TRAVEL PICTURES: Best & Worst Destinations Rated, 2009

Best and Worst of the 2009 Traveler Places Rated Scorecard
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Third Place (Tie): South Island, New Zealand

A laid-back lifestyle and diverse natural beauty helped the South Island tie with Canada's Gaspé Peninsula for third place on the 2009 "Destinations Rated" scorecard. Above, a bungee jumper takes a dive above the city of Queenstown in an undated picture.

"It's like taking a step back in time to small villages with friendly, homey people and wilderness that stretches as far as the eye can see," noted one panelist.

While a few judges worry that the island's natural attractions are becoming a bit too popular, the panelists generally have positive outlooks due to responsible tourism management.
— Photograph by David McLain, National Geographic Stock
 
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