(Australian Associated Press)
The NSW regional city of Wagga Wagga features alongside ever-popular tourist destinations like Uluru and Hayman Island in a list of this year’s top trending Australian destinations for Aussie travellers.
But travellers appear to be snubbing Sydney in favour of its Victorian counterpart Melbourne, according to an analysis of Flight Centre bookings.
Fremantle tops the list, with Flight Centre putting the increasing popularity of the West Australian port city (up 126 per cent from 2015) largely down to the rise of the cruise industry in the west.
The relaunched luxury Hayman Island resort in the Whitsundays recently reopened as a five-star brand under new management from One&Only, helping put it at number two according to the travel company, which says flight bookings were up 46 per cent last year.
Hayman is followed by the Northern NSW beaches gateway of Ballina at number three, with bookings up 18.7 per cent.
The sleeper Tasmanian city of Devonport (up 18.2 per cent) is fourth, reflecting an increasing fascination with the Apple Isle, while outback tourism stalwart Uluru is fifth with a 12 per cent increase in bookings.
Flight Centre says a seven per cent increase in bookings for Wagga Wagga (seventh on the list) suggests the archetypical rural locale is set to be on the radar this year, as well as the laid-back town of Albury on the border between NSW and Victoria, which rounds out the list at number 10.
TOP LOCAL TRAVEL DESTINATIONS FOR AUSSIES IN 2016
2. Hayman Island
7. Wagga Wagga
8. Port Macquarie
Source: Flight Centre