It's great in our state, mate . . .

Leigh Harry is the chief executive of Tourism Victoria.
Leigh Harry is the chief executive of Tourism Victoria. Photo: Penny Stephens

To mark Australia Day and our special edition, Nina Karnikowski poses a simple proposition to the nation's top tourism bosses: give us good reasons why we should take a holiday in your state or territory in 2014.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Rodney Harrex, chief executive, South Australian Tourism Commission

"Adelaide was chosen by Lonely Planet as one of the world's top 10 cities to visit in 2014. Take in an AFL game at the newly redeveloped Adelaide Oval, immerse yourself in the spectacle of Mad March, and enjoy the premium food and wine, spectacular coastline and breathtaking landscapes found in our regions."

TASMANIA

John Fitzgerald, Tourism Tasmania chief executive

"The real secret of Tasmania lies in what's beneath the surface. When a person digs a little deeper, they discover there is a whole lot more going on in Tassie that's unlike anywhere else in the country - the characters, the history, the quirkiness ... and the places that are slightly 'off the map'."

VICTORIA

Leigh Harry, chief executive, Tourism Victoria

"Whether your interests include arts and culture, fashion, food and wine or sport, Victoria hosts an enviable array of events both in Melbourne and regional Victoria. Experience the dusk to dawn art and cultural event White Night, highlighting Melbourne's cultural precincts; discover the world of animation at the DreamWorks Animation exhibition at ACMI; tantalise your tastebuds at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival; and feel the rumble of the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix. Regional Victoria also hosts exclusive world-class events. See the work of the most influential and avant-garde fashion designers from the 1980s to today at Modern Love: Fashion visionaries from the FIDM Museum LA at the Bendigo Art Gallery; catch a wave at the Rip Curl Pro at Bell's Beach, Torquay; and experience the Superbike World Championship at Phillip Island."

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Stephanie Buckland, chief executive, Tourism Western Australia

"The Kimberley region in WA's north-west. Lonely Planet recently named it as No.2 of the world's top 10 regions to visit in 2014 in its Best in Travel 2014, so there could be no better endorsement for the region than that. As one of the last true wilderness areas, the Kimberley boasts iconic outback landscapes, one of the oldest surviving cultures on Earth, amazing outback events such as the Ord Valley Muster, and undiscovered secrets that have been billions of years in the making."

NSW

Sandra Chipchase, chief executive, Destination NSW

"Sydney and regional NSW feature some of the best events in the country. There are sporting events such as the opening series of Major League Baseball, lifestyle events with the Australian Open of Surfing, arts and culture events with Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour and the world premiere of Strictly Ballroom The Musical, or regional events such as the Deni Ute Muster, the Port Macquarie Iron Man, the World Rally Championships in Coffs Harbour, or Bluesfest in Byron Bay - just to name a few."

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

Ian Hill, chief executive, Visit Canberra

"TripAdvisor just named Canberra in its top 10 Travellers' Choice awards for destinations on the rise in the South Pacific. Where else in one day can you pat a cheetah, catch a blockbuster exhibition, ride a Segway around a beautiful lake, tackle world-class mountain bike trails and discover 30 cellar doors within 35 minutes of the CBD? The Meet-A-Cheetah experience at the National Zoo and Aquarium is particularly amazing - you actually go inside the enclosure and pat a cheetah. They're about to open some new accommodation inside the zoo and aquarium, too, where you'll basically have lions sitting right outside a big glass window on your porch."

NORTHERN TERRITORY

Matt Conlan, Minister for Tourism

"Why travel to the Northern Territory in 2014? To experience Australia's outback."

QUEENSLAND

Leanne Coddington, chief executive, Tourism and Events Queensland

"The romance of the Whitsundays, which can be experienced through a scenic flight over Heart Reef, or the local laidback culture, which you can soak up through the annual Whitsunday Reef Festival held in August."

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