For the fourth consecutive year New Zealand has been voted top dog at this year’s Telegraph Travel Awards in the UK, taking out the title ‘world’s best destination’. It also marks another year where Australia has failed to make the top three.
Internal Skyscanner Australia data corroborates the burgeoning popularity of the land of the long white cloud, with YoY increase in searches from the UK up a third (33.6%) in 2016. Interestingly, it’s not just the Brits falling in love with the Kiwi isles, Aussies have also been going soft for the home of the hobbit with a 46% increase in searches over the last 12 months.
As a competitive nation, there’s nothing we hate more than losing to our neighbours (except losing to the Brits themselves of course). So what does Australia have on offer that can match a blinding ski scene, Middle Earth landscapes and marine volcanos? Global travel search engine skyscanner.com.au takes a look at some of Australia’s unique offerings for travellers.
- Ripper surf culture – with warmer climes and beautiful soft sand beaches all over Australia, one thing we have going for us is surf culture. Whether slowing things down in Byron Bay or ripping it up on the Great Ocean Road, Aussie surf culture could be one way to entice more pommes to Aussie shores.
2. Mesmerising mountains – it seems Brits with itchy feet just love mountain ranges and while Threadbo and Perisher can’t compete with the Queenstown ski season, we do have some mighty mountains to shout about. The Blue Mountains in Sydney provide drop dead gorgeous views and epic scenery, a mere hour and a half from Sydney.
3. Die hard adrenalin sports – NZ is home of the bungy jump and adrenaline junkie Brits seem to be lapping up the smorgasbord of new adventure sports they have on offer, from heli-biking to ice climbing. Those with a penchant for reckless recreation can find plenty on offer in Oz. From jet fighter pilot tandem rides to fly boarding and hoverboarding there are some hidden gems for the risk inclined. For those with nerves of pure steel, Neptune Island, off Port Lincoln in SA, is teeming with great whites, and travellers can join them shark diving in the comfy confines of a cage.
4. Culinary capitals – Australia has an exotic mix of cuisine with strong Asian influences and hipster foodie capitals like Sydney and Melbourne boasting world famous restaurants like Attica. Sydney is home to the world’s best gelato, and we’re not just making it up. Sydney’s Cow & The Moon Gelato and gelato king Messina see the fussiest of gelato fans flocking to their gelataria. It goes without saying that Aussie coffee culture is at the top of its game and home to the world’s best barista, with a renowned festival in Melbourne and some of the world’s top baristas boasting perfect blends nationwide – check out a list of 100 hot spots for inspiration.
5. Celebrity central – the Kiwis may have the upper hand when it comes to unspoilt natural beauty but for those who prefer celeb spotting whilst globetrotting, Sydney has more bang for buck. Travellers with stars in their eyes should head to Bondi Beach or Potts Point to see the likes of Hugh Jackman, Chris Hemsworth, Joel Edgerton, Naomi Watts and more celebrity Sydney residents doing their thing. Megastars like Russell Crowe and Richard Wilkins have already jumped ship from NZ to AU.
Check out Sydney’s local list of haunts for a more informed guide to rubbing shoulders with showbiz royalty.