Kangaroo Island ranks second on Lonely Planet travel list

Kangaroo Island was the only Australian location that made the Lonely Planet list.

Kangaroo Island was the only Australian location that made the Lonely Planet list. Photo: Getty

South Australia’s Kangaroo Island has placed second in the world on Lonely Planet’s must-visit regions for 2024.

The island 112 kilometres south-west of Adelaide was the only Australian destination to make Lonely Planet’s 2024 Best in Travel list.

The index, compiled by a panel of Lonely Planet experts, ranks the top 10 countries, regions and cities to visit, and the top destinations for sustainable and value tourism.

Kangaroo Island placed second on the regions list – pipped only by the Trans Dinarica cycling route in the western Balkans, a more than 4000-kilometre route that connects Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, North Macedonia, Kosovo and Serbia.

Kangaroo Island ranked above Tuscany, Italy (third); Donegal, Ireland (fourth); and the Basque Country autonomous region in Spain (fifth).

A full list of winners is available below.

Chris Zeiher, Lonely Planet’s senior director trade sales and marketing, said Kangaroo Island “provides such a quintessential Australian travel experience”.

Kangaroos in the town of Kingscote on Kangaroo Island. Photo: Getty

“It is blessed with amazing beaches, offers delicious food, wine and spirits experiences, and delivers on the drama when it comes to outdoor adventures,” he said in a statement.

“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.”

Kangaroo Island is still recovering from the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires, which burnt about 38 per cent of the island’s land mass.

Zeiher highlighted that the Southern Ocean Lodge, a luxury accommodation centre on the island destroyed in the fires, is set to reopen at the end of the year, along with the new Flinders Chase Visitor Centre scheduled for completion in early 2024.

“Get there before the rest of the world works it out – 2024 is the year to pop KI on your travel list,” Zeiher said.

Mongolia, India and Morocco ranked as Lonely Planet’s top three countries, while Nairobi, Paris and Montreal took out the top three in the cities category.

Stunning rock formations at Flinders Chase National Park on Kangaroo Island. Photo: Getty

Lonely Planet’s top regions

  1. Trans Dinarica cycling route, Western Balkans
  2. Kangaroo Island, Australia
  3. Tuscany, Italy
  4. Donegal, Ireland
  5. Pais Vasco (Basque country), Spain
  6. Southern Thailand
  7. Swahili Coast, Tanzania
  8. Montana, US
  9. Saalfelden Leogang, Austria
  10. Far north Scotland, UK

Top countries

  1. Mongolia
  2. India
  3. Morocco
  4. Chile
  5. Benin
  6. Mexico
  7. Uzbekistan
  8. Pakistan
  9. Croatia
  10. St Lucia

Top cities

  1. Nairobi, Kenya
  2. Paris, France
  3. Montreal, Canada
  4. Mostar, Bosnia
  5. Philadelphia, US
  6. Manaus, Brazil
  7. Jakarta, Indonesia
  8. Prague, Czech Republic
  9. İzmir, Turkey
  10. Kansas City, Missouri, US


  1. Spain
  2. Patagonia, Argentina and Chile
  3. Greenland
  4. Wales trails
  5. The Portuguese Way/Camino Português Way de Santiago
  6. Palau
  7. Hokkaido, Japan
  8. Ecuador
  9. Baltic Trails of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania
  10. Eco-lodges in South Africa.


  1. The Midwest, US
  2. Poland
  3. Nicaragua
  4. Danube Limes, Romania
  5. Normandy, France
  6. Egypt
  7. Ikaria, Greece
  8. Algeria
  9. Southern Lakes & Central Otago, New Zealand
  10. Night trains, Europe
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