Respected publication National Geographic celebrates a select list of the new, the different and the influential travel destinations in its Best of the World 2022 list.
And one Australian destination made the cut.
Curated by a global editorial team, the annual Best in the World is split into five categories: Nature, Adventure, Culture, Sustainability and Family.
Victoria was selected as one of the best places to enjoy nature in the world by National Geographic Traveller UK’s Connor McGovern.
McGovern recommended driving the Great Ocean Road, where the Wildlife Wonders sanctuary in the Otways is playing an important role in Australia’s recovery after the bushfires of 2019-2020.
He said the 75-minute guided tour, during which visitors can explore the sanctuary and learn about native species, was a particular highlight.
He enjoyed “wandering through thickets of eucalyptus trees and admiring the koalas, wallabies and bandicoots that now call the sanctuary home”.
Victoria was joined by some global heavyweights in the Nature category, with experiences like stargazing in Northern Minnesota, experiencing the tropical wildlife of Belize, taking a safari in Namibia, and volunteering at Lake Baikal in Russia.
Visit Victoria CEO Brendan McClements said he was delighted to see the state acknowledged.
“From the giant sand dunes in East Gippsland, to the mountain tops of the High Country, the ancient forests in the Otways and vast flows of the Murray River, there’s a special experience waiting for every nature lover in Victoria,” Mr McClements said.
“Renowned as one of the world’s most breathtaking routes – by car, plane or foot – the Great Ocean Road takes panoramic views of dramatic seascapes to a new level.
“With diverse coastal ecology, lush rainforests, waterfalls and natural wonders dotted along the route, this coastal escape is endlessly inspiring.”
Executive editor of National Geographic Travel George Stone said while the pandemic stalled travel plans for almost two years, it also fostered an appetite for “new and impactful journeys”.
“In many ways, the pandemic provided a moment for travellers and communities around the world to reflect and regroup on how we explore the world,” Stone said.
“With this year’s list, Nat Geo takes a look at what’s different, new and inspiring from the new Seine River bike trail in France to Chimanimani National Park, a new national park in Mozambique that signals the country’s environmental commitment.
“We’re excited to share these 25 extraordinary places that will define our upcoming itineraries.”
Ten of this year’s destinations are UNESCO heritage-listed sites, marking the 50th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention.
Victoria’s inclusion comes after Lord Howe Island was the only Australian destination to make the 2021 Best in the World List for its impressive conservation efforts, with editors agreeing the isolated ecosystem is “the last paradise”.
Here is the National Geographic Best in the World list of 2022:
- Caprivi Strip, Namibia
- Northern Minnesota, United States
- Lake Baikal, Russia*
- Belize Maya Forest Reserve
- Victoria, Australia
- Seine River Bike Trail, France
- Costa Rica
- Nepisiguit Mi’gmaq Trail, New Brunswick, Canada
- Arapahoe Basin, Colorado, United States
- Ruhr Valley, Germany
- Parque Nacional Yasuni, Ecuador*
- Łódź, Poland*
- National Columbia Gorge Scenic Area, Oregon/Washington, United States
- Chimanimani National Park, Mozambique
- Jingmai Mountain, Yunnan, China*
- Tin Pan Alley, London, England
- Hokkaido, Japan*
- Procida, Italy
- Atlanta, Georgia, United States
- Danube River Cruise*
- Lycia, Turkey*
- Granada, Spain*
- Eastern Shore, Maryland, United States
The must-see list for 2022 was a collaborative effort by National Geographic Traveller’s international editorial teams.
For more of National Geographic‘s Best of the World list, visit NatGeo.com/BestoftheWorld
*indicates the destination is UNESCO-designated.