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The top destinations to visit with your family in 2019

Lonely Planet has named Australia’s Red Centre as one of the hottest destinations to visit in 2019. 

Sunset over Uluru National Park, Northern Territory

Sunset over Uluru. Picture: Michael Nelson, Parks Australia

Lonely Planet’s 14th annual Best in Travel awards predicts the world’s hottest destinations, experiences and travel trends.  It ranks The Red Centre, Australia at number 4 on the book’s list of Top 10 Regions 2019.

“At the spiritual heart of Australia’s Red Centre is the country’s most recognised natural wonder, Uluru,” Lonely Planet says.

“In 2019, this sacred site is finally closing to climbers, almost 150 years after explorers decided to ‘conquer the rock’. Instead, visitors will find that this World Heritage site – recognised for its outstanding natural and cultural values – conquers them.”

“Learn about the unique worldview of the traditional custodians of this place,” the book encourages, “and see the stars and the desert with new eyes. Explore Uluru-Kata Tjuta (Ayers Rock and the Olgas), Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon) and Alice Springs nearby.”

The Red Centre is fantastic for families. You can ride a camel around Uluru, take a balloon flight over the scrub and immerse yourself in the world’s oldest culture. Click here to find out the best things to do with a family in the Northern Territory. 

camel tour on a clear winter's evening sunset in the Northern Territory, Australia

A camel tour on a clear winter’s evening sunset in the Northern Territory, Australia. Picture: Shutterstock

Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Regions for 2019

Piedmont, Italy
The Catskills, USA
Northern Peru
The Red Centre, Australia
Scotland’s Highlands and Islands
Russian Far East
Gujarat, India
Manitoba, Canada
Normandy, France
Elqui Valley, Chile

The Northern Territory also features on another of the book’s top 10 lists for 2019.  Litchfield National Park was number three on the list of the best new openings. 

“The most visited park in Australia’s Top End, Litchfield is about to undergo extensive improvements to make it even more attractive to visitors seeking adventure. In total, there will be five new swimming spots, at least three new campgrounds and new routes for both mountain biking and 4WDs,” Lonely Planet says. 

Florence Falls NT

Florence Falls Litchfield National Park NT Australia. Picture: Shutterstock

Other Australian destinations and attractions to be ranked on Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2019 lists are:

Best New Places to Stay – #9 The Tasman, Hobart

“The Tasman’s doors aren’t opening until 3 June 2019 but it’ll be worth the wait. This luxury hotel is to be set within a group of heritage buildings, including Hobart’s grand, Georgian-style St Mary’s Hospital, built in the 1800s. The historical elements will be merged with modern artworks and cutting-edge glass and steel structures.”

Best New Food Experiences – #4 Laura, Mornington Peninsula 

“This sophisticated merging of food, wine and art on Point Leo Estate enjoys phenomenal sunsets from all angles. Named after a 7m-high cast-iron statue by Spanish sculptor Jaume Plensa, Laura offers views across sparkling Western Port Bay and its sculpture park, one of Australia’s largest privately owned collections.”

Best New Attractions for Kids – #2 Live Wire Park, Victoria

“Billing itself as the ‘ultimate elevated adventure’, the park allows children aged between seven and 15 to take part in the Short Circuit, where they have to complete 26 activities involving obstacle courses and suspended trails through the Otway treetops.”

Darwin’s Royal Flying Doctor Service attraction is highlighted in the book’s “Top Trends” feature on “Augmented Attractions”, while Queensland’s Electric Super Highway is showcased as one the “The Great Places for Electric Road-Tripping”.

Each year, Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel lists start with nominations from Lonely Planet’s vast community of editors, researchers, locals and influencers, and ultimately are decided and ranked by a panel of judges. The outcome is an eclectic list of destinations with unique, compelling and topical reasons to visit in the year ahead – as well as underlying travel trends to look for.

“These are the places to experience in 2019”, says Lonely Planet’s spokesperson Chris Zeiher. “They might be coming into their own, celebrating a once-in-a-lifetime event or simply have been overlooked for too long – whatever the reason, now is the time to plan a trip.”

Top 10 Countries 2019

Lonely Planet named Sri Lanka as the top country to visit in 2019. Sri Lanka has plenty to offer adventurous families – gorgeous beaches, ancient temples and loads of tea. 

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is the top place to visit in 2019. Picture: Shutterstock

These are the top ten countries to visit as named by Lonely Planet. 

Sri Lanka
Sao Tome and Principe

Top 10 Cities 2019

Copenhagen took the top spot in the list of the best cities to visit in 2019. Two US cities also made the list – Miami Florida and Seattle.


Copenhagen Denmark is the best city in the world to visit in 2019. Picture: Shutterstock

Copenhagen, Denmark
Shenzhen, China
Novi Sad, Serbia
Miami, Florida, USA
Kathmandu, Nepal
Mexico City, Mexico
Dakar, Senegal
Seattle, USA
Zadar, Croatia
Meknes, Morocco

Best Value Destinations 2019

If you’re looking for a destination that is easy on the wallet – Lonely Planet has also made a list of the best value destinations in 2019. These are the places where your dollar will stretch a little further.

Club Med Kani Maldives.

Club Med Kani Maldives.

The Maldives was a surprise entrant on this list. We have noted a growth in the number of package holiday deals to the Maldives. This is driving prices down and making this beautiful nation more affordable for families. 

Take a look at this incredible Maldives deal. 

These are the top budget destinations for 2019. 

Southern Nile Valley, Egypt
Lodz, Poland
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, USA
Houston, USA


Northern Territory adventures you need to try

What to do in Uluru: A Kids View

Affordable & accessible National Parks you can stay in


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