We're all familiar with the 7 Natural Wonders of the world, from the Grand Canyon to the Great Barrier Reef, but we here at Pirate HQ want to bring you our list of natural wonders that we believe should also get their spot in the limelight! And maybe ... just maybe, inspire your next adventure in 2021.
1. Blue Hole, Belize
Qualified diver or not, everyone can admire the absolute beauty that is the Blue Hole. Located off the coast of Belize City, this 125m deep hole in the ocean floor has been named as one of the top five diving spots in the world. If you're not a diver, you can always charter a flight to get an ariel view of this unique landmark.
2. Milford Sound, New Zealand
Located on New Zealand's South Island, Milford Sound is a MUST do. You can take a number of boat trips through the stunning fjord lined with cascading waterfalls. For those avid hikers out there the Milford Track is a 4-day hike that takes you through the heart of Fiordland.
Depending on how you are exploring NZ, you can either fly into Queensland where a number of day trips head towards the Sound. Or, if you're traveling via camper van, you can drive yourself. Having said this, during the winter months, it is advisable to get a tour bus as the roads leading to the site are windy and can be treacherous.
3. Kjeragbolten, Norway
Not for the faint-hearted, dare you brave Kjeragbolten? A 177 cubic foot boulder has found itself wedged in a crevice in the Norwegian mountains. Accessible via a 7-mile round hike, it's best to take 6-10 hours out of your day to visit this very unique photo op!
4. Vatnajökull Glacier, Iceland
The largest glacier in Europe, this beautiful ice cap covers 8% of the total landmass of Iceland and at it's thickest part is nearly half a mile! A number of different tours can be taken of the glacier from the 5 hour day tours can be taken of the glacier where you hike up the side and are able to gaze out at the surrounding views from the top, to multi-day Iceland tours that incorporate this not to be missed spectacle.
5. Antelope Canyon, Arizona
Known as the valley of the sun, this sprawling metropolitan city of Phoenix is known for its vibrant nightlife. But if you're after something different, then rent a car and head 4 hours north to the stunning, naturally formed sandstone canyons of Antelope Canyon. Flying to Phoenix is an ideal gateway to these incredible, naturally formed stone mazes as you can join it onto a trip to Vegas!
6. Sua Trench, Samoa
Instagrams at the ready Pirates, because this naturally occurring pool is located on the tropical island of Samoa. The photogenic sinkhole is surrounded by lush greenery and great hikes. To enter the pool, there is a wooden ladder allowing you gentle access into the clear waters 65 feet below.
We recommend adding a trip to Samoa after a New Zealand or Australia adventure as it offers the ideal beach break. Rivalling Bora Bora and Tahiti, this tiny Pacific island is a lot cheaper than the more well known locations and flights can be snapped up from AKL for around $ 400 roundtrip.
7. Waitomo Glow Worm Caves, New Zealand
Famed for the thousands of glow worms that illuminate the cave ceiling, Waitomo caves are the best place to see these naturally occurring wonders. Located west of Rotorua, on New Zealand's North Island, this makes a top stop on your NZ adventure. However, if you'd prefer less of a tourist trap, head to Northland to the Waipu caves, they offer a similar experience with less foot traffic.
8. Bolivia Salt Flats
Visit the largest salt flat on the earth, created by the prehistoric lakes which evaporated centuries ago. The flats are other-worldly as the horizon disappears due to the sheer vastness of the surrounding area. Full-day tours of the Salt Flats start and finish in Uyuni on the same day. A one-day tour of Salar de Uyuni in 4 × 4 jeeps are common and the shortest tours possible.
9. Tianzi Mountains, China
Rumored to be the inspiration for the Avatar film, these otherworldly mountains are around 400 million years old. Even though July is the warmest month to visit, it can also be one of the wettest.