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I recently read an interesting report/survey about luxury travel. It covered a range of topics such as trends as to where people go, but more interestingly, why people travel where they do.

The survey states,

“Travel enhances quality of life and travelers are seeking luxury vacations that allow them to create lasting memories, foster and improve relationships, and relax and have fun. When choosing a destination, consultants report travelers are placing more importance on the presence of specific desired amenities, luxurious settings, 5-star resorts, ease of access, and family-friendly properties (versus adults-only). They are also traveling farther afield, with international travel bookings on the rise.”

So the question is how do we choose where we travel? Is it from other people we hear going on about their recent trip abroad? Is it from watching a fabulous documentary on one of these travel channels, or is it from seeing an advert in a magazine? I would argue that a majority, whether consciously or unconsciously, are influenced by travel publications such as Conde Nast, Travel + Leisure or the travel section in the NY Times.

That’s why when the NY Times published an article earlier this month called, The 46 Places to Go in 2013, my ears perked up. I was delighted to see that both Australia and New Zealand were on the list.  They places were more specific than just the countries and I wanted to take a quick look at these destinations.

First up, #19 on the list – The Kimberley (Western Australia)


 The blurb written up says the following:

Even by Australian standards, the Kimberley region is remote, with roughly 50,000 people living in an area larger than Germany. The area has long been largely off-limits to anyone without a yacht or the nerve to pilot a four-wheel drive through rocky riverbeds. Now luxury lodges have opened up the region to travelers willing to trade big bucks for land-based access to some spectacular spots. From the right spot you can go fishing for barramundi, hike to sacred rock art sites, and take tours to towering waterfalls or up croc-infested estuaries to spy on wallabies and jabirus.

My opinion:

This place is AWESOME! Unfortunately for first time travelers they want to be able to tick things off the old list such as seeing the Opera House, Ayers Rock (Uluru) and seeing the Great Barrier Reef. I mean, who can blame them? This is was 95% of the people think about Australia who’ve never been. However, the trick is to come back and check out some of these other magical spots that didn’t fit in to your first trip. This is where you really get to see some beautiful areas that a lot of Australians haven’t even seen.

The downside to the Kimberley region located in the northwestern part of the country is that access is difficult and costly. It takes a day to get in and another day to get out of the part of the continent, but in my opinion completely worth it. It will be interesting to see if we get more people requesting to visit.

And the second place, #35 – Waiheke Island, North Island (New Zealand)


This is a little secret I’ve known about for some time and always wondered why it didn’t get more coverage. Waiheke Island is a beautiful island a short ferry ride from Auckland. If you like beautiful walks, unique stays, great wines and wine tasting, then this place is a winner. This is a great add on either at the beginning or the end of the trip as most international visitors are flying in or out of Auckland. This is a relaxing place with lots of great local art and a bohemian-vibe to it all.

The great thing is that you don’t have to wait for a second trip to include it.  Do yourself a favor and instead of spending a night in Auckland, spend two or three on Waiheke Island and ease yourself into an awesome vacation.

Thanks for keeping up with this blog and we wish you all the best in travels for 2013!