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Why Australia was named the 2016 destination of the year

Stay where you are, Aussies, because you’re exactly where you need to be for your next holiday.

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According to Condé Nast Traveler, Australia is the best travel destination for 2016.

From Canberra to Byron Bay, Tasmania to Perth, nothing has gone under the radar with these guys. They have put the spotlight on everything from the wine regions in South Australia to the forest lodges of the Tasman, and of course heavyweights Sydney and Melbourne have made appearances too.

Here’s why Australia was named the best travel destination for 2016:

Its exciting culinary scene

Pellegrini's in Melbourne
Image: Nick-D/CreativeComms

Melbourne and Sydney are synonymous with great nightlife and a stellar dining scene. But according to Condé Nast Traveler, a great culinary experience extends to all areas of Australia. David Prior, a contributing editor to the publication, told Traveler that there were numerous reasons Australia was elected, but it was primarily because of our exciting food scene.

“Wherever you look in Australia, there is a democracy to dining and a fresh, global approach to cooking that traverses the globe but is resolutely Australian in its relaxed yet sophisticated execution,” he said.

From where to get the best coffee in Melbourne — duh, it’s Pellegrini’s — to noshing on a Bill Granger brekky in Sydney, Australia, it seems, has so much to offer the food-inspired traveller.

Unique hotel experiences

Como Hotel, Perth
Image: Como Hotel, Perth

Australian hotels are not your stock-standard accommodation chains; they’re unique buildings with a history and a story to tell. Heritage-listed properties like the Como in Perth have been lovingly restored, allowing people to enjoy modern-day comforts in a historical setting. Another gem noted by the publication is Halcyon House, a re-creation of a 1960s surf motel in New South Wales.

A dream-worthy lifestyle

Halcyon House
Image: Halcyon House

The Australian lifestyle is a big draw card for those looking to escape while on vacation.

“Ozzies meet the world with an enviable blend of edge and ease, an aesthetic rigor free of pretense, and an embrace of the outdoors paired with urbane sophistication,” the publication said in a release, which basically just means we know how to have a good time, without beings snobs about it.

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Largely unknown hot spots

Hotel Hotel, Canberra
Image: Hotel Hotel, Canberra

It’s fairly likely that almost everyone on the planet has heard of Sydney, but there is so much more to discover in Australia than this popular city.

When was the last time you went to Canberra on holiday? And we’re not talking a high school trip to Parliament House either. According to Condé Nast Traveler, Canberra is “cool,” and they weren’t talking about the weather.

“Australia’s formerly humdrum capital is having an unlikely but undeniable moment, courtesy of its rich culture scene and a re-appreciation of Canberra’s epic master-plan architecture,” the publication said, taking note of exciting art exhibitions to look out for.

Ultra-luxurious wilderness lodges

Pumphouse Point, Tasmania
Image: Pumphouse Point, Tasmania

What really seemed to surprise the pants off Condé Nast Traveler was just how beautiful Tasmania is. Sure, it is absolutely freezing, but the natural surroundings make up for it.

Pumphouse Point was one of the lodges featured in the publication, which is set within Lake St Clair National Park — a World Heritage wilderness in the Central Highlands.

“The aesthetic is understated industrial chic: Task lamps and large wooden tables mix with built-ins of warm Tasmanian oak. Nearly every room has a picture window with views of glacial mountains or the indigo-blue lake itself,” the publication swoons.

Even if you live in Australia, 2016 seems to be as good a year as any to get out and explore the rest of this big, beautiful country.

Where in Australia do you want to explore in 2016? Let us know.

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