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The interior of a renovated train carriage with antique furniture.
Photograph: Marnie Hawson

The best Airbnbs in Australia have been crowned for 2023 – and two VIC stays won top awards

Two Airbnbs in Victoria have been declared the best of the best, with a converted train carriage winning most unique stay

Liv Condous
Written by
Melissa Woodley
Liv Condous

There's no shortage of amazing places to stay across Australia – from remote cabins and tiny homes to farm houses and beachfront oases – it's never been easier to have a truly memorable holiday in idyllic surrounds. Airbnb has crowned the best of the best in its third annual host awards and two Victorian stays have been named among the six winners, as the best spots to stay in the country. A 1920s converted train carriage won the award for the most unique stay and an 1860s homestead picked up the prize for the best nature stay. Clear your calendars, because these stays truly have wow factor. 

To decide the winning stays, Airbnb crunched the numbers (such as guest scores) and consulted with an expert panel to determine the six winners. The prize categories are Best Design Stay, Most Unique Stay, Best Nature Stay, Host of the Year, Best New Host and Best Room Host. And considering there are more than 100,000 properties on Airbnb Australia, just making it to the finalist round is an impressive feat. 

If you seek out a vacay that's outside the norm, this authentic 1920s train carriage turned accommodation should be on your radar. Located in the tranquil surrounds of the Otway Ranges, it picked up the prize for the Most Unique Stay, and staying there is truly a first class journey. Steam is a three-bedroom accommodation with steampunk themed decor and luxe interiors, the product of a nine-month renovation to transform the carriage. Host Fleur Leslie intended the stay to be a romantic homage to the simpler and slower time – the perfect atmosphere for a relaxing escape. 

The interior oa converted train carriage with a fireplace and antique furniture.
Photograph: Marnie Hawson

A glamping yurt in Emerald, Victoria, was also named as a finalist in the most unique stay category, with a cozy cabin located on a sprawling hobby farm with plenty of adorable animals. 

Another Victorian stay took out a top prize as the winner of the Best Nature Stay award, with a focus on being immersed in natural surrounds. A restored 1860s homestead set on a former dairy farm claimed the award, for its offer to guests to not only enjoy a relaxing stay, but engage in all things farm life. Hosts Bec and Angus Macdougall wanted to provide an escape to a more connected way of life. At The Cottage at Dunmore Farm, guests can participate in activities like fruit picking and animal feeding. A holiday can't get more wholesome than that. 

The exterior of a small cottage nestled in a green field.
Photograph: Supplied

There were plenty of other stays across our state that were given a special mention as finalists in the categories, like another converted railway carriage in Buningyong, an off-grid High Country home with an incredible design and a boutique cottage retreat inside a renovated 1850s schoolhouse. We're already looking at our calendars to plan our next getaway because these stays look too good to not visit. 

Here is the full list of Australian winners in the host awards:

You can see all nominees and winners here


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