The Illawarra and South Coast has been represented in a national shortlist for the annual Stayz Holiday Homes of the Year Awards.
The holiday rental website has revealed the most booked and best reviewed properties of the past year.
The top 20 for 2020 list features a cottage in Berry and properties in Scarborough and Gerroa.
Bantam Cottage is a 100-year-old cottage in central Berry.
With a fully fenced backyard, the cottage is popular with pet owners and in winter, families can toast marshmallows on the open fire.
The owners, Janet Walker and husband Mark Mothersdill bought the home in 1997.
It was initially their place of residence, but has been rented out as holiday home for about 15 years.
"Berry is very popular - it's got that historic and heritage feel to it," Mrs Walker said.
"The house kind of fits in with that, being a cute little cottage.
"It's very simple, it's not fancy. It's just a simple little cottage that suits the town I think."
Mrs Walker said there were a few key elements to a successful holiday home.
"For one thing, being clean - having it very clean," she said.
"And I think we've been very lucky with the location of the house.
"If you've come from Sydney, you can just drive your car in and not have to get in it again.
"You can have your whole time away without having to drive, which I think would be a big advantage."
The owners are dog lovers, and share tips with guests on where to find off-leash areas.
"We're pet-friendly, which not a lot of places are," Mrs Walker said.
"People really like being able to take their animals with them when they go away, so I think that's made us popular.
"And we try and keep it at the lower end of the price scale for the town, so your normal everyday person can afford to stay there."
Among the other properties featured is 'Water's Edge' in Scarborough.
This large waterside home sleeps 10 across five bedrooms and has four bathrooms.
The home is walking distance to the Scarborough Hotel, a patrolled beach and a 'secret' natural rock pool.
Meanwhile, 'Elanora Gerroa' is a large four-bedroom, three-bathroom property on Gerroa Headland.
The property overlooks Shelley Beach and farmland enjoyed on the garden deck that's complete with a fire pit.
Three large rooms mean the home is popular with groups of three couples.
The overall winner of the Stayz Holiday Homes Awards will be announced next week.
"We are thrilled to reveal our shortlist for the 2020 Stayz Holiday Homes of the Year Awards in a year that has been tough for the Australian tourism industry," Simone Scoppa, travel expert for Stayz said.
"The list is packed with incredible places that Aussies love to visit as proved by the individual property's popularity and reviews.
"We are even more delighted to see seven NSW properties in the shortlist which will help shine a light on the many incredible destinations."
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