane, Queensland
5. Hobart, Tasmania
6. Cessnock, NSW
7. Port Douglas, Queensland
8. Perth, Western Australia
9. Adelaide, South Australia
10. Cairns, Queensland.