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One of the major reasons that people love to travel is to discover the wonderful beauty and variety of landscapes around the world. Whether your favourite sights are spectacular snow-capped mountains, glittering oceans, or the mysterious beauty of ancient forests, there are more than you could ever see in one lifetime. Some of the world’s most notable natural wonders are popular tourist destinations, with everything from the Great Barrier Reef to the Japanese Cherry Blossoms attracting huge numbers of visitors every year.
For people with a taste for adventure, however, there are plenty of hidden gems that are yet to be discovered. From the strange and ethereal to the secret and untouched, we bring you some of the best natural wonders you haven’t seen yet from all around the world.
The Marble Caves – Chile/Argentina
Located in the General Carrera lake on the Chile-Argentine border, it’s easy to see why these caves have names like Marble Chapel and Marble Cathedral. This spectacular network of water-filled caverns has been carved into the marble rock by the azure water below, and they certainly have an almost religious beauty. Smoothed by thousands of years of lapping waves, the marble walls of the caves are a swirling mass of blues and greys that rival the water below. You’re unlikely to find such an enchanting cave experience anywhere else in the world.
Northern Lights – Norway
There’s nowhere in the world that quite compares to northern Norway when it comes to seeing the aurora borealis. Famously elusive, your chances of seeing the northern lights in Norway are quite high if you manage to get a clear night. Well worth waiting around in the cold for, you can expect to see green and even purple streaking through the sky above the snow-capped mountains and reflected on the glassy water of stunning, fairy tale fjords below.
Asbyrgi Canyon – Iceland
Legend has it that the huge, horseshoe-shaped Asbyrgi canyon was made when the Norse god Odin was riding his eight-legged horse Sleipnir, and the huge beast accidentally put its foot down on earth. It is also called the Shelter of the Gods, and some Icelandic people believe that it is a magical and spiritual place. The imposing canyon is carpeted in a leafy green forest and has plenty of hiking paths for people of all abilities. Make your way up to the top and look out over the stunning, otherworldly vistas of the Icelandic landscape.
Sailing Stones – California
As if Death Valley isn’t eerie enough, with its blistering heat and sweeping mass of desert as far as the eye can see, visitors to the Racetrack Playa can also see the mysterious sailing stones. Long considered one of the world’s strangest phenomenon, in this valley rocks move along the flat ground without any help from human, animal, or gravity. Varying in size between a few ounces to hundreds of pounds, they leave long trails behind them in the sand. It wasn’t until 2014 that scientists were able to use time-lapse photography to suggest that the stones probably move as sheet ice thaws beneath them rather than by some mysterious force.
Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees – Hawaii
Rainbow Eucalyptus, or to give them their proper name eucalyptus deglupta, are tall trees that grow in the warm, wet environments of tropical forests. Their bark is covered in beautiful multi-coloured streaks that give them their name and unique appearance. Patches of bark are shed annually by the trees and the exposed inner bark turns blue, purple, orange, and then maroon as it matures. In groups, these mystical trees look like something from a fantasy film set, with their beautiful multi-shaded trunks stretching up to the sky.
Moeraki Boulders – New Zealand
As you drive along the North Otago coast, you’ll notice that the beach is littered with huge impossibly-spherical rocks. Called the Moeraki Boulders, these unusual formations can be as much as two metres in height, looking like they’ve been scattered on the beach by a huge hand in the sky. Māori legend has it that the boulders are gourds that were washed ashore after the Araiteuru voyaging canoe was wrecked on the cliffs as it reached New Zealand. However you think they got there, the boulders make for stunning viewing, especially when the tide is surging around them.
Pink Water of Lake Hillier – Australia
Bubble gum pink isn’t a colour that occurs often in nature, but Lake Hillier in Australia is that exact shade, as though someone has dissolved a giant bath bomb. It is, in fact, a high concentration of algae in the water that gives the lake its distinctive hue, which contrasts starkly with the green and blue landscape around it. It’s best seen from the air, so book yourself a helicopter or aeroplane ride and marvel at this amazing natural wonder.
If you want to see one of these beautiful natural phenomena for yourself, why not do so as part of a relaxing Cruise1st Australia cruise deal? Browse the full collection online, or call our friendly sales team on 1300 857 345.