Northland scores number three in Lonely Planet top ten places to visit in South Pacific

Lonely Planet has named Northland and the Bay of Islands among the top places to visit in the Asia Pacific region.

The area has ranked third behind Australia's Margaret River and Shikoku, the smallest of Japan's four main islands.

Lonely Planet says aside from the natural beauty, Northland and the Bay of Islands is the cradle of our culture and history.

"For many New Zealanders, the phrase 'up north' conjures up sepia-toned images of family fun in the sun, pohutukawa in bloom and dolphins frolicking in pretty bays," its website says. 

"From school playgrounds to work cafeterias, owning a bach (holiday house) here is a passport to popularity."

The full list:


  1. Margaret River and Southern WA, Australia
  2. Shikoku, Japan
  3. Bay of Islands and Northland, New Zealand
  4. Singapore
  5. The Cook Islands
  6. Central Vietnam
  7. Fiji
  8. Palawan, Philippines, 
  9. Beijing, China
  10. Cambodia