Aerial view Rottnest Island
Travel bucket list 2020

From the red sand dunes of Namibia to the pristine shores of Lord Howe Island and the bold architecture of Chicago, there’s no limit to what can go on the bucket list. Discover 12 exciting destinations and start planning an adventure that will define your 2020. Plus there’s also over 1,300 destinations Qantas and our partner airlines can take you to. 

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

12. Halong Bay, Vietnam

A World Heritage site north of Hanoi, Halong Bay is an impossibly beautiful ocean “city” home to over 3000 towering limestone pillars that rise up out of the emerald waters, are capped by green forest and hide incredible arches and caves. Read more in our travel guide.

Must do:  

  • Explore Sung Sot Cave on Bo Hon Island
  • Hire a canoe or kayak and paddle around Ha Long Bay 

How to get there:

Fly with Qantas direct from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Hong Kong then continue with Jetstar Pacific to Hanoi. Ha Long Bay is 3.5-hour car transfer from Hanoi. 

Ruins of Tulum

11. Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

Surrounded by brilliant blue waters and pearly white shores, the Yucatan Peninsula is a true paradise. Discover the mind-blowing Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, swim with whale sharks on Isla Mujeres and find your favourite yoga retreat in Tulum. Discover more.

Must do: 

  • Visit the ancient Edzná complexes 

  • Dive at Banco Chinchorro’s reef system 

How to get there:

Fly with Qantas from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane via Los Angeles, Dallas or San Francisco then connect with American Airlines to Cancun.

Chicago skyline

10. Chicago, USA

A city of bold architecture, top chefs and comedic alumni, Chicago is one of America’s most overlooked destinations. Immerse yourself in the vibrant arts scene, experience a night of stand-up at The Second City and don’t forget an iconic deep-dish pizza. Uncover more in our travel guide.

Must do: 

  • Visit the Art Institute of Chicago

  • Plan a night of jazz at the Green Mill

How to get there

Fly direct from Brisbane to Chicago with Qantas from April 2020 or via Los Angeles and San Francisco from Sydney and Melbourne. 

Darwin sunset

9. Darwin, Northern Territory

The gateway to the Top End, cosmopolitan Darwin is unlike anywhere in Australia. Tropical and balmy year-round, this 'outdoor city' is all about fresh seafood on the beach, the quirky Mindil Beach Sunset Market and making the journey to Kakadu and Litchfield national parks. Read more in our Darwin travel guide.

Must do:  

  • Enjoy a Walk Darwin tour of the city

  • Spot monster crocs on an ‘Adelaide River Cruise’

How to get there:

Daily direct flights wtih Qantas to Darwin from most Australia major cities. 

Sunset on sand dune, Namibia

8. Namibia, Africa

It's easy to see why Namibia’s scenery is some of the most photographed in the world. Stark red sand dunes interlock with its ripped coastline, jagged mountains rise through the heart of the country and spectacular rivers run in the Caprivi strip. It’s also home to a quarter of the world’s cheetah population and the last black rhino population. Read more in Travel Insider.

Must do: 

  • Visit Etosha National Park and spot rhinos and big cats

  • Plan a trip to Sandwich Bay to see the 100m high dunes

How to get there:

Fly via Sydney direct to Johannesburg with Qantas and connect from Johannesburg to Windhoek with South African Airways.

Landscape on Lord Hpwe Island

7. Lord Howe Island, New South Wales

If you want to switch off completely, Lord Howe Island is the perfect place for you. With just 400 visitors permitted at any time, it's best to secure accommodation early. Wander the lush forest, dive with over 500 species of fish or simply fold out your towel and laze in the sun - Lord Howe is the ultimate relaxation getaway. Read more in our travel guide.

Must do: 

  • Feed the fish at Ned’s beach

  • Hike up Mount Gower 

How to get there: 

Fly from or via Sydney direct to Lord Howe Island with QantasLink.

Aerial view of Weiheke Island

6. Waiheke Island, New Zealand

The stunningly serene Waiheke Island may not be at the top of your bucket list, but it should be. Only a short ferry ride from Auckland, this blissed-out island is Byron Bay meets the Hamptons with a healthy splash of boutique wineries. Slow down, take your time and enjoy the rolling hills and beautiful beaches. Uncover more in New Zealand. 

Must do: 

  • A visit to Jurassic Ridge winery

  • Hire a car and drive around the island

How to get there

Fly with Qantas direct from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Auckland. Alternatively, fly into Wellington or Christchurch and depart from Auckland on a multi-city flight. Weiheke Island is a short ferry from Auckland with frequent crossings.

Illama near Machu Picchu

5. Machu Picchu, Peru

With similar gravitas to the pyramids in Egypt or Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Machu Picchu exceeds every expectation. Surrounded by deep green forest and veiled in mist, the ancient city was hidden for generations before being discovered in the early 20th century. Discover more about incredible Machu Picchu.

Must do:  

  • Hike the Inca Trail and mingle with wild alpacas

  • See the beautiful Rainbow Mountain 

How to get there: 

Fly via Sydney direct to Santiago with Qantas then connect with LATAM airlines to Cuzco. Machu Picchu is located four hours by car from Cuzco.

Beach on Rottnest Island

4. Rottnest Island, Western Australia

Made famous by its furry inhabitants, Rottnest Island is a must when visiting Perth. Aside from the adorable and astoundingly photogenic quokkas, the island is best known for its beautiful sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters. Snorkelling and surfing are great year-round and for those adventurers seeking an adrenaline hit, there's Skydive Geronimo. Read more on Perth and beyond in our travel guide.

Must do: 

  • Cycle around the island 

  • Wander the Wadjemup Bidi trails

How to get there: 

Fly direct to Perth from most major Australian airports and Intra Western Australian airports. 

Porto city bridge and skyline

3. Porto, Portugal

Take one glance at the hilled, harbour city and you will fall in love. With its cobblestone streets, ornate hand-painted tiles, Portuguese-style tapas spots and neighbourhood wine bars, exploring charming Porto by foot is the only way to do it. And make sure you sample the local tarts, they’re to die for. Uncover more in Porto.

Must do:  

  • Tour the famous Sandeman Port Winery

  • Walk through the stunning Crystal Palace gardens 

How to get there:

Fly with Qantas from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane to London via Singapore or direct from Perth to London then transfer with our partner airline British Airways to Lisbon. Take the 2hr and 50 mins train or direct car transfer from Lisbon to Porto.

Woman looking at hot air balloons, Turkey

2. Cappadocia, Turkey

Walk down the streets of Cappadocia and watch as layers of rich history unfold before you. Tour the beautiful rock-cut churches of Göreme Open-Air Museum, sip a Turkish brew in a neighbourhood coffee house, bed down in one the city’s cave hotels and end the day watching the sunset over the accordion-ridged hills. Read more in Travel Insider.

Must do:  

  • Hot air ballooning over Cappadocia’s beautiful ridges at sunset

  • Visit Goreme National Park to see the underground towns. 

How to get there: 

Fly with Qantas from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane to London via Singapore or direct from Perth to London. From London fly with our partner airline British Airways to Istanbul and connect with a local carrier to Cappadocia.

Osaka scenery in Autumn

1. Osaka, Japan

There are 101 reasons to visit Osaka. We could mention its famed local delicacies, neon nightlife or rich history, but we don’t have to – a trip to the vivacious city sells itself. Once you discover the beauty and intrigue of Osaka for yourself, you’ll never want to leave. Uncover more in our Japan travel guide.

Must do:  

  • Shitennoji Temple

  • Visit the impressive Osaka castle

How to get there: 

Fly with Qantas from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Tokyo or direct from Sydney to Osaka. Take the 3 hour bullet train from Tokyo to Osaka. Alternatively, fly into one city and depart from another with a multi-city flight