Sydney has been announced as the winner in TripAdvisor’s 2018 Travellers’ Choice Awards for destinations for Australia, as well as the South Pacific, while Paris clinched the top spot globally.
For the second year running, Sydney is #1 in Australia with the Gold Coast coming in second and Melbourne earning the #3 spot. Queensland destinations of Gold Coast, Brisbane, Cairns, Port Douglas and Noosa made up half of the top 10 whilst newcomers Hobart and Adelaide rounded out the list. Also making the top of the South Pacific list, Sydney is joined by the Gold Coast and New Zealand’s Auckland at second and third place.
The Travellers’ Choice Destinations reveal the favourites among the global and local travel community. “Sydney’s natural beauty, iconic attractions, festivals and events and excellent shopping and dining options continue to amaze visitors from across the globe all year-round,” said NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Adam Marshall.
Gold Coast, which ranked #4 in 2017, climbed two spots to take second place in Australia for Travellers’ Choice Destination 2018. The Gold Coast’s Surfer’s Paradise Beach also just won #2 on TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Beaches in February, making this the second significant destination win for 2018.
TripAdvisor has also identified top-rated hotels and attractions to visit, offering travellers insights about great things to discover in these destinations.
TOP 10 TRAVELLERS’ CHOICE DESTINATIONS – AUSTRALIA:
1. Sydney, New South Wales (Average annual hotel rate in Sydney: $338 per night on TripAdvisor)
Home to the world’s largest natural harbour and Traveller’s Choice beaches Manly and Bondi, Sydney is like no other. The cosmopolitan city is brimming with activities ranging from cultural, nature, arts and gastronomy. Travellers can marvel the architecture of the Sydney Opera House, check out the food scene at Darling Harbour or take a stroll from Bondi to Congee along the coastline. Enjoy a good night’s rest at Ovolo Woolloomooloo for accommodation close to the city’s best waterfront restaurants and pubs.
2. Gold Coast, Queensland (Average annual hotel rate in Gold Coast: $363 per night on TripAdvisor)
Set against spectacular skyscrapers, the Gold Coast enjoys balmy weather, 52km of pristine sand and 300 days of sun. The city is great for nature lovers with national parks such as Burleigh Heads and Springbrook, and beaches such as Surfer’s Paradise. Book a tour at SkyPoint Climb for a 270-metres ascend up Q1 Resort Building and be rewarded by the panoramic view of Gold Coast and beyond. Complete the trip with an ocean-viewing room at Peppers Soul.
3. Melbourne, Victoria (Average annual hotel rate in Melbourne: $277 per night on TripAdvisor)
Melbourne may come across as a little laid-back but it is also known for its vibrant cafés, popular arts scene, massive sports venues and historic memorial sites. Visit the Shrine of Remembrance, a memorial of citizens who served in global conflicts throughout its history or head to Melbourne Cricket Ground to learn about the rich Australian sporting history at the nation’s largest stadium. Stay at the centrally located The Langham, Melbourne, situated on the shores of the Yarra River.
4. Brisbane, Queensland (Average annual hotel rate in Brisbane: $212 per night on TripAdvisor)
Brisbane is Queensland’s cosmopolitan capital that combines arts, culture and plenty of natural attractions. Board the CityHopper ferry to enjoy an overall view of main city and the inner city suburbs along the Brisbane River for free. Nature-lovers can visit the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary where over 100 species of Australian native animals roam in a natural bush setting or Roma Street Parkland for scenic picnics in heart of the city. After a day of exploration, return to The New Inchcolm Hotel & Suites Brisbane, a boutique hotel built within a heritage building.
5. Hobart, Tasmania (Average annual hotel rate in Hobart: $238 per night on TripAdvisor)
Perched on Tasmania’s south-eastern coast, Hobart offers fascinating history, thick forested mountains and gourmet experiences. The city is nestled on the foothills of Mount Wellington where travellers can climb up for a panoramic view of Hobart and the Tasmanian peninsula. Visitors can also head to Salamanca Market, the city’s most visited outdoor market where hundreds of stallholders sell locally made products every Saturday at the sandstone Salamanca Place. Travellers can check-in to a harbour view room looking over the Constitution Dock and the Derwent Rivera at Grand Chancellor Hotel Hobart.
6. Perth, Western Australia (Average annual hotel rate in Perth: $221 per night on TripAdvisor)
Perth appeals to both locals and visitors thanks to its metropolitan attractions amidst relaxed surroundings. Travellers can take a complimentary bus service from the city centre to the Kings Park & Botanic Garden to discover unique Australian floras and capture city views from various vantage points. Also close by is Kings Park War Memorial, a fitting tribute for Australian servicemen and women who have served in all wars and conflicts in which the nation has been involved. Relive the past with a stay at COMO the Treasury, a beautifully restored hotel in a 19th-century state building.
7. Adelaide, South Australia (Average annual hotel rate in Adelaide: $213 per night on TripAdvisor)
Once known as the “City of Churches”, Adelaide has since transformed to an energetic city with plenty of shopping, art events, outdoor activities and some of Australia’s best café strips. With more than 145 years of history, travellers can engage in food therapy at Adelaide Central Market for a wide range of fresh produce alongside with some of Adelaide’s most popular cafes and eateries. For accommodation right smack in the city centre, travellers can make a beeline for the Mayfair Hotel.
8. Cairns, Queensland (Average annual hotel rate in Cairns: $195 per night on TripAdvisor)
Whilst Cairns is known as the gateway to world heritage listed Great Barrier Reef, and Daintree National Park, travellers also flock to the city for fun under the sun and for its booming nightlife and outdoor activities such as ATVs amid a lively, tropical setting. Travellers can stay at Ingenia Holidays Cairns Coconut, suitable for families thanks to amenities such as a splash pool and adult spa.
9. Port Douglas, Queensland (Average annual hotel rate in Port Douglas: $312 per night on TripAdvisor)
The upscale resort town of Port Douglas is a another great base for exploring nearby gems such as the Great Barrier Reef including colourful reef sites Opal and Agincourt,. On Sundays, travellers can drop by the Sunday Market Port Douglas which offers an assortment of items from handmade souvenirs to local produce. Rest at the award winning and budget friendly property Lazy Lizard Motor Inn.
10. Noosa, Queensland (Average annual hotel rate in Noosa: $460 per night on TripAdvisor)
Known for a world-famous surf beach and a great selection of boutique shopping and fine dining options, the sub-tropical town of Noosa enjoys year-round warm weather. Soak in amazing views on a coastal walk at the Noosa National Park whilst looking out for wildlife such sea dolphins, whales, wild koalas and monitor lizards. With amenities such as water slides and a games room, families with kids will enjoy staying at RACV Noosa Resort.
Award winners were determined using an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews and ratings for hotels, restaurants and attractions in destinations worldwide, gathered over a 12-month period, as well as traveller booking interest on TripAdvisor. The awards honour 402 outstanding destinations in 42 lists across the globe.