Australia's top ten destinations to experience for 2014 have been announced following a national consumer poll conducted by leading travel experience provider Experience Oz.
The national poll, now in its second year, revealed Western Australia's spectacular Rottnest Island as the number one destination to experience in Australia for 2014, closely followed by last year's winner, Queensland's stunning Whitsundays, again ranking highly in the #2 position, while WA's Margaret River was recognised in third place.
The top ten destinations also included QLD's Gold Coast, NT's Uluru / Ayers Rock, QLD's Cairns, QLD's Sunshine Coast, SA's Barossa Valley, WA's Ningaloo Reef and SA's Kangaroo Island from a shortlist of 30 iconic destinations.
Rottnest Island Authority CEO Paolo Amaranti said they are thrilled to have received the coveted number one position in the poll.
"Rottnest Island is excited to have been voted the top Experience Oz destination by so many fans. We are working hard to ensure the Island's naturally outstanding beauty is kept at its best all year round and welcome visitors from home and overseas to join the happiest animals on earth – our quirky quokkas in the world's most distinctive Island paradise."
In conducting the survey, Experience Oz received just under 2000 votes, with a number of regional tourism offices getting their local communities involved to vote.
Rottnest Island Chamber of Commerce Chairman Michael Sier said he looks forward to welcoming visitors to experience the Island.
"The Island's business community is delighted and we look forward to even greater visitor experience as the RIA's 20-year vision rolls out, offering world-class accommodation options so more people can enjoy the pristine beauty of Rottnest and its cultural heritage."
During the poll, participants were asked to consider among other factors, the overall 'Aussie nature' of the destination, the variety of experiences on offer, the destination's unique geographical features, attractions and activities, and culture or history in or around the destination.
The initial shortlist of 30 Australian destinations featured the best cities, regions and hot spots including Adelaide, Launceston, Blue Mountains, Broome, Port Arthur, Port Douglas, Cradle Coast, Great Ocean Road and Kakadu.
Experience Oz Digital Marketing Manager Matt Hobbs said 'Australia's Top Ten Destinations to Experience' national consumer poll is a great opportunity to identify the best destinations in Australia for the local, regional and domestic tourism market to experience, and he hopes it will inspire people to do just that.
"This year's list would make a great bucket list of places to experience in Australia," he said.
"There are a significant number of destinations nominated that are considered natural icons, have a wide array of activities available to experience and unique geographical features.
"While in a way it's surprising that iconic destinations such as Sydney, Melbourne and Perth did not make the list, the poll has indicated that a number of Aussies have already experienced these capital cities and are looking towards more regional, escapist destinations to experience this year.
"Australia is the land of the green behind the gold and we want to show people that they don't need a huge budget to enjoy what our country has to offer. We have thousands of experiences available for people to browse through from all walks of life. We want to encourage people to step outside their region and explore these beautiful destinations."
Experience Oz offers a comprehensive catalogue of tours, attractions and activities with no booking or credit card fees and unbiased reviews all on a secure online booking site.
Over 3000 products including theme park tickets, attraction tickets, day tours, hot air ballooning, jet boating, whale watching and great dinner and show packages are all on offer at Experience Oz with customers able to skip the queues at most attractions and save valuable holiday time.
2014 Australia's Top Ten Destinations to Experience List:
1. Rottnest Island, WA – 2014 Winner
2. Whitsundays, QLD – 2014 Runner Up
3. Margaret River, WA
4. Gold Coast, QLD
5. Uluru / Ayers Rock, NT
6. Cairns, QLD
7. Sunshine Coast, QLD
8. Barossa Valley, SA
9. Ningaloo Reef, WA
10. Kangaroo Island, SA