6 national parks around the world for an out-of-this-world trip

Thế Anh
05:00:09 - September 16, 2022

From habitats with lush green valleys to volcanic rocks and icy glaciers, National parks are usually seen as the finest of what nature has to offer. These grand destinations are often your ideal target for an unforgettable escape from modern city life, a chance to immerse yourself back into mother nature. Around the world, there are many unique national parks, each with its charms and fascinating sights that will surely make you want to visit. 

Kakadu National Park, Australia

Kakadu National Park is the largest national park in Australia – so vast that you’ll need at least a week to do it justice. It’s a fantastic place to immerse yourself in nature-based activities and fascinating aboriginal culture. Among the coastal wetlands, woodlands, and wilderness, there’s a wealth of exceptional wildlife to be discovered.

Fishing enthusiasts can enjoy fishing for the barramundi, and those with a love for bird watching will meet their match, with millions of birds calling the park home. Take your time exploring the host of aboriginal rock art sites in the park, such as Ubirr and Nourlangie Rock that date back hundreds and even thousands of years.

Yellowstone, U.S

Yellowstone National Park is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise with dramatic peaks and pristine lakes. Multicolored pools swirl around hot springs; verdant forests weave past expansive meadows; and volatile geysers launch streams of steaming water toward the sky. While traversing its 3,000-plus square miles of mountains, canyons, geysers, and waterfalls, be prepared to share the trails with permanent residents like buffalo, elk, and sometimes even grizzlies. 

Carve out a day or two to take in the view at Yellowstone Lake and Mammoth Hot Springs. But save some time for the trails through lesser-known regions, like the hot springs of the West Thumb Geyser Basin and the untamed wildlife dotting the Lewis River Channel and Dogshead Loop.

Etosha National Park, Namibia

More than 400 km to the north of Windhoek, the Namibian capital, is Namibia’s foremost wildlife sanctuary – The Etosha National Park, with a total area of more than 22,000 square kilometers. Etosha means “great white area”, which refers to the park’s colossal salt span. When it rains, the water pools in the pan attract hundreds of thousands of pretty flamingos to the park. Besides flamingos, the park is also home to 114 species of mammals, more than 100 different reptiles, and over 340 species of birds. Expect to see lions, elephants, leopards, giraffes, cheetahs, and two kinds of zebra as you venture around a park that’s known for its spectacular wildlife.  

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, China

The Zhangjiajie National Park is located in China and is the setting for the famous “Avatar” film directed by James Cameron. These giant sandstone pinnacles rise dramatically to the sky and reach up to 200m tall.

As China’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, the park holds plenty of prestige. Millions flock there every year to see its natural beauty, which includes the Avatar Mountains.

There are plenty of tours of Zhangjiajie and the surrounding region to choose from. A 4-day Zhangjiajie tour listed on China Highlights explores the best of the famous national park without having to worry about navigating China by oneself.

The tour visits the massive glass bridge and Avatar’s Hallelujah Mountain. Guests take a cable car ride to Tianmen mountain top and enjoy a relaxing boat ride at the crystal-clear Baofeng Lake.

Cat Ba National Park, Vietnam

Situated near the famous Halong Bay, Cat Ba National Park is an important biosphere reserve in Vietnam, home to 32 species of mammal, including most of the world’s 65 remaining golden-headed langurs, the world’s most endangered primate. There are some good hiking trails here, including the short but strenuous hike to the top of Ngu Lam peak, which offers dramatic views over the surrounding jungle, as well as the challenging 9km (5.5 miles) hiking trail through the park to the village of Viet Hai, along the way, you will see monkeys, deers, civets, and several species of squirrel, including the giant black squirrel.

Today the national park stretches from the coast to the Annamite mountain range at the Laos border and is easily explored as a day trip from the popular tourist towns of Hue or Danang. 

Vatnajokull National Park, Iceland

Vatnajokull National Park is one of a trio of national parks in Iceland, characterized by spectacular glacial ice, impressive waterfalls, deep valleys, and still-active volcanoes. Considered by many to be the largest national park in Europe, visitors can explore the park every day of the year, and there are excellent facilities, including free toilets, free parking, and paid internet. There are plenty of ways to explore the park, so how you do it is up to you. There are guided treks, ice walks, guided skiing trips, and ice climbing, as well as snowmobiling, jeep safaris, and even sailing trips between the icebergs on the surrounding lake.

6 national parks around the world for an out-of-this-world trip

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