There are a multitude of ways to see the world – both literally and figuratively – but for the purposes of travel, there are certain views and experiences that are heightened by, well, height. Here are some of the most staggeringly beautiful places you need to see from above, whether it’s via helicopter, plane, or hot air balloon.[listicle]
The Bungle Bungle, WA
In the heartland of Western Australia is the Bungle Bungle Range, a beehive-shaped landform that exists within the Purnululu National Park. The sandstone structure is believed to have resulted from an ancient meteorite impact crater. It’s possible to trek through the Bungle Bungles, but chartering a helicopter is totally worth it for those aerial shots. Trust us, you wont see views like this anywhere else in the world.
Photo: Robyn Jay/Flickr
Heart Reef, QLD
The Great Barrier Reef is renowned the world over for being one of the most scenically staggering places on the planet. An oft-forgotten pocket of this stunning ecosystem is Heart Reef, a love-heart shaped cluster just off the coast of Hamilton Island. It’s visible from the air via a one-hour aeroplane flight over the Great Barrier Reef which costs around $299 per person. Book here.
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
A hot air balloon safari sounds dreamt up, but in Tanzania it’s an actual thing that happens most days; you’re able to float in a hot air balloon over the famous Serengeti National Park, giving a birds eye view of the vast plains as the sun rises to greet the day. From your perch in the sky, you’ll almost certainly be able to witness a stage of the famous Serengeti Great Migration, where over 1.7 million wildebeest move around the ecosystem.
Photo: Serengeti Balloon Safaris
Victoria Falls, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Located at the cusp of the Zambezi River, Victoria Falls form the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. You can charter a helicopter to fly over the mammoth waterfall for around $200AUD per person. This chartering company combines the Victoria Falls helicopter experience with a sky-high safari, as well a trip over the misty curtain of water known as “Mosi oa Tunya”, meaning the smoke that thunders.
The tiny tropical Hawaiian island of Kauai has been left somewhat untouched in comparison to other tourist-friendly islands of the US state. Dubbed the ‘Garden Island’, it offers one of the most beautiful aerial views in the world, especially above the rugged stretch of coast known as Na Pali. Helicopter rides start at around $200AUD per person.
Photo: Kory Westerhold
Famous for its tall, cone-shaped rock formations clustered in Monks Valley, there’s a reason that the Turkish region of Cappadocia is more or less synonymous with hot air ballooning. Floating over this stunning terrain seems to be the most popular way to fly, perhaps because so many operators offer a buffet breakfast and champagne toast on landing. Prices start at $250AUD per person.
Hot air ballooning over the ancient temples of Bagan in Myanmar is something that probably won’t be leaving you any time soon. Take in the sheer scale of the site as the padoga’s domes pierce the mist beneath you. The ballooning season runs from mid-March ’til mid-Octover, and rides with Oriental Ballooning start at $450AUD per person which includes pickup from your hotel, pre-flight breakfast service while you watch the balloons inflate, and return to your accommodation. [/listicle]