Inspire

8 Avid Travellers Reveal The Escape At The Top Of Their Bucket List

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This feature is brought to you by Qantas, who are proud to play a part in bringing travellers together with the people they love from around Australia and across the globe.

Not just a bad noughties movie starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson, a bucket list is something that everybody has. For travellers, our bucket lists are full of dream holidays, stays and destinations that we need to visit.

From theme parks and festivals to countries and hotels that are just drop-dead gorgeous, every keen traveller has a place that proudly sits at the top of their bucket list.

We asked  eight avid travellers about the trip that’s at the very top of their bucket list, and why it holds the top spot.

#1 Madagascar, East Africa

 

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“I’ve always dreamt of visiting Madagascar. It’s one of those surreal destinations that you hear about every now and then, but you never imagine you’d actually get there yourself. I imagine walking through a misty sunrise down Avenue of the Baobabs, weaving through the forest amongst the lemurs, slowly drifting by boat down the river.”

Jarrad Seng

Dream stay: Nosy Saba Private Island & Spa

Why stay in a hotel when you could stay on a private island? Stay in one of the suites and enjoy incredible access to all of the sights and experiences that the island offers. Or go all out and book the entire island for you and your best travel buddies.


#2 Petra, Jordan

 

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“The destination at the top of my bucket list is Petra in Jordan. Maybe it’s because the one-of-a-kind architecture has to be seen to be believed or maybe it’s because I watched a lot of Indiana Jones growing up — either way, it looks absolutely magical.”

— Kristen

Dream stay: Mövenpick Resort Petra

Located in the heart of Wadi Musa, this resort will set you up just steps away from the action – whether you’re on a mission to relive your favourite Indiana Jones moment or want to see the archaeological sites for the love of history. Also, and we cannot stress this enough: Free. Stuff. From. The. Minibar.


#3 Yellowstone National Park

 

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“Yellowstone National Park shot to the top of my bucket list after I hiked through New Zealand and Tasmania. I got the outdoors “wilderness” vibe bad and can’t pass up the massive and totally unique features of Yellowstone.”

— Jarrod

Dream stay: Explorer Cabins At Yellowstone

This hotel checks off everything on the adventurer’s list: it’s close to the park’s west entrance, within walking distance from the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, and is a quick trip away from Excelsior Geyser.


#4 Sri Lanka

 

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“At the start of 2020, me and my best mate are going to check it out, travel light, book cheap accommodation, and take it back to the days when I used to backpack around the world with very little money, no real plans, just a rough idea of what [we wanted to see] and where we wanted to go and we’d figure it out along the way!”

Hayden Quinn

Dream stay: Jetwing Vil Uyana

Surrounded by man-made wetlands that are teeming with wildlife, this spa is one of Sri Lanka’s best eco-hotels. The resort is split into five distinct habitats, each with its own free-standing accommodation options. Take your pick of the Garden Dwelling, Marsh Dwelling, Paddy Dwelling, Water Dwelling, and Forest Dwelling for a luxurious and eco-friendly stay.


#5 Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Disneyland Resort, California

 

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“I’ve always wanted to star in (or live in) Star Wars, but until they introduce a Jedi character who looks like a big old nerd like me, then going to the Galaxy’s Edge theme park and building a lightsaber is the next best thing.”

— Eldon

Dream stay: Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa

Until Disney opens the Star Wars hotel to go along with Galaxy’s Edge, you’ll just have to make do with their luxe-as-hell hotel and spa. Actually, we’re not mad about this. The hotel has a special entrance to Disney California Adventure Park, and it’s just a short hop away from Galaxy’s Edge and Disneyland Park.


#6 The Maldives

 

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“Definitely the Maldives. I’ve stayed in an overwater bungalow before in Malaysia, but it was super budget and probably nothing like the Maldives. I’ve heard the water colour there is insane and seen photos of sting rays just swimming up to people.”

— Sangeeta

Dream stay: Kandima Maldives

Any hotel you stay at in the Maldives would be bucket list-worthy, but you can’t go past this island resort for a true dream stay. Sleep in a villa on the white sand or over the sparkling water of Kandima beach for a true island escape, and enjoy all the lush adventures the resort has to offer.


#7 Hobbiton, New Zealand

 

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“Apart from the fact that I’m a massive Lord of the Rings fan, it’s amazing that they’ve managed to turn the original Hobbiton set into an interactive tourist town. I just love the idea of being able to pretend I’m in the movie – and also New Zealand looks absolutely gorgeous.”

– Camille

Dream stay: Lakeview Lodge Karapiro

Choose from one of three lodges on this riverside property that combines the best of rural living with high-class facilities. It’s country chic with views that stretch on forever, and it’s close to Hobbiton and a whole lot of other local attractions. Breakfast is served daily – no word on second breakfast, though.


#8 Exuma, The Bahamas

 

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“The blue water looks amazing and the swimming pigs are just the cutest things ever! We had never even seen a place that looked so beautiful, it really kicked off our wanderlust adventures.”

Pia & Kane Vato Muehlenbeck

Dream stay: French Leave Resort

It’s hard to pick just one dream stay in The Bahamas, but no-one can go wrong with this exceptional resort. Incredible dining options, a lush pool and hot tub, and water sports all await you here. Or step out onto the pink sand and into the turquoise water when you’ve had enough of being pampered (if that’s even possible).

(Lead image: Ishan @seefromthesky / Unsplash)

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Qantas Frequent Flyer members will earn 3 Qantas Points per A$1 value for all hotel stays booked through qantas.com/hotels, except Classic Hotel Rewards. Members will earn 1 Qantas Point per A$1 value for Airbnb stays booked through qantas.com/airbnb. Members will earn 6 Qantas Points per A$1 value when booking offers at qantas.com/luxuryhotels. Qantas Points will not be earned on cancelled or refunded bookings. Qantas Points cannot be split between two or more members occupying the same room. To earn Qantas Points, quote your Qantas Frequent Flyer membership number when booking. Members will not be able to redeem points for, or earn points on additional charges paid to the accommodation provider for extras (including cots, breakfasts and other incidentals) on check-in or check-out (as applicable). Qantas Points will be credited to your account at least 8 weeks after check-out.