Lonely Planet has named New Zealand in the Top 10 countries to visit in 2018 in the publisher's Best in Travel 2018​.

Published on 25 October 2017, New Zealand is ranked fifth on the book’s list of Top 10 Countries 2018.

It is the second time that New Zealand has appeared on the list with the last appearance in 2010.

Best in Travel 2018 is Lonely Planet’s 13th annual collection of the world’s hottest destinations, experiences and trends for the year ahead. The best-selling inspirational travel yearbook highlights the top 10 countries, cities and regions that Lonely Planet’s experts recommend travellers experience in 2018.

“Twenty-five years ago, long before it was retrofitted to resemble Middle-earth, New Zealand began actively attracting adventure-seekers,” Lonely Planet explains. “A sweet suite of trails, the Great Walks, encouraged exploration of the country’s exquisite topography, taking tramping travellers through some of the world’s most extraordinary wilderness.”

“In 2018,” Lonely Planet continues, “for the first time since the nine-track network was launched, a new Great Walk will be under construction: the Paparoa Track which will include the Pike29 Memorial Track. This 55km route, which commemorates 29 miners killed in 2010, winds between Blackball and Punakaiki on the South Island’s West Coast, passing through Paparoa National Park, and will offer hikers and mountain bikers a sensational experience.”

New Zealand is described as "a place where the planet's pulse pumps close to its scarred skin. Mud bubbles, mountains explode and glaciers melt into rivers rushing towards immense oceans, passing geothermally heated beaches. Here, the terrain remains undecided about its final form."

"It's a wildly exciting place, where the best adventures are experienced under your own steam."

Lonely Planet's recommended New Zealand itinerary for 2018 includes Auckland's urban scene, Coromandel's "unique Hot Water Beach" and Rotorua's bubbling mud, the single-day Tongariro Alpine Crossing, "harbour-hugging Wellington" and the Abel Tasman beaches. It also singles out the "super-scenic Route 6" and Aoraki Mt Cook National Park. 

Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Countries 2018 are:

  1. Chile
  2. South Korea
  3. Portugal
  4. Djibouti
  5. New Zealand
  6. Malta
  7. Georgia
  8. Mauritius
  9. China
  10. South Africa

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