The 50 best travel finds of 2014 from around the globe

Miss Moneypenny's, Noosa
Yeah, I know it's already 8 January, but I'm still looking back... maybe it's because Australia really hasn't kicked back properly into work yet. Consensus is that next Monday is the day we all turn our brains on once again. I had many great discoveries last year, including the new COMO hotel in the Maldives, Maalifushi, a villa in Lombok and the newly scrubbed Tahrir square in Cairo, but  also a few fun finds locally, in Australia. Here's my contribution to a recent round-up by the Sun-Herald's brace of writers on our best travel finds in 2014.

Miss Moneypenny, Noosa, Queensland

People watching is a delight in Noosa, when the buff and the beautiful hit the sidewalks. Take a ringside seat at Miss Moneypenny, one of the newest additions to Hastings Street, and order up on the seafood share boards and an 80s cruise ship drink, their signature pina coladas – we're in the tropics, people! The open-air bar-cafe-restaurant spills into the street, ideal for seafood Sundays or Saturday's late-night supper club.missmoneypennys.com

Jean-Paul Gaultier Exhibition, National Gallery of Victoria 

Playful, cheeky, self-deprecating: not the words usually associated with fashion. Jean Paul Gaultier delights in smashing the mould; remember the conical bra he strapped onto Madonna in 1990? Haute couture comes alive with moving catwalks and interactive mannequins, the exhibition has already travelled from San Fran to Stockholm. But in Melbourne, the only showing in the Asia Pacific, Gaultier assures us, it's almost perfect. Make a night of it with the NGV's fantastic Friday Nights program, with DJs and talks, includes admission to the exhibition. Costs $22 adults/$10 children 5-15 years (exhibition only), $28/$10 Friday Nights at Jean Paul Gaultier. Until February 8, 2015. ngv.vic.gov.au

Seahaven Resort, Noosa

A stalwart in Hastings St, Seahaven has enjoyed a $16 million refurbishment and is unrecognisable from its former self. The resort eclipses the big names for blockbuster location, bang on Noosa's Main Beach. Accommodation ranges from studio boltholes to two-storey penthouses, with fully kitted kitchens, rain showers and laundries. Plan drinks on your balcony, overlooking the sea. Seahaven's three swimming pools and its beachfront barbecue.  It's a two-minute trot along the beach boardwalk for morning coffee or for dinner at Noosa's sensational restaurants. Sunrise yoga on the beach is de rigueur. seahavennoosa.com.au

This feature was published in Sydney's Sun-Herald newspaper.

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