The destinations ahead are rising in popularity, with more people searching for and booking them than ever before. Resolve to travel to one of these top spots while they’re still emerging – some are ideal for a long weekend, others a little further afield, and all are ready to offer you an unforgettable adventure.
Places to visit in New Zealand
Known for its mix of serene natural beauty, adrenaline-surging activities, and top dining for once you’ve had your fill of the outdoors (hiking followed by a Fergburger is a popular way to go), people are increasingly turning their gaze to the South Island’s capital and its many spoils. Magical landscapes, adventures to be had on land and lake, side-street dining and day trips (Central Otago for the wine lovers; Glenorchy for the Lord of the Rings fans) are all on the agenda.
Get an authentic taste of New Zealand on a trip to Rotorua, where a wealth of healing hot springs drew Maori people to make it a spiritual home, and which now attract visitors from around the globe. Soak in the mineral-rich pools and spot their exploding geysers, and experience the Indigenous culture via a traditionally cooked hangi meal or a rousing haka dance.
If you don’t have time to fly across the pond to verdant, craggy Scotland, look to this outpost on the southeast coast. The feel of Dunedin is decidedly European, featuring wide streets, lacy Victorian architecture and landscaped city squares across its hilly expanse. Dunedin is also a drawcard for the students who come here to attend the historic University of Otago. In a collegiate town, a buzzy nightlife naturally follows, so you’ll find plenty of watering holes to settle into after a day of wandering gardens, visiting Larnach Castle, or heading to the picturesque Otago Peninsula for some downtime by the beach.
New Zealanders are known for their forward-thinking creativity, and Wellington is the city that best embodies that style. If you like your beer in eye-catching cans, your latte topped with art, and your spaces urban, grungy and for those in the know, you’ll be right at home here. This pretty, harbourside city has so much to offer by way of its culture that it’s no wonder artsy types gravitate to its shores.
Set alongside the breathtaking Tasman Bay, Nelson boasts art, parks, history and plenty of charm. This South Island city has abundant sunshine, which you can soak up on a coastal walk around the Abel Tasman National Park or while wading in the warm waters of the bay. If you’re more of an indoors person, Nelson’s museums, galleries, cafes and restaurants will keep you entertained.
Places to visit overseas
From the moment you disembark in Tokyo, you get a sense of its whimsy. There’s a little bit of magic in everything you encounter here, and the locals are beyond lovely, making it one of the top cities to visit in the world. You could spend endless amounts of time and not get bored, as every suburb has something different to offer. Find a mix of vintage, high street and designer style in the Omotesando/Harajuku grid; people watching in Yoyogi Park; neon-signed shopping around Shibuya Crossing; tiny bars to bow into in the Golden Gai; and vibrant coffee and counterculture in Shimokitazawa – to name just a few.
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka was a favourite destination in 2018, so it’s no surprise that its capital of Colombo is rising in popularity. This city by the sea has an eclectic mix of influences, with churches sitting alongside temples and old colonial buildings in the shadows of skyscraping towers. Spend some time hunting, and you’ll find fantastic local food, bustling bazaars, and sleek shops and cafes. Colombo is also the entry point to Sri Lanka’s enticing coastline.
It can be easy to overlook Denpasar, the Balinese capital, but ease into the pace of this place that more than a million people call home, and you’ll find a traditional taste of the culture that’s worlds apart from the resorts, clubs and bars. Of course, Denpasar can also jump you off to Bali’s other drawcards, such as yoga retreats and cafes slinging Buddha bowls by the beach, and the more classic attractions of rice paddies, temples and coral reef.
Ah, Edinburgh. A hilly home of castles, cathedrals, monuments and museums, Scotland’s stunning capital won’t leave you short of a culture fix. Once you’re done drinking in the history of this city – apparent in the architecture that spreads from the towns out to the coastal crags – you can reflect over some liquid history with a top-drawer nip of Scotch whisky. Timing your trip with the Edinburgh International or Fringe Festival would be a great way to go, but no matter when you come, you’ll find plenty to keep you inspired.
Getting up close and personal with the ruins of Athens in Greece is undoubtedly a bucket-list experience. There aren’t many places in the world that have a past stretching back to the fifth century BC, and there are none that can claim to be the birthplace of Western civilisation. The erudite traveller will also appreciate the Greek capital’s connection to some of history’s most quoted intellectuals, having spawned such brains as Aristotle, Socrates and Plato.
Other trending holiday destinations…
Across the ditch, Adelaide has captured imaginations for its thriving wine, dining and arts scene, with various festivals held here throughout the year and an eclectic hinterland only 20 minutes away, while Perth has people talking for its sweeping beaches, national parks and stunning vineyards, providing a destination where you’ll likely find a slice of heaven to yourself. Away from the Australian mainland, Malaysia’s capital of Kuala Lumpur appeals for its authentic flavours found at outdoor marketplaces and escapes from the steamy heat in maze-like malls. KL is also a gateway to some incredible coastlines.
Ready to put one of the above destinations on your plans for places to visit in 2019? Find flights, as well as accommodation, holiday packages and more, to all of these top travel destinations on Webjet.