Research by Roy Morgan reports that 58.3% of Australians aged over 14, which is over 11.9 million people, intend to spend at least one night in a domestic destination for their next trip.

It comes as no surprise that Melbourne is the most popular destination.

The Victorian capital is home to many of Australia’s biggest sporting events such as the Australian Open tennis tournament, the Melbourne Cup horse race and the Formula One Australian Grand Prix, as well as a variety of major cultural festivals celebrating film, comedy and literature.

According to the report, Melbourne is significantly ahead of Sydney in terms of destination popularity.

Less than 900,000 Australians are planning a trip to the Harbour City next, putting it in second place.

The third most popular destination was the NSW North Coast, which includes the holiday towns of Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Port Stephens and Forster.

Over 550,000 Aussie holidaymakers intent to travel to this region, while over 535,000 Aussies are expected to spend at least one night in fourth-placed Brisbane.

The Great Ocean Road region – encompassing towns such as Torquay, Lorne and Port Fairy – was also mentioned by over 500,000 Aussies.

Other popular destinations included Canberra, the Hunter Valley, Surfers Paradise, Adelaide and Perth.

Top 15 domestic destinations Australians intend to stay at least one night on next trip

  1. Melbourne – 1.55 million
  2. Sydney – 894,000
  3. North Coast (Forster, Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Port Stephens – 558,000
  4. Brisbane – 535,000
  5. Great Ocean Road (Torquay, Lorne, Port Fairy) – 502,000
  6. Canberra – 442,000
  7. Hunter Valley (Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Gloucester) – 434,000
  8. Surfers Paradise – 421,000
  9. Adelaide – 385,000
  10. Perth – 351,000
  11. Far North Coast (Byron Bay, Tweed Heads, Lismore, Grafton) – 346,000
  12. Blue Mountains (Katoomba, Lithgow) – 341,000
  13. South Coast (Gerringong, Merimbula, Nowra) – 333,000
  14. Mornington Peninsula (Portsea, Flinders) – 319,000
  15. Hobart – 304,000

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, Jan 2018 – December 2018 (n = 14,913). Base: Australians 14+. 

Melbourne & Sydney universally popular

Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine said the research firm’s consumer segmentation tool, Helix Personas, found that “Melbourne and Sydney are the preferred travel destinations for Australians across the spectrum of community segments”.

But Ms Levine said there are significant differences in the other destinations Australians choose based on their psychographic segmentation, which encompasses spending behaviours.

“Whereas Canberra is the third most popular destination for the big spending 100 Leading Lifestyles community it is the Great Ocean Road in South-Western Victoria that is the third most favoured location for both the ‘young and culturally diverse’ 200 Metrotechs community and the more ‘modest and pragmatic’ 500 Doing Fine community,” she said.

The ambitious and careful spending ‘300 Aspirationals’ community had Surfers Paradise as their third favourite destination while Brisbane was the third favourite for the contented home-loving ‘400 Hearth and Home’ community and the lower income ‘600 Fair Go’ community.