Insider Tip: Sri Lanka, a new haven for Kiwi travellers

Mirissa is famed for its golden beaches.

Mirissa is famed for its golden beaches.

A new(ish) playground for lovers of "off the beaten path" Sri Lanka is rapidly speeding its way to the top of many Kiwis "must-visit" travel lists.

A place where green rice fields meet golden-sand beaches and morning yoga meets weeknight margaritas, there's something for everyone on this picturesque island in the Indian Ocean.

Having spent time living and travelling in Sri Lanka a few of my top recommendations are:

1. Don't spend too much time in Colombo, instead head straight down the express way to the south coast, private transfers are easy and affordable.

If you're after a more scenic option the train from Colombo travels along the coastline. With large open windows it's a pretty way to travel if you don't mind "roughing" it a little.

2. Lovers of golden sand beaches, snorkelling and a quiet pace should head to Mirissa.

3. Fans of The Jungle Book should continue along the coast to Yala National Park where leopards, elephants and monkeys are in abundance.

4. If you're a wave chaser, then continue past the south coast up to Arugam Bay. Home to a famed surf break this tiny seaside village has a "lazy days spent in a hammock" kind of vibe.

- AD Singh, Flight Centre 24/7

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