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Thursday 28 October 2021

Auckland and the Scenic Rim grab global attention

New Zealand's largest city, Auckland, and the Scenic Rim region of Queensland are the only Australian and New Zealand destinations featured in the newly released Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2022.

The book is the 17th annual collection of the world’s hottest destinations and "must-do" travel experiences for the year ahead, and features lists of the top 10 countries, cities and regions to visit in 2022. 

ChrisZeiher, Lonely PlanetSenior Director Trade Sale and Marketing, said Auckland deserved its place as the No.1 city destination. 


“This is an amazing recognition of Auckland and its surrounding attractions," he said. "Within the city’s boundaries there are 53 volcanoes, more than 50 islands, three wine regions and numerous beaches that make this a truly exciting and vibrant city.


“There is so much to discover or rediscover in Auckland and this recognition, especially now as people start contemplating travel again, places Auckland as the number one city on the map.” 

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says: Lonely Planet’s promotion of Auckland as the best city in the world to travel to in 2022 is a fantastic acknowledgement of what Tāmaki Makaurau has to offer. It will give a real boost to Auckland’s tourism and hospitality sectors as they start to recover from the Covid-19 lockdowns and borders reopen.  


“It is also a reminder to Aucklanders and New Zealanders of the treasure trove of places and experiences we have on our doorstep. Seeing Auckland through the eyes of an international traveller is one way to understand how breath-taking, exciting, creative, and full of energy our region is.


“Knowing it is top of the list for travellers around the world, Aucklanders and New Zealanders have the first chance to explore and rediscover everything Tāmaki Makaurau has to offer.”


The book lists top five Auckland highlights including West Coast beaches, Hauraki Gulf Islands, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Auckland Art Gallery and volcanic cone climbs (top image).


Close Kiwi neighbours The Cook Islands - one of the world’s smallest countries – claimed the coveted spot as the No.1 country to seek out in 2022.


The Scenic Rim in South-east Queensland, meanwhile,  was named No.8 region in the world to visit.

Just an hour from Brisbane and 30 minutes from the heart of the Gold Coast, the Scenic Rim stretches from Canungra to The Lost World, Beaudesert to Boonah, Tamborine Mountain to Kalbar. 

It is home to the ancient World Heritage-listed Gondwana rainforests, historic national parks, charming towns and villages, adventure parks, farm stays, craft breweries, boutique wineries, ecolodges, tantalising gourmet experiences, world- class camping and glamping. 


“After bouncing back from the 2019 Black Summer bushfires with a raft of new attractions and a renewed focus on sustainability, the Scenic Rim in Queensland is primed to become of Australia’s low-impact tourism power players,” says Zeiher. 

“It’s such an untouched and diverse eco-based Australian destination. From the amazing food and wine to the incredible rainforest and bush walks and memorable places to stay, this is an unexpected pocket of Australia that has it all.”


Highlights of the region noted by Lonely Planet include Binna Burra Mountain Lodge and O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, Australia’s newest Great Walk in The Scenic Rim Trail by Spicers, ecolodges Nightfall Wilderness Camp and Mt Barney Lodge as well as the six national parks.


The lists comprise:

Top 10 Countries: 1. Cook Islands, 2. Norway, 3. Mauritius, 4. Belize, 5. Slovenia, 6. Anguilla, 7. Oman, 8. Nepal, 9. Malawi, 10. Egypt.

Top 10 Regions

1. Westfjords, Iceland, 2. West Virginia, USA,  3. Xishuangbanna, China, 4. Kent Heritage Coast, UK, 5. Puerto Rico, 6. Shikoku, Japan, 7. Atacama Desert, Chile, 8. The Scenic Rim, Australia, 9. Vancouver Island, Canada, 10. Burgundy, France. 

Top 10 cities

Auckland, New Zealand, 2. Taipei, Taiwan, 3. Freiburg, Germany, 4. Atlanta, USA, 5. Lagos, Nigeria, 6. Nicosia/Lefkosia, Cyprus, 7. Dublin, Ireland, 8. Merida, Mexico, 9. Florence, Italy, 10. Gyeongju, South Korea

Thumbs up for Slovenia, Vancouver Island, Burgundy, Dublin and Florence, all among my favourite destinations. Thumbs down for Lagos. Seriously? 

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2022: $27.99 is available at all good book shops 

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