TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel site, today announced the winners of its Travellers’ Choice® awards for Experiences. The awards recognise the world’s and Australia’s top bookable experiences - tours and activities - as decided by travellers.
Kaleidoscope of experiences capture travellers’ hearts
A tour of the Vatican with skip-the-line access was named the top experience globally, while a guided jet ski tour through the Whitsundays from Airlie Beach took top honours in Australia in this year’s diverse awards. The number of bookable experiences has more than doubled in the last year - to over 200,000 - and 2019’s winners reflect travellers’ appreciation for the broad range of options around the world.
The top 25 experiences in the world illustrate that the perfect vacation looks different for every traveller. This year’s top global awards show that travellers have spent the last year snorkeling between tectonic plates in Iceland, whitewater rafting in New Zealand, exploring the local food scenes in Hanoi, Chiang Mai, and Xi’an, enjoying balloon rides over Cappadocia, and sightseeing in cities like Chicago, Prague and Athens.
“In the last year, TripAdvisor has doubled the number of bookable tours, attractions and experiences offered to travellers, because we know experiences are often the most fun and memorable parts of a trip. The breadth of winners - like a Costa Rican waterfall rappelling experience, a Balinese jungle swing, skip-the-line Vatican access, and a tour of Paris by vintage sidecar - reflects the incredible selection available to travellers,” said Laurel Greatrix, TripAdvisor spokesperson.
“With more than 200,000 experiences on our sites, these winners are in an extremely competitive field and represent the best-of-the-best, according to travellers themselves.”
Outdoor activities lead the way at home
TripAdvisor’s 2019 Experiences Trends Report showed that outdoor activities are on the rise, with global bookings in the category jumping 56% in the last year*. It comes as no surprise then, that eight of the top ten experiences in Australia fall within this category, including a Melbourne bike tour, city Segway tour of Perth’s eastern foreshore, a kayak tour in Hobart, an ocean rafting tour to Whitehaven Beach, and a two-day camping and surfing trip along the Great Ocean Road.
With the world’s largest selection of bookable tours and activities around the world, TripAdvisor is a one-stop destination for planning all of your travel activities. From traditional sightseeing to food tours, day trips, and local experiences, travellers can find and book great things to do in Australia and overseas wherever they are on the TripAdvisor app and site.
Top 10 Experiences in Australia:
- Whitsundays Jet Ski Tour – Airlie Beach, Queensland, bookable from $110 per person
Explore the Whitsundays islands by jet ski on this adventure-filled tour. Zoom past coves and white sandy beaches and learn about this UNESCO-listed site from your guide. This tour is suitable for all skill levels from beginner to experienced with four different tour options. Tours are limited to 20 guests for a great small-group experience. “Must do! These guys are super professional and organised. Our day was windy, but that just added to our fun,” noted a TripAdvisor reviewer.
- The Best of Melbourne Bike Tour – Melbourne, Victoria, bookable from $59 per person
Melbourne is one of Australia’s most bike-friendly cities, with over 135 kilometers of on- and off-road bike trails. On this sightseeing cycling tour, take the scenic route around the city’s atmospheric neighbourhoods, through its beautiful parks and waterfront districts, and along the meandering Yarra River – with plenty of photo opportunities and an optional lunch stop along the way. “The tour was brilliant! Could not recommend higher! Get to see all the highlights that Melbourne has to offer, along with a detailed history lesson,” raved one TripAdvisor reviewer.
- Hervey Bay Premium Whale Watching Cruise – Hervey Bay, Queensland, bookable from $100 per person
Enjoy the majestic migration of humpback whales on this whale watching cruise from Hervey Bay. Listen to informative commentary about the whales and their migration towards the Antarctic from your enthusiastic guides. This premium tour includes morning tea, a buffet lunch, and an afternoon tea with fruits and cheeses.“Words really can’t describe how amazing this tour was” noted a TripAdvisor reviewer. “It exceeded my expectations and the enthusiasm from the crew was also amazing. At one point, the boat was surrounded by three humpback whales and dolphins who stayed with the boat for at least an hour!”
- Perth East Foreshore and City Segway Tour – Perth, Western Australia, bookable from $96.75 per person
See the highlights of Perth on a Segway tour along the city’s booming and beautiful riverfront. With a knowledgeable guide, cruise along the Swan River, and check out attractions like Kings Park, Claisebrook Cove or the river foreshore. Covering more ground than a walking tour, but still outside in the fresh air, a Segway is the ideal way to explore a sunny, outdoorsy city like Perth. “Had a great time on the tour. I was worried that it might be hard to use the Segway (especially when I learnt we’d be navigating the city footpaths!), but it’s really easy once you get the hang of it,” commented a TripAdvisor reviewer.
- Atherton Tablelands Waterfalls Tour from Cairns – Cairns, Queensland, bookable from $109
Experience the natural wonders of Queensland’s Atherton Tablelands on this day trip from Cairns. With a guide, you’ll take easy walks to three waterfalls - Josephine Falls, Millaa Millaa Falls and Dinner Falls - and a refreshing swim in Lake Eacham. See the Cathedral Fig Tree, take in the views of the volcanic crater in Mt Hypipamee National Park, and enjoy lots of time for swimming and photos. “This tour included lovely locations, with plenty of time to enjoy each stop. Our guide, Gabs, was fun and gracious. I’d recommend for all ages!,” wrote one TripAdvisor reviewer.
- Hobart Kayak Tour - Hobart, Tasmania, bookable from $95 per person
Explore Hobart from the water on a kayak tour with an experienced guide. You have three options to choose from when booking: a two and a half-hour tour from central Hobart, a seven-hour tour past cliffs, caves and beaches or a 10-hour Tasman Peninsula tour. You’ll either admire Hobart’s bustling waterfront along the River Derwent, or take in the scenic wilderness outside the city on one of the full-day adventures. Learn paddling techniques from your guide, who also provides narration about the city and surrounding region.“From pick up from our hotel to drop off this tour was fantastic...this is the best way to see the coast line of Hobart” raved a TripAdvisor reviewer.
- Ocean Rafting Tour To Whitehaven Beach - Whitsundays, Queensland, bookable from $164 per person
Make the most of your time exploring the Whitsunday Islands' Whitehaven Beach aboard a motorised raft on this full-day tour. Choose between tours that offer a snorkeling expedition or extended beach time at secluded spots you wouldn't be able to access on your own. Listen to your naturalist guide talk about the flora and fauna of the area during nature walks and guided snorkeling expeditions (use of snorkel equipment is included). Afternoon tea and cake, as well as hotel pickup and drop-off, make this tour a convenient option. “Had such a great day on this trip and even saw a pod of pilot whales, which was amazing! Snorkeling on the reef was an unforgettable experience and we would definitely do the trip over again if we could,” commented a TripAdvisor reviewer.
- Mooloolaba Seafood Lunch Cruise - Sunshine Coast, Queensland, bookable from $45 per person
Mooloolaba is one of many resort towns along the Sunshine Coast – the kind of place where the beaches and bars get packed during the summer. Take a break with this lunchtime cruise along the Mooloolaba coast. Dine on fresh seafood (including locally-caught prawns) and enjoy the views of the town’s golden beaches from inside a cosy cruise ship on the Coral Sea. “We have done this every time we come to Mooloolaba, which is about four times. We have had different staff each time and they have all been great. It is a relaxing, fun, humorous cruise. Totally recommend!” commented a TripAdvisor reviewer.
- Sydney Beer and Brewery Tour - Sydney, New South Wales, bookable from $130 per person
Taste a range of great beers and learn about craft brewing in Sydney on a tour with a knowledgeable guide. You’ll also see the inner workings of the breweries and meet the people who are revolutionising beer-making in Sydney. Choose from three options: two different six-hour tours include a delicious pub lunch, and the three-hour tour, offered in the afternoon, hits the highlights in a shorter time frame. “Great small tour with friendly, enthusiastic and well informed guide. Was great to meet the Brewery owners first hand and go behind the scenes and learn about the brewing process and the general operations of the Sydney craft beer industry,” said a TripAdvisor reviewer. “The beer, the guide, the friendly staff and owners at all the venues make this a very social and enjoyable tour. Highly recommend for locals and visitors.”
- 2-Day Camping and Surfing Great Ocean Road Trip from Melbourne - Melbourne, Victoria, bookable from $249 per person
Tick off the highlights of Australia’s world-famous Great Ocean Road and learn to surf on this action-packed two-day road trip from Melbourne. Hit the beach for a two-hour surf class, spot wild koalas and kangaroos, and soak up the scenery of Apollo Bay, the Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge. Best of all, spend a night in a teepee by the beach, where you’ll tuck into a hearty Aussie BBQ around the campfire. This small-group tour is limited to 15 people and includes accommodation, meals and round-trip transportation. “If you’re looking to see the Great Ocean Road in all of its glory without the guilt of going on an overly touristy trip, this is the trip for you!” touted a TripAdvisor reviewer. “I had a wonderful time with great people, great sights and memories that make me want to return to Australia as soon as possible!! A must do trip for anyone visiting Melbourne.”
Top 10 Experiences in the World:
- Faster Than Skip-the-Line: Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica Tour – Rome, Italy
- Chicago Architecture River Cruise – Chicago, Illinois, USA
- Tuscany in One Day Sightseeing Tour – Florence, Italy
- Snorkeling Silfra Tour with Pick up – Reykjavik, Iceland
- Red Rock Canyon Electric Bike Tour – Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
- Private Guided Tour on a Vintage Sidecar from 1 Hour to 7 Hour – Paris, France
- 1-Hour Canal Tour starting at Anne Frank House Amsterdam – Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- Best of Ubud Tour with Jungle Swing – Ubud, Indonesia
- Xi'an Evening Food Tour by TukTuk – Xi’an, China
- Kaituna River White Water – Okere Falls, New Zealand
The awards recognise 375 experiences, tours, and activities globally, highlighting the world’s best “Things to do”. They’re also broken down by country, and by category, including day cruises, cultural tours, day trips, multi-day tours, hop-on-hop-off tours, and food, beer, and wine experiences. Winners were determined using an algorithm based on reviews and ratings for bookable experiences over a 12-month period.
For all of the 2019 Travellers’ Choice award-winning experiences, as well as the latest reviews, go to www.tripadvisor.com/TravellersChoice-Experiences. Travellers can also follow the conversation on Twitter at #travellerschoice.
*Increase based on year-over-year growth in bookings in 2017 vs 2018.
Prices may vary due to seasonality and are accurate as of 5 June 2019.