Guide names southern jewels in ‘wonders’ list

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Natural wonders: Milford Sound and Stewart Island have been named by Lonely Planet as "Wonders of the World". Photos: Luisa Girao

Its new book, which showcased 101 spectacular sights and how to experience them at “any budget”, included both Stewart Island and Milford Sound.

Stewart Island was also named one of Lonely Planet’s “Wonders of the World”. PHOTO: LUISA GIRAO

Destination Fiordland manager Madeleine Peacock said it was no shock Milford Sound was chosen.

“I suppose it is not a surprise to us, but it is always great to be recognised by international media and international travel.” While she did not know how it would affect tourist numbers, she said it was good to be chosen by such a well respected source of travel information.

“We know people consult with the likes of Lonely Planet when they do their travel dreaming, so it will have some positive outcome.”

Milford’s cascading waterfalls, dramatic scenery and it being only one of four places in the world where people could visit a fiord was what attracted so many people to the area, she said.

“It’s a bucket list thing for some people,” which was why many came to the end of the world to see it, she said.

This year, the guide also selected lesser-known man-made wonders: the entwined tree bridges of Meghalaya in India, the intricate Islamic architecture of Naqsh-e Jahan in Iran, and the massive Buddhist temple of Borobudur in central Java.

Museums with collections of wonders were also included such as the Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands and the British Museum in London.

The natural wonders chosen for the book include giant trees in California, cascading lakes in Croatia, multi-coloured hills in China, the world’s biggest cave, the wave of cherry blossom (sakura) which sweeps across Japan in spring, and the light show of aurora across the planet’s northern and southern extremities.

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