Not all views are equal. Some hit you so hard they take your breath away and stay with you forever. Some are easy to come by and some you appreciate all the more for the hard work that went into finding them. Here are six natural sights that couldn’t be more different, but should all be on your bucket list:
Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
I can’t go passed the pure joy I felt looking out onto the South African desert in Madikwe Game Reserve. Sure there’s no hiking here (those are real lions out there guys), but I’ve never felt more of a rush then gazing upon scenes right out of a David Attenborough documentary. Sure it’s smaller than the more popular Kruger, but that means there’s more chance of spotting the animals, plus safari leaders do an amazing job of not overcrowding the animals which is better for the animal and for your view of it.
Noumea sunsets, New Caledonia
There’s nothing quite like sunsets over beaches, and there’s no beach quite like L’anse Vata in Noumea. View it from above with a hike (or drive, but where’s the fun in that) to the top of Ouen Toro mountain, or relax on the sand for silhouettes against the pink sky.
Emperor Falls in Mt Robson, Canada
Of all the amazing views in the Canadian Rockies, this one along the Berg Lake Trail was easily my favourite. The 16km hike past crystal blue lakes, forested mountains and rocky valleys to Emperor Falls can be done in a day, but camp for a night or two to experience the full beauty of this trail.
Prague from Old Town Hall Tower, Czech Republic
No matter how old I get, the church in of Prague’s Town Centre with its princess turrets and architecture from the 1300s will always set my heart aflutter. The absolute best view is from across the square up the top of the Astronomical Tower (yes, the same building with that amazing clock!). A small fee, and a climb up 172 steep stone stairs will open up a view that will transport you back to a pre-war era.
Ciudad Perdida (The Lost City), Colombia
Not only does this hike over the Sierra Nevada mountains end in ancient ruins that have a good 650 years on Machu Picchu, there is never a dull moment along the 44km hike to get there: jungle covered mountain vistas, bright red dirt, traditional native villages and endless water holes to wash off in. You do need to join a tour group to get there, of which there are endless choices, but hands down my recommendation goes to Wiwa Tours. Why? Because they are run run by indigenous tribes so you know you’re visiting this sacred site in a respectful manner, and proceeds go back into the indigenous community.
Rottnest Island, Perth
The place that made the ‘Quokka Selfie’ famous holds so many more reasons for a visit. Get your sea legs on the ferry ride from the mainland, then rent a bike to pedal from beach to glorious beach around this small (but hilly) island. Animals buffs be sure to make it to the far end for a chance to spot seals at play.