Known for having an adventurous spirit and strong wanderlust, Australians are continuing to head overseas in record numbers.
According to data from Cheapflights.com.au, in 2016 the peak months to depart were December, January or June, with the most searched international destinations including old favourite Denpasar-
Bali, followed by London, Auckland, Los Angeles, and Bangkok.
“While regular hot spots dominated the top destinations this year, 2017 is set to be a ‘golden age’ for international travel. Already we are seeing new routes open up, encouraging Aussies to fly the path less travelled and creating opportunities for new, unexpected destinations to rise,” Regional Sales manager at Cheapflights ANZ, Nathan Graham, said.
To help Australian globetrotters, here is a guide to the hottest places on the to-travel lists for 2017:
1. Cork, Ireland – Whether you prefer churches, castles and old world architecture, a scenic waterfront, or popping in to pubs and fish and chips shops, the charming spot of County Cork has you covered. A visit to Cork’s English Market, which dates back to 1788, is a feast for the senses. Acclaimed as one of the finest covered markets in Europe, Queen Elizabeth insisted on a stop here during her historic visit to Ireland in 2011. The most recent proof of the region’s allure: West Cork’s Clonakilty claimed the 2017 Great Town Award, naming it the best town in Britain and Ireland.
2. Finland – With saunas, snow and the Northern Lights in the winter, and hiking, beaches and cultured cities (as well as endless sunshine to enjoy it all) in the summer, Finland should be on everyone’s travel to-do list. 2017 may well be the best year to visit too, with 100th birthday celebrations kicking off on New Year’s Eve, and building through the summer, right up to the country’s Independence Day on 6 December. Celebration spots include a giant SnowCastle, housing a SnowRestaurant, SnowHotel and even a SnowChapel for those with marriage in mind (cold feet understandable!). There’s also a wine festival with five 100th anniversary wines.
3. Polynesia – After Disney brought the winter wonderland of Scandinavia to life in Frozen, visits to Norway have increased by 20 per cent. Now, the recently released Moana shines the spotlight on the picturesque South Pacific, with visits anticipated from a swelling tide of fans and those discovering Polynesia from the media attention. While this may not be the most accessible destination for many travellers, for Aussies, these islands are only a short flight away.
4. China – New flight routes are shining a light on China and with something to suit all travellers – from the bustling cities of Hong Kong and shopping in Shanghai, to the historical sites of Guangzhou, the scenery of Zhangjiajie, and the irresistible city of giant pandas, Chengdu – it’s no wonder it is a go-to for 2017.
5. Canada – In 2017, Canada’s no-holds-barred plans for celebrating its 150th birthday will be the draw. This is a year when every event, from New Year’s Eve to the Calgary Stampede, will be bigger and better, with all cities and towns getting in on the festivities and celebrations.