Each year we review the destinations that most piqued your interest. It’s kind of like a ‘wish you were here’ only more like ‘where you wished you were’ exercise.
This year, the overarching theme from the stories you clicked was all about ‘secrets’. You wanted to know the places to go that only locals could tell you. Affordability also rated in the top 10, and Aussie towns featured in half of the finalists. As ever, New Zealand was also popular.
The one that clicked highest though was a bit of a surprise for us. For all the talk of star signs being a hoax, it seems when it comes to choosing a destination, you’re quite happy to aim for the stars and let them guide you.
I always look forward to the end of the year, so that I can see which destinations and experiences sent you packing, so to speak. This year was one of the more surprising top 10 lists. I really love how eclectic your tastes for destinations can be. From walkable cities to winter getaways, wandering through secret wine regions in New Zealand to going way down under to seek the spots loved by locals, here are your favourite destination reads of 2019.
Ideal destinations by star sign
Sometimes choosing a destination can be a challenge. Where to go, what to see and with whom you’re travelling all play a part. If you’re lucky, you’ll figure it out by yourself.
Or, you could be a little bit different and follow the stars.
Yes, you can choose your ideal travel destination, according to your zodiac sign.
As you probably know, astrological signs usually focus on personality traits. So using them to choose an ideal destination is not such a silly idea. Anyway, do with it what you will, but here are the best destinations according to your zodiac sign.
Aussie town tops APAC list
When Margaret River and Southern Western Australia were, in June, named the number one Asia-Pacific destination for 2019, no one at YourLifeChoices was shocked. It’s a beautiful region with so much going for it. Food, wine, stunning countryside. Perfect for weekend getaways or longer road trips. What more could you ask for?
“Asia Pacific has it all,” said Lonely Planet media spokesperson Chris Zeiher.
“Its food delights the senses, its forests and seas teem with life, and its cities fizz with culture and creativity. Our experts have explored this vast region’s highlands, islands and everything in between to find the best places to visit this year.”
Five most walkable cities
Despite what many travel magazines would have you believe, there’s more to Florence than the Duomo, and Paris isn’t all about the Eiffel tower. It’s easy to focus on these ‘main attractions’ and lose touch with the secrets buried in the sprawl of the surrounding streets. Walking through a city is the best way to experience it like a local and to find the hidden treasures not published in guidebooks. Here are Liv’s five favourite cities to explore on foot.
New Zealand’s secret wine region
New Zealand may have celebrated 200 years of winemaking on 25 September, but it’s one of its newest wine regions that’s making waves with oenophiles.
While Central Otago has long been known as New Zealand’s premier pinot noir wine growing region, a three-hour drive north will land you in Waitaki – the nation’s newest wine region that’s already beginning to make a name for itself as a fine wine destination helped by the favourable soil and natural aspect.
South Australia’s best-kept secret
The Barossa Valley steals much of South Australia’s tourism spotlight, but the state is packed with other amazing attractions, and the Yorke Peninsula may well be its best-kept secret.
Yorke Peninsula is home to Innes National Park – an easy three-and-a-half-hour drive from the capital, Adelaide. Road trippers are treated to stunning coastal landscapes, pristine beaches and seaside scenes on the way to one of South Australia’s most accessible seaside escapes.
And once you’re there, you can spend your days swimming, surfing, fishing, camping and bushwalking with this idyllic Yorke Peninsula itinerary.
Affordable Michelin dining
Mention Michelin-starred restaurants and most of us automatically think ‘expensive’. However, while Hong Kong certainly has its share of exclusive and glamourous dining experiences, it also has a number of easily-accessible and affordable Michelin dining options.
From Michelin-starred meals that cost less than A$8, Hong Kong serves a variety of mouth-watering options, so you can sample and savour until your heart is content when it comes to flavoursome food without the price tag.
Here’s a list of just a few of Hong Kong’s affordable restaurants to sample on your next visit.
10 insider tips from Tassie locals
Tasmania may be small but it’s big on natural beauty, tourist attractions and things to see and do. That’s why it regularly tops baby boomer travel wish lists. You’ve all heard of or visited Port Arthur, MONA, Wineglass Bay and Freycinet, but the locals recommend these places for a true Tassie experience.
Best-kept Kiwi secrets
Always in the top three destinations most preferred by baby boomer travellers is New Zealand. It’s a popular place and can be visited all year round, which can also make it a busy destination. So, our friends at New Zealand Tourism have put together a list of spots that most Kiwis would like to keep to themselves and are a little off the road well-travelled.
Why NT is the place to be
Flying over the Simpson Desert, I immediately felt more ‘Australian’. Last year I visited Darwin for a four-day jaunt and finally ticked an item off the top of my own bucket list.
When one thinks of Australia – particularly those from overseas – the Northern Territory is usually the first place that comes to mind. Maybe we have Crocodile Dundee or Steve Irwin to thank for that. Regardless, it holds a special place in our hearts. Here’s why.
Wonderful winter escapes
Some parts of Australia in winter – particularly down south – can be pretty chilly. While some pre-pack the snow gear and rain jackets months before the cold hits, ready to head to the mountains for ski season, others insist that a sarong is a more weather appropriate choice in the months from June to August. Here are the best spots to either embrace or escape those winter winds.
Which was your favourite read of 2019? Is it on this list? Or was it another one? Why not share your top pick with our members?
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