Australia’s best vanilla slice revealed in 2021 Uniquely Aussie Awards

Today Wotif announced the winners of this year’s Uniquely Aussie Awards – the annual guide to Australia’s best local secrets, as nominated by Aussies. 

Celebrating quintessential Aussie travel experiences across six categories, the awards highlight the unique joys synonymous with local travel – hot chips on the beach, regional bakeries serving up nostalgic baked goods, country pubs full of colorful characters, and stunning hotel pools in iconic Aussie settings.

Now in their fourth year, the awards – which rake in thousands of nominations around the country – aim to encourage Aussies to explore their own backyard and support their favorite businesses … which is now more important than ever, after so many hospitality businesses have struggled through 18 months of stalled travel.

Without further ado, here are the national winners, followed by the runners-up.

Australia’s best vanilla slice

National winner: Bridgewater Bakehouse, Bendigo and Bridgewater (VIC)

The rest of the top ten vanilla slices in Australia … 

2. Ross Bakery Inn, Ross, TAS
3. Banana Boogie Bakery, Belair, SA
4. Vanilla Slice Café, Sorrento, VIC
5. The French Lettuce, Carlton, VIC
6. Flinders Vanilla Slice, Cheltenham, VIC
7. Gumnut Patisserie, Mittagong, Bowral & Berrima, NSW
8. Preece’s at the Jetty, Redcliffe, QLD
9. Café Bear & Scoobs, Geelong, VIC
10. Bourkies Bake House, Woodend, VIC

Australia’s best jaffle

National winner: Miss Jaffles, Cronulla (NSW) 

With 15 different jaffles on the menu, there’s one for every occasion, like the Miss Pizzeria or the decadent dessert jaffle Miss Biscoff – think caramilk, biscoff, strawberries and ice cream with the crimped toasted bread we all know and love.

One of the sweet jaffle creations at Miss Jaffles in Cronulla.
One of the sweet jaffle creations at Miss Jaffles in Cronulla.

The rest of the top ten jaffles in Australia … 

2. Foxtrot Unicorn, Perth, WA
3. TINY of Beechworth, Beechworth, VIC
4. Union Kiosk, Melbourne, VIC
5. Bad Frankie, Fitzroy, VIC
6. Jaffle Shack, Geraldton, WA
7. Jaffelato, Rockingham, WA
8. Hendrik’s Cognac and Wine Bar, Crows Nest, NSW
9. Stairwell Coffee, Surfers Paradise, QLD
10. Waffles and Jaffles, Coonalpyn, SA 

Australia’s best country pub

National winner: Beechwood Hotel, Beechwood (NSW) 

It’s all about the people you meet when visiting a country pub, and Beechwood Hotel is said to be at the heart of its community. With friendly service, great food and a true-blue history (if you feel like ditching the car, there’s a spot out front for your horse), this humble pub offers some of Australia’s best country hospitality.

The Beechwood ... and excellent spot for a pint.
The Beechwood … and excellent spot for a pint.

The rest of the top ten country pubs in Australia … 

2. Royal Hotel, Mendooran, NSW
3. Daly Waters Pub, Daly Waters, NT
4. Victoria Hotel, Bathurst, NSW
5. Settlers Tavern, Margaret River, WA
6. Mount Warning Hotel, Uki, NSW
7. Nindigully Pub, Nindigully, QLD
8. Meringandan Pub, Toowoomba, QLD
9. Northcliffe Hotel & Motor Inn, Northcliffe, WA
10. Noojee Hotel, Noojee, VIC

Australia’s best hot chips

National winner: Chicken Chef, Adelaide (SA) 

The Chicken Chef chips are truly iconic.
The Chicken Chef chips are truly iconic.

Said to have mastered the crispy on the outside, soft on the inside requirement of any good hot chip, Chicken Chef’s “mouthwatering” hot chips and famous salt are beloved by locals. The secret to their winning recipe? No shortcuts. Hand-made with the freshest potatoes and double-cooked for that signature crunch. 

The rest of the top ten hot chips in Australia … 

2. Pelican Rocks Seafood Restaurant & Café, Greenwell Point, NSW
3. Kingsley’s Chicken, Canberra, ACT
4. Jesters, WA
5. Cripps Bakehouse, Bellerive, TAS
6. Sotos Fish Shop, Semaphore, SA
7. Chicken Cave, Fulham Gardens, SA
8. Super Rooster, Toowoomba, QLD
9. The Yeeros Shop, Marrickville, NSW
10. Parkdale Free Range Charcoal Chicken, VIC

Australia’s best hotel pool 

National winner: JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort and Spa, Gold Coast (QLD) 

This is a truly next-level hotel pool.
This is a truly next-level hotel pool.

The “magical lagoon” at this Gold Coast resort is anything but your average hotel swimming pool. Whether it’s snorkeling with tropical fish, gliding down the waterslide or cocktails in your cabana, everyone’s a winner here. 

The rest of the top ten hotel pools in Australia … 

2. Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas, Port Douglas, QLD
3. Riley, a Crystalbrook Collection Resort, Cairns, QLD
4. Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour, Sydney, NSW
5. Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove Resort, an IHG Resort, Hope Island, QLD
6. Emporium South Bank, Brisbane, QLD
7. Intercontinental Hayman Island, QLD
8. Palazzo Versace Gold Coast, QLD
9. Mindil Beach Casino Resort, NT
10. The Ville Resort & Casino, Townsville, QLD

Australia’s best national park

National winner: Kakadu National Park, Kakadu (NT) 

Covering nearly 20,000 square kilometres, Kakadu National Park is teeming with wildlife, home to important Aboriginal rock art sites, and takes in diverse and exotic landscape.
Covering nearly 20,000 square kilometres, Kakadu National Park is teeming with wildlife, home to important Aboriginal rock art sites, and takes in diverse and exotic landscape.

Australia’s largest national park is also the best according to Aussies, thanks to its historical and cultural significance, beautiful scenery, and incredible wildlife. A “truly spectacular experience” that every Aussie needs to do.

The rest of the top ten national parks in Australia … 

2. Litchfield National Park, NT
3. Royal National Park, NSW
4. Karijini National Park, WA
5. Cradle Mountain–Lake St Clair National Park, TAS
6. Grampians National Park, VIC
7. Daintree National Park, QLD
8. Noosa National Park, QLD
9. Wilsons Promontory National Park, VIC
10. Fraycinet National Park, TAS

Wotif Managing Director, Daniel Finch said: “Country charm, cheesy jaffles, and creamy vanilla slices – no one does them quite like Australia, and the thousands of nominations we received this year shows Aussies are a passionate bunch. There’s so much to love and discover about Australia, and with a really exciting summer period ahead, we hope to inspire and encourage Aussies to plan their next adventure and support local businesses.” 

This article originally appeared on Escape

About the author


Hi! I’m Ozzie!

Before joining Australia Exploring, I was a writer at Tripadvisor.

I'm looking for the best posts for you about travel adventures in Australia and around the world. This website has the purpose to inspire you to travel… travel more and better. I hope it can help you explore the world a little bit better.

I graduated from the University of Sydney. I live in California with my wife and two children.


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