12 Apostles, Victoria, Australia

12 Apostles, Australia

 

Tourists come from all over the world to view the magnificent 12 Apostles rock formation. Surrounded by white sand beach and framed with a beautiful ocean backdrop, the 12 Apostles is a picturesque scene. Formed by erosion, these towering limestone stacks are located off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park in Victoria, Australia. Though the stacks are called the 12 Apostles, there are only eight of them, and there were never more than nine. Visitors can enjoy the site from viewing areas off the road, or from the air in one of the helicopter tours given by the visitor center. Port Campbell National Park is located 3 hours and 250 km (155 miles) from Melbourne via the Princes Highway, or 5 hours via the scenic Great Ocean Road.

12 Apostles, Australia

12 Apostles, Australia

12 Apostles, Australia

12 Apostles, Australia

12 Apostles, Australia

12 Apostles, Australia

12 Apostles, Australia

12 Apostles, Australia

12 Apostles, Australia

Reed Flute Cave, Guilin, Guangxi, China

Reed Flute Cave, Guilin, Guangxi, China

Credit: James P. Nelson of National Geographic

The breathtaking Reed Flute Cave, located 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the city of Guilin in Guangxi, China, is named for the reeds that grow outside the entrance which can be made into flutes. The natural limestone cave is lit with multicolored lights, creating an otherworldly landscape of beauty. The cave itself is over 180 million years old, and has seen visitors for over 1200 years, which is known due to the existence of over 70 ink inscriptions inside the cave, dating back to 792 AD in the Tang Dynasty. Visitors can take an hour long walk through the cave on a U-shaped path to observe the impressive stalagmites, stalactites, and limestone columns that have formed. Also, there is a lovely park outside the cave, with gardens, pagodas, ponds, and peaceful pathways.

Reed Flute Cave, Guilin, Guangxi, China

Reed Flute Cave, Guilin, Guangxi, China

Reed Flute Cave, Guilin, Guangxi, China

Reed Flute Cave, Guilin, Guangxi, China

Reed Flute Cave, Guilin, Guangxi, China

Reed Flute Cave, Guilin, Guangxi, China

Reed Flute Cave, Guilin, Guangxi, China

Reed Flute Cave, Guilin, Guangxi, China

Reed Flute Cave, Guilin, Guangxi, China

Reed Flute Cave, Guilin, Guangxi, China

Mono Lake, California, USA

Mono Lake, California

 

In Mono County, California, just Northeast of Yosemite National Park, lies a fascinating 760,000 year old saline lake. Mono Lake has no outlet to the ocean, and has become very salty and alkaline. The most notable feature of Mono Lake is it strange tufa formations, giving the lake an other worldly or moon-like quality. The tufa at Mono Lake are limestone formations that were once underwater but have slowly been exposed as the lake’s water evaporated. Tufa deposits are also found at Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia.

Mono Lake, California

Mono Lake, California

Mono Lake, California

Mono Lake, California

Mono Lake, California

Mono Lake, California

Mono Lake, California

Mono Lake, California

Mono Lake, California

Credit: Dan Smith