Recent Wotif.com data showed Armidale was recently the number one searched for Aussie destination on the popular travel search engine.
The next most searched for town, on the list compiled from Wotif.com data on accommodation searches during June 2020, was Tamworth.
Wotif Managing Director Daniel Finch says regional areas are in high demand for those keen to get out and take a break.
"Many regional areas are seeing unprecedented interest on our site," he said.
"According to Wotif research*, half (46 percent) of Aussies would like to keep away from the crowds and because of that, we're seeing a huge spike in interest for destinations outside of the usual hotspots."
Katrina George is Armidale Regional Council's principal advisor for tourism and events and she says there has been a significant increase in the number of visitors to the town recently.
"We're doing well in terms of tourists," Ms George said.
"In the Tourism Information Centre we've been flat out, and on some days we're getting up to 260 people a day - which is an increase of about 30 percent.
"We're seeing a lot of people who can't get to Queensland who are now travelling around NSW and ticking off destinations like Broken Hill, and places like that, so they are travelling through Armidale on the way to those areas.
"And a lot are here doing the Waterfall Way - that is a massive drawcard."
People looking for a short break in the country are also on the increase thanks to COVID according to Ms George, and it is the natural beauty of the region they are here for.
"We've got a lot of people from Port Macquarie,and Coffs Harbour, and other coastal towns that are only two hours away, who have been working at home for four months and are looking to get away for a couple of days," she said.
"They are definitely here for the waterfalls and the national parks - that is probably the number one reason.
"Number two would be the beautiful old buildings, history and heritage and the New England Regional Art Museum is also a popular attraction."
Most of the visitors are still working, cashed up and ready to spend Ms George says.
"They're mostly aged between 30 and 60, and are not so much looking for a motel for the night," she said.
"They are spending up on nice guest houses and high end accommodation like Rydges, Tattersalls Hotel, and Petersons Winery.
"They are up here to spend some money."
Mr Finch agreed that with border restrictions still in place across most parts of the nation, NSW residents in particular are opting to holiday closer to home.
"At Wotif.com we're seeing a spike in regional NSW travel, in fact, following the announcement in May that leisure travel in NSW could recommence, we've continued to see accommodation interest for NSW destinations rise on Wotif.com, up by close to 160 percent* over the last four months," he said.
National Parks and Wildlife Service properties in the area are busy at the best of times and right now, if you haven't already booked something for the coming school holidays, you may be disappointed.
"Bookings across all National Parks and Wildlife Service parks in the New England and Northern Tablelands are very tight for the upcoming school holidays and long weekend," a spokesperson for NPWS said.
"We have seen a surge in visitors and bookings across NSW since the coronavirus lockdown period and typically the September and October period is one of our busiest across the state.
"We would urge anyone planning on visiting and camping in a national park to plan ahead, check the website and make a booking online before you visit."
In June the top ten trending Aussie destinations on Wotif.com were: 1. Armidale, NSW; 2. Tamworth, NSW; 3. Rockhampton, QLD; 4. Stanthorpe, QLD; 5. Gladstone, QLD; 6. Hunter Valley, NSW; 7. Orange, NSW; 8. Kiama, NSW; 9. Port Macquarie, NSW; and 10. Dubbo, NSW.
*Wotif research commissioned in collaboration with YouGov, June 2020. Total sample of 1,247 Australian adults 18+ who travel away from home on holidays, distributed throughout Australia. The data was weighted by age, gender and region to reflect the latest ABS population estimates.
**Based on accommodation interest on Wotif.com from 13 May 2020 compared with 9 September 2020.