Lonely Planet Ultimate Travel List adds South Island destinations

Hooker glacier in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. Photo: Getty Images
Hooker glacier in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. Photo: Getty Images
2020 has been bad news for getting out and seeing the world, but has provided plenty of opportunity to compile travel bucket lists.

And that's exactly what the Lonely Planet has done with their Ultimate Travel List part 2. Its list of "500 unmissable global travel experiences" has scoured the planet – vicariously – for the destinations their writers can't wait to head to, the moment international travel resumes.

With writers voting on favourite travel memories they have whittled down hundreds of votes to 500 experiences and 320 pages of travel.

And New Zealand not been missed out – 13 iconic Kiwi experiences have made the short list. Albeit a very long short list.

Fiordland described as a trip back in time to a Jurassic "landscape of the giants" made it into the top 30, as New Zealand's highest placed experience. New Zealand's top three experiences according to the Lonely Planet are all to be found in the National Parks, with editor Chris Zeiher marking Abel Tasman and Mt Cook /Aoraki as highlights.

There's a strong theme of returning to nature and open spaces. Just looking at this year's top 10, you won't find any city breaks.

The Galapagos, Okavango Delta, Uluru and Nepal's Annapurna track make this year's top spots. The only city on the list, which came in at number 1 for 2020 is the "Rose City" of Petra in Jordan which was abandoned to the desert some 800 years ago.

Unsurprisingly the places Lonely Planet writers are longing to get back to are the world's wildest.

A return to responsible travel was an important factor in creating the list. Destinations appearing on the Green Destinations Foundation list were up-voted in the rankings.This has resulted in 200 new entries making this year's list. Waiheke Island, Great Barrier Island and wildlife watching on the Kaikoura coast are all new additions since part 1 was published in 2015.

Zeiher said this reflected the "brilliant natural wonders and travel experiences New Zealand has to offer."

While none of these entries ranked as highly as the top Australian experiences the green new emphasis in this edition has seen many more Kiwi experiences appear on the pages.

"I know it's not a competition," Zeiher said "but Aussie only scored 9 entries to New Zealand's 13…and there's good reason for that!"

New Zealand's top 10:

#29 Fiordland National Park

#72 Abel Tasman National Park

#80 Aoraki/ Mt Cook National Park

#122 Kaikoura

#151 Waiheke Island

#189 Bay of Islands

#207 Waitomo Caves

#209 Lake Wanaka

#261 Hot Water Beach, Coromandel Peninsula

#327 Whakarewarewa

#355 Great Barrier Island

#496 Queenstown

The top 10 international Ultimate travel lists:

#1 Petra, Jordan

– Indiana Jones' "lost city" in the desert

#2 The Galápagos Islands

– a natural selection for wildlife lovers

#3 Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia

– the heart of Aussie's red centre

#4 Okavango Delta, Botswana

– massive migration in the African savanna

#5 Yellowstone National Park, USA

– Old faithful is an old favourite of the US publisher

#6 Lake Bled, Slovenia

– forgotten fairy tale Europe

#7 Iguazú Falls, Argentina-Brazil

– a force of nature on the border of nations

#8 Temples of Angkor, Cambodia

– a monument to devotion

#9 Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

– a dreamlike mirage in the desert

#10 Annapurna Circuit, Nepal

– top experience on the roof of the world

The Ultimate Travel List part 2 is on sale from Friday October 9, $39.99









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