natural wonders

Last October, I was in the whale-watching capital of Kaikoura as part of The Great Crusade (article here). Bad weather limited any sea ventures to only a few hundred metres from the coastline, ruling out sightings of the sperm whale but offering the chance to see various dolphins and seabirds. Having a chance to return to Kaikoura a few months later, sunshine and a sparkling peaceful ocean means ....Continue Reading >>
The rocky plateau of Mt Gundabooka rises awkwardly in a protrusion of rust coloured rock and olive green bush a few hundred metres above scrubby arid plains, the mountain visible for vast distances around. Fifty kilometres south of Bourke, it represents an important landmark for the Ngemba Aborigines or Stone People, a meeting place for millennia for various tribes and a source for shelter, food, medicines, ....Continue Reading >>
At just under 7000 metres, the towering peak of Ama Dablam silently oversees trekkers for a few days as they slowly walk towards the base camp for Mt Everest and the Gokyo Lakes. With the riotous crimson of a barberry bush and a cobalt blue sky, its reassuring presence makes for a photogenic visual feast. Though taken over a decade ago, it remains a favourite memory walking among the Everest amphitheatre ....Continue Reading >>
This lone male elk, resplendent with its fine antlers, contentedly munches juicy grasses. Grazing on the verge of the main highway just outside the stunning Rockies town of Jasper, little traffic probably interrupts this elk in the early hours (one of the best times to see wildlife). While initially a little suspicious of me as shown in this photo, he soon returns to his feeding relaxed that I was ....Continue Reading >>
Two hundred kilometres west of Sydney, Jenolan Caves are thought to be the oldest show caves in the world at an estimated 380 million years, well before dinosaurs roamed our planet.It is staggering to believe such beauty and richly decorated limestone chambers are built by the constant dripping of water such as the single drops landing in the spectacular main chamber of the Temple of Baal Cave (undoubtedly ....Continue Reading >>
Only minutes from the centre of New Zealand’s curiously bubbly capital, Zealandia is an inspiring project to restore a valley to its pre-human state. This reserve has managed to remove major introduced predators to the area with novel fencing, including rabbits, stoats, possums, mice, rats and more, allowing endangered birdlife, insects and other animals to thrive, enhancing the survival prospects ....Continue Reading >>
Majestically set as the Southern Alps approach the bay-lined coastline, Kaikoura is world famous for its marine tours. Geologically freaky, the continental shelf plunges over 2000 metres deep only a few miles offshore creating the perfect feeding grounds for the Sperm Whale. These leviathans, measuring up to 18 metres and weighing in at up to 70 tonnes, dive for up to two hours into the inky depths ....Continue Reading >>
Lewis Pass is one of just three alpine passes on the South Island of New Zealand allowing a path through the central spine of mountains that cuts the long narrow island in two. It was named after the surveyor who discovered the path through in the 1860s, though was exploited by the native Maori for many centuries before that, especially for the exchange of the valued greenstone. It provided a vital ....Continue Reading >>
The tangled maze of aquamarine waterways and tiny islands makes the Marlborough Sounds, gateway to New Zealand’s South Island one of the most idyllic and rewarding island passages anywhere in the world. Verdant green land and glistening blue-green waters combine for a journey of visual splendour.While a number of options are available to experience this marine travel wonder, the Interislander ....Continue Reading >>
With the snow-capped craggy mountains, glistening glacial lakes, dark verdant forests and stellar panoramic vistas, the lake district of Argentina is like a wild Switzerland. While cycling Circuito Chico from San Carlos de Bariloche captures some of the beauty, the twisting drive along the innocently named RP234.More typically known as The Seven Lakes Route or the poetic Ruta de Las Siete Lagos (do ....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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