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Our top 10 travel ranking: Lonely Planet rediscovers South Australia


Global travel company Lonely Planet has rekindled its love for South Australia, naming the state at number five in its top 10 regional destinations for travel in 2017.

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The company, which in May this year released its Best of Australia guide book without any mention of South Australia, has now included the state alongside nine other regional destinations which it says are the best in the world.

The list is featured in the company’s Best in Travel 2017 publication which highlights the top 10 countries, cities, regions and best value destinations.

The top region for 2017 is Choquequirao in Peru, ahead of Taranaki in New Zealand and The Azores in Portugal, while South Australia – the only Australian destination to make the list – is ranked ahead of regions in Chile, French Polynesia, the US, Malaysia and Ireland.

Despite the snub earlier this year, Lonely Planet has been a big recent convert to South Australia’s charms, naming Adelaide as one of the top 10 cities to visit in 2014 – much to the annoyance of the state’s interstate detractors.

The latest accolade – proclaiming South Australia as the best travel experience in the nation – is based on our unspoilt beaches, the Outback experience, Kangaroo Island, the wine regions and Mad March’s collections of arts events.

“Long rebuffed in favour of its scene-stealing east coast cousins New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria, South Australia is finally being recognised as the small state with big appeal,” says Lonely Planet writer Chloe Cann. “From the bush to the beach with the Barossa chucked in for good measure, this underrated destination neatly wraps all the quintessential Aussie experiences you could dream up into one.

“Sydney and Melbourne were once the classic entry points for an Australian jaunt, thanks to their great connectivity. But with numerous airlines now serving South Australian capital Adelaide – Qatar Airways is the latest in a string of carriers to add the destination to its network – the state’s becoming much easier to access. And thanks to its emerging status as a one-stop-shop for Antipodean escapades you don’t have to elbow hordes of other tourists to reach its sun-licked beaches, award-winning wineries, and ember-red outback, or come toe-to-toe with wild kangaroos.”

Read all of Lonely Planet’s SA recommendations here.

– with AAP

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