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Lonely Planet: Auckland  best city to travel to in 2022 

Credit: Auckland Unlimited

Auckland has been named the number one city to visit this year in Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2022.

The book, which is on sale worldwide, is the global travel authority’s 17th annual collection of the world’s hottest destinations and must-have travel experiences for the year ahead, and features their top 10 countries, cities, and regions to visit in 2022. The lists were compiled independently by a panel of Lonely Planet contributors across the globe and judged against criteria addressing topicality, unique experiences, ‘wow’ factor and sustainability.

On Auckland nabbing first place in the top cities category, Lonely Planet Senior Director Trade Sale and Marketing, Chris Zeiher says: 

"This is an amazing recognition of Auckland and its surrounding attractions. Within the city’s boundaries there are 53 volcanoes, more than 50 islands, three wine regions and numerous beaches that make this a truly exciting and vibrant city.

“There is so much to discover or rediscover in Auckland and this recognition, especially now as people start contemplating travel again, places Auckland as the number one city on the map.”

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says: “Lonely Planet’s promotion of Auckland as the best city in the world to travel to in 2022 is a fantastic acknowledgement of what Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland has to offer. It will give a real boost to Auckland’s tourism and hospitality sectors as they start to recover from the COVID-19 lockdowns and borders reopen.  

“Seeing Auckland through the eyes of an international traveller is one way to understand how breath-taking, exciting, creative, and full of energy our region is.”

In the book’s opening pages, Lonely Planet profoundly state that it’s now time for travellers to start contemplating long-postponed travel plans and slowly, but surely, make those dreams a reality, a notion Auckland Unlimited Chief Executive Nick Hill supports:  

"It has been a hard couple of years, but we are hopeful that 2022 will be the year when we welcome visitors from outside our region to share all the wonderful things that we have to offer.”     

Speaking specifically to Auckland’s offerings in the year ahead, Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2022 fittingly points to some of the outstanding events set to take place in Auckland in 2022, including Rugby World Cup 2021 (postponed from this year), as well as the massive contribution of the region’s Pasifika and Māori cultures to Auckland’s burgeoning creative energy, and the ‘brain gain’ created by Kiwis coming home – citing the return of famous restaurateur and celebrity chef Peter Gordon.   

About Auckland's flourishing arts and culture offering, Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2022 opines: “[New Zealand’s] biggest and most diverse city has always been beautiful, but one unpredicted consequence of COVID-19 has been the blossoming of Auckland’s cultural scene, putting a fresh spotlight on exciting local creativity.”

The book goes on to list its top five Auckland highlights, including: West Coast beaches, Hauraki Gulf Islands, the Auckland War Memorial Museum, Auckland Art Gallery, and volcanic cone climbs.