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Lonely Planet Selects 15 NZ Wonders for 1000 Ultimate Sights



Global travel authority Lonely Planet says New Zealand has 15 of the world’s 1000 Ultimate Sights.

To celebrate this – and Lonely Planet’s 40th Anniversary – the world’s most successful travel publisher is re-releasing its 352-page inspirational book 1000 Ultimate Sights in New Zealand this month.

Lonely Planet’s 1000 Ultimate Sights features 100 “Top 10” lists exploring the world’s most breathtaking man-made marvels and natural wonders.

New Zealand sights feature on 15 of the book’s lists:

Most Impressive Waterfalls: (1) Victoria Falls, Zambia/Zimbabwe; (2) Niagara Falls, USA/Canada; (3) Reichenbach Falls, Switzerland; (4) Kaieteur Falls, Guyana; (5) Iguazu Falls, Argentina/Brazil; (6) Detian Falls, China; (7) Gullfoss, Iceland; (8) Sutherland Falls, NZ; (9) Jim Jim Falls, Australia; (10) Angel Falls, Venezuela.

Flashiest Lighthouses: (1) Eddystone, England; (2) Cape Hatteras, USA; (3) Marjaniemi, Finland; (4) Green Cape, Australia; (5) Hook Head, Ireland; (6) Creac’h, France; (7) Slangkop, South Africa; (8) Pondicherry, India; (9) Cape Palliser, NZ; 10) Gibbs Hill, Bermuda.

Most Oversized Animals: (1) Komodo Dragon, Komodo National Park, Indonesia; (2) Green Anaconda, Pantanal, Brazil; (3) Giant Weta, NZ; (4) African Elephant, Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa; (5) Polar Bear, Churchill, Canada; (6) Giant Salamander, Japan; (7) Blue Whale, Dondra Head, Sri Lanka; (8) Saltwater Crocodile, Kakadu National Park, Australia; (9) Ostrich, Nairobi National Park, Kenya; (10) Giant Tortoise, Galapagos Islands.

Volcano!: (1) Soufriere Hills, Montserrat, Lesser Antilles; (2) Rabaul, Papua New Guinea; (3) Stromboli, Italy; (4) Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, USA; (5) White Island, NZ; (6) Paricutin, Mexico; (7) Mt Pinatubo, Philippines; (8) Mt St Helens, Washington, USA; (9) Hekla, Iceland; (10) Gunung Bromo, Indonesia.

Best Baths: (1) Champagne-Glass Whirlpool Bath, New York, USA; (2) Les Bains de Marrakech, Morocco; (3) Hot Water Beach, NZ; (4) Beppu, Japan; (5) Chodovar Brewery Beer Baths, Czech Republic; (6) Szechenyi Baths, Hungary; (7) Dogo Onsen, Japan; (8) Blue Lagoon, Iceland; (9) Vinotherapy, France; (10) Dead Sea, Israel/Jordan.

Top Ornithological Sights: (1) Parrots & Friends, Queensland, Australia; (2) Penguins, Antarctica; (3) Albatross, Otago Peninsula, NZ; (4) Hummingbirds, the Pantanal, Brazil; (5) Toucans, Ecuador; (6) Waterbirds, Danube Delta, Romania; (7) Bald Eagle, Alaska, USA; (8) Big Six, Kruger National Park, South Africa; (9) Birds of Paradise, Papua New Guinea; (10) Flamingos, Rift Valley, Kenya.

Most Breathtaking Viewing Platforms: (1) Pulpit Rock, Norway; (2) Sky Tower, Auckland, NZ; (3) Illawarra Fly Treetop Walk, Australia; (4) Grand Canyon Skywalk, Arizona, USA; (5) Knife-Edge Point, Victoria Falls, Zambia; (6) Waterfall Trail, Iguacu Falls, Brazil; (7) Il Binocolo, Merano, Italy; (8) Dachstein Sky Walk, Austria; (9) Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix, France; (10) Petronas Towers Skybridge, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Underwater Sights: (1) Underwater Pyramids, Japan; (2) Navy Pier, Western Australia; (3) Manta Ray Village, Hawaii; (4) Battleships in Chuuk Lagoon, Federated States of Micronesia; (5) Cristobal Colon, Cuba; (6) Rainbow Warrior, NZ; (7) Great Blue Hole, Belize; (8) Turtle Tomb, Malaysia; (9) Red Sea Star, Eilat, Israel; (10) Taman Pura (Temple Garden), Indonesia.

Greatest Geysers: (1) El Tatio Geysers, Chile; (2) Andernach Geyser, Germany; (3) Shikabe Geyser, Japan; (4) Triton Moon, Neptune; (5) Pohutu Geyser, Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley, NZ; (6) Valley of Geysers, Kamchatka, Russia; (7) Lake Bogoria, Kenya; (8) Geysir & Strokkur, Haukadalur, Iceland; (9) Pangalu Geothermal Field, New Britain Island, Papua New Guinea; (10) Steamboat, Yellowstone National Park, California, USA.

Best Natural Springs: (1) Rift Valley, Ethiopia; (2) Oymyakon, Siberia, Russia; (3) Deception Island, Antarctica; (4) Waimangu Volcanic Valley, Rotorua, NZ; (5) Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park, USA; (6) Jigokudani Monkey Park, Yamanouchi, Japan; (7) Troll & Jotun Hot Springs, Svalbard, Norway; (8) Pamukkale Terraces, Turkey; (9) Landmannalaugar, Iceland; (10) Blood Pond Hot Spring, Beppu, Japan.

Most Iconic Trees: (1) Chene Chapelle, Allouville-Bellefosse, France; (2) Cedars of God, Lebanon; (3) Jomon Sugi, Yakushima, Japan; (4) Tane Mahuta (ʻLord of the Forest’), Waipoua Forest, NZ, (5) Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar; (6) General Sherman, Sequoia National Park, California, USA; (7) Sri Maha Bodhi, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka; (8) Cotton Tree, Freetown, Sierra Leone; (9) El Arbol del Tule, Santa Maria del Tule, Mexico; (10) Major Oak, Sherwood Forest, England.

Best Sights From Above: (1) The World Archipelago, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; (2) Forbidden City, Beijing, China; (3) Dean’s Blue Hole, Bahamas; (4) Purnululu National Park, Australia; (5) Franz Josef Glacier, NZ; (6) ‘Spiral Jetty’, Utah, USA; (7) Bagan, Myanmar; (8) Cappadocia, Turkey; (9) Piazza San Pietro, Vatican City; (10) Uffington White Horse, England.

Best Rock Formations: (1) Torres del Paine, Chile; (2) Cappadocia, Turkey; (3) Moeraki Boulders, NZ; (4) Mt Augustus, Australia; (5) Shilin (Stone Forest), China; (6) Twelve Apostles, Australia; (7) Half Dome, California, USA; (8) Wave Rock, Australia; (9) Balanced Rock, Utah, USA; (10) Petra, Jordan.

Mightiest Rivers: (1) River Ganges during Kumbh Mela, India; (2) Kenai River Salmon Run, Alaska, USA; (3) Confluence of Nile River, Khartoum, Sudan; (4) Rafting the Colorado River, Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA; (5) Zanskar River Ice Trekking, Chadar, India; (6) Yangtze River & Three Gorges Dam, China; (7) Shotover River by speedboat, Queenstown, NZ; (8) River Mersey Ferry, Liverpool, England; (9) Great River Amazon Raft Race, Iquitos, Peru; (10) Sumida River Fireworks Festival, Tokyo, Japan.

Most Classic Art Deco Buildings: (1) Palacio Salvo, Montevideo, Uruguay; (2) Biltmore Hotel, Miami, Florida, USA; (3) Radio City Music Hall, New York, USA; (4) Chrysler Building, New York, USA; (5) Municipal Theatre, Napier, NZ; (6) Bacardi Building, Havana, Cuba; (7) Wiltern Theater, Los Angeles, California, USA; (8) Regal Cinema, Mumbai, India; (9) Maison Guerlain, Paris, France; (10) Hotel Locarno, Rome, Italy.

1000 Ultimate Sights is the second volume in Lonely Planet’s 1000 Ultimate… series, which also includes 1000 Ultimate Experiences (in-stores now) and 1000 Ultimate Adventures (published in August this year).

352pp, full-colour, 165mm x 210mm, paperback
RRP: NZ$44.99
Available now from Whitcoulls

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« Free extracts & selected images are available with permission.
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Lonely Planet is the world’s most successful travel publisher. Celebrating 40 years of amazing experiences in 2013, Lonely Planet enables curious travellers to experience the world and get to the heart of a place via 500 guidebooks covering 195 countries, an award-winning website, a suite of mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Visit us at

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