Destinations

This year's most exciting travel destinations to visit ASAP

Get your passport ready.

By Markeeta Waddington
Thinking of taking a holiday in 2017? Yours has rounded up the hottest destinations to book a ticket to now.
Step off the well-worn path of the regular tourist haunts with our top six picks that will give you a taste of the great outdoors, as well as multicultural city life. Whether you're after an organised cruise showing you the sights and sounds of Canada, or a scenic drive along the coast of South Africa, there is something for everyone.
Get your travel guide books and swap some currency, these places are going to open your eyes, not your purse.

Warrumbungle National Park, NSW

Leave the city lights behind at the first Dark Sky Park in the southern hemisphere, where you can get lost among the stars while camping out with emus and wedge-tailed eagles. BYO telescope or buy a star chart from the visitor centre and you’re all set to go – you might even see a beautiful southern boobook owl!

Canada

The land of the maple leaf has plenty to celebrate as Canada turns 150 this year. Ottawa, the capital, is putting on 12 months of special events, with more festivities planned around the country. Banff National Park is incredible at any time of year.
For a taste of it all, check out Trafalgar’s 15-day Contrasts of Canada tour, from $6220.63 per person.

Nashville, USA

The capital of country music is fast becoming one of America’s must-visit cities. Boutique hotels are springing up everywhere and there’s an amazing food scene, plus great shopping. This year sees the 50th anniversary of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, home to more than two million artefacts.
If you’re after a complete behind-the-scenes experience, Luxury Gold by Insight Vacations offer a nine-day “Southern Grace” itinerary, which includes meeting a local songwriter who will share unique stories behind the biggest hits. Priced from $4620 per person.

Seoul, South Korea

Korean pop culture, which influences everything from food to fashion, has made its capital a vibrant city luring huge numbers of tourists. And with the 2018 Winter Olympics on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to visit this architectural gem as it focuses on becoming greener and more user-friendly.
Later this year, the Seoul Skygarden will be unveiled, showcasing native flora and creating a natural paradise among the urban sprawl.

South Africa

Now’s the time to visit South Africa, with Qantas flying direct in 14 hours from Sydney to Johannesburg for about $2000 return, and the exchange rate hovering around 10 rand to the Aussie dollar. Explore Jo’burg and meet some locals at the shebeens (taverns), then hit the Rosebank Mall markets, where more than 200 traders sell their wares.
If nature’s more your thing, make your way along the Garden Route in the Cape, where you can snorkel with seahorses, then take in an aerial view from a hot-air balloon.

Malta

Unlike its Mediterranean cousins Greece, Spain and Italy, Malta has flown under the radar – until now. People are quickly discovering the attractions of the historic capital Valletta and the rest of the island, now home to boutique shops, sensational seafood restaurants and stunning hotels.
It takes less than an hour to get from one side to the other, so day trips are easy, and the Maltese are beloved for their hospitality.