Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy.
Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy. STSurfImages.com

Online travel poll places Gladstone inside top 10

THE Gladstone region has finished inside the top 10 for Best Regional Destinations of 2017 in an online poll conducted by leading travel experience provider Experience Oz + NZ.

'Australia's Top 10 Destinations to Experience', a major international and domestic poll now in its fifth year, has revealed the public voted Gladstone as their eighth ranked travel destination for 2017 from a short list of over 40 nominees in the 'Regional' category.

Kununurra in Western Australia claimed top spot, North Queensland's Mission Beach came second with Apollo Bay in Victoria placing third.

Bundaberg finished in sixth place making it the third regional destination within Queensland to make the top 10.

In conducting the survey, which ran for one month, Experience Oz received over 7,000 votes from a mixed audience of respondents from all over the country.

Poll participants were asked to consider, unique natural highlights, historic and architectural features and the variety of activities on offer, and if each destination was simply considered objectively beautiful.

 

View towards the mouth of Auckland Creek - Gladstone.
View towards the mouth of Auckland Creek. Mandy Inwood

Gladstone Area Promotion and Development Ltd chief executive officer Darryl Branthwaite said Gladstone's standing inside the top 10 was really nice to see.

"It's really cool because we've been doing a lot of work with Tourism and Events Queensland to promote the Gladstone region and the Southern Great Barrier Reef across New Zealand," he said.

"Obviously our promotions and visitations are working. It's easy access to drive up here especially for the Kiwis and they can access the reef within a day's drive from Brisbane or an hour flight.

"There's obviously a lot of people coming to the Gladstone region over the past few years for work, they brought their families and obviously enjoyed their time here. We promoted pretty heavily while that was on.

"It's a nice little spin-off which is a bit of a surprise for a lot of people but in saying that it's nice to have a captive audience that have come through our region."

 

View of East Shores from Auckland Hill - Gladstone.
View of East Shores from Auckland Point lookout. Michele Fowler

Experience Oz marketing manager Matt Hobbs said 'Australia's Top 10 Destinations to Experience' consumer poll's regional category was a great opportunity to identify hidden gems to visit in Australia from the public point of view, rather than the simply "telling people where to go" approach other similar publications follow.

"If you are looking to escape to a destination that offers ample things to do in terms of coastal and inland activities then Gladstone is the perfect getaway for those looking for a mix up to their usual holiday routine," Mr Hobbs said.

"If you're a foodie there is also plenty to explore as the food scene in Gladstone is something to salivate over with fresh seafood constantly coming in from local trawlers."

To view all of Australia's top voted must-visit destinations visit: https://www.experienceoz.com.au/en/top-10-destinations-2017

The Top 10 Regional Destinations

#1- Kununurra, WA

#2 - Mission Beach, QLD

#3 - Apollo Bay, VIC

#4 - Albany, WA

#5 - Esperance, WA

#6 - Bundaberg, QLD

#7 - Hahndorf, SA

#8 - Gladstone, QLD

#9 - Kangaroo Valley, NSW

#10 - Echuca-Moama, VIC.