Spend 2016 outdoors discovering some of the world’s most beautiful natural wonders!
Aurora Australis, New Zealand
Aurora Australis, or the Southern Lights, may not be as well-known as Aurora Borealis, but boy is it equally breathtaking! Originating in the South Pole, this natural wonder is visible from parts of New Zealand, as well as in Australia, Antarctica and South America. Although the phenomenon occurs throughout the year, catching it will be quite difficult. If you happen to be in New Zealand during the winter, the conditions are just right, and you are able to get far enough south, you could be lucky enough to experience the spectacular light show. Lit up with shades of green and pink, the sky will be magical and mystical, and like you’ve never seen before!
Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
If you’re a travel enthusiast, there is no way you haven’t heard of northeast Vietnam’s stunning Ha Long Bay. Attracting visitors all year round, the natural wonder consists of thousands of limestone karsts and islets, surrounded by emerald waters and lush green rainforests. A junk boat tour around the bay's islands is an absolute must. For those with more time to spend, an overnight trip is the perfect option, while a kayak ride around the bay is ideal for visitors on a shorter stay.
Alice Springs, Australia
The remote Australian town of Alice Springs is third on our list. This famous outback town is known for being a hub for traditional Aboriginal art and culture, and for its stunning landscapes and picture-perfect natural wonders. Situated in the heart of Central Australia, Alice Springs is an absolutely fascinating destination to explore. Learn about local Aboriginal culture, explore the MacDonnell Range, hike the renowned Larapinta Trail, admire the native vegetation and the beautiful desert landscapes, and visit historic sites when in Alice!
Swiss Alps, Switzerland
Although we’re pretty sure a visit to the Swiss Alps is pretty much on every traveler’s must-see list, we figured this list would be seriously incomplete without it. Switzerland’s Alpine region features majestic snow-covered mountains, crystal clear lakes, quaint alpine villages and some of the best ski resorts in Europe. Covering over half of Switzerland, it is impossible to visit Switzerland and not admire the unique views offered from one of the many mountains of the Alps. Enjoying some world-class skiing is also a must, along with a visit to the most famous of Switzerland’s mountains; the Matterhorn.
Coming in next on our 10 Natural Wonders to Witness in 2016 list is the Philippines’ Palawan; home to natural wonders galore! The island province consists of over 1,780 islands, with many of them being vastly undeveloped. The largest island in the province; Palawan Island, is said to be one of the best island destinations in the world, and is the perfect base for island-hopping. The idyllic and sublime island features stunning, untouched landscapes and seascapes, and is the most bio diverse island in the Philippines. While relaxing on the white sand beaches, splashing around in the aquamarine water, admiring the rugged beauty of the surroundings, and going snorkeling or diving is quite satisfying, a boat journey down the awe-inspiring Puerto Princesa Subterranean River is an experience like no other.
Mount Batur, Indonesia
Always dreamed of trekking to the summit of an active volcano? Mount Batur in Bali is probably one of the best places to do just that. The 1717 metre high volcano is located in the center of a gigantic crater, and adjacent to it is the Batur Lake, which just adds on to the charm of the whole experience. Not only do trekkers get to experience the spectacular beauty of the active volcano, but if they choose to climb it before sunrise, they also get to witness the breathtaking sunrise from the top, as well as views of the stunning surroundings.
Three Capes, Australia
Tasmania is already known for its incredible natural beauty and undiscovered wilderness, and an adventure on the iconic Three Capes Track makes a visit more exciting than one could even imagine. The spectacular Three Capes Walk is all about the journey. The track is designed to be covered in about four days and is suitable for walkers of all ages. Because it is a multi-day walking experience, there are cabins for walkers to rest-in overnight. Three Capes takes walkers past some of the Tasman Peninsula’s most impressive sights. Discover lush woodland, walk by dramatic sea cliffs, spot islands rising up from the sea in the distance, experience picture-perfect panoramic views, and soak in the best of what Tasmania has to offer!
Victoria Falls, Zambia
Straddling the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia, located on the fourth largest river in Africa; the Zambezi River, is one of Africa’s most impressive attractions, and another must-visit natural wonder - Victoria Falls. Classified as the largest waterfall in the world, Victoria Falls offers an experience like no other. Its grandeur and beauty are awe-inspiring, and are sure to leave even well-seasoned travelers speechless. Explore the footpaths that go along the falls, and the National Parks that surround it, hike to a vantage spot and see it like never before, take a dip in the water, and make sure to put aside some time to take a sunset cruise on the river.
Mount Kinabalu, Malaysia
Standing at 4096 metres, in East Malaysia, Mount Kinabalu is one of the highest mountains in South East Asia. Located in the renowned Kinabalu Park; which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mount Kinabalu offers visitors a majestic, indescribable experience that will never be forgotten. As it is one of the world’s most conquerable peaks, for a truly unforgettable trip, getting to the summit of Kinabalu, and witnessing the stunning sunrise and the breathtaking panorama, is an absolute must. For those who choose not to make the climb, with plenty of trails and paths to explore, and home to one of the world’s richest collections of flora and fauna, the surrounding park itself is worth a visit.
Split Pinnacle, China
Located in China’s Hunan Province is the too-amazing-to-believe Split Pinnacle. While the province itself offers plenty of beautiful natural attractions, the Split Pinnacle is sure to be the highlight of every tourists visit. Rising up from the forest canopy, the Split Pinnacle is a uniquely shaped quartzite sandstone pillar that is majestic and truly awe-inspiring. The area surrounding it; home to thousands of quartzite sandstone peaks of different sizes and shapes, combined with the Split Pinnacle offer a one of a kind experience.
Check out more of HalalTrip’s Best 10 lists of 2016 here!