The port city of Fremantle has been named in a prestigious international travel list alongside the likes of Seoul, Copenhagen and Jamaica.
Each year, Time complies a list of must-visit locations around the globe as part of its World’s Greatest Places feature.
And even though the magazine shortened this year’s list from 100 locations to 50, Australia still managed to snag two places.
Fremantle was among the honoured cities, with Time calling the Western Australian city the place to “eat, drink and be Aussie”.
And the Great Barrier Reef also made the list – along with a surprise destination located hundreds of kilometres from Earth.
‘Freo, way to go’
Fremantle was commended by Time for its vast array of food options and stunning venues.
With pho, ramen, kebabs, burgers and fried ice-cream on offer in the heart of the city, Time described Fremantle as “bustling with food and drink openings”.
The magazine singled out the reimagined city centre, Walyalup Koort, and the upgraded Old Courthouse, which has been transformed into a rustic eatery and live music venue, as two particularly impressive food-and-drink hubs.
Beer company Gage Roads was also applauded for its new 1500-person capacity brewery and bar at the city’s historic Victoria Quay.
Explaining the process behind its list, Time said it solicited nominations from its network of correspondents and contributors.
The magazine hinted that pandemic lockdowns around the rest of the country may have played a part in Fremantle’s selection.
Time noted that Fremantle’s appearance on the list comes “after nearly 700 days of pandemic shutdown”, referencing the state’s tight domestic border restrictions.
Businesses in Melbourne and Sydney are currently struggling to fill shifts and return to pre-lockdown capacity.
But WA made it through the pandemic with only a few days of lockdown, experiencing just a fraction of Melbourne’s record 263 days under stay-at-home orders.
Extensive COVID lockdowns and pandemic restrictions have affected how the world views Australia in other ways, too.
Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth – all once named in the top 10 liveable cities around the world – dropped to 27th, 30th and 32nd respectively in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2022 survey.
Melbourne, which was once considered the world’s most liveable city for seven years, barely held on to a spot on the list, falling from eighth to 10th place.
The report acknowledged that pandemic restrictions had played a factor in each city’s rating.
Meanwhile, located in the Coral Sea off the coast of Queensland, the Great Barrier Reef also earned its first mention on the list.
Much of Time‘s tribute to the natural wonder focused on the reef’s gradual deterioration and the subsequent preservation efforts.
“This year, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef was hit by another mass bleaching. Scientists say the reef isn’t dying, but it also isn’t thriving,” the magazine wrote.
“With only about 100 of the 3000 individual reefs actively monitored, there’s still much to learn.”
The recognition comes as the UNESCO World Heritage Committee pushes ahead with plans to classify the reef as an endangered natural site.
Perhaps the most surprising entry on Time‘s list was the International Space Station.
More than 400 kilometres from Earth, only a handful of adventurous holidaymakers have visited the galactic destination.
This is perhaps unsurprising, given a trip to the ISS cost previous tourists up to $US55 million ($81 million) each for a fortnight in space.
Time said the “incomparable view” and “thrill of weightlessness” made the hefty fee worth it.