Kangaroo Island named one of world's best travel destinations
Kangaroo Island has been named one of the world’s top destinations to visit – and is the only Australian destination to make the list.
Ranked as #2 by global travel authority, Lonely Planet, in its 2024 Top Regions Hotlist, Kangaroo Island is recognised as a premier eco-tourism destination which offers distinct local produce, abundant native wildlife, natural experiences, and some of the nation’s most pristine beaches.
In taking second place, Kangaroo Island topped globally renowned tourist destinations such as Tuscany in Italy which came in at third place.
The Lonely Planet list aims to inspire potential travellers to plan a holiday in 2024, focusing on trending travel sectors like eco-tourism and slow travel.
Nominations for the list were made throughout the year by Lonely Planet’s community of staff, contributors from around the world, and publishing partners. Winning destinations were then selected by a panel of travel experts who assessed topicality, unique experiences, ‘wow’ factor, and the destination’s ongoing commitment to sustainability, community, and diversity.
The global recognition for Kangaroo Island comes as the $55 million Southern Ocean Lodge rebuild on the west coast of the island gets set to open to guests in early December.
An added experience for visitors to the region in 2024 will be the new multi-million-dollar development of The Cliffs Kangaroo Island – a ‘bucket-list’ destination golf course which is set to open next year and promises to attract golfing enthusiasts from across the globe.
Latest tourism data shows Kangaroo Island has reached an all-time high visitor expenditure. At $294 million spent by visitors in the year to June 2023, it is a record-high and well surpasses the region’s target of $199 million set for December 2025.
Minister for Tourism, Zoe Bettison said the state knows Kangaroo Island is one of the best destinations in the world, and now, it’s official.
"With new major attractions on their way such as the rebirth of Southern Ocean Lodge and The Cliffs Kangaroo Island golf course, it is the perfect time for the region to get this global recognition and for visitors worldwide to start planning their trip," Minister Bettison said.
"It is terrific that Kangaroo Island is not only bouncing back from the devastating impacts of bushfires and the pandemic but is going beyond that, hitting a record-breaking $294 million in visitor expenditure and already far exceeding its target set for 2025.
"As one of the world’s best travel destinations – and the only one in Australia to make the list – this accolade will help put Kangaroo Island, and South Australia, on the must-visit list for travellers across the globe."
Lonely Planet Senior Director Trade Sales & Marketing, Chris Zeiher said Kangaroo Island provides such a quintessential Australian travel experience.
"It is blessed with amazing beaches, offers delicious food, wine, and spirits experiences, and delivers on the drama when it comes to outdoor adventures," Mr Zeiher said.
"And then there’s the wildlife!
"It’s been much lauded of late but 2024 is the year that Kangaroo Island will be set to capitalise on all of the accolades.
"Best illustrated by the reopening of the prestigious Southern Ocean Lodge and the launch of a stunning new visitor centre at the entrance of Flinders Chase National Park.
"Get there before the rest of the world works it out – 2024 is the year to pop KI on your travel list."