The Bay of Islands & Northland has today been named as the number-three tourism destination in the Asia Pacific region by global travel authority Lonely Planet.
Expanded this year to include Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific, Best In Asia Pacific is Lonely Planet's fourth annual agenda-setting list of the region's 10 best destinations to visit in the next 12 months.
"Endless extraordinary surf beaches, myriad islands and forest of giant trees are the hallmarks of the northernmost part of New Zealand (Aotearoa)," says the Lonely Planet description of the region. "Northland is the cradle of the country's culture and history - both for the indigenous Māori people and for the European settlers who followed them.”
The guide continues: "The two formally came together with the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in the Bay of Islands, and 2020 sees the 180th anniversary of that key nation-building event. Expect extra gusto at the annual festivities at Waitangi on February 6 – New Zealand’s national day – including the opening of a brand new museum devoted to the Māori Battalion who fought in the World Wars.”
The region placed third behind Shikoku in Japan, which took second, and the Margaret River & Southern WA region of Australia, which took first place.
Chris Zeiher, Lonely Planet's Media Spokesperson for the region, said that "Asia Pacific has it all. Its food delights the senses, its forests and seas teem with life, and its cities fizz with culture and creativity. Our experts have explored this vast region’s highlands, islands and everything in between to find the best places to visit this year.”
“From primate-filled jungles to mirage-like lagoons,” Chris says, “their recommendations reflect a part of the world increasingly determined to protect its most prized possessions at the same time as it charges whole-heartedly into the future.”
Lonely Planet’s Best in Asia Pacific 2019 is available online, with accompanying articles to each destination, at lonelyplanet.com/best-in-asia-pacific.