The Best Places to Go in Australia, New Zealand & the South Pacific in 2024
15.11.2023 - 14:33
This is part of our global guide to the Best Places to Go in 2024—find more travel inspiration here.
Oceania—the vast region that encompasses Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific—is home to remote isles with pristine nature and awe-inspiring landscapes ranging from red desert to craggy mountains. Depending on where you land, and what you choose to explore, there are cosmopolitan cities, ancient living cultures, and blockbuster architectural landmarks. Ticking off postcard-familiar sights like the white sails of Sydney’s Opera House or New Zealand’s gushing Huka Falls might be no-brainers, but with some planning, you can also find Indigenous-led tours through largely untouristed lands, multiday hiking trails, and off-the-beaten-path wineries.
Which is why, for this spotlight, we’re reaching beyond the expected to home in on what’s new and exciting for 2024, from the small but buzzing regional towns to the forever favorites giving us fresh reasons to visit. Plus, we’re calling attention to places that have made a comeback after devastating climate disasters as well as to towns that are championing a new age of light-touch tourism.
Here, then, are the best places to go in Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific in 2024—from the hard-to-reach waterways of the Kimberley to the “deadliest wave in the world” in Tahiti. —Chloe Sachdev
All listings featured in this story are independently selected by our editors. However, when you book something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Go for: a pivotal waterfront development, slick hotels, and superstar chefs
No longer playing second fiddle to Sydney or Melbourne, Australia’s lush, subtropical New World City is in the midst of an enormous boom. Offering Americans a piece of the action, United Airlines is continuing to push into the city with direct Brisbane–Los Angeles flights launching in December 2023. Meanwhile, cranes swing across the skyline, putting the finishing touches on Queen’s Wharf, a shimmering entertainment precinct set to open in April 2024 with three luxury hotels—including the six-star Rosewood and five-star Star Grand—and more than 50 restaurants, cafés, and bars. Then, in mid-2024, the 1,500-seat New Performing Arts Venue, a $100-million addition to a Queensland Cultural Centre that already boasts the acclaimed Gallery of Modern Art.
The city’s thriving food scene is also attracting major southern talent such as Marty Boetz, the previously Sydney-based chef who recently opened Thai diner and food store Short Grain, and Melbourne’s superstar chef Andrew McConnell, who will soon unveil a northern outpost for his enormously popular pan-Asian restaurant Supernormal. They’ll join heavy hitters such as