Give yourself a pat on the back, New Zealand. In Lonely Planet's annual roundup of the natural satellite orbiting a gas giant that we call home, Earth, our beautiful nation has been ranked at number five in the list of top ten countries to visit next year.
Aotearoa was last mentioned in the travel guide's top countries list in 2010 when we clocked in at number seven. This time we were only beaten to the pip by petite African nation Djibouti, lauded for its "Martian-like deserts and sunken lake shores"; Portugal, which was labelled "a dynamic centre for art, culture and cuisine"; South Korea, which is set to host the 2018 Winter Olympics in 2018; and "sinewy sliver of a nation", Chile, which took out pole position.
Lonely Planet's annual Best in Travel roundup is now in its 13th year.
More hot travelling recommendations for 2018 include southern Spain's Seville, Detroit and Canberra as the top three cities to visit, while Northern Ireland's Belfast and the Causeway Coast, Alaska and Julian Alps in Slovenia lead the top ten regions to visit.
Here's what Lonely Planet had to say about New Zealand:
"Twenty-five years ago, long before it was retrofitted to resemble Middle-earth, New Zealand began actively attracting adventure-seekers. A sweet suite of trails, the Great Walks, encouraged exploration of the country's exquisite topography, taking tramping travellers through some of the world's most extraordinary wilderness. Now, for the first time since the nine-track network was launched, a new Great Walk is under construction. The Paparoa Track and Pike29 Memorial Track, which commemorates the 29 miners killed in 2010, will form a magnificent multi-day trail through the South Island's wild and wonderful west coast. Hikers can get a taster of the walk's dramatic scenery on four existing trails."