The 25 Most Beautiful Places I Saw In 2016

I’ve got a bunch of posts lined up that are 2016 recaps in some form (it’s still fine to post those in January and February of the following year, riiiight?). This one’s a fun one: it’s a variation on the post I published last year on the 35 Most Beautiful Places I Saw In Australia in 2015.

2016 had plenty of Australian adventures, but it also took me to 6 other countries. I intentionally sought out beautiful landscapes in the form of white sand beaches, rugged mountains, and picturesque coastlines. A couple of cityscapes also made the cut, but for the most part this year was about outdoor adventures in nature.

Here are my picks for the most gorgeous places I visited in 2016. I’d love to hear in the comments below whether you agree with any of these or would like to see them for yourself someday!

Phillip Island // Australia

Phillip Island walks

Cape Woolamai beach

See also: Walking Cape Woolamai on Beach-Studded Phillip Island // The Solo Traveler’s Guide To Phillip Island

Mornington Peninsula // Australia

Mornington Peninsula beach

See also: Why The Mornington Peninsula Is The Best Side Trip From Melbourne

Wilsons Promontory // Australia

Whisky Bay Wilsons Prom

Tidal Overlook walk, Wilsons Prom

See also: A Guide to Beach-ing & Hiking at Wilsons Promontory // When a 30-Something Travels With Young Backpackers

Sydney Harbour // Australia

McMahons Point Sydney

sydney harbour beach

See also: 21 of the Best Views of Sydney // Sydney Harbour Walk: Manly to Spit

Lake Wanaka // New Zealand

Lake Wanaka sunrise

roys peak view

See also: On Top Of The World Hiking Roys Peak // Things To Do In Wanaka Without A Car

Mt. Cook National Park // New Zealand

hooker valley hike

Sunrise at Mt. Cook

See also: Hike Your Arse Off At Aoraki Mt. Cook National Park

Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown // New Zealand

Ben Lomond hike

scenic flight from queenstown

See also: 360-Degree Mountain Views From The Ben Lomond Track

Kawarau River // New Zealand

queenstown cycling

See also: Bike The Wineries In Queenstown

Southern Alps // New Zealand

scenic flight from queenstown

See also: The Best Splurge in Queenstown: Flying to Milford Sound

Milford Sound // New Zealand

Milford Sound waterfall


See also: Blue Skies and Waterfalls at Milford Sound

Byron Bay // Australia

Byron Bay sunset

Cape Byron

See also: Byron Bay: A Guide To This Aussie Beach Town // Beautiful Blissful Byron Bay

Phang Nga Bay // Thailand

Phang Nga Bay Thailand

Phang Nga Bay Thailand

See also: Kayaking The Caves & Islands of Phang Nga Bay

Koh Nang Yuan // Thailand

Nang Yuan Island

See also: A Day Trip To Koh Nang Yuan

Bondi to Coogee coastline, Sydney // Australia

bondi beach

bronte beach

See also: Sydney Coastal Walk: Bondi to Coogee

Reefs at Malapascua // Philippines

malapascua diving

malapascua diving

See also: Diving Malapascua: Thresher Sharks & My Advanced Open Water Course

Kalanggaman Island // Philippines

kalanggaman island philippines

See also: Kalanggaman: The Most Glorious Sandbar Island In All The Land

Magpupungko Rock Pools, Siargao // Philippines

siargao rock pools

See also: I Learned (& Loved!) Surfing on Siargao

Sugba Lagoon, Siargao // Philippines

siargao sugba lagoon

See also: I Learned (& Loved!) Surfing on Siargao

The Bacuit Archipelago, Palawan // Philippines

el nido kayaking

el nido island hopping

Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia // Australia

south australia beach

See also: I Stuffed My Face Silly in Adelaide

Kangaroo Island, South Australia // Australia

seal bay kangaroo island

dudley wines kangaroo island

See also: 20 Things You Must Do On Kangaroo Island

Waimea Canyon, Kauai // USA

waimea canyon hawaii

Na Pali Coast, Kauai // USA

kalalau trail

See also: 25 Epic Photos Of Kauai’s Na Pali Coast & Kalalau Trail

Kalalau Beach, Kauai // USA

kalalau beach

See also: 25 Epic Photos Of Kauai’s Na Pali Coast & Kalalau Trail

NYC from One World Observatory // USA

nyc skyline one world observatory

See also: The Best Views of New York City

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Lindsay Buckley is the photographer and travel blogger behind Frugal Frolicker. She's a New Yorker currently based in Sydney, Australia, documenting outdoor travel experiences Down Under and beyond. Follow along with Lindsay's travel photography on Facebook and Instagram, and be sure to sign up for the monthly Frugal Frolicker newsletter!

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