Most Beautiful Tourist Destinations in New Zealand

Most Beautiful Tourist Destinations in New Zealand

Nature crafted New Zealand with the surreal beauty of a movie set. Few destinations boast so many staggering natural wonders packed into such a small area. Snow-capped peaks, sparkling coves, coastal glaciers, rainforests, fjords, and fish-filled rivers are some of the treasures travelers can explore. In Rotorua, one of the world's largest geothermal areas, visitors can witness the powerful forces that birthed these landscapes in the bubbling mud ponds and hissing springs.
Thanks to its dramatic topography, New Zealand is a hotspot for adrenaline-fueled sports. White water rafting, luging, jet boating, heli-skiing, skydiving, and mountain biking round out the list of outdoor adventures and the country is home to one of the highest bungee jumps in the world. Strategically, New Zealand is a breeze to travel around. Self-drive vacations are popular, and the country's diverse accommodations range from quaint bed and breakfast inns and eco-lodges to some of the world's most luxurious hotels.

1 Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound, South Island

Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound, South Island
Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound, South Island

A World Heritage Site, Fiordland National Park protects some of the most spectacular scenery in the country. Glaciers sculpted this dramatic landscape carving the famous fjords of Milford, Dusky, and Doubtful Sounds. Visitors here can explore gushing cascades, offshore islands, virgin rainforests, vast lakes, and craggy mountain peaks. Not surprisingly, the park is a haven for hikers with some of the country's best walks, including the famous Milford Track. Sea kayaking is a popular way to explore the fjords, and visitors can also enjoy a scenic flight over the park for a bird's eye view of its staggering beauty

2 Bay of Islands, North Island

Bay of Islands, North Island
Bay of Islands, North Island

A three-hour drive north of Auckland, the beautiful Bay of Islands is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the country. More than 144 islands dot the glittering bay making it a haven for sailing and yachting. Penguins, dolphins, whales, and marlin live in these fertile waters, and the region is a popular sport fishing spot. Visitors can sea kayak along the coast, hike the many island trails, bask in secluded coves, tour Cape Brett and the famous rock formation called Hole in the Rock, and explore sub-tropical forests where Kauri trees grow. The quaint towns in the area such as Russell, Opua, Paihia, and Kerikeri are great bases for exploring this scenic bay.
3 Queenstown, South Island
Queenstown, South Island
Queenstown, South Island
Snuggled between the shores of shimmering Lake Wakatipu and the snowy peaks of the Remarkables, Queenstown is New Zealand's adventure capital and one of the country's top destinations for international visitors. Bungee jumping, jet boating, white-water rafting, paragliding, rock climbing, mountain biking, and downhill skiing are just some of the adrenaline-fueled sports on offer, and visitors can explore the stunning alpine scenery on the excellent network of hiking trails. In addition to the adventure sports, Queenstown offers all the creature comforts with first-class hotels, spas, restaurants, galleries, and shops. It's also a great base for trips to the Central Otago region, where visitors can explore gold mining towns and the Middle Earth scenery from the popular "Lord of the Rings" movies

4 Lake Taupo and Tongariro National Park, North Island

Lake Taupo and Tongariro National Park, North Island
Lake Taupo and Tongariro National Park, North Island
In the center of the North Island, a few kilometers from glittering Lake Taupo, New Zealand's largest lake, Tongariro National Park is a dual World Heritage Site due to its spectacular volcanic features and its importance to the Maori culture. In 1887, Maori chief Te Heuheu Tukino IV gifted the volcanic peaks of Tongariro, Ngauruhoe, and part of Ruapehu to the people of New Zealand in order to preserve this sacred land. One of the oldest national parks in the world, Tongariro is a land of dramatic beauty with towering volcanoes, turquoise lakes, arid plateaus, alpine meadows, and hot springs. A highlight of the park is the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, one of the most popular day walks in the country.

5 Rotorua, North Island

Rotorua, North Island
Rotorua, North Island
On the tumultuous Pacific Ring of Fire, Rotorua is one of the most active geothermal regions in the world. This is a land where the earth speaks. Boiling mud pools, hissing geysers, volcanic craters, and steaming thermal springs betray the forces that birthed much of New Zealand's dramatic topography. Visitors can take a walking tour of these geothermal wonders, soak in steaming mineral springs, and learn about the region's rich Maori history and culture. Adventure seekers will also find plenty of things to do. Sky-diving, luging, and mountain biking are some of the activities on offer. Trout fishing is also popular, and Rotorua is the gateway to the ski fields of Mt. Ruapehu. Nearby Wai-O-Tapu is also a popular tourist attraction with colorful hot springs and the famous Champagne Pool and Lady Knox Geyser.

6 Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, South Island

Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, South Island
Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, South Island

Among the most accessible glaciers in the world, Franz Josef and Fox glaciers are the main tourist attractions in spectacular Westland Tai Poutini National Park. Both of these rivers of ice flow from some of the highest peaks in the Southern Alps to near sea level where the gentle coastal climate makes it easy for visitors to explore them on foot. Guided hikes lead to the contorted frozen landscape of ice caves and pinnacles at the foot of the glaciers. For an aerial view, seaplanes and helicopters fly visitors to the top of these vast tongues of ice.

7 Abel Tasman National Park and the Abel Tasman Coast Track, South Island

Abel Tasman National Park and the Abel Tasman Coast Track, South Island
Abel Tasman National Park and the Abel Tasman Coast Track, South Island
The Abel Tasman Coast Track in Abel Tasman National Park is one of New Zealand's Great Walks. Winding along sparkling Tasman Bay, from Marahau to Separation Point, this scenic 51-kilometer hike lies in one of the sunniest regions of the South Island. Along the way, hikers can snorkel in secluded coves; spot fur seals, dolphins, penguins, and a diverse range of birds; hike through cool forests; and enjoy panoramic views from the rugged coastal cliffs. Photographers will also enjoy the many weathered rock formations, especially Split Apple Rock, a giant granite boulder sliced in two. The hike takes around three days, and accommodation ranges from campgrounds, to rustic huts, and plush private lodges. Sea kayaks are also a popular way to explore this beautiful coast.

8 Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park, South Island

Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park, South Island
Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park, South Island
In the heart of the Southern Alps, New Zealand's highest peaks rise above the alpine landscapes of Aoraki National Park, also called Mount Cook National Park. More than 40 per cent of the park is covered in glaciers, and the country's tallest mountain Aoraki/Mount Cook and longest glacier, the Tasman Glacier, lie within its borders making this a top destination for mountaineering. Sir Edmund Hillary trained here for his legendary Mount Everest ascent. Nature lovers will appreciate the diversity of flora and fauna with more than 300 species of alpine plants and 40 species of birds. Mount Cook Village is a great base for exploring the park and organizing activities such as scenic flights, ski touring, heli-skiing, hunting, hiking, and stargazing trips.

9 Napier, Hawke's Bay, North Island

Napier, Hawke's Bay, North Island
Napier, Hawke's Bay, North Island
In the sunny region of Hawke's Bay, Napier is famous for its gourmet food and Art Deco architecture. After a powerful earthquake destroyed the town in 1931, it was rebuilt in the Spanish Mission style and Art Deco design for which Miami Beach is also famous. Today, visitors can take self-guided tours to view these buildings, some of which are embellished with Maori motifs. Along the Marine Parade seafront promenade lies the town's famous statue from Maori mythology called Pania of the Reef. Napier is also a haven for foodies. Gourmet restaurants here specialize in using fresh produce from the region, and the town plays host to popular farmers' markets. Nearby attractions include hiking trails and the gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers.

10 Auckland, North Island

Auckland, North Island
Auckland, North Island
Blessed with two sparkling harbors, Auckland, the "City of Sails," is New Zealand's largest city and the most populous Polynesian city in the world. Blond- and black-sand beaches, rainforest hiking trails, picturesque coves, islands, and volcanoes surround the city making it a perfect base for day trips and wilderness adventures. To appreciate Auckland's stunning location, visitors can zoom up the 328-meter Sky Tower for spectacular views across the city and hinterland. Auckland is also home to top-notch dining, a vibrant arts scene, and a revamped waterfront district packed with boutiques and restaurant.

11 Coromandel Peninsula, North Island

Coromandel Peninsula, North Island
Coromandel Peninsula, North Island
Just across the Hauraki Gulf from Auckland, the rugged Coromandel Peninsula seems a world away from the city's hustle and bustle. Craggy mountains cloaked in native forest form a spine along the peninsula offering excellent opportunities for hiking and birding. Visitors can also relax on the golden beaches, sea kayak around the offshore islands, sky dive, and visit the many galleries and art studios. At Hot Water Beach, a dip in the bubbling hot pools is a great way to end a busy day of sightseeing.

12 Kaikoura, South Island

Kaikoura, South Island
Kaikoura, South Island
Birders, wildlife enthusiasts, and seafood aficionados will love the charming coastal village of Kaikoura. Tucked between the Seaward Kaikoura Range and the Pacific Ocean, Kaikoura offers excellent coastal hikes and popular whale watching tours. In addition to sperm whales and humpbacks, passengers may spot fur seals, dolphins, and a wide variety of birds including the graceful albatross. Kaikoura is also renowned for its fresh-caught crayfish, mussels, and other seafood delights.
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 Link:http://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions/new-zealand-nz.htm
 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Australia

Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Australia

Australia is a land of dreams. From the sacred legends of the aboriginal Dreamtime when the great spirits conjured the coral reefs, rainforests, and scorched, red deserts, to armchair travelers who describe Australia as their dream destination, the Land Down Under deserves all the hype. The world's smallest continent and largest island, Australia is almost the same size as the United States, but with a population the size of New York State and some of the quirkiest wildlife on the planet.
Australia is also a land of staggering contrast and spectacular beauty. Along the coast, visitors can explore vibrant multicultural cities, safari across vast sand islands, trek through ancient rainforests, and dive the Great Barrier Reef. In the Outback, rugged national parks and red-earthed deserts offer the ultimate in adventure travel. Top it all off with a laidback feel and friendly people and it's no wonder Australia scores top billing on bucket lists around the world.

1 Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House

Mention "Sydney, Australia" and most people think of the Opera House. Shaped like huge shells or billowing sails, this breathtaking building on Sydney's Bennelong Point graces the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is one of the world's great architectural icons. The location is stunning. Water surrounds the structure on three sides and the Royal Botanic Gardens border it to the south. Danish architect, Jørn Utzon won an international competition for its design, but withdrew from the project after technical and financing problems. Construction was finally completed in 1973 at a cost ten times the original budget. By this time Utzon had left the country never returning to see his magnificent creation. Today visitors can enjoy a meal at one of the restaurants or take a tour of the building, which encompasses theatres, studios, a concert hall, exhibition rooms, and a cinema. But it's far more impressive viewed from a distance. One of the best sites to photograph the Opera House is Mrs Macquarie's Chair in the Royal Botanic Gardens or from aboard a harbor cruise.

2 Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef
Great Barrier Reef

Visible from outer space, the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef is one of the largest living structures on the planet. In 1975 the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park was established to protect its fragile ecosystems, which include more than 3,000 coral reefs; 600 continental islands, including the beautiful Whitsunday group; 300 coral cays; and inshore mangrove islands. One of the seven wonders of the natural world, the park stretches for 2,300 km along the state of Queensland, on Australia's east coast (that's about the distance between Mexico and Vancouver). Diving and snorkeling are spectacular. The astounding array of marine life includes soft and hard corals, more than 1,600 species of tropical fish, sharks, dugongs, dolphins, turtles, rays, and giant clams. Those who prefer to stay dry can view the reef from underwater viewing stations and glass bottom boats. On the mainland, Cairns, Port Douglas, and Airlie Beach are the main launching points for tours.

3 Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Deep in the heart of the Australia's Red Centre, Uluru (formerly Ayers Rock), is one of the most photographed natural wonders in the country. The striking red monolith forms the centerpiece of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, a World Heritage Area jointly managed by Parks Australia and the traditional landowners, the Aṉangu people. Uluru, meaning "shadowy place" in the local aboriginal dialect, rises to a height of 348 m from the surrounding plain with most of its bulk hidden beneath the earth's surface. Also in the park are the red dome-shaped rocks called Kata Tjuta (the Olgas). As the sun dips in the sky, visitors gather to watch Uluru and Kata Tjuta transform in the shifting light. A great way to appreciate these sacred structures is to join a tour around the sites led by Aboriginal guides and rangers.

4 Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney Harbour Bridge

Along with the Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of Australia's most famous icons. Affectionately called "the Coathanger", this impressive feat of construction is the largest steel arch bridge in the world. It was completed in 1932, 40 years before the Sydney Opera House. Rising 134 m above the harbor, the bridge spans 500 m connecting Sydney's north shore to the central business district. In addition to the pedestrian path, two railway lines extend over the bridge as well as eight lanes for road traffic, the direction of which can be switched to accommodate traffic flow.
One of the top things to do in Sydney is a guided ascent to the top of the bridge where visitors can enjoy spectacular views over the harbor and city. For an overview on the bridge's history and construction visit the museum in the southeastern pier. Interestingly, Paul Hogan, of Crocodile Dundee fame, worked as a painter on the bridge before rocketing to international stardom.

5 Blue Mountains National Park

Blue Mountains National Park
Blue Mountains National Park

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, beautiful Blue Mountains National Park lies 81 km west of Sydney and is a popular day trip from the city. Named for the blue haze emanating from the many eucalyptus trees, this stunning park protects more than 664,000 acres of bush land and encompasses dramatic gorges, waterfalls, aboriginal rock paintings, and 140 km of hiking trails. The most famous attractions in the park are the towering sandstone rock formations called the Three Sisters. Other highlights include the Katoomba Scenic Railway, the world's steepest, which whisks passengers down the Jamison Valley through a cliff side tunnel into an ancient rainforest. Hiking, abseiling, rock climbing, mountain biking, and horseback riding are all popular things to do in the park

6 Melbourne

Melbourne
Melbourne

Melbourne, Australia's second largest city, is a popular stop on many Australia itineraries. Galleries, theaters, restaurants, shops, and a distinctly European feel are the main draws of this sophisticated city on the Yarra River. It's also a green city with parks, gardens, and open spaces occupying almost a third of its total area. Highlights of the city include the Royal Botanic Gardens, the National Gallery of Victoria, and the Melbourne Cricket Ground where sports fans can watch cricket in the summer and Australian Rules football in the winter. Shoppers flock to the elegant Royal Arcade on Bourke Street, as well as Chapel Street, the Melbourne Central Shopping Center, and the Queen Victoria Market, which has been selling fruits, vegetables, clothes, and crafts for more than a century. To the east, greater Melbourne extends into the beautiful Dandenong Ranges, and in the south to the Mornington Peninsula where many locals escape for seaside getaways.
7 Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach

Bronzed bodies, blond sand, backpackers, and surf - throw it all together and you get one of the world's most famous beaches. Only 15 minutes by car from the city center, Bondi Beach is home to one of the oldest surf life-saving clubs in the world. It's also a great spot for a seaside stroll or picnic. The scenic Bondi to Bronte coastal walk begins at the southern end of the beach and follows the coastline for 6 km along sandstone cliffs. Shops, cafes, and restaurants lie across the street from this famous coastal strip, and the beach is a hotspot on Christmas Day and New Year's Eve. Tourists and locals alike visit the Sunday markets and frolic at the ocean pool and skate park. Strong rip tides often sweep unsuspecting swimmers out to sea, especially at the southern end of this kilometer-long strand, so swimmers should stay between the flags. There's a reason the Aussies made a reality TV show called "Bondi Rescue."

8 Daintree National Park

Daintree National Park
Daintree National Park

A Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, Daintree National Park in Far North Queensland is among the most ancient ecosystems on earth. The area belongs to the Eastern Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal people, and many of its natural features hold great spiritual significance. The park encompasses two main sections: Mossman Gorge where crystal clear waters gush over granite boulders, and Cape Tribulation where rainforest meets reef along the white sandy beaches of the Coral Sea. The stunning stretch of coast is one of the few places in the world where two of the planet's richest ecosystems converge. The park's astounding biodiversity includes more than 18,000 plant species and a vast array of animal species including the cassowary, crocodile, giant blue Ulysses butterfly, and the secretive Bennett's tree kangaroo. The resort town of Port Douglas, just south of the park, is a great base to arrange wilderness safaris into the park.

9 Fraser Island
Fraser Island
Fraser Island

World Heritage-listed Fraser Island, between Bundaberg and Brisbane off Australia's east coast, is the largest sand island in the world and one of Australia's most unique four-wheel-drive adventures. Along windswept Seventy Five Mile Beach, visitors can see the rusted hulls of shipwrecks, the colored sandstone cliffs of The Cathedrals, and the bubbling fish-filled rock pools called Champagne Pools.
Venturing inland, highlights include crystal clear freshwater creeks and lakes, some fed by springs, others perched amid towering sand dunes, and ancient rainforests filled with an amazing diversity of plants and animals. Sharks, dolphins, and whales prowl the waters and the island's fauna includes wild horses, dingoes, bats, sugar gliders, and more than 300 species of birds. Access to Fraser Island is by ferry from Rainbow Beach and Hervey Bay. Four-wheel drive vehicles are essential as the island has no sealed roads.
10 Kakadu National Park
Kakadu National Park
Kakadu National Park
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Kakadu National Park, in the Top End or the Northern Territory, is a World Heritage Site and one of the planet's great wilderness areas. Covering more than 19,840 sq km, Kakadu is the largest national park in Australia and the second largest in the world. Within its borders lie monsoon rainforests, mangrove swamps, rivers, gorges, ancient rock paintings, wetlands, and waterfalls as well as an astounding diversity of wildlife. In addition to the many mammals and reptiles, more than 300 different species of birds make their home here, and visitors may spot saltwater crocodiles prowling the wetlands. Visitors can view the park's diverse ecosystems by car, air, on foot via the vast network of hiking trails, or by boat on the rivers or floodplains. During the wet season (Nov-April), many roads and attractions close due to heavy flooding.
11 Great Ocean Road
Great Ocean Road
Great Ocean Road
Every top tourist destination has a spectacular drive, and for Australia it's the Great Ocean Road. Built to provide employment during the Depression, the road stretches for 300 km along Australia's southeast coast from the surfing town of Torquay to the town of Allansford, near Warrnambool in the state of Victoria. The top attraction along the road is the Port Campbell National Park with the wind and wave-sculpted rock formations known as the Twelve Apostles, London Bridge, the Arch, and Loch Ard Gorge. From a helicopter, these rock formations look like giant puzzle pieces lashed by the pounding surf of the Southern Ocean. Other highlights along the road include the popular holiday resort town of Lorne and Otway National Park, an area of dense eucalyptus forest, fern-filled rainforest, hiking trails, and waterfalls.

12 Broome and the Kimberley region

Broome and the Kimberley region
Broome and the Kimberley region
Once the pearl capital of the world, Broome is now a booming tourist town in the south of the spectacular Kimberley region. The seemingly endless white sands and turquoise seas of Cable Beach, where tourists ride camels into the sunset, are one of the town's top attractions. Other highlights include the Broome Historical Museum, the Broome Crocodile Park and the Staircase to the Moon, a phenomenon during certain conditions between March and October where moonlight creates an optical illusion of steps leading to the moon. Broome is also a great base for excursions into the Kimberley region where visitors can explore the Horizontal Waterfall, Cape Leveque, Gibb River Road, Purnululu (Bungle Bungle) National Park and the stunning cascades of Mitchell Falls.

Source By: http://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions/australia-aus.htm
16 Most Beautiful Islands in the World

16 Most Beautiful Islands in the World

Islands conjure dreams of paradise; an escape from the rat race, a perfect patch of sand where you can relax under rustling palms and gaze at a serene blue sea. But not all islands are created the same. The beauty of some is defined more by the sea that surrounds them, which can captivate connoisseurs with its crystalline clarity and thriving coral kingdoms. Other islands feature luxuriant jungles and velvety peaks. And some enchant travelers with their cultural jewels. Whether it's sublime beaches, stunning topography, or exotic cultures you seek, these islands lie far from the workaday clamor but close to creature comforts. From the Seychelles to Santorini and the Caribbean to Capri, you can find your very own Shangri-la in this list.

1 Maldives

Maldives
Maldives

The Maldives are home to some of the world's most ravishing islands, but it's the sea, which truly makes these islands shine. Luminous aquamarine waters with a crystal clarity lap upon these dazzling white shores, which barely peek above the Indian Ocean. Consisting of 26 natural atolls, the Maldives archipelago is the planet's lowest lying nation, rising no more than three meters above the sea at its highest point, a measurement that shrinks every year. Beneath the mesmerizing waters, coral reefs flourish, luring divers and snorkelers from around the world. Surfers also flock here to ride the uncrowded breaks. Back on land, luxury resorts provide the perfect launching points for adventures focused upon the sea, the archipelago's greatest asset, but also, as the planet's climate changes, its single greatest threat.

2 Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Shaped like a giant sombrero, this lush volcanic island stars in countless South Pacific fantasies. The focal point and best asset of this tropical beauty is its ravishing lagoon in technicolor turquoise. Fish, turtles, sharks, and rays swim in the clear waters, and tiny islets or motus dot the lagoon. The island, of course, is distinctly French, with mouthwatering cuisine to match. Diving and snorkeling are excellent in the surrounding reefs and hiking trails weave through the palm-studded forests. If you can afford it, hide out here in a luxurious over-the-water bungalow and bask in your good fortune as you fall asleep to the gentle slosh of the sea.

3 Palawan, Philippines

Palawan, Philippines
Palawan, Philippines

Palawan is the Philippine's answer to paradise. This island province stretches southwest to Borneo with lush limestone peaks rising from a jewel-like sea so clear, that you can almost see the expressions on the fish from above the surface. Slivers of gleaming white sand fringed with rustling palms rim many of these jungle-clad islands, while under the water, coral reefs flourish with an impressive diversity of tropical fish, offering some of the best diving in the world. Other attractions include the islands' unique wildlife, emerald lakes, and quaint fishing villages. Coron is home to plush resorts, and El Nido drips with natural beauty and is one of the most alluring islands in the chain. From here, you can island hop around the spectacular Bacuit archipelago. One of Palawan's top attractions is the World Heritage-listed Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, an impressive limestone cave system with a long underground river.

4 Seychelles

Seychelles
Seychelles

Pristine and picture-perfect, the Seychelles are worth traveling for. East of Kenya, this relatively unspoiled archipelago of 115 coral and granite islands feature UNESCO-listed jungles; thriving coral reefs; and palm-lined, powdery beaches flanked by giant boulders. Almost half the total land area of these equatorial isles is protected, and many of the islands lie within fish-rich marine sanctuaries with excellent diving and snorkeling. The Seychelles also feature some of the planet's richest fishing grounds, making this a top destination for anglers. Add some spicy Créole cuisine into the mix as well as the plush resorts of Mahé, Praslin, and La Digue, and it's easy to understand the Seychelles' allure.

5 Santorini, Greece

Santorini, Greece
Santorini, Greece

Encircling a sea-filled caldera, spectacular Santorini scores top points for dramatic beauty. Bleached white villas tumble down volcanic cliffs. Blue-domed churches rise against the sparkling sea, and bright sprays of bougainvillea add to the eye-popping canvas of color. Perched atop the black lava cliffs, the settlements of Firá and Oia are the island's most picturesque, and pricey, destinations, and Oia ranks among the most photographed locations in the world. Other highlights of the island include Akrotíri Archaeological Site, Ancient Thira, the black sand beach of Perissa, and of course, the sublime sunsets. Sailing into this stunning caldera surrounded by soaring sea cliffs makes an unforgettable first impression.

6 The Cook Islands

The Cook Islands
The Cook Islands
If you've ever dreamed of being a castaway in the South Pacific, the Cook Islands are for you. Strung between French Polynesia and Samoa but with strong ties to New Zealand, the archipelago's 15 islands are known for their enticing aquamarine lagoons, palm-fringed beaches, and volcanic peaks. Best of all, the locals are among the friendliest in the South Pacific. Rarotonga is the main tourist hub, with its many resorts, lush peaks, and plentiful beaches. Aitutaki boasts the beauty of Bora Bora, without the price tag. Hibiscus-laced villages snuggle on the hillsides, and along its heavenly lagoon lie 21 motus or small islets, many within kayak distance of the resorts. Ensconce yourself here in an over-the-water bungalow or hole up in a rustic beach shack on a remote out island and live your Robinson Crusoe fantasies.

7 Bali, Indonesia

Bali, Indonesia
Bali, Indonesia

Steeped in an intoxicating culture, the island of Bali is a feast for the senses. Incense wafts from Hindu temples, rice paddies glow in electric greens, and the food jolts the taste buds. Surfing, swimming, shopping, and sunbathing are the prime pursuits on this exotic isle, as well as sightseeing in the lush countryside. Soak up the spiritual side of Bali in Ubud, see Seminyak, and family-friendly Sanur, feel the pumping pulse of touristy Kuta, or explore the attractions on the neighboring volcanic island of Lombok. Bali's enchanting spirit will wash over you like a warm, tropical wave.

Source:http://www.planetware.com/world/most-beautiful-islands-in-the-world-sey-1-2.htm
Most Amazing World Heritage Sites

Most Amazing World Heritage Sites

For centuries, or even millenniums, some of the most astounding sites of ancient times were forgotten or hidden from the world, buried under jungles, deserts, or farmers' fields around the globe. Rumours of lost cities or chance discoveries by people going about their everyday lives have led to unimaginable finds that are today open for the world to see. Some great sites have been around and attracting tourists for hundreds of years and are as fascinating now as they were ages ago. It may be a cliché to say there has never been a better time to explore the greatest sites on the planet, but it is also true.

1 Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru

Built in lush, mountainous terrain high above the Urubamba River, Machu Picchu lies in one of the most stunning settings of any archeological site in the world. This ancient city of Incas cascades down steep walls on each side of the mountain, with terraced steps that disappear over cliff edges into the valley below. These incredible ruins have been restored and are well maintained, giving visitors a good indication of what the city might have looked like when it was occupied during the 15th and 16th centuries.
Many people come to Peru for the sole purpose of visiting Machu Picchu, and the journey to the ruins can be an adventure in and of itself, depending on how travelers choose to reach the site. Adventurous souls can opt for a guided, multi-day hike and camping trip along the famous Inca Trail to reach the site, or choose the easier option of accessing the ruins by bus from the small town of Aguas Calientes at the base of the hill, which most visitors get to by train from Cusco or the Sacred Valley.

2 Pyramids, Egypt
Pyramids, Egypt
Pyramids, Egypt

One of the most iconic sites in the world, the Pyramids of Giza, just outside Cairo, are a surreal sight rising from the barren desert landscape. Standing guard nearby, and almost as impressive, is the Sphinx, gazing blankly out over the land. The pyramids were built as tombs for the Pharaohs, the largest of which was constructed between 2560 and 2540 BC. To put their age in perspective, they were already more than 2,600 years old when the Colosseum in Rome was being built. Today, these giant monuments are the sole surviving member of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
3 Bagan, Myanmar
Bagan, Myanmar
Bagan, Myanmar

Thousands of ancient temples and stupas stretch endlessly across the landscape at Bagan, where the silhouette of the temple spires against the sky in the early morning or late day is a magical sight. The area is known for having the largest concentration of Buddhist temples in the world, many of which were built in the 1000s and 1100s, when it was the capital of the Pagan Kingdom. Some of these have been restored, and others are little more than ruins. They also range in size and level of sophistication, creating an intriguing mix of structures that make visitors want to keep exploring the site. Visitors can tour the area on rickety old bicycles, hire a horse and cart, take a hot air balloon ride over the site, or simply hire a taxi. Each of these methods has its own appeal.

4 Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Angkor Wat, Cambodia

In a unique jungle setting, not far from the city of Siem Reap, Angkor Wat is known for being the world's largest religious monument, but it is more than sheer size that makes this complex so interesting. The site was built by the Khmers in the 12th century, and the architecture is nothing less than stunning. The site has an intriguing mix of excavated and unexcavated temples in varying shapes, sizes, and states of decay, with some buildings taking on a mystical appearance as they're swallowed up by trees and roots. Huge stone carved faces peer out in all directions. Extensive and intricate bas-reliefs line the walls and doorways. Crumbling passageways and steep stone stairs call out for exploration. Before its fall in the 15th century, Angkor Wat was the largest city in the world. The complex is huge, and visitors may want to spend a couple of days taking in the site.

5 Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China
Great Wall of China

Stretching almost 6,000 kilometers as it snakes its way through forests and mountains, the Great Wall of China is one of those undeniable bucket list sites that have long inspired great adventures. This massive wall, connecting battlements and watchtowers, was built over the centuries, with the oldest sections dating back to the 7th century BC. Today, visitors can opt to simply visit the wall on a day trip from places like Beijing, or tackle whole sections of it on organized, multi-day trips. Some sections of the wall have been restored, while other sections are badly in need of repair.

6 Roman Colosseum, Italy

Roman Colosseum, Italy
Roman Colosseum, Italy

One of the most recognizable structures in the world, the Roman Colosseum is the largest building remaining from Roman times. Its imposing presence in the city center of modern day Rome is a testament to the incredible history of the city and the achievements of the Roman Empire. Visitors popping up from the nearest subway stop or turning a corner and seeing it for the first time can't help but be stunned by its immense presence. Construction began on the structure in 72 AD and today, it is still one of the greatest tourist attractions in the world.

7 Acropolis, Greece

Acropolis, Greece
Acropolis, Greece

Towering over the city of Athens from its hilltop perch, the Acropolis stands as a proud monument to Ancient Greece. Dating from between the 5th and 4th century BC and dominating the site, the Parthenon is the largest and most recognizable structure from this period and symbolizes the extensive history of this country. Just steps away from modern day Athens, the Acropolis is a powerful sight, glistening in the Mediterranean sun during the day and lit for dramatic effect at night. For first time visitors to the city, it is an awe inspiring sight and sets the stage for travelers carrying on to other parts of Greece.

8 Stonehenge, England

Stonehenge, England
Stonehenge, England

This incredible prehistoric monument is one of the United Kingdom's most visited attractions and certainly one of its most unique sites, drawing huge numbers of visitors each year. The monument is thought to have been erected between 3000-1500 BC, but there is no record of its origin or purpose, leading to all kinds of speculation and myths, some of which suggest religious or astronomical significance. As a result, the Bronze Age ring of standing stones holds an almost mystical fascination, particularly around the summer and winter solstices, when the light from the sunrise and sunset is aligned with the stones. Located near the city of Salisbury, Stonehenge can be easily visited on a day trip from London.
Source: http://www.planetware.com/world/top-world-heritage-sites-per-1-2.htm
Top Highest Waterfalls in the World

Top Highest Waterfalls in the World

A true spectacle, proof of nature’s forces and wonders of mother nature. A waterfall is one of the most amazing creations that nature has to offer. There are so many beautiful, greatest, biggest and most amazing extraordinary waterfalls around the world.

10. Browne Falls

top 10 Highest Waterfalls
Browne Falls is a waterfall above Doubtful Sound, Located in Fiordland National Park, New Zealand, with Height of 2,744 feet (836 m) is the world’s 10th highest waterfall. Their source is a tarn called Lake Browne which when full, overflows down the side of the mountain face

9. James Bruce Falls

Highest Waterfalls in The World
The highest measured waterfall in the continent of North America and ninth tallest in the world. Located in Princess Louisa Marine Provincial Park in British Columbia, Canada, it stems from a small snowfield and cascades 2,755 feet (840 m) down to Princess Louisa Inlet.

8. Pu’uka’oku Falls

Highest Waterfalls in The World
Pu’uka’oku Falls is a waterfall in Hawaii, the highest in the United States and eighth in the world. It consists of several jumps. In total, the waterfall measuring 2,756 feet (840 m) high.

7. Balåifossen

Highest Waterfalls in The World
Located in Hordaland, Norway, Balåifossen has a total drop of 2,788 feet (850 m) and is in accordance with the World Waterfall Database therefore the second highest waterfall in Norway and Europe, and the seventh highest waterfall in the world.

6. Vinnufossen

Vinnufossen
Located in east of the village of Sunndalsøra in the municipality of Sunndal in Møre og Romsdal county, Norway, Vinnufossen is the tallest waterfall in Europe and the sixth tallest in the world with height 2,822 feet (860 m). The falls are part of the river Vinnu which flows down from the Vinnufjellet mountain and it is fed from the Vinnufonna glacier.

5. Catarata Yumbilla

Yumbilla
Situated in Peru, Amazonas Region the Yumbilla Falls is the world’s fifth tallest waterfall. Although the waterfall is magnificent due to its height, the volume of water is not large. The height of falls is 2,938 feet (896 m).

4. Olo’upena Falls

Olo'upena Falls
Located in the north-eastern part of Hawaiian Island of Molokai Oloupena Falls, is considered to be the fourth highest waterfalls in the world with height of 2,953 feet (900 m). The falls have formed on a short, seasonal stream and are falling over the edge of one of the tallest sea-side cliffs of the world, located between the Pelekunu and Wailau valleys. They have gnawed a groove in the cliff-face and can be observed only from the ocean or air.

3. Cataratas las Tres Hermanas

Cataratas las Tres Hermanas
Location: Ayacucho, Peru: This waterfall doesn’t have a particularly large drainage, but there’s no denying the falls are tall. Google Earth elevation profiles support the estimate of height as being 3000′ (914m). At number 3 in list of Highest Waterfalls in The World

2. Tugela Falls

Angel Falls
Tugela Falls is the world’s second highest waterfalls. The total drop in five free-leaping falls is 948 m (3,110 ft). They are located in the Drakensberg (Dragon’s Mountains) in the Royal Natal National Park in KwaZulu-Natal Province, Republic of South Africa. They are easily viewed after a heavy rain from the main travel road into the park, glistening from the reflection of the late afternoon sun.

1. Angel Falls

Angel Falls
Angel Falls (waterfall of the deepest place) is a waterfall in Venezuela. It is the world’s highest uninterrupted waterfall, with a height of 979 m (3,212 ft) and a plunge of 807 m (2,648 ft). The waterfall drops over the edge of the Auyantepui mountain in the Canaima National Park in the Gran Sabana region of Bolívar State.

Source By:http://www.wonderslist.com/top-10-highest-waterfalls-in-the-world/
Most Glassy places & Sites of the World

Most Glassy places & Sites of the World

Crystals and glasses are fascinating. They sometimes let us look straight through them to what is on the other side, and sometimes, they show us our own reflection. They offer clarity, sheen and iridescence. Sometimes, they just add colours to the world. Anything crystalline or glassy has always had the capability to mesmerise humankind. It is in fairy tales that we hear of beautiful crystal palaces, glass shoes, and so much more, thus proving that it is an object of desire. But, what if you were to find some real glassy places? Read about the most enthralling glassy or crystalline places and sites in the world, and be mesmerized.
10. Mirror Lakes
Freezing Morning At Mirror Lakes
The Mirror Lakes are lakes of still and clean water which offer a beautiful, near-perfect reflection of the surrounding hills, trees, birds, clouds in the sky, etc. and offer an amazing sight. But, where are these heavenly lakes situated? They are not as uncommon as one would think. Lakes by the very name are found in many places, like in California, Tuftonboro in New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Wallowa and Clackamas Counties in Oregon, Utah, Wisconsin and Winter Haven in Florida. In New Zealand, there is a set of Lakes called the Mirror Lakes, while, in Argentina, the Espejo Lake’s names translates to Mirror Lake. These lakes are located in areas with low wind and less human disturbances. These are other fresh-water lakes, away from all disturbances, which provide such serene mirror effects, like the Manasarovar in Tibet. Lake Huron, North America.
9. Gloss Hills, Oklahoma
Gloss Hills
The Gloss Hills in northwestern Oklahoma are also known as the Glass Mountains, and consist of mesas and buttes, who gain their shape from the light coloured top layers of gypsum on top of the lower layers. The gypsum often takes the form of crystals of selenite. These selenite pieces are found in abundance in these mesas, catching sunlight and causing a shiny effect, as though pieces of broken glass are poking out of the little hills. In fact, this is how it got its name from the early settlers. Similar Glass Mountains are found in several other regions around the world, such as California, Oregon, Utah, etc., speckled with mineral crystals.
8. Five-Flower Lake, China
Five Flower Lake in china
The Wuhua Lake or Five Flower Lake in Sichuan, China, is the pride of the Juzhaigou Valley in China. The water is rich with calcium carbonate content, as well as hydrophytes, which together presents a multi-coloured effect in the water. The lake bed is crisscrossed by ancient fallen tree trunks, forming patterns in different vivid shades of green, which are visible from above the surface of the water through the intense hues of azure blue, blackish green, light yellow, etc. The lake is lined with colourful plants and flowers. Fed by underground streams of the Long Lake, it has the most intense colour ranges, giving this seasonal lake’s water an almost gem-like quality in the peak seasons.
7. Cave of the Crystals, Mexico
Cave of Crystals, Mexico
There are several caves around the world whose names suggest that they are crystalline, but, the Cave of the Crystals or the Giant Crystal Cave in Naica, Mexico, is filled with glassy and pellucid selenite crystal formations. Much of the cave is still unexplored, since it is difficult to endure the heat inside the cave for more than ten minutes. There beams of crystals jutting out from the floor and the perfectly-faceted blocks on the floor. However, the beautiful, shiny crystals have stopped forming because of the fall of the temperature in the caves. Besides, the existing crystals are deteriorating in air, and it might so happen that their only existence will be in their visual documentations by the Naica Project.
6. Lake Huron, North America
Lake Huron
Lake Huron is one of the five Great Lakes of North America and is a freshwater lake, lying on the border between Canada and North America. When the continental glaciers retreated near the end of the last ice age, the melting ice led to the eventual formation of this lake. Thousands of ships have sunk into the Huron, as well as the other four lakes, since the 17th century. In the shallow water of the Huron, some of the ship wrecks can still be seen. From above the water surface, it is possible to see, quite distinctly, the wrecks that are stranded below the surface of the clear, glassy water of the lake.
 5. Ice Caves
Ice Caves
The ice caves can be found in the frigidly cold areas of the world, such as Iceland, Alaska, and Austria. These ice caves are lined with significant amounts of perennial ice, with part of the cave being under 0°C. The ice in the caves take different shapes and form natural sculptures. In the right temperature, light and conditions, these caves take the most mesmerizing forms, with the shiny ice reflecting and refracting light, filling the caves in mysterious azure hues, and creating an amazing monochromatic chiaroscuro. It is as though the traveller is passing through an exotic arcade made of glass. The largest of these is in the village of Werfen near Salzburg in Austria. There are several more near Salzburg, including the Eisriesenwelt. Ice caves in Skaftafell, Vatnajokull and many more are there in Iceland. The Mendenhall Ice Caves in Alaska are equally beautiful. These are extremely dangerous, too.
4. Hot springs in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park
The Yellowstone National Park in the United States is home to more than 10,000 hot springs and geysers. Some of these offer strikingly vibrant colours that appear almost unnatural. These colours are caused by the algae in the water. The water is so clear and still that it is almost hard to tell that it is there at all, and only the rings psychedelic colours can be seen. The colours, together with the stillness and clarity of the water creates an almost-jewel-like quality of the springs. Some of the most enchanting, brilliant and clear water-bodies here are the morning Glory Pool, Grand Prismatic Spring and Norris Cistern Spring. The Yellowstone is amongst the inspiring wonders and best attraction of United States of America.
3. Glass Beach (California/ Newfoundland and Labrador)
Glass Beach - Fort Bragg, California
Near Fort Bragg in California is a beach covered with a kaleidoscopic abundance of sea glass. These pieces of colourful, glassy stones have been formed when the locals dumped garbage, such as glass, appliances and even vehicles, into an area of coastline near the north of the town for many years. On the other hand, the outskirts of the town of Springdale in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, has the Glassy Beach, which is covered with smoothed out pieces of rainbow-coloured, broken glasses. These are believed to have been washed ashore by the waves, and are completely safe to walk upon, on bare feet. All over Canada, there are several beaches where such sea glasses can be found.
2. Pamukkale, Turkey
Pamukkale in Turkey
Everyone loves the infinity pools, with the calm, glassy water extending up to nowhere. If you have a penchant for them, Pamukkale is the place to be, with seventeen naturally formed infinity pools. The region is filled with crystalline limestone walls and their reflections brightening up the hot springs, but, it is the set of pools of clear, aquamarine water, ensconced in cottony travertines that pull the nature-lovers. Flowing water, emerging from the springs, deposits carbonate minerals in the terraces. In broad daylight, one may think that these look like shiny slabs of marble or even ice. Ironically, the temperature varies from 35°C to 100°C.
1. Salar de Uyuni, South America
Salar de Uyuni in South America
Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flats, formed from rich salt content left behind by the drying up of the prehistoric salt lake called Lago Minchin in southwest Bolivia. Now, the area is covered with thick salt crust of amazing flatness, with some seasonal shallow pools of brine. When dry, the region is an endless stretch of white. But, during the rainy season, the plain transforms into a gigantic mirror. With no place to drain, the rain water covers the plain, and the dazzling water of the thickness of a few inches reflects the sky and it many wonders of colours, clouds and everything else that speckles the canopy above, including the flocks of flying flamingos that are common here. The world seems to extend to the infinity here. Salar de Uyuli forms the largest natural mirror in the world and can be seen from the space.
There are many other such wonderfully clear places in the world, like the lakes in Montana that offer a view of the bottom through the water, the ice-skating rinks in Sweden and Montana whose clear waters freeze fast enough to give a view of the plants and rocks growing below the icy surface, and many more. But, these natural pieces are getting murkier or losing their bejewelled sheen because of growing population, population, rising temperature, etc. It is time we start taking care of the treasures that Mother Nature holds for us, and take the responsibility of saving and protecting them, for us and our future generations to enjoy.
Source: http://www.wonderslist.com/10-glassy-crystalline-places-sites-world/

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