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The seven alternatives to Bali for your next holiday

Bali has long been a favourite of Australian travellers, with the estimated 260,000 Aussies who make the trip to Indonesia the largest foreign cohort of the destination’s 6.3 million yearly tourists.

If you’ve already been – or you’re sick of hearing Australian accents – there are plenty of other locations to visit.

Here are some of the best tourist destinations for your next holiday.

Vietnam

Vietnam is a favourite of Australian tourists, however, it doesn’t get the huge intake of travellers compared to Bali.

There is plenty to do across a country rich with history and culture, including seeing relics and tunnels from the Vietnam War, museums, natural wonders and Buddhist temples like Thien Mu Pagoda and Ngoc Son Temple.

Tourists visit the Ngoc Son Temple in the Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Getty

Ha Long Bay is a favourite attraction with emerald waters and around 1600 towering limestone islands covered in thick rainforests in an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

And don’t forget the incredible food.

Fiji

Fiji, an archipelago of more than 300 islands in the South Pacific, is famous for its landscape, pristine beaches, clear waters and coral reefs.

Aside from the obvious relaxation and ocean-side activities, people can visit natural wonders like the Tavoro Falls, the man-made Garden of the Sleeping Giant or kick-back at the Sabeto Hot Springs.

Fiji is renowned for its beautiful beaches and pristine waters. Photo: Getty

The main attractions, however, are the beautiful islands and the clear blue lagoons.

Maldives

The Maldives comprise 26 islands known for beautiful beaches and tropical weather. Around 1.5 million tourists visit the country’s island resorts each year, looking for relaxation and activities like whale shark tours, dolphin watching and snorkelling.

Other activities include jet skiing, jungle cinema at Gili Lankanfushi, skydiving, surfing, fishing and island hopping adventures.

The Maldives is a luxury escape. Photo: Getty

In Male, the capital of the Maldives, tourist destinations for the low-key and respectful traveller include the Grand Mosque, The National Museum and the Old Friday Mosque.

Phuket

You may not escape the Australian accents in Phuket, but the mountainous island has rainforests and some of Thailand’s most popular beaches, high-end seaside resorts and nightlife locations.

One of its most famous beaches on Phi Phi Leh island, featured in the movie The Beach starring Leonardo DiCaprio, reopened in 2022 with limited numbers of visitors due to overcrowding.

Tourists walk the beach of Maya Bay, Phi Phi Leh island. Photo: AAP

In Patong, you’ll find nightlife and restaurants rivalling Bali, with Bangla Road renowned for its raucous nightlife and all night parties.

The Caribbean

The Caribbean Islands consist of 13 independent island countries, including The Bahamas, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, and Bermuda.

The area is full of diverse cultures and environments throughout its 7,000 islands, but many are beach destinations.

cruise tips

The Bahamas is just one of the tourist destinations in the Caribbean. Photo: Getty

Saint Lucia is known for its Piton mountains, beaches and hot springs, while Barbados has its famous rum and Bridgetown history.

Samoa

Samoa is a Polynesian country consisting of two main islands, two small inhabited islands and several smaller uninhabited islands.

Renowned for its warm and friendly culture and breathtaking scenery, Samoa is only a five hour flight from Sydney and Brisbane.

Samoa is eager to welcome Australian tourists. Photo: Samoa Tourism Authority

Another attraction is fire knife dancing, or Siva Afi in Samoan, a traditional cultural performance where machetes are wrapped in towels at both ends and set alight, while the dancer performs acrobatic stunts.

The Philippines

In the Philippines capital city Manila, you’ll find a bustling and busy city featuring cathedrals and other landmarks signalling its colonial history.

After you land, head out to one of the 7,641 islands to see tropical beaches, rainforests, heritage towns, lagoons and diving spots.

exotic swim spots

You might need to wait, but it will be worth it to swim at Big Lagoon. Photo: Getty

Domestic destinations

Instead of heading overseas, why not consider somewhere closer (relatively speaking) to home?

Rottnest Island quokka

Rottnest Island is famous for quokkas, which are unique to the island. Photo: Getty

Rottnest Island in Western Australia, Cairns and Noosa in Queensland, Byron Bay in New South Wales, and beachside towns like Lorne and Torquay in Victoria all offer a relaxing experience for families, individuals and wanderlust-filled travellers alike.

Topics: Bali, Travel
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