Best Places to Visit in Australia and The Pacific
Australia and its Pacific neighbors are home to cosmopolitan cities like Sydney as well as awe-inspiring scenes like those found along the Great Barrier Reef. But costly airfare and plenty of time en route can be a deterrent for some travelers. Should you decide to make the trek, it's useful to know the best spots to visit in the region — that's where we come in. U.S. News ranked the top destinations in Australia and the Pacific based on factors like tourist-friendly accommodations, dining options, accessibility and diversity of attractions. We also took into account user votes and expert opinions to compile the list below. Help us determine next year's ranking by voting for your favorite spots.
Why go: This collection of islands offers more than the simple beach resort destination. There are mountains to hike, reefs to explore and a native culture to experience. Plus, Fijians are notoriously welcoming to foreign travelers and their easygoing attitude will imbue your vacation with a relaxed atmosphere. Read More»
Read On: Top Things to Do in Fiji
Why go: Sydney is part fast-paced metropolis part laid-back beach town. Travelers can sunbathe at Bondi, explore the museums of Darling Harbour or stroll along Sydney Harbour Bridge. What's more, Sydney offers ample attractions awaiting exploration, most notably the Opera House. Read More»
Read On: Top Things to Do in Sydney
Why go: The Great Barrier Reef stands with the Grand Canyon as one of the world's most astounding natural wonders. Its sheer size and diversity of life continuously wows travelers. You can't explore the entire reef in a single trip, but visiting a portion will instigate an appreciation for this underwater marvel. Read More»
Why go: This doubly-named island is especially popular among honeymooners and other travelers searching for a once-in-a-lifetime vacation. Here, you'll discover aquamarine waves, lush jungles and towering volcanoes. Just keep in mind that a trip to this picturesque island doesn't come cheap. Read More»
Read On: Top Things to Do in Bora Bora
Why go: New Zealand's adventure capital boasts a daredevil spirit with opportunities to bungee jump, river raft and sky-dive. You can also see a calmer side of the city with a dip in the Onsen Hot Pools or a tasting at Peregrine Wines. And from a Skyline Gondola, you can admire Queenstown from above. Read More»
Read On: Top Things to Do in Queenstown
Why go: Australia's events capital puts on a show for visitors. You can't miss the Australian Open, an annual sporting competition that brings a contagious enthusiasm to the city. And make sure to visit with Melbourne's penguins on Phillip Island (and at the Melbourne Zoo). Read More»
Read On: Top Things to Do in Melbourne
Why go: When Perth comes up in conversation, the first thing usually mentioned is its exceptional weather: the city enjoys a not-too-hot, not-too-cold climate. The pristine shoreline and the rugged parks around Perth invite visitors to walk on the wild side with the convenience of a friendly city nearby.
Why go: Brisbane is perhaps the best place to get acquainted with Aussie culture. It's a humble city with a modest skyline, quaint neighborhoods and a friendly populace. Yet Brisbane possesses the urban allure of a large metropolis with a substantial music scene and numerous world-class museums. Read More»
Read On: Top Things to Do in Brisbane