2020 has been bad news for getting out and seeing the world, but it sure has provided us with plenty of opportunity to compile travel bucket lists and even visit a few destinations in our own backyard.
To get those planning juices flowing, Lonely Planet has published their Ultimate Travel List part 2, which outlines their list of “500 unmissable global travel experiences” around the world.
Writers for the globally recognised publication have scoured the planet – vicariously – for the destinations they can’t wait to head to the moment international travel resumes.
With writers voting on favourite travel memories, they have whittled down hundreds of votes to 500 experiences and 320 pages of travel.
RELATED: Foodie road trip destinations you must visit
RELATED: Wotif.com reveals where you can get Australia’s best schnitzel
Lonely Planet said this year’s list contains “a mix of knockout new openings, sights that have upped their game, or places more relevant to the way we travel now”.
“For this edition, we awarded extra points to destinations and attractions that are managing tourism sustainably,” says Lonely Planet’s VP of Publishing, Piers Pickard.
“We’ve all got a list of places that we want to see for ourselves: places friends have enthused about, places we’ve read about, dreamt about. This is our list,” Lonely Planet’s Chris Zeiher added.
Now, while hundreds of locations have been listed – Australia has not been missed out – with one of our most famed natural wonders coming in as the third must visit site in the world.
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, has been named in the top three must see places in the world, with the publication saying it was the ultimate travel destination because of the connection tourists can gain between Indigenous culture and the land, as well as the sustainable practices undertaken at the destination.
RELATED: Aussie spot has the world’s best scones
RELATED: Genius ingredient in Australia’s best vanilla slice
Uluru, which came in at the 33rd ‘must visit’ place in the world in 2019, jumped 30 places for the 2020 list.
Northern Territory’s Minister for Tourism Natasha Fyles said there’s no secret in Uluru being one of the best places to visit in the world.
“Territorians are acutely aware Uluru is one of the best places in the world and now it is official, according to Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travel List,” she said.
“This is well deserved and fantastic recognition for the Northern Territory, recognising the Traditional Owners, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Board of Management and tourism operators who work tirelessly to share stories and their culture with visitors.
RELATED: Australia’s best pie has been crowned
Mr Zeiher said it was an “exciting” time for Australians to see their own backyard, especially a visit to Uluru.
“It’s hands-down one of my favourite places to visit anywhere in the world … and we’re lucky enough to have it in our own backyard,” he said.
“For me, it’s the depth of experiences and connections that the Park offers that makes it such a valuable and unforgettable travel experience.
“Whether it’s watching in quiet awe as the colours of Uluru change during sunset or embarking on the incredibly rewarding Valley of the Winds walk in Kata Tjuta this is one of those very special places that will profoundly touch any individual lucky enough to visit.”
The top 10 showed a strong theme of ‘returning to nature and open spaces’ for 2020.
The Petra in Jordan topped the list, followed by The Galápagos Islands, Uluru, Okavango Delta in Botswana and Yellowstone National Park in the US. The only city on the list, which came in at number 1 for 2020 is the “Rose City” of Petra in Jordan which was abandoned to the desert some 800 years ago.
The top 10 international Ultimate Travel List:
#1 Petra, Jordan
– Indiana Jones’ “lost city” in the desert
#2 The Galápagos Islands
– a natural selection for wildlife lovers
#3 Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia
– the heart of Aussie’s Red Centre
#4 Okavango Delta, Botswana
– massive migration in the African savanna
#5 Yellowstone National Park, USA
– Old faithful is an old favourite of the US publisher
#6 Lake Bled, Slovenia
– forgotten fairytale Europe
#7 Iguazú Falls, Argentina-Brazil
– a force of nature on the border of nations
#8 Temples of Angkor, Cambodia
– a monument to devotion
#9 Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
– a dreamlike mirage in the desert
#10 Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
– top experience on the roof of the world