The Coalition of National Park Services Retirees (yeah, I didn’t know they existed either) put out a press release yesterday listing the organizations favorite national parks from around the globe. The list was compiled by the more than 700 members of the CNPSR, who voted on their favorite places to visit while traveling abroad. Each of those members is a former employee of the U.S. National Park Service, and the members have an average of nearly 30 years of experience each, giving them a broad understanding of what makes a great park. Amongst their numbers are former rangers, park directors and deputy directors, regional directors and more.
The ten top parks according to the CNPSR is as follows:
1. TONGARIRO N. P., New Zealand
2. KAKADU N. P., Northern Territory, Australia
3. SNOWDONIA N. P., Wales, Great Britain
4. KRUGER N. P., South Africa
5. TIKAL N. P., Guatemala
6. IGUAZU N. P., Argentina
7. SAGARMANTHA N. P., Nepal
8. MADAIN SALEY NATIONAL HISTORIC PARK, Saudi Arabia
9. PLITVICE LAKES N.P., Croatia
10. HORTOBAGY N.P., Hungary
The actual story goes into more detail as to which each of the parks was selected, and what makes them stand out in the crowd. For instance, Tongarirro in New Zealand is a World Heritage Site with three volcanos, one of which is active. The park also lets visitors get up close to the Maori culture, with many members of the tribe still living within the park itself. By contrast, Kruger National Park in South Africa, is listed as one of the best places on the planet to view wildlife, with hundreds of different species on display.
Overall, a great list, and some good suggestions on places you can visit while traveling abroad. It’s nice to see some of the lesser known parks make the list, like Plitvice Lakes in Croatia. These kinds of lists sure don’t help the personal life list however, as every time they are released, I add two or three new things to my agenda.