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U.S. News Best Vacations Badge

Best Places to Visit in Australia and The Pacific

U.S. News Best Vacations Badge

Although costly flights and long travel times can deter some from visiting Australia and its neighbors, should you decide to travel to Australia and the South Pacific, it's useful to know the best locales to explore – that's where we come in. U.S. News ranked the top vacation spots in the region based on user votes and factors such as tourist-friendly accommodations and variety of attractions. Help us determine next year's ranking by voting for your favorite destinations below.

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Australia & The Pacific Rankings

Gold Badge #1 Tahiti

Gold Badge #1 in Best Places to Visit in Australia and The Pacific

Visitors travel from around the world to catch a glimpse of Tahiti's beautiful natural landscape, including tumbling waterfalls and soaring mountains. This island in the South Pacific is also home to unique sandy beaches, such as La Plage de Maui and Papenoo Beach. Read More »

Colorful Tahiti View 25 photos
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Gold Badge #2 South Island, New Zealand

Gold Badge #2 in Best Places to Visit in Australia and The Pacific

New Zealand's largest island is a haven for outdoorsy types keen on soaking up the country's scenery. Whether you're hiking around Lake Tekapo, diving in Milford Sound or kayaking in Abel Tasman National Park, you'll enjoy breathtaking panoramas. When you need a break from nature, check out Christchurch's street art or Dunedin's Larnach Castle.

South Island
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Gold Badge #3 Sydney

Gold Badge #3 in Best Places to Visit in Australia and The Pacific

Part fast-paced metropolis, part laid-back beach town, Sydney welcomes travelers who want to spend their days sunbathing at Bondi Beach, visiting the museums of Darling Harbour or climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge. What's more, Sydney features iconic sights like the Opera House and fun events, such as Vivid Sydney. Read More »

Sydney Opera House View 22 photos
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Gold Badge #4 Great Barrier Reef

Gold Badge #4 in Best Places to Visit in Australia and The Pacific

The Great Barrier Reef is easily one of the world's top natural wonders. Its sheer size and diversity of life continuously impress visitors. Even though you won't be able to see the entire reef, an air or boat tour or snorkeling or diving excursion of this underwater marvel makes for an unforgettable vacation. Read More »

Aquatic Life View 27 photos
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#5 Bora Bora

#5 in Best Places to Visit in Australia and The Pacific

Travelers searching for a once-in-a-lifetime vacation head to this doubly named island for its luxury hotels and romantic overwater bungalows. Here, you can spend the day exploring aquamarine waves, lush jungles and towering volcanoes. To save money, book a vacation package that combines your flight and hotel room. Read More »

Welcome to Bora Bora View 27 photos
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#6 Fiji

#6 in Best Places to Visit in Australia and The Pacific

Made up of a collection of South Pacific islands, Fiji is known for being an exotic beach destination. Adventurous travelers can spend the day hiking mountains, snorkeling around reefs and learning about firewalking and other native customs. Plus, Fijians are notoriously welcoming to foreigners and will help you relax like a local. Read More »

Fiji View 24 photos
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#7 Melbourne

#7 in Best Places to Visit in Australia and The Pacific

Melbourne is Australia's events capital, hosting annual activities like the Australian Open and the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. Even if you can't visit for a major event, the city offers a variety of tours and attractions. For a more leisurely vacation, sip a flat white at one of Melbourne's many street cafes. Read More »

Melbourne Skyline View 18 photos
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#8 Tasmania

#8 in Best Places to Visit in Australia and The Pacific

This island south of mainland Australia draws adventurous travelers in droves. Hikers can trek challenging paths at Wellington Park and Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair National Park while water lovers snorkel, kayak and more at Freycinet National Park. After an active day, unwind with a locally made cider, wine or whiskey in Hobart or Launceston. Read More »

Cradle Mountain View 23 photos
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#9 Gold Coast

#9 in Best Places to Visit in Australia and The Pacific

A Gold Coast vacation offers travelers the perfect blend of a laid-back beach community and a thriving city. Visitors can tour everything from glowworm caves to wildlife sanctuaries to theme parks – all are located within the city's limits. However, surfers travel from around the world to hang 10 at beaches like Surfers Paradise and Nobby.

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#10 Auckland

#10 in Best Places to Visit in Australia and The Pacific

The cosmopolitan city of Auckland boasts a diverse population that brings unique flavors and traditions to the local culture. Add Auckland's love for sports (think: rugby and bungee jumping) and natural allure – black sand beaches, clear blue waters and volcanic peaks – and you've got a great destination. Read More »

Auckland Skyline View View 58 photos
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#11 Hamilton Island

#11 in Best Places to Visit in Australia and The Pacific

Within view of Australia's northeastern coast, Hamilton Island is a prime vacation spot for water sports enthusiasts. The largest inhabited island of the 74 that comprise Queensland's Whitsundays, Hamilton Island features superb conditions for sailing and diving. If you'd rather stay on land, hike up Passage Peak or dine at one of several waterfront restaurants.

Hamilton Island
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#12 Adelaide

#12 in Best Places to Visit in Australia and The Pacific

Adelaide beckons to nature lovers and foodies. Considered the wine capital of the country, this South Australia city boasts more than 200 wineries, including world-famous vineyards like Penfolds and Jacob's Creek. Plus, vacationers can admire gushing waterfalls at Waterfall Gully or look for wildlife on nearby Kangaroo Island. Read More »

Adelaide Skyline View 20 photos
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#13 Queenstown

#13 in Best Places to Visit in Australia and The Pacific

A trip to New Zealand's adventure capital offers plenty of opportunities to unleash your inner daredevil. Spend your days bungee jumping, skiing and skydiving, among other activities. To see a calmer side of Queenstown, take a dip in the Onsen Hot Pools or tour Kiwi Birdlife Park. Read More »

Aerial View of Queenstown View 18 photos
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Perth

Cottesloe Beach

Perth

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Brisbane

Brisbane Skyline

Brisbane

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Sunshine Coast

Sunshine Coast

Sunshine Coast

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Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

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