New Zealand named in top countries to visit

New Zealand 25/10/2017

Things are looking good for our slice of paradise, with Aotearoa being picked as one of the world's top 10 countries in the latest Lonely Planet travel guide.

New Zealand's Great Walk tramping trails saw it secure the fifth top country in Lonely Planet's Best In Travel 2018 guide, which praised its "exquisite topography".

"A sweet suite of trails, the Great Walks, encouraged exploration of the country's exquisite topography, taking tramping travellers through some of the world's most extraordinary wilderness," the guide says.

Lonely Planet pays special mention to the new Paparoa Track, which links Blackball with Punakaiki, including the Pike29 Memorial Track - which honours the 29 miners killed in the 2010 disaster.

The top country was Chile, followed by South Korea and Portugal.

Acting CEO of Tourism Industry Aotearoa Steve Hanrahan says it's a "great result".

"It's a strong endorsement of the tourism product here in New Zealand."

Mr Hanrahan says in such a competitive industry having an endorsement from the likes of Lonely Planet "certainly helps to keep our name up there".

"We've been in the top range of countries before… a few years ago we were number seven so we certainly are holding our position."

However while New Zealand made it into the top countries, it missed out on top cities.

The top city to visit went to Spain's Seville, followed by the United States' Detroit and Australia's Canberra.

Last year, best country went to Canada, while best city went to Bordeaux, France. Taranaki was honoured as the second-best region.

This year's Best In Travel list is the 13th from the travel guidebook publisher.

Lonely Planet's top 10 countries 2018:

  1. Chile
  2. South Korea
  3. Portugal
  4. Djibouti
  5. New Zealand
  6. Malta
  7. Georgia
  8. Mauritius
  9. China
  10. South Africa.