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10 Best National Parks Around the World

by , SmarterTravel Staff
Zebras at Sunset, Serengeti National Park (Photo: Shutterstock.com)
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on October 14, 2013. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: Africa, Canada, Caroline Morse, Chile, destination, Galapagos Islands, Guatemala, Japan, national park, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland, Tanzania, Venezuela.

(Photo: Zebras at Sunset in the Serengeti via Shutterstock)

National parks are kind of an American thing. After all, we established the first one (Yellowstone) in 1872. But it didn't take long for the idea to catch on overseas, and these days the international community can give even our most impressive parks a run for their money. If you love exotic wildlife, ancient ruins, and otherworldly scenery, you might want to add these 10 foreign national parks to your bucket list.

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Fiordland National Park, New Zealand

Where else can you enjoy mountains, lakes, fjords, and rainforests in one park? Fiordland National Park, located on New Zealand's South Island, encompasses a massive almost 3 million acres (roughly 4,687 square miles) formed by glacial flows. The most famous of the park's 14 fjords is Milford Sound, which visitors can explore from all angles: Take a helicopter ride above it, cruise on the water, or go below (without getting wet) at the Milford Discovery Center's underwater viewing chamber, which offers 360-degree views of the ecosystem and rare black coral some 30 feet underwater.

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