One is one of the world’s most beautiful cities, the other Australia’s cultural capital. But when it comes to travel experiences, Sydney and Melbourne, surprisingly, are being outdone by some of Australia’s slightly lesser known lights.
According to research from TripAdvisor, the favourite destinations in Australia for experiences are the Gold Coast, Hobart and Yulara (Uluru), which ranked ahead of the next best, Melbourne, Cairns, Darwin and Brisbane.
TripAdvisor ranked Australia’s and the world’s top places (and countries) for local tours and activities based on the average destination ratings and reviews for its available experiences.
And although Australia rated very well on the nations list - placing sixth in the world for travel experiences - we were still beaten by our neighbours across the ditch, New Zealand, which ranked a mightily impressive second.
Famed for its adventure tourism, NZ finished just behind Central America’s Costa Rica as the world’s favourite playground, and ahead of Vietnam, Ireland and Scotland.
After Australia on the list was Portugal, Mexico, USA and Iceland.
More than anything, the indices proved that nature-based experiences appealed most to travellers.
“These rankings show travellers’ growing appetite and appreciation for nature over cityscapes,” TripAdvisor Asia Pacific communications director Janice Lee Fang said.
“With places like Yulara, Hobart and the Gold Coast all ranking amongst Australia’s top destinations for experiences, it’s clear travellers are breaking away from the big cities and thoroughly enjoying it!”
The favourite individual places in Australia and NZ overall for travel experiences were Rotorua and Queenstown, while the favourite destinations worldwide were La Fortuna de San Carlos (Costa Rica), Kauai ((Hawaii) and Tromso (Norway).