Milford Sound #3 in ‘Seven Wonders’ search
11 Mar 2009
New Zealand’s iconic Milford Sound is now number three in the global race to find the world’s ‘Seven Wonders of Nature’ - thanks to enthusiastic on-line voters.
The popular South Island tourist destination, which attracts thousands of tourists to New Zealand each year, features in the seascapes category of the competition.
It has moved up from fifth place in phase two of the 7Wonders competition, run by a Swiss non-profit foundation. An official on-line voting and ranking system will determine the final list of the world’s greatest scenic marvels.
Process of elimination
Millions of people are expected to vote for their favourite 'natural wonder'. The 261 nominations from 222 countries have been divided into seven categories. By July 2009 they will be further narrowed to 77 semi-finalists.
Nominations include mountain peaks, islands, volcanoes, lakes, landscapes, forests, national parks, rivers and waterfalls.
A panel of international nature experts - chaired by former UNESCO chief Federico Mayor - will choose the 21 finalists. The final outcome won’t be known until 2011.
An eligible ‘wonder’ must be a clearly defined natural site or natural monument that was not created or significantly altered by humans for aesthetic reasons.
Milford Sound which topped the popular votes for New Zealand is up against other famous seascapes like Great Barrier Reef and the Red Sea.
Iconic New Zealand destination
A vast conservation area and tourist destination, Milford Sound attracts more than 500,000 tourists each year and was once described by Rudyard Kipling as the "eighth wonder of the world".
More recently, it was named #1 Destination in the World by TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel community.
Located within Fiordland National Park, in the South Island, the 'sound' is actually a fjord running 15km inland from the Tasman Sea, and surrounded by sheer rock faces rising to 1200m or more on either side.
Among its most striking features are Mitre Peak, rising 1,692m above the sound, the Elephant at 1,517m and resembling an elephant’s head, and Lion Mountain, 1,302m, in the shape of a crouching lion. Lush rain forests cling precariously to these cliffs, and the deep waters are populated by seals, penguins and dolphins.
Vote for Milford Sound
Milford Sound - votes and ranking: New 7 Wonders website
Natural wonder Milford Sound in global search
New Zealand World Heritage Sites
These topics may also be of interest to you