Surfers have known this for years, but now the world is catching on, with Margaret River in Western Australia topping Lonely Planet’s latest travel list for the Asia Pacific.
As part of the Lonely Planet “Best In” lists, the annual vote for the Asia-Pacific named Margaret River and Southern Western Australia as the number one destination to visit this year, marking the first time an Australian destination has taken out the top spot since Lonely Planet started their “Best In” list 15 years ago.
The region’s food festivals, such as the Margaret River Gourmet Escape (now Western Australia Gourmet Escape), Truffle Kerfuffle and Taste Great Southern in addition to its world-class surf and whale-watching helped Margaret River secure the top spot.
“Take one look at Meelup Beach and you’ll wonder where it’s been all your life: the West Australian bush parts to reveal ocean the hue of a Bombay Sapphire bottle, which is typical of the coastline stretching from Margaret River to the state’s south,” Lonely Planet said.
“Beyond the sand, some of the country’s slickest wineries, breweries and restaurants lie between tracts of tall-tree forest and kangaroo-dotted farmland.”
Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said the award was “exciting” for the region.
“It’s so exciting to hear Margaret River and Southern WA have been announced as the top destination in the Asia Pacific for 2019 by Lonely Planet,” he said.
“This is such fantastic recognition of one of WA’s most popular tourism destinations — one that holds a special place in the heart of all Western Australians.
“This destination is renowned for its spectacular coastline, stunning forests and world-class food and wine.
“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.”
Here is Lonely Planet’s Best In list:
- Margaret River & Southern WA, Australia
- Shikoku, Japan
- Bay of Islands & Northland, New Zealand
- The Cook Islands
- Central Vietnam
- Palawan, Philippines
- Beijing, China