Top 5 Cities in Australia & Pacific Islands : Condé Nast Traveler





















WELLINGTON

Readers' Choice Rating: 77.2



Culture: 81.5
Friendliness: 86.9
Atmosphere: 84.9
Restaurants: 72
Lodging: 68.7
Shopping: 58.7
The capital of New Zealand is a "fabulous city that is easy to navigate with a vibrant waterfront and beautiful gardens." The "upbeat" city's "quality of life seemed unreal," said one impressed reader. Another "can't recommend this city enough!"


















AUCKLAND

Readers' Choice Rating: 78.0



Culture: 79.4
Friendliness: 87.3
Atmosphere: 83
Restaurants: 75.3
Lodging: 75.4
Shopping: 63.1
Our readers couldn't say enough about the friendly people of Auckland. "Wonderful city, wonderful people, beautiful setting," as one visitor put it. If you've never been to New Zealand, this "clean, fresh, youthful, adventurous, beautiful" city would be "the ideal starting place for touring" the country.


















QUEENSTOWN

Readers' Choice Rating: 78.5



Culture: 78.1
Friendliness: 87.4
Atmosphere: 85.8
Restaurants: 74.7
Lodging: 79
Shopping: 62.4
Readers raved that Queenstown, located on Lake Wakatipu, is "the most gorgeous place" with "breathtaking views and wonderful people." Activities are endless: Choose from skiing, biking, jet boating, bungee jumping, parasailing, wine tasting and more. One reader noted the city's "wonderful Kiwi hospitality," adding that "the atmosphere is like nothing I have ever seen."


















MELBOURNE

Readers' Choice Rating: 80.8



Culture: 83.9
Friendliness: 86
Atmosphere: 85.8
Restaurants: 81.5
Lodging: 75.9
Shopping: 68.9
Top museums, public art and green spaces are what set Melbourne apart from its bigger counterpart on this list (see No. 1). There are "large outdoor spaces designed for music, art, live and film performances," as well as an "old world and new mix of architecture in wide public spaces" that our readers found refreshing.


















SYDNEY

Readers' Choice Rating: 81.2



Culture: 85.5
Friendliness: 83.8
Atmosphere: 86.7
Restaurants: 80.2
Lodging: 78.1
Shopping: 71
According to our readers, Sydney has it all, calling it a "cosmopolitan and sun-tanned" city with "diverse attractions" that is just so "easy about itself." The Harbour Bridge Climb offers "tremendous sightseeing," the Sydney Opera House hosts top-notch music, theater and dance performances, and there are great shopping and cultural attractions too. "The food is world-class, with spot prawns and fish to die for."