A national park might not top your must-see hit list when travelling but they’re one of most underrated landmarks. Beyond the tranquil scenery that’s totally insta-worthy, the most magnificent national parks are home to breathtaking waterfalls, beaches, deserts, mountainous lookouts and cool wildlife. Not to mention the abundant hiking tracks – that as a workout, are a lot more interesting than busting your ass at an F45 class. If your wanderlust is creeping in, read on for our carefully curated list of the most impressive national parks around the world.
- Grand Canyon, USA
America’s most celebrated natural wonder is an enormous stretch of sandstone canyons. You’ll ooh and ahh at this natural wonder, it really has to be seen to be believed.
- Doi Inthanon, Thailand
Just outside Chiang Mai city on the highest mountain is this quaint park. Trek to the top to enjoy the Disney-like flower garden and don’t miss the Giew Mae Pan Nature Trail!
- Torres del Paine, Chile
If you’re serious about hiking then this is one of top destinations for exactly that. And if you’re not thrilled about hiking just admire the blue icebergs across the vast mountains – it’s truly picturesque.
- Mungo, Australia
Tucked away in the far south-west border of NSW and Victoria is this desert terrain rich in Indigenous history. Release your inner gypsy and camp underneath the stars near Lake Mungo.
- Cape Le Grand, Australia
Another Aussie great is Cape Le Grand just outside of Esperance in WA. Lookout for Skippy the kangaroo and his mates frolicking around the majestic turquoise waters.
- Banff, Canada
A natural beauty would be a gross understatement. Situated in the Canadian Rockies, the raw splendour of the snow-capped peaks will literally make your jaw drop.
- Göreme, Turkey
The best way to take in this rich rocky valley is on one of the hot air balloons that take off at sunset. Add to the bucket list pronto!
- Namib-Naukluft, Namibia
It’s the largest wildlife park in Africa and home to the rare and mysterious aardvark. The most magical part is Sossusvlei for it’s soaring sand dunes.
- Gandoca-Manzanillo, Costa Rica
Ok, this is more of wildlife refuge than a national park but it still makes the list because it’s a tropical paradise. White sand beaches with palms for days – can you picture a more idyllic location?
- Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
There’s more to this European country than Croatia sail and it’s this stunning gorge. Famous for its lakes that are hinged together by overflowing waterfalls and limestone canyons.
- Yellowstone, USA
It’s in the middle of nowhere (aka Wyoming) but you won’t care because the coloured pools set amongst hot springs with towering mountains above is well worth the trip. Say hi to the elk and buffalos for us!
- Jim Corbett, India
This tourist favourite is a popular spot for spying on tigers, leopards and monkeys. Take a jeep safari ride in the morning or afternoon – full camo attire is purely optional 😉
Words by Jennifer Aitken.