The 25 Most Beautiful Places I Saw In 2016

This post was last updated on 2017 March 3

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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