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Locals Guide: The Seven (Annual) Wonders of The Natural World

Locals Guide: The Seven (Annual) Wonders of The Natural World

By Zac Bayly | Local Knowledge Travel | 04 Jan 2018

Everyone’s heard of the world’s seven natural wonders, but here we’ve created our own version — the seven annual natural wonders that you must witness before you die. Some of them last months, some of them last for a single night. Either way, these are some of the coolest things that happen every year, from millions of wildebeest roaming the Serengeti to forty five million crabs running to the ocean on Christmas Island. Some of them are happening right now (or soon!), so check our list, make a plan, pack some Local Supply sunnies (always!), and get to it!

 

1. Great African Migration

Image via Go2Africa.com

This is the one you simply must see before you die, and we don’t say that lightly. It’s inspired countless documentaries, not least some of the best ones by our literal hero David Attenborough. It is the great Wildebeest Migration, and every year millions of wildebeest, zebra and antelope migrate through the Serengeti between January and April. There are dozens of tour groups you can join during this period, and so no shortage of opportunities to do this. Visit Go2Africa to find out the best places and when to see this unforgettable sight.

 

2. The Northern Territory’s Rainy Season

Image via Australia.com

The ‘top end’ of Australia includes Darwin, Kakadu and Arnhem Land, and without a doubt the most beautiful time of year to visit it is during the wet season, from November to April. (Although you might want to bring some insect repellent.) The world up there turns green as the rain transforms the landscape, and during this period you will see the arid earth come alive. Just watch out for the crocs.

 

3. Great Barrier Reef Spawning

Image via Dive In Australia

The Great Barrier Reef is in severe danger, thanks to global warming and our idiot government, but luckily for you, a human alive right now, it still exists and is still worth visiting — especially around the time of the coral spawn, between October and December of each year. At night, the corals release their gametes, causing clouds of baby-making cells to fill the water like a snow-globe shaken up. Unmissable.

 

4. Christmas Island Red Crabs

Image via the Christmas Island website

Christmas Island’s brightly coloured red crabs live in the forest for most of the year, but once per year, they migrate to the ocean to lay their eggs. It is one of the most awe-inspiring things you will see. While these little guys are only about 11.6cm wide, they migrate in their millions — about 45 million of them. The official Christmas Island website only gives estimates on when they’ll spawn — for example, in 2018 the dates are 4-5 November, 4-5 December and 2-3 January 2019, so make sure that you stay for a few weeks to maximise your chances of seeing this seriously unbelievable natural event.

 

5. Monarch Butterflies

Image via Wikipedia

Every year those most famous of butterflies, the orange and black Monarch Butterfly, migrates in their millions upon millions from the USA and Canado to Mexico. The swarm literally covers thousands of kilometres, and the migration is so long that no single Monarch survives the entire journey, instead reproducing along the way so that their young can carry on.

 

6. Aurora Borealis

Image via Wikipedia

Perhaps the most well-known annual phenomena, the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights is perhaps the most spectacular of them all. From late November to March in certain very northerly parts of the Northern Hemisphere, unreal lights fill the sky with the most insane colours. Alaska, Denmark, Scotland, Canada, Greenland, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Russia are the best countries to view them in… Why not try them all? At least one team member at Local Supply plans to see them each individually.

 

7. The Great Salmon Run

Image via Owen Sound Tourism 

Along the west coast of North America, hundreds of millions of pacific salmon race up their mountain streams against the current to find the places they were born, where they spawn and then die. One of the best places to see (and fish for, and eat!) wild salmon without the hassle of possible grizzly bear death is at the Owen Sound Salmon Tour in Ontario. Click here to read more about it.

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