natural wonders

Justifiably popular, Milford Sound is one of the most beautiful stretches of water in the world. Accessed via the stunning Te Anau-Milford Road which provides a taste of the scenery to come, Milford Sound is hemmed in by towering vertical rock faces rising up to 1500 metres in height, waterfalls cascading from mountain ridges and hanging valleys into the inky dark waters.Cruises depart regularly ....Continue Reading >>
While it is only the third best way of arriving at Milford Sound (hiking the Milford Track or arriving by boat win hands down for the two most rewarding), the 120 km drive from the touristy township of Te Anau to Milford is a world class highly scenic drive highlighting the dramatic scale and natural beauty of this World Heritage-listed area.With a strong recommendation to hit the road early, the ....Continue Reading >>
From spectacular Fox Glacier, the west coast ribbon of highway called SH6 continues it relentless but scenic route south. Sticking to a coastline that boasts superb vistas (such as Knights Point Lookout), the road curls its way to the strange town of Haast which despite a population of only a few hundred is broken into three distinct settlements several kilometres apart.Through stunning (and World ....Continue Reading >>
In a freak of nature, New Zealand has two of the only sea-level glaciers in the world outside of the arctic regions. Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers are easily accessible and are only 25 kilometres apart on New Zealand’s South Island and compete heavily to attract travellers for their various hiking options on the glacier. Each is served by a small town of the same name and both comprise a small fraction ....Continue Reading >>
Fox and Franz Josef Glacier each squelch, groan, grind, gouge and meander around 12 or 13 kilometres from the heights of New Zealand’s Southern Alps ending in lush rainforest. From small townships with matching names, they are among the most accessible glaciers in the world with an easy and open stroll along a marked path to any visitor to the nose or start of the glacier. For a walk on the glacier, ....Continue Reading >>
Driving only a couple of blocks through along Hokitika’s main street leaves no-one in any doubt as to the main attraction of the area – greenstone. The local Maori population has always treasured the valued greenstone (or jade) found in nearby rivers and along the beach. The Hokitika Museum has many beautiful pieces of greenstone, from boulders straight from the river to wonderfully worked pieces.Numerous ....Continue Reading >>
Sandwiched between the uninspiring towns of Westport and Greymouth are the extraordinary Pancake Rocks - the ocean sprays, pounds and bursts through fissures in unusually carved and layered rocks near the tiny village of Punakaiki. Relatively unknown outside of the area, the weather-beaten rock shaped over millions of years are an exceptional sight.Constructed of stratified limestone formed thirty ....Continue Reading >>
The day is foul – a wind howls across the point resisted by only the hardiest of scrubby bushes and toughened grasses. Surf pounds relentlessly into the west coast’s limestone cliffs and volcanic beaches. Brooding dark seas merge into the pewter grey clouds blurring any idea of a horizon, a lonely characterless lighthouse warning all things marine to steer a careful path around this treacherous ....Continue Reading >>
Abel Tasman National Park is one of the most alluring and beautiful natural wonders in New Zealand. On the protected and more weather-friendly side of New Zealand’s South Island, the 54 kilometre three to five-day coastal track combines lush forests with sculpted granite cliffs and pristine bays and coves fringed by golden sands. Tiny rocky islands sit enticingly offshore supporting a rich variety ....Continue Reading >>
While the undoubted highlight of Kaikoura is seeing the mighty Sperm Whales in the coastal waters, just through the energetic main town is Point Kean, a favourite haul-out area for adult New Zealand Fur Seals (or kekeno). At any time, several large fur seals rest among the rocks relaxing after their exploits at sea but watchful of the visitors as they rock hop for the best vantage points for their ....Continue Reading >>

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Welcome to Travel Wonders

My name is Mark and I’m a keen traveller. In fact, over the last 25 years, I’ve travelled to every continent and over 80 countries. This blog is about the most memorable destinations – the places I regard as the travel wonders of the world. I’m also a keen photographer, and have taken nearly all the photos you’ll see. During my travels, I’ve met some incredible people, seen inspiring places, viewed extraordinary wildlife and scenery and had some amazing experiences, and I’m writing these stories not only to entertain but primarily to inspire others to discover their own travel wonders.

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