The accolade was announced in the new 2018 travel guide released by the publication and puts New Zealand in behind Chile, South Korea, Portugal and Djibouti, in Africa. It is the first time in eight years that the country has featured in the list.
The guide cited the adventure-seeking thrills of the two beautiful islands as one of the main reasons for the nation’s high placing in the most recent rankings.
“Twenty-five years ago, long before it was retrofitted to resemble Middle-earth, New Zealand began actively attracting adventure-seekers.
“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 book says.
One of the most highly-anticipated attractions to be planned in New Zealand for some time is a new addition to the network of Great Walks – the first new route since the series of nine were launched. The guide also credited this new walk as an exciting prospect for the future.
“The Paparoa Track will include the Pike29 Memorial Track. This 55km route, which commemorates 29 miners killed in 2010, wends between Blackball and Punakaiki on the South Island’s West Coast, passing through Paparoa National Park, and will offer hikers and mountain bikers a sensational experience.”
New Zealand often features in top 10 lists for tourists looking to plan their next adventure, but Lonely Planet is one of the biggest travel publications of them all. It is the latest of many exciting developments for the country, which have recently included the news that the iconic Christchurch cathedral is to be rebuilt.