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NewsroomPlus.com If there was a list of publishers that love lists then surely Lonely Planet would be in the Top 10. Lonely Planet’s latest Best in Travel 2016  – billed as an annual collection of the best trends, destinations, journeys and experiences for the upcoming year – does the honour of choosing Auckland’s very own Waiheke Island as number 5 in its list of the world’s Top 10 Regions for next year (putting aside the question, is an island unto itself a region?).

Go Waiheke Island!
Go Waiheke Island!
New Zealand’s next win is that the Speight’s Coast to Coast gains second place on the list for Best Places to Test Your Survival Skills, with a compliment that the “the iconic 33-year-old event is … achievable for mortals … and the atmosphere is more fun-run than Iron Man” (excepting serious competitors one imagines). In other top placings Queenstown’s “funky Fergburger” makes it to number 5 on Best Burger Experiences, and in the category of the The World’s Most Extraordinary Sleepovers the Tasman region scores big with the Boot Bed & Breakfast. The copywriter scores big on that one too, with the commendation that “Looking like something out of a children’s book, the boot sleeps two, with a cosy Hobbit-meets- Beatrix Potter-meets-twee feel”. Feeling the twee?

TheBootBACK TO Waiheke Island

Here is Lonely Planet’s Chris Zeiher in full PR mode with Waiheke love: “A mere 35-minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland, New Zealand’s third-most densely populated island is a utopia of secret coves, beautiful beaches, rolling vineyards, luxury lodges and bohemian sensibilities. Affectionately known as the ‘Island of Wine’, Waiheke is home to over 30 wineries and some of the best boutique cellar door experiences New Zealand has to offer.” But wait, there’s more: “Waiheke’s bohemian and hippie past is not far from the surface and the island continues to have a thriving artistic community where over a hundred working artists ply their trades in disciplines such as sculpture, glass blowing, painting and woodwork. The island is an outdoor enthusiast’s playground, where mountain biking, sea kayaking and sailing can all be indulged”. And Chris isn’t out of breath quite yet: “Waiheke is an electric, heady mix set against a Buddha Bar soundtrack: fast yet slow all at the same time – there’s nowhere else on earth quite like it.” We can’t wait to read the testimonials for the regions that beat out Waiheke; namely the number one spot won by Transylvania, Romania, followed by West Iceland, Cuba’s Valle de Viñales, and Italy’s Friuli’s wine regions. Making up the remainder of the Top 10 regions list were The Auvergne in France, Hawaii, Bavaria, Brazil’s Costa Verde and … St Helena (described, by the New York Times no less, as the ‘Cursed Rock’ of Napoleon’s exile).

How would you rate these lists?

Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Countries to visit in 2016: 
  1. Botswana
  2. Japan
  3. USA
  4. Palau
  5. Latvia
  6. Australia
  7. Poland
  8. Uruguay
  9. Greenland
  10. Fiji.
Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Cities to visit in 2016 (bonus points for knowing the country, or region!):
  1. Kotor
  2. Quito
  3. Dublin
  4. George Town
  5. Rotterdam
  6. Mumbai
  7. Fremantle
  8. Manchester
  9. Nashville
  10. Rome.

How are these lists created?

Each year, the recommendations and celebrations in Best in Travel (206pp, full colour, 180mm x 145mm, paperback) are drawn from hundreds of ideas submitted by Lonely Planet’s staff, authors and extended community of travellers, bloggers and tweeters. Their suggestions are then refined by a panel of in-house travel experts, based on topicality, excitement, value and that “special X-factor”. Turkish delight: This year’s global sponsor for Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2016 is Turkish Airlines, who have provided a competition prize of flights to a Best in Travel destination. –]]>



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