VIP Backpacker’s top 10 destinations for 2014

A new year means new travel plans. And with that in mind here’s a summary of our top 10 list of destinations to consider in 2014 covering everything from the beach locations of Australia to Europe’s ancient cities and the best party action around the world in 2014. To view the list in full click here to see the latest newsletter.

Whitehaven beachWhitsundays, AustraliaBy Joanne LaneMACKAY

Mackay makes for an excellent base for excursions out to the superb Whitsundays, fabulous island and reef cruises, the wonders of Cape Hillsborough National Park, tours through Eungella Forest and an array of other adventure activities on sea and land. Located on Queensland’s central coast, it has also avoided the big tourism hits of places such as Airlie Beach nearby despite its superb access to the aforementioned attractions. The Bluewater 20km trail is something else worth checking out – dedicated pedestrian paths and bikeways connecting various attractions. The annual Festival of Arts in July is also worth planning for with cheese tasting, live jazz, dance, music and other performances. The River Sessions Festival is held in June.

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Perth easily gives Sydney a run for its money with its seaside location, great weather and relaxed manner. Not only is it appealing place to live for locals but a fantastic place for a working holiday or at least a holiday. The city also borders the Swan River adding a further attraction to cosmopolitan centres such as Fremantle, the wonders of Cottesloe beach, excellent local markets, the beauty of Kings Park and Boanic Gardens or wine tasting in the nearby Swan River area.

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FRANZ JOSEF, NEW ZEALANDFranz Josef GlacierSouth Island, New Zealand

Located on the west coast of the south island of New Zealand, Franz Josef is a must stop off in this part of the country. This area is part of the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Site park with a whopping great 12 km glacier, plus the 20km Fox Glacier just 20km away to the south. The village of Franz Josef is just 10km from the face of the glacier and has a busy heliport offering walking tours and even heli skiing on the glacier. Most tourists book into guided walks on the glacier – an incredible experience.

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Top 2013 travel destinations

A new year is all about planning exciting new things. Consider some of these amazing destinations for your travels in 2013 and enjoy the savings of a VIP Backpackers membership card in all these locations.

To see the full list, click here to see the January newsletter.


Salamanca markets, Hobart - www.visitedplanet.comThe harbour city of Tasmania has become one of the hippest towns to visit downunder. Not only does it lie along a lovely waterfront but there’s the famed Salamanca Market with the best of Tassie produce, plenty of good restaurants and cafes and now the world class MONA museum that should impress and shock. Those into more outdoor pursuits can climb nearby Mt Wellington, enjoy bike and walking tracks around the harbour or sail the Derwent River.

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Elephants bathing, near Kandy - www.visitedplanet.comWith the civil war an increasingly distant memory, there’s been no better time to visit Sri Lanka in the last 20 years than now. Prices are still affordable in Sri Lanka too. Kandy is a great place to visit in the highlands for a real experience of local culture – there are plenty of orange cloaked monks, the amazing Kandyan dancers, a tooth relic of the Buddha at the UNESCO listed Temple of the Tooth, wonderful mountain vistas and even elephant orphanages nearby. It’s also a lot cooler up here than along the coast, making it the perfect place to escape the Asian heat.

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This region in the far south of Southern America is one of the most rugged and isolated on earth but don’t let that stop you. We have hostels and tour packages to keep you safe, busy and absolutely enthralled with what you’ll see. There are glaciers, ice falls, treks and even the end of the world to explore in this part of the globe. Don’t miss it.

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Notre Dame, Paris - www.visitedplanet.comOoh la la! If you haven’t visited the French capital it’s time you went to this old favourite. It’s also a good chance to consume as much croissant, pain au chocolat, crème brûlée, crepes, fromage (cheese) and baguette you can stomach. There’s also a few famous sights to see too – make sure you get your photo taken by the Eiffel Tower, the gargoyles of Notre Dame, the River Seine and the Moulin Rouge in the Latin quarter. Then sip on champagne and snack on cheese platters at any of the fine bars and cafes around the city. Très bien!

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NZ's thermal activity - www.visitedplanet.comROTORUA, NEW ZEALAND

If you can handle the sulphurous air of Rotorua on the North Island you’re in for a treat. Hot springs, geysers and mud pools are the order of the day in this area that boasts thermal activity. But relaxing in a spa is not the only thing to do. There are plenty of adventure activities in Rotorua from excellent mountain biking to fabulous white water rafting on grade 5 rapids. The other attraction are the Maori cultural events including their incredible hangi dinners guaranteed to fill even the hungriest traveller’s stomach.

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Add your own recommendations here or click to see the full list in the January newsletter.


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