Top Ten Oceanic National Parks

Top Ten Oceanic National Parks

  1. Te Wahipounamu, New Zealand

    Te Wāhipounamu, Māori for “the place of greenstone” is a World Heritage site in the south west corner of the South Island of New Zealand, which incorporates several National Parks, including; Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, Westland/Tai Poutini National Park, Mount Aspiring National Park and Fiordland National Park. It is believed to contain some of the best modern representations of the original flora and fauna present in Gondwanaland
    Links: Top Ten New Zealand Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Te_Wahipounamu, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aoraki/Mount_Cook_National_Park, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiordland_National_Park, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Aspiring_National_Park, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westland_National_Park,
  2. Rapa Nui National Park, Easter Island, Chile

           Rapa Nui National Park is located on Easter Island, Chile. The park is divided into seven sections: Puna Pau (named after the quarry where the pukao were carved), Rano Raraku (named after the quarry where most of the moai were carved), Anakena – Ovahe, Ahu Akivi, Costa Norte and Hanga Roa (Urban Area). The early history involves human settlement roughly one millennium before present. Subsequent human overpopulation and resultant deforestation led to collapse of the human society. Archaeological evidence of the earlier habitation consists of the moai themselves as well as the pollen and fossil records. Through these records, scientists have come to understand the role of a now extinct Rapa Nui Palm, which offered food, fuel and transport for the early settlers. Chile first declared the island a National Park in 1935. Park boundaries have since varied on several occasions, to return land to the islanders.
    Links: Top Ten Easter Island Attractions, Top Ten Chilean Attractions, Islands, Top Ten Oceanic Islandshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rapa_Nui_National_Park,
  3. Fraser Island and Great Sandy National Park, Australia

           Fraser Island is an island located along the southern coast of Queensland, Australia, approximately 200 km (120 mi) north of Brisbane. Its length is about 120 km (75 mi) and its width is approximately 24 km (15 mi). The island is considered to be the largest sand island in the world at 1840 km². It is also Queensland’s largest island, Australia’s 6th largest island and the largest island on the East Coast of Australia. The island has rainforests, eucalyptus woodland, mangrove forests, wallum and peat swamps, sand dunes and coastal heaths. It is made up of sand that has been accumulating for approximately 750,000 years on volcanic bedrock that provides a natural catchment for the sediment which is carried on a strong offshore current northwards along the coast. Unlike many sand dunes, plant life is abundant due to the naturally occurring mycorrhizal fungi present in the sand, which release nutrients in a form that can be absorbed by the plants. Fraser Island is home to a small number of mammal species, as well as a diverse range of birds, reptiles and amphibians, including the occasional saltwater crocodile. The island is part of the Fraser Coast Region and protected in the Great Sandy National Park. Fraser Island has been inhabited by humans for as much as 5,000 years. Explorer James Cook sailed by the island in May 1770. Matthew Flinders landed near the most northern point of the island in 1802. For a short period the island was known as Great Sandy Island. The island became known as Fraser due to the stories of a shipwreck survivor named Eliza Fraser. Today the island is a popular tourism destination. Its resident human population was 360 at the census of 2006.
    Links: Top Ten Australian Attractions, Islands, Top Ten Oceanic Islands, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraser_Island,
  4. Wet Tropics of Queensland, Australia


           The Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Site consists of approximately 8,940 km² of Australian wet tropical forests growing along the north-east Queensland portion of the Great Dividing Range, stretching from Townsville to Cooktown, running in close parallel to the Great Barrier Reef. The rainforests have the highest concentration of primitive flowering plant families in the world.
    Links: Top Ten Australian Attractions, Top 100 Flowers, Top 100 Birds, Top Ten Frogs/Toads, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wet_Tropics_of_Queensland,
  5. Kakadu National Park, Australia

           Kakadu National Park is in the Northern Territory of Australia, 171 km southeast of Darwin. Kakadu National Park is located within the Alligator Rivers Region of the Northern Territory of Australia. It covers an area of 19,804 square km (7,646 square mi), extending nearly 200 km from north to south and over 100 km from east to west. It is the size of Slovenia, about one-third the size of Tasmania, or nearly half the size of Switzerland. The Ranger Uranium Mine, one of the most productive Uranium mines in the world, is contained within the park.
    Links: Top Ten Australian Attractions, Top Ten Waterfalls, Top 100 Birds, Top Ten Rock Paintings, Top Ten Cave Paintings, Top 100 Flowers, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kakadu_National_Park,
  6. Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park, Australia

            Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park is located in the Northern Territory of Australia, 1,431 km south of Darwin by road and 440 km south-west of Alice Springs along the Stuart and Lasseter Highways. The park covers 2,010 square km and includes the features it is named after, Uluru/Ayers Rock and, 40 km to its west, Kata Tjuta/Mount Olga and is serviced by flights from most Australian capital cities. Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is a large sandstone rock formation in the southern part of the Northern Territory, central Australia. It lies 335 km (208 mi) south west of the nearest large town, Alice Springs; 450 km (280 mi) by road. Kata Tjuta and Uluru are the two major features of the Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park. Uluru is sacred to the Aṉangu, the Aboriginal people of the area. The area around the formation is home to a plethora of springs, waterholes, rock caves and ancient paintings.
    Links: Top Ten Australian Attractions, Top Ten Rock Formations, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uluru-Kata_Tjuta_National_Park,
  7. The Tasmanian Wilderness, Australia

           The Tasmanian Wilderness is a term that is used for a range of areas in Tasmania, Australia, with areas in South West, Western and Central Tasmania being the most well-known. However, there are also other areas in Tasmania that have the elements of being known as wilderness areas, including the Tarkine and the Cradle mountain wilderness. The area is one of the largest conservation areas in Australia, covering 13,800 km², or almost 20% of Tasmania. The area constitutes one of the last expanses of temperate wilderness in the world, including the renowned South West Wilderness. Remains found in limestone caves attest to the human occupation of the area for well over 20,000 years.
    Links: Top Ten Australian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tasmanian_Wilderness,
  8. Gondwana Rainforests, Australia

           The Gondwana Rainforests of Australia formerly known as the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves, are the most extensive area of subtropical rainforest in the world. The reserve includes 50 separate reserves totaling 3,665 square km, clustered around the New South Wales – Queensland border. The Gondwana Rainforests are so-named because the fossil record indicates that when Gondwana existed it was covered by rainforests containing the same kinds of species that are living today. The number of visitors to the reserve is about 2 million per year.
    Links: Top Ten Australian Attractions, Top Ten Rainforests, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gondwana_Rainforests_of_Australia,
  9. Macquarie Island, Australia

           Macquarie Island (or Macca) lies in the southwest corner of the Pacific Ocean, about half-way between New Zealand and Antarctica. Politically, it has formed part of the Australian state of Tasmania since 1900 and became a Tasmanian State Reserve in 1978. It was a part of Esperance Municipality until 1993, when the municipality was merged with other municipalities to Huon Valley. Ecologically, it is part of the Antipodes Subantarctic Islands tundra ecoregion. Since 1948 the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) has maintained a permanent base, the Macquarie Island Station, on the isthmus at the northern end of the island at the foot of Wireless Hill. The population of the base, the island’s only human inhabitants, usually varies from 20 to 40 people over the year.
    Links: Top Ten Australian Attractions, Islands, Top Ten Oceanic Islands, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macquarie_Island,
  10. Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

           Tongariro National Park is the oldest national park in New Zealand, located in the central North Island. It has been acknowledged by UNESCO as one of the 28 mixed cultural and natural World Heritage Sites. Tongariro National Park was the 4th national park established in the world. The active volcanic mountains Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro are located in the centre of the park. There are a number of Māori religious sites within the park and the summits of Tongariro, including Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu, are tapu (sacred). The park includes many towns around its boundary including Ohakune, Waiouru, Horopito, Pokaka, Erua, National Park Village, Whakapapa skifield and Turangi.
    Links: Top Ten New Zealand Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tongariro_National_Park,
  11. Bonus: Purnululu National Park, Australia

    Purnululu National Park is a national park in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.
    Links: Top Ten Australian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purnululu_National_Park,
  12. Links: National Parks,

Recommendations for Outings in the Oceanic Outback