Top 5 destinations for Australian travellers

 Dec 15, 2014

Australians are known for their love of globetrotting and adventurous spirit, but what are our most popular overseas holiday destinations ?

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A report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics has revealed the nation's most visited overseas destinations from 2013 to 2014. 
New Zealand remains the most popular, with 1.2 million Australians visiting the "land of the long white cloud", followed by Indonesia and the United States. 
The top 5 destinations are as follows:

     Destination                      Visitors

  1. New Zealand              1.2 million
  2. Indonesia                  1 million
  3. USA                         930,000
  4. Thailand                    614,000
  5. UK                           540,000

 

New Zealand 

From subtropical forests, glaciers and hot springs to boiling mud pools and rolling green valleys – there is nowhere else on (Middle) earth quite like New Zealand. 
Not only will the diversity of this country blow you away – the people are a friendly bunch as well. This compact country is easy to travel around and with affordable airfares from Australia, it's no surprise New Zealand tops the list.

Top 5 must-do things in New Zealand:

1. Take a drive on the Pacific Coast Highway for hot water beaches, the volcanic White Island and wine region of Hawkes Bay.

2. Ride the TranzAlpine Train – voted one of the top rail journeys in the world.

3. Visit Wellington – New Zealand's cultural capital and immerse yourself in the coffee culture.

4. Head up north and visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds - immerse yourself in New Zealand's Maori and European heritage.

5. Take a hiking tour or scenic flight over the stunning Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers on the western coast of the southern island.

 

Indonesia 

The Indonesian Archipelago is made up of over 17,000 islands – so there's a lot more to Indonesia than the beaches of Bali. 
Indonesia is a cultural hot spot with a rich history. Also known as the "Pacific Rim of Fire", Indonesia is one of the most active volcano areas in the world, so you're spoilt for choice with many excellent sunrise hikes and volcano day trips on offer. Australian travellers will also love how far our budget will stretch – everything from travel, accommodation, food and shopping is very affordable.

Top 5 must-do things in Indonesia: 
1. Climb up to the volcano rim of Mount Bromo at sunrise.

2. Visit the world's largest Buddhist temple – Borobudur.

3. Go scuba diving in the Bunaken Marine National Park (don't forget to check that your international travel insurance covers you for this!)

4. Catch a boat to the tiny Gili Islands and while away your days relaxing on the white sandy beaches.

5. Visit Komodo, the largest island in the national park. Try and catch a glimpse of the Komodo dragon, the largest lizard on earth.

 

USA

The 'Big Apple', Route 66, the Rocky Mountains, Disney World and the Statue of Liberty - the list of iconic places to visit, and things to see and do in America are endless. 
If you look beyond the major cities there's so much more to America: 
it's a melting pot of cultures, music, architecture, and food. The Australian love affair with the USA continues to grow with every new travel generation.

Top 5 must-do things in America:
1. Head to Mount St Helen in Washington state and visit the country's longest lava tube (over 2 miles long).

2. Take a road trip in South Dakota to the Black Hills, think endless prairies, canyons and the world's longest cave.

3. Take a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon and prepare for your jaw to drop.

4. Go on a backpacking trip to Alaska, home to the grizzly bear and the country's largest National Park. If you're lucky, you might even get to see one of the park's resident bears.

5. Head to Arizona and take a horseback trip into the canyons for a real wild-west adventure.

 

Thailand

All-year-round sunshine, amazing street food and beautiful beaches make Thailand a great destination for Australians to kick back and relax. One of the reasons why Thailand is so popular is its affordability. Our Australian dollar goes a long way in Thailand, with hundreds of places to stay for less than $20 a night. 
If you like markets and bargains then Thailand is the place for you: wandering the enormous markets in Bangkok is an experience in itself.

Top 5 must-do things in Thailand:
1. Head north to the relaxed city of Chiang Mai.

2. Visit the Kings Grand Palace in Bangkok.

3. Head to the south of Thailand and go island-hopping.

4. Head north from Chiang Mai and take a hike with the hill tribes. Get ready for a traditional homestay and cooking lessons with the locals.

5. Hire a sea kayak in Krabi and spend the afternoon paddling crystal clear blue waters.

 

UK 

While London is undoubtedly one of the greatest cities in the world, the UK offers so much more. With its wide variety of landscapes – from rocky white cliffs and lush fields to sprawling cities – the UK offers great diversity. 
Steeped in history and culture – from pre-historic Stonehenge to Tudor castles and Roman ruins – you'll never run short of things to do. And the best thing is bus and train systems are fully integrated, which makes travelling to other destinations, like Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and even Europe, easy.

Top 5 must-do things in the UK:
1. Explore the Lake District National Park in the North of England.

2. Visit the Cardiff International White Water course in Wales for a white-knuckle ride (double check that your international travel insurance policy covers you for this activity.)

3. Visit the historic Roman Baths in Bath.

4. Catch a boat and sail to the Isle of Arran off the coast of Scotland. This beautiful little island promises fresh sea breezes and clear mountain air. Perfect for those who love the outdoors.

5. Hire a car and drive around the south coast of Ireland. Don't forget to stop at Kilkenny, Ireland's finest medieval town, and the Blarney Stone on the way.

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