Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2024: Which iconic Aussie spot makes the list?

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2024: Which iconic Aussie spot makes the list?
Edited by Travel Weekly


    Lonely Planet has today unveiled its top destinations to visit next year with the release of Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2024.

    To mark its 50th anniversary year, Best in Travel returns to its print format as well as online and across social channels, with an expanded list of 50 destinations from all around the globe.

    Best in Travel 2024 is Lonely Planet’s 19th publication of the annual collection, featuring 50 spots across the globe. This year, the guide includes the Top 10 Countries, Cities, Regions, Best Value and Sustainable destinations.

    Ranked as #2 in the Top 10 Regions in the world, Kangaroo Island in South Australia proudly showcases its distinct local produce, abundant native wildlife, natural experiences, and some of the nation’s most pristine beaches. After a resilient recovery from the devastating 2020 bushfires, this much lauded and loved island has re-emerged as a premier ecotourism destination in Australia with many places re-opening and is ready to realise even more of its potential in 2024.

    Aerial panorama of North Coast of Kangaroo Island, South Australia – Shutterstock

    “Kangaroo Island provides such a quintessential Australian travel experience,” said Chris Zeiher, Lonely Planet’s senior director of trade sales and marketing and author of the Kangaroo Island entry.

    “It’s blessed with amazing beaches, offers delicious food, wine, and spirits experiences, and delivers on the drama when it comes to outdoor adventures. And then there’s the wildlife! It’s been much lauded of late but 2024 is the year that Kangaroo Island will be set to capitalise on all of the accolades.

    “Best illustrated by the reopening of the prestigious Southern Ocean Lodge and the launch of a stunning new visitors’ centre at the entrance of Flinders Chase National Park. Get there before the rest of the world works it out – 2024 is the year to pop KI on your travel list.”

    Iconic Remarkable Rocks on Kangaroo Island, South Australia – Shutterstock

    Available for the first time since the return of travel as a print title, annual bestseller Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2024 is available as a special edition that is sure to set the travel agenda for the year to come.

    Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2024 – Complete List

    Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2024 – Complete List

    Online, travellers can explore a selection of destinations via videos featuring local experts, including Nairobi, Mongolia, Ecuador, Montana and Poland, plus information about all the other Best in Travel winners.

    “Our picks for this year seek to both inspire and follow the instincts of 2024’s traveller. Best in Travel is Lonely Planet’s heart and soul travel inspiration offering, responding to the urgent enthusiasm of travellers who want to explore the world in a way that is authentic, led by local guidance and has sustainable values at its core,” Nitya Chambers, SVP content and executive editor said.

    Portrait of group of eagle hunters in Mongolia on the background of river

    “With new takes on iconic destinations and 50 fresh ideas across five categories, we’re confident Best in Travel opens up a year of incredible adventures,” Chambers said.

    As always Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2024 delivers new takes on popular destinations such as Japan, Tuscany, Italy and Mexico, and unearths some lesser-known gems like Uzbekistan, Ikaria, Greece and Izmir, Turkey. Slow Travel, a favourite topic with Lonely Planet readers, is celebrated by highlighting the Camino Portuguese hiking trail and the continued rise of night trains in Europe.

    Featured in the Top 10 Best Value category, the Southern Lakes and Central Otago regions of New Zealand (including the towns of Queenstown and Wanaka), beckon travellers to embrace a leisurely pace, reduce their environmental impact, and enjoy new cycling routes, rich local culture, and exquisite cuisine and wines.

    Southern Lakes and Central Otago – Credit/JV

    Best in Travel also takes time to reflect on how travel is a privilege not enjoyed by everyone in the world in the same way.

    “Travel remains a privilege, with ethnicity and nationality determining whether your journey can be made on a whim or is necessary for survival. Desperation drives dangerous journeys. Many depend on transport links to escape conflict zones and other dangers the world over,” Chambers said.

    “In years to come, we would love to once again wholeheartedly recommend returning to some much-loved destinations and experiences that currently cannot be visited due to instability and conflict. In the meantime, consider setting aside some of your travel budget to support those impacted by conflict and natural disaster.”

    Valencia, Spain: partial view of the Jardí del Túria (Túria gardens), a public park with cycle ways, footpaths, sports facilities as well as the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences in the background – Shutterstock

    How were the 50 Best in Travel destinations selected? Each year, Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel starts with nominations from Lonely Planet’s vast community of staff, contributors from around the world, publishing partners and more. To mark Lonely Planet’s 50th year, nominations were then whittled down by its panel of travel experts to 50 destinations.

    Across lists celebrating the top countries, regions, cities, sustainable travel destinations and best value locations, each inclusion is chosen for its topicality, unique experiences, ‘wow’ factor and its ongoing commitment to sustainability, community, and diversity.

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