BEST OF 2015: MY TOP TEN DESTINATIONS

2015 was a fun-filled year, I visited over 5 countries not including my adventures over my home country Australia.

I tried new cuisines, and some more authentic versions of what were already my favourites… I saw wild animals and got up close with some big and some small… I hiked mountains, abseiled down waterfalls, climbed the Eiffel Tower, and walked across Shibuya Scramble.

I tried so many new things but sadly not all of them could fit in my top 10 choices of 2015. So here are some honourable mentions…

  • Cardiff, Wales
  • Tamworth, New South Wales
  • Bundanoon, New South Wales
  • Hunter Valley, New South Wales
  • Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
  • Newcastle, New South Wales

THE TOP 10 ~

1. Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland was well and truly the kind of destination that was made by the locals. I met some amazing people and took part in some amazing experiences. Firstly, I got to go to Hobbiton which was pretty much one of the only things I knew I wanted to do in the whole of New Zealand already. It was all that I expected of it and more, I got to try a Southfarthing Cider, took a look inside a Hobbit Hole and learnt a whole lot of behind the scenes facts from during filming.

My last day in Auckland was one of the best days I have to date. I went on an adventure day tour with AWOL Canyoning, and spent the day abseiling down waterfalls and swimming with eels all while surrounded by some quality Kiwi banter.

"No thank you! We don't want any more visitors, well-wishers or distant relations!"? "And what about very old friends?"

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2. Phuket, Thailand

Phuket was an odd trip for me, because it was the first time I didn’t love travelling solo – it seemed like a place I should be enjoying with my friends. Despite this, it is one of my favourite places that I’ve ever visited just because of it’s beauty. Phi Phi Island was by far my favourite spot that I visited – I was surrounded by crystal clear ocean, white sand, rock formations and sunsets of every colour.

? on the way to James Bond Island

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3. Tokyo, Japan

I went to Japan twice in 2015, once to visit Aomori in Northern Japan, and once to visit Shikoku, a region in Southern Japan – but in between these trips I made sure to spend some time in Tokyo, and it was definitely my favourite spot. There’s still so much of the country to explore, but I loved having it as my base. The people, the experiences, the bustling Shibuya Scramble and the amazing food…

??? #visitjapanau

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4. Mount Buller, VIC

Any holiday that has me on skis goes alright with me…

Look up.

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5. Shikoku, Japan

Shikoku is a region in Southern Japan that is home to places like Dogo Onsen, the inspiration got Studio Ghibli’s ‘Spirited Away’, Naruto Whirlpools and so much more. I was welcomed to Shikoku by JNTO with a group of fellow travel writers from Australia and we spent the week with our guide and Australian representative exploring the four prefectures of Shikoku and learning all about it’s history and local cuisines. (It’s also where I fell in love with Soba noodles)


6. Paris, France

My trip to Paris was short lived, and was actually a part of one big trip to Europe in late 2014, but it is still one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited – just as it is said to be. Due to the Charlie Hebdo attacks, I was only in Paris for about 2 to 3 days, but in that short time I was able to visit just about every spot I’d ever wanted to, including Notré Dame Cathedral THREE TIMES just because I wanted to see the view from the top. I’d never been one of those girls who dreamed of going to Paris, but when I got there I wondered why I hadn’t – it was beautiful.

#ShangrilaParis

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7. Gold Coast, Queensland

I went to the Gold Coast with two of my closest friends, and my younger sister. We went for a long weekend pretty much just to go to the theme parks and take in the warm weather from right beside Seaworld – but this was one of my first proper trips I’d taken with friends. We drove the 10 or so hours there and spent the entire weekend together, going out for dinner, seeing cowboys and just having fun.

I WANT ONE ?

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8. Great Ocean Road, VIC

The Great Ocean Road roadtrip was my first proper journey with friends. Two of my best friends and I flew down to Melbourne and spent a week cruising down the Great Ocean Road in a bright green Jucy van. The weather sadly wasn’t on our side for a portion of the journey but we still saw some of Australia’s most beautiful spots, including the incredible 12 Apostles and Bells Beach (said to be one of Australia’s top 10 beaches).

They did not disappoint

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Quite the view we found off a little hidden viewpoint ✨ w/ Anna & @_beatenplastic

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9. Aomori, Japan

Aomori was the first place I visited in Japan, which became a common query – why go somewhere so secluded and rural on your first stop in Japan? I explored Aomori for a short week with an American guide and a fellow Aussie – here’s what we saw…

There is no wifi in the forest, but I promise you will find a better connection #visitjapanau

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10. Lake Eildon, VIC

Lake Eildon was a family holiday over Christmas. It was one of those trips where you get the whole extended family in one little space for an extended amount of time and as much as you think you’re going to dread it you end up having a whole lot of fun.

How I spent this Christmas, 2015

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