2 Aussie Spots Made This Prestigious List of Best Places to Travel This Year

Tasmania Bay of Fires

The New York Times has released its annual ‘Best Places to Go’ list and, this year, not one but two Australian destinations were named: Tasmania and Brisbane. “No matter why you travel, our list offers inspiration,” the list tagline reads.

The news outlet named Tasmania’s food, drink, and nature as the main reasons for its selection, describing the state as a place where foraging for ingredients is part of the local flavour.

In an accompanying blurb, it also called out several new guided walks Tasmania’s tourism department had launched, including a three-day trek across Bruny Island, run by Tasmanian Walking company in partnership with the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. Another walk it named as a standout was a multiday trek through Wukalina (Mount William National Park) and Larapuna (Bay of Fires), led by members of the local Palawa community.

Or, if visitors are keen to get an actual taste of the island, they can forage for ingredients like wattle seeds and pepperberries and feast on a tasting menu featuring smoked wallaby as part of a tour run by Indigenous-owned and operated company, Palawa Kipli.

Food-wise, the publication has said to expect locavore menus (consisting only or mostly of locally grown or produced food).

“Chef Analiese Gregory, a wild-cooking expert, will be showcasing ingredients like hand-gathered abalone and sea urchin at her yet-to-be-named restaurant set to open early this year,” the list reads.

Pumphouse Point St Clair
Image: Pumphouse Point

Tasmania appears to be having its moment, with Conde Nast Traveller including one of its properties — the only Australian accommodation to be named on the list — in its ‘The Gold List 2023’ . The hotel in question was adults-only Pumphouse Point, located in UNESCO World Heritage-listed wilderness, a 2.5-hour drive from Hobart.

Brisbane also made the NYT’s ‘Best Places to Go’ list this year, with the outlet naming its food and drink and LGBTQ revitalisation as its two best reasons for visiting.

“Scheduled to host the Summer Olympics in 2032, Brisbane is undergoing a facelift with a $3.6 billion expansion of the Queen’s Wharf area, set to partly open in 2024,” the accompanying blurb reads. “The development includes the restoration of historic buildings, four new hotels, parks, and an 820-foot-long (250m) Sky Deck with bars and restaurants overlooking the Brisbane River.”

The Calile Hotel Brisbane
Image: The Calile

It also calls mention to restaurant and rooftop bar Agnes, the highly Instagrammed The Calile Hotel, and the Brisbane Powerhouse, which plays host to the Melt Open, a celebration of queer arts and artists, as well as Vertigo, a restaurant that sees guests strapped into harnesses, dining four stories above the ground.

Last year’s NYT Best Places to Travel list also included two Aussie destinations: Kangaroo Island in South Australia and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in the Northern Territory.

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