Surprising Aussie destination tops Lonely Planet must-visit list

Gillian Wolski
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
Margaret River in WA has taken out top spot on Lonely Planet's prestigious must-visit list. Photo: Getty Images.

The small town of Margaret River is set to be big news after being named as the must-visit destination in the Asia Pacific region by travel guide publisher Lonely Planet.

It’s the first time an Aussie location has taken out the top spot in the 15-year history of Lonely Planet’s ‘Best In’ list, beating out international hot-spots Japan, Singapore and New Zealand.

Located about 270 kms south of Perth, Margaret River is home to about 5,000 residents and offers something for every type of traveller.

Instagram addicts will love snapping a pic at the iconic Wave Rock and the eerie, gold-rush ghost-towns en-route to bustling Kalgoorlie.

Gourmands can nibble and sip to their heart’s delight at local breweries, wineries, restaurants and food festivals such as Gourmet Escape and Truffle Kerfuffle.

Margaret River is renowned for its world-class vineyards. Photo: Getty Images.

Active travellers are spoilt for choice thanks to the amazing surf beaches, whale watching, coastal hikes and tree-top walks.

Tourism Minister Paul Papalia, said the award was “exciting” for the region.

“The south-west of WA is more than just a destination - it’s a hotspot for once-in-a-lifetime experiences - and it’s wonderful that a travel organisation as reputable as Lonely Planet agrees with these sentiments,” he said in a statement.

Wave Rock is an Instagrammer's dream. Photo: AAT Kings/supplied.

The best of the rest

The Lonely Planet’s 2019 Best in Asia-Pacific guide showcases the top 10 destinations for jet-setters to visit over the next year in the Asia Pacific region.

Here’s the full list:

1. Margaret River & Southern WA, Australia

2. Shikoku, Japan

3. Bay of Islands & Northland, New Zealand

4. Singapore

5. The Cook Islands

6. Central Vietnam

7. Fiji

8. Palawan, Philippines

9. Beijing, China

10. Cambodia

Triangle-shaped Sugarloaf Rock rises dramatically up out of the ocean an hour's drive north of Margaret River. Photo: Getty Images.

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