7 Natural Wonders of the World

By Amy Middleton July 28, 2009
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Voting has opened for the seven wonders of the natural world – and behind the elimination process is a message for conservation.

Attention earth enthusiasts, travellers and list-lovers worldwide: what would you choose as the greatest natural wonder of our world? Does our precious Great Barrier Reef win out in this contest? Or would you look beyond our borders to name the most dazzling of earth’s treasures?

Voting has opened for the Seven Wonders of the Natural World – and a couple of Aussie wonders made the cut. Two entries from our sprawling southern land – the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru – are among 28 global finalists.

The shortlist of 28 natural marvels was announced last week by the New7Wonders Foundation. Seven winners will then be chosen by public vote – to be announced in 2011.

While you might think an online poll isn’t the most accurate way to gather data, compiling a list of our favourite natural wonders proved a bit of fun for us, and, accurate or not, the campaign is estimated to receive one billion votes worldwide. Now that’s a wide demographic.

You might remember the New7Wonders Foundation as the group behind the New Seven Wonders of the World search, the winners of which were also decided by popularity poll, and announced in mid-2007.

The group is back, spearheaded by Swiss founder Bernard Weber, and it’s a free-for-all of online voting to name the most startling natural spectacles our world has to offer.

Happily, the campaign has a wider focus – the mission statement announces that “if we want to save anything, we first need to truly appreciate it!”

Possibly the coolest part of the process is the interactive voting screen, which lets you zoom in and out of a palette displaying the 28 finalists – it transforms your computer screen into an online showcase of things you’d rather be looking at.

The ‘greatest natural wonders of the world’ list

Check it out here and let us know your picks!

The 28 finalists (in alphabetical order)

Amazon Rainforest (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela)
Angel Falls (Venezuela)
Bay of Fundy (Canada)
Black Forest (Germany)
Bu Tinah Shoals (United Arab Emirates)
Cliffs of Moher (Ireland)
Dead Sea (Jordan, Israel, Palestine)
El Yunque (Puerto Rico)
Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)
Grand Canyon (United States)
Great Barrier Reef (Australia, Papua New Guinea)
Halong Bay (Vietnam)
Iguazu Falls (Argentina,  Brazil)
Jeita Grotto (Lebanon)
Jeju Island (South Korea)
Kilimanjaro (Tanzania)
Komodo National Park (Indonesia)
Maldives (Maldives)
Masurian Lake District (Poland)
Matterhorn/Cervino (Italy,  Switzerland)
Milford Sound (New Zealand)
Mud Volcanoes (Azerbaijan)
Puerto Princesa Underground River (Philippines)
Sundarbans (Bangladesh, India)
Table Mountain (South Africa)
Uluru (Australia)
Vesuvius (Italy)
Yushan (Taiwan)