A new ranking of Australia’s friendliest towns and cities has been released by Big 7 Travel based on feedback from the travel site’s 1.5 million-strong global social media audience.
The West Australian capital topped the list thanks to its “lively locals, engaging social scene and ease of access for first-time visitors”.
“Perth is a wonderfully vibrant and social place to be,” Big 7 Travel said.
“Expect to make new friends in every bar you go to.”
In second place was Coffs Harbour, a family holiday favourite in northern NSW.
All of Australia’s capital cities made it to the top 10, with the exception of slightly less friendly Sydney, which appeared on the list all the way down in spot 16.
“Sydney might not have a reputation for being friendly on a global scale, but our readers ranked it highly in terms of helpfulness from strangers,” the site offered.
Meanwhile last-placed Melton, Victoria was accused of only being friendly to locals and making visitors feel unwelcome.
Here is Big 7 Travel’s ranking and reviews of Australia’s 25 friendliest towns and cities, from last spot to first.
25. Melton, Victoria
“While that’s all well and good for Melton residents and their good neighbourly vibes, it can mean that visitors might feel like they don’t quite fit in and are unwelcome.”
24. Warrnambool, Victoria
“Locals aren’t exactly rude, per se, but the overall indifference towards strangers can take its toll.”
23. Newcastle, NSW
“While locals aren’t rude, it’s more of a ‘polite but unfriendly’ vibe.”
22. Alice Springs, NT
“Locals here are stubborn, and its sparse rural population can make it harder to make friends.”
21. Bundaberg, Queensland
“It has its charm but could be friendlier; you won’t exactly be greeted with a smile from the local cashier.”
20. Mackay, Queensland
“Its tourist-friendly initiatives are helping the state big time, but overall its reputation has some catching up to do.”
19. Nimbin, NSW
“Nimbin’s iconic rep as a hippy village is known the world over. It doesn’t have the sort of overt friendliness of other places, but locals are generally mellow enough. We can probably guess why.”
18. Geelong, Victoria
“You won’t be invited into someone’s home for tea, but they’re nice. There’s lighthearted banter between locals here.”
17. Toowoomba, Queensland
“Its developing tourism industry means that locals are eager to chat away to visitors.”
16. Sydney, NSW
“Sydney might not have a reputation for being friendly on a global scale, but our readers ranked it highly in terms of helpfulness from strangers.”
15. Gold Coast, Queensland
“The laid-back holiday vibe is made even better by the friendly people you will meet here.”
14. Wollongong, NSW
“Locals here are some of the most welcoming and friendly people you’re likely to meet on your travels across Oz. There’s a chilled-out pace of life here that lends itself to a warm atmosphere.”
13. Townsville, Queensland
“Townsville exudes a welcoming atmosphere as soon as you arrive that continues everywhere in the city itself. Maybe it’s the 320 days of sunshine each year?”
12. Logan City, Queensland
“Logan City locals are down-to-earth and willing to help, without expecting anything in return.”
11. Ballarat, Victoria
“People here are always keen to strike up conversation and will look after their own community no matter what. They’re equally nice to visitors, too.”
10. Hobart, Tasmania
“The atmosphere in the city and beyond is hard to match, with a homey feel and locals who go the extra mile to welcome tourists.”
9. Canberra, ACT
“Let this put an end to any Canberra-bashing from other Australian cities: It might be a quiet-ish city, but the people here make it a fun and vibrant place to spend some time. There’s a real sense of community, where it’s common for a stranger to help you out.”
8. Darwin, NT
“It’s an easy city to find your way around, with plenty of bars and social spots where you will find yourself chatting to locals.”
7. Port Macquarie, NSW
“Port Macquarie folk are incredibly warm and the hospitality here is unbeatable. You’ll ask for directions and end up being personally shown there.”
6. Melbourne, Victoria
“Melbourne’s progressive atmosphere makes it an enjoyable city to visit, with some of the friendliest people in Australia to boot. You’ll get an instant feel for the friendliness here.”
5. Cairns, Queensland
“Locals are open-minded and will eagerly share their favourite place to eat or drink with out-of-towners. Our readers scored Cairns highly on first impressions.”
4. Adelaide, SA
“Both Adelaide’s city centre and ’burbs residents are friendly to just about everyone. The city has excellent walkability, so you can just wander around at your own leisure.”
3. Brisbane, Queensland
“Its warm and welcoming community add a real buzz to the city, making it a popular city break and tourist destination.”
2. Coffs Harbour, NSW
“Whether you’ve been born and raised here or are just passing through, locals will treat you with the same kind attitude.”
1. Perth, WA
“The friendliest city in Australia awards goes to Perth, thanks to its lively locals, engaging social scene and ease of access for first-time visitors. Perth is a wonderfully vibrant and social place to be. Expect to make new friends in every bar you go to.”