An exclusive Australian island in the “middle of nowhere” has been lauded as one of the world’s top travel destinations for 2020.
The World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island was the nation’s highest-ranking entry in Best in Travel 2020, Lonely Planet’s 15th annual collection of the world’s hottest destinations and journeys launched on Tuesday.
The tiny island, which is east of Port Macquarie in the Tasman Sea, placed fifth in the global travel gurus’ top 10 regions to visit in the year ahead.
“Parked in the middle of nowhere 600 kilometres off the Australian coast, this visually stunning island makes an instant impact on the senses with its jaw-dropping World Heritage-listed beauty,” Lonely Planet wrote.
“Two soaring green mountains overlook a perfect lagoon and the world’s southernmost coral reef; perfect crescents of beach and splendid hiking trails through the lush forest add to brilliant outdoors possibilities.”
Ensuring it will never be swamped by tourists, only 400 visitors are allowed on the exclusive island at any one time.
“The island is a shining example of sustainably managed tourism” with visitors “encouraged to participate in a series of ecological projects”, Lonely Planet wrote.
“Lord Howe’s remoteness and manageable size make it an idyllic escape.”
Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Regions 2020
- Central Asian Silk Road
- Le Marche, Italy
- Tōhoku, Japan
- Maine, USA
- Lord Howe Island, Australia
- Guizhou Province, China
- Cadiz Province, Spain
- North-east Argentina
- Kvarner Gulf, Croatia
- Brazilian Amazon
The Top 10 Countries to visit in 2020
- North Macedonia
- Costa Rica
- The Netherlands
The Top 10 Cities to visit in 2020
- Salzburg, Austria
- Washington, DC, USA
- Cairo, Egypt
- Galway, Ireland
- Bonn, Germany
- La Paz, Bolivia
- Kochi, India
- Vancouver, Canada
- Dubai, UAE
- Denver, USA
Top 10 Best Value Destinations to visit in 2020
- East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia
- Budapest, Hungary
- Madhya Pradesh, India
- Buffalo, USA
- Cape Winelands, South Africa
- Athens, Greece
- Zanzibar, Tanzania.
Local experiences and destinations
A handful of Australia’s best foodie destinations, experiences, and accomodation options also featured in Lonely Planet’s best of 2020. These included:
Great Southern Train Journey, Adelaide to Brisbane
Claiming eighth spot on Lonely Planet’s ‘best new openings’ list, the Great Southern Train Journey is described as “one of the latest luxury routes that prove rail travel will never die”.
“The Great Southern will run three- and four-day routes between Adelaide and Brisbane, offering opportunities to stop at national parks, beaches and cities, with a luxurious cabin and gourmet food options to enjoy onboard,” Lonely Planet wrote.
Mount Mulligan Lodge, Queensland
Taking fifth spot on the ‘best new places to stay’ list, Mount Mulligan Lodge in far north Queensland is situated on a working cattle station.
“Mount Mulligan Lodge has used the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a framework and also endeavours to protect and restore the surrounding environment,” Lonely Planet wrote.
Di Stasio Città, Melbourne
Placing eighth on Lonely Planet’s list of ‘best new food experiences’ is Melbourne restaurant Di Stasio Città.
“‘Ronnie’ Di Stasio pioneered his first restaurant, Rosati, 30 years ago and now he’s back in a beautiful Brutalist building, with video installations by Australian artists and the city’s best pasta,” Lonely Planet wrote.
Tasmania claimed ninth spot on the ‘best sustainable trips for families list’ .
Australia’s southern-most state is billed as a “magical place for families”, with treetop walks, “messing about in boats”, and exploring the beaches and national parks recommended.
“There’s plenty to keep everyone happy; and the beauty of it is distances are small,” Lonely Planet wrote.