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These Airbnb Hosts and Their Stays Were Just Named the Best in Australia and New Zealand for 2023

These hosts with the most have won some love for a romantic Sunshine Coast retreat, a stay in a 1920s steam train carriage and a Hamurana cabin with an outdoor bath.
By Sarah Ward
October 17, 2023
By Sarah Ward
October 17, 2023

Whether it's for a staycation, quick getaway or lengthy vacation, spending a night or several away from your own house isn't just about getting cosy inside any old different four walls. There's an art to providing a memorable stay away from home, including when you're slumbering in someone else's abode. Given that Airbnb is all about folks opening up their spaces to travellers wanting to spend the evening, of course it realises this — and rewards the platform's hosts with the most.

For the three years running, Airbnb's Host Awards have recognised the people making booking at their listings something special — and the memorable stays themselves. 2023's winners have just been announced, showing some love across both Australia and New Zealand. Whether you're after a romantic Sunshine Coast retreat, hanging out in a 1920s steam train carriage and or a Hamurana cabin with an outdoor bath, these applauded options have you covered.

In Australia, Host of the Year went to Veronica and Colin Eastmure for their Down at The Dale farm stay at Conondale, in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Among the often-personalised touches that earned them the coveted prize: robes and slippers, handwritten welcome notes, roasting marshmallows on the fire pit, an outdoor spot to bathe and even making a birthday cake for a guest.

From the newcomers to the platform, Fremantle's Sarah Abbott won Best New Host for a light-filled loft in the city's West End district, which earned plaudits for its design focus. There's also a Best Design Stay, which went to a restored Victorian terrace called Mister Munro, as hosted by Elise Croker in Crookwell in New South Wales.

Rounding out the Aussie awards: that steam carriage in Forrest in Victoria, which got host Fleur Leslie the nod for Most Unique Stay (unsurprisingly); Bec and Angus McDougall's The Cottage at Dunmore Farm, also in Victoria, for Best Nature Stay; and Skye Lanser's boho-style room in NSW's Forest Lodge, which won for Best Room Host.

If you're wondering how Airbnb's Host Award winners are chosen, a heap of Airbnb data goes into picking the recipients, plus guest scores and reviews — and then a judging panel oversees the process.

In Aotearoa, The Cabin in Rotorua took pride of place — aka Host of the Year — for David and Christina Chemis. Again, personalisation for guests was a hit with the judges (this time including homemade treats), as was an outside bath. Soaking in the air, scenic surroundings and being made to feel like you really are at a home away from home: that's the formula that's resonated at the 2023 awards across both countries Down Under.

NZ's Best New Host went to Viv Madsen-Ries for The Loft on Flynn Host, which gives Arrowtown visitors mountain views. Also, Chanel Griffiths' off-the-grid two-person Kawakawa Hut on a Taupō farm won Best Nature Stay. If it's just a room you're after, that's where Joanna Bell's Freemans Bay villa comes in, including a daily homemade breakfast.

In the Best Design Stay field, glamping with a hot tub — and four bedrooms — is at the top of the agenda in Waitomo thanks to host Emily Scott. And New Zealand's Most Unique Stay? A house bus on a 35-acre field will do it, with hosts Tara and Guillaume Wrigley Gignoux dubbing it the Raglan LoveBus.

For more information about Airbnb's Host Award winners in Australia and New Zealand, had to the platform's website.

Published on October 17, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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