Top 5 Cities in Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific

Sydney returns as the best city in Australia on the strength of its iconic harbor and postcard-worthy beaches.

Jul 29, 2020

This year’s World’s Best Awards survey closed on March 2, just before widespread stay-at-home orders were implemented as a result of COVID-19. The results reflect our readers’ experiences before the pandemic, but we hope that this year’s honorees will inspire your trips to come — whenever they may be.

1. Sydney

Beaches, shopping, dining, imbibing—this year, T+L readers showed up for the seductive spoils of Sydney. Besting Aussie rival Melbourne by a slim margin, “the Harbour City” has been on the World’s Best list for the last decade, and it’s not surprising why. If you can tear yourself away from its 70-plus beaches and kilometers of coastal walks, you’ll find: a diverse and active arts scene; millennia of indigenous heritage; museums, aquariums and zoos; exciting local fashion and shopping; UNESCO World Heritage Sites; multiple cultural enclaves; and a globally competitive dining scene, driven both by Sydney’s access to premium produce and the culinary influences of multiple diaspora communities. All that and a humongous coat-hanger bridge to climb

Score: 85.75

* On the list for the past 10 years

The international hub returns as the category favorite on the strength of its iconic harbor and postcard-worthy beaches.


2. Melbourne

Score: 85.37

* On the list for the past 10 years

3. Perth

Score: 82.78

4. Queenstown

Score: 82.04

5. Wellington

Score: 81.87

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