Skyscanner New Zealand has scoured our data to see which locations have the fewest searches from our New Zealand travellers, meaning you can avoid the crowds and have some unique experiences.
1. Havana, Cuba
Cuba was closed off to visitors for a long time. However, those restrictions have been removed and in recent years more and more visitors have been heading to the Caribbean nation, just not from New Zealand.
With little external influence, the country is like no other in the world. Some of Cuba’s exports are well known – its cigars, dances and cooking – but like with any aspect of travel, it’s always better when you get to try them the way the locals do.
2. Male, Maldives
The Maldives are considered one of the world’s most luxurious getaways, with high-end hotels offering rooms on private beaches touched by crystal waters. Capital Malé has the country’s biggest international airport with regular internal flights and boat trips connecting it to nearby islands.
Popular for honeymoons and anniversaries, holidays to the Maldives aren’t the cheapest on offer, but what they offer in quality and memories means they may be among the best value.
3. Rome, Italy
The seat of power of the Roman Empire is a hugely popular city for European travellers, with culture, history and delicious food combining for a perfect trip. Although New Zealanders go there less, Rome is a familiar city for many, with icons such as the Colosseum, the Spanish Steps and the Vatican recognised by most on arrival.
Italy is one of the warmer countries in Europe, and boasts some of the world’s best cuisine – whether you’re sipping espressos, scoffing pizza or getting stuck into gelato, it’s all too easy to find the photo albums of your trip are full of food.
4. Da Nang, Vietnam
Roughly halfway between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, the coastal city of Da Nang is a popular stopping-off point for those travelling the length of Vietnam, but rarely a starting point. If you’re short on time, or you’ve already been to Vietnam before, flying into Da Nang can be a great option.
Although the city is developing quickly to cash in on its tourist boom, Da Nang’s main attractions are its beaches, thought to be some of the best in the country. Other attractions like the Imperial City and the incredible Marble Mountains are an easy way to fill up an itinerary and give good reason to visit.
5. Miami, USA
Located on the Caribbean Sea, Miami is where you’ll find some of the USA’s best beaches, and it’s easy to spend your time here relaxing on the sand and topping up your tan.
If you want to add a bit more colour to your trip, you can visit Little Havana, head out to the Florida Keys or take a trip to the Everglades to spot alligators.
6. Belfast, Northern Ireland
Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, is infamously the city that built the Titanic. The Titanic Belfast experience is a museum with nine galleries that tells the story of the ship in great detail.
Outside the capital, there are plenty of other attractions. Giants Causeway is a unique geological feature an hour north of Belfast, while all around the country you can see locations used in the filming of The Game of Thrones, including Dragonstone, Riverrun and Winterfell.
Just a short flight from Dublin or London, Belfast gives a great way to explore a bit more of this part of the world.
7. Davao, Philippines
Davao is the third biggest city in the Philippines, with a population equivalent to six Wellingtons. Located in the south of the country, it offers year-round sunshine, access to nearby islands and is close to mountains and hiking trails if you want to pop out of the city.
The city itself is home to a number of modern, air-conditioned shopping centres – a haven for bargain hunters and those looking for a cooling break from the afternoon sun – as well as the Philippine Eagle Centre and the D’Bone Collector Museum, a collection of skeletons of more than 650 different animals from around the world.
8. Porto Alegre, Brazil
Found in the south of Brazil near the border with Uruguay, Porto Alegre is one of the country’s many important port towns on the Atlantic Ocean. The city centre has undergone a major renovation in recent times, making it the hub of activities once again. Its waterfront section is next to go under the knife, allowing travellers to enjoy a meal or a drink as the waves lap gently by.
Porto Alegre is a gay-friendly destination, having allowed domestic partnerships long before marriage equality was legalised nationally. Government advice is to watch your possessions while out and about.
9. Handan, China
Although tourist numbers to China are on the increase, it seems people aren’t booking flights to Handan in quite the same rush as they are to the likes of Guangzhou, Shanghai or Taipei.
Found in the north-east of the country, between Beijing and Xi’an, Handan is a World Heritage Site thanks to being an ancient city with its history stretching back 5000 years. Handan was the seat of the Zhao kingdom, around 400BC, and much of its important history dates back to this period, with museums, temples and ruins taking you back in time.
10. Mackay, Australia
Last but no means least is a jaunt over the Tasman to Queensland’s Mackay. Although it’s not as well-visited as nearby Sitting roughly halfway between the hotspots of Brisbane and Cairns, Mackay is a water-lovers’ paradise. With beaches, lagoons, aqua parks and rivers to swim, play and paddle in, there are plenty of choices.
Even better is that Mackay sits at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef. Because it’s a much less visited town than the likes of Cairns, there are fewer tourists heading out to this section which means you can snorkel and scuba dive in relative peace, seeing sections of the reef that are still at their most beautiful.
Add Mackay’s laid-back atmosphere to the mix and you’ve got a winning combination. Many visitors feel like they’ve seen a side of Australia that’s reminiscent of the olden days, which is slowly being driven out by commercialism and gentrification.
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