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NATURAL WONDERS

Updated: Apr 3, 2023

GREAT BARRIER REEF – Australia

Supposedly visible from outer space (I have not as yet been able to confirm this) The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system comprising nearly 3,000 individual reefs[3] and 900 islands (a few only visible during low tide) stretching for over 1,400 miles (2,300 km). The reef is located of the Northeast coast of Australia in the Coral Sea. It is the world's biggest single structure made by living organisms and was selected as a World Heritage Site in 1981.



VICTORIA FALLS – Zimbabwe / Zambia

Located on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls is a truly awe-inspiring site, and is considered by many to be the largest complex of water falls in the world…combining height (108m) and width (1708m) to create the largest mass of flowing water globally. Their somewhat unique geography allows you to view them head-on, and take in their full force and fury. Best to take in during the end of rainy season, target a time to visit February through May…and as there are pros and cons as to which side to view from, pick up a visa allowing access to both countries.



GRAND CANYON – USA

Located in the norther part of the state of Arizona in the United States, the Grand Canyon it truly immense, extending 277 miles (apx 400 km) at an average depth of 4,000 ft (1150m). At its widest, it is 18 miles across and it’s deepest point drops to over 6,000 feet. The Colorado Rivers runs through the bottom of the canyon, leaving many to wonder how massive this river must have been thousands of years ago. Great for hiking, the Grand Canyon is also a great place to puts one’s feet up and gaze at the true wonder, and power of nature.



MOUNT EVEREST – Nepal

Truthfully, who has not head of Mount Everest, the tallest peak on the face of this Earth. Located in the Himalayan mountain range and straddling Nepal and China (Tibet), this massive mountain stands in at 29,032 ft (8,849 m). The peak was not climbed until 1953 when the Kiwi Edmund Hillary and his guide Tenzing Norgay made the peak. No need to actually climb to the summit to truly appreciate this Wonder, “just” make the hike up to the base camp, or any of the other long hikes in the region that come up short of the base camp to take in this awesome site.



TABLE MOUNTAIN – South Africa

Table Mountain is a level mountain plateau located in far southwestern South Africa overlooking Table Bay and the city of Cape Town. Flanked on each end by two (2) peaks, the plateau runs for about 2 miles (3 km) and makes for a great end to end hike. The peak can often be covered by it’s own “table cloth” of clouds, and is claimed to have over 8.200 plant species. There are quite a number of hiking trails to get you to the top, or a much simpler cable-car drops you off at the 3,500 ft (1,067 m) peak.



IGUAZU FALLS – Argentina

Somewhat lesser known than the Victoria Falls, the Iguazu Falls, located where Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay come together, is considered by many to be even more spectacular. The falls are about 1.6 miles (2.7 km) wide, with the longest dropping 270 ft (82 m), but what makes them truly spectacular is that falls are actually comprised of 275 separate waterfalls…wow! There are several vantage points to view the falls, from either the Brazilian or Argentinean side, with catwalks, trails and bridges all over the site. Definitely worth a trip next time you find yourself even remotely close to their locale.



GIANT’S CAUSEWAY – Northern Ireland

Located on the north coast of Northern Island, the Giant’s Causeway is an area of well over 40,000 basalt columns sitting in near perfect alignment that were created by a series of ancient volcanic eruptions tens of thousands of years ago. What makes these truly unique “stepping stones” special is that each and every one of them is symmetrical and interlocking with their companions, giving the impression that a community of Giant’s carefully built this “road” thousands of years ago. You can learn more about the formation at the visitor’s center, before you or after you explore this incredible site.



LAKE LOUISE – Canada

May not be on many top ten lists, but it should be. Situated a short way from the town of Banff in Alberta’s (Canada) gorgeous Rocky Mountains, Lake Louise is a true gem, no matter what time of year you go. Stunning blue waters are surrounded by snow capped peek on nearly all sides. Hiking trails abound, simple excursions around the lake itself, or the more challenging route up to the Tea House…and beyond.



PAMUKKALE – HIERAPOLIS – Turkey

The incredible Pamukkale (Cotton Palace) in Turkey is yet one more truly unique natural wonder. Formed by calcite-laden waters from natural springs located on a cliff face, more than more 200 meters above the plains below, the waters flowed down steep cliffs leaving numerous brilliant white travertine terraces and basins, petrified waterfalls, and unique mineral forests in their wake. The ancient Roman town of Hierapolis in nearby, well preserved and including temples, bath houses, colonnaded streets, and more. You can bathe in the ancient mineral-rich waters whilst taking in the incredible and fascinating surroundings



ZHANGJIAJIE NATIONAL PARK – China

Known by some as the Avatar Mountains (where the famous movie was filmed) Zhangjiajie is located in the northwestern part of Hunan Province in central China. The main attraction is the Wulingyuan Scenic Area, which was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list, which includes including Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. The park is comprised of dense forests, deep ravines, deep canyons, unusual peaks, caves, and pillar-like rock formations blanketed throughout the park. These pillar rock formations are what the park is renowned for around the world.

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2 Comments


bgatbeach
Apr 04, 2023

Sometimes one of the most memorable places is also one of the most accessible. Lake Louise is one of those, especially if you can travel there in spring or fall when it isn’t as crowded!

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bgatbeach
Apr 04, 2023

Sometimes the most memorable places are also the most accessible. Lake Louise is one of those - especially if you can travel there in spring or fall when it isn’t as crowded! Plus it has the added advantage of providing an opportunity to see wildlife in its natural habitat!

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