July 7, 2011

Down Under Comes Out On Top in the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2011 Readers’ Survey

With No. 1 Rankings Among Cities and Islands in the Region

LOS ANGELES, July 7, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Readers voted Australian destinations top in two regional categories in the Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards 2011 readers' survey announced July 7. In the Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific region, coastal lifestyle-capital Sydney was named Top City, and Queensland's Great Barrier Reef won the award for Top Island.

Sydney also ranked eighth on the World's Best Awards list of Top Cities Overall while readers ranked the Great Barrier Reef fifth on the list of Top Islands Overall. Daryl Hudson, General Manager for Tourism Australia's Americas Region commented:

"It's fantastic to see that Travel + Leisure readers appreciate the natural beauty on offer in Australia. Sydney's impressive harbour marks it out as one of the most iconic cities in the world and there's simply nothing like the Great Barrier Reef. These awards are a great indication that Australia is holding strong on vacation wish lists in the U.S. and Canada."

An easy port of entry for North American travellers, Sydney is Australia's largest city, famed for its beach culture. Nestled in one of the world's largest natural harbours, Sydney offers visitors an array of iconic Australian experiences; surfing Bondi Beach, climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge or sampling wines in the nearby Hunter Valley.

The Great Barrier Reef stretches along Australia's east coast for nearly 1,429 miles, covers an area half the size of Texas, and is the only living organism that can be seen from space. Visitors can stay on some of the 900 secluded islands that dot the reef; from the powdery white sand beaches of Lizard Island to Hamilton Island, where guests can relax in a private plunge pool and take in the view.

Travel + Leisure's sixteenth annual World's Best Awards survey reveals readers' favourite cities, islands, hotels, cruise lines, airlines, car-rental agencies, spas, tours and safari outfitters. The complete results of the survey are featured on Travelandleisure.com/worldsbestnow and will be featured in the August issue of the magazine as well as the first-ever World's Best Awards 2011 iPad edition.

SOURCE Tourism Australia