7 Wonders of the Backpacker’s World

Tongariro Alpine Crossing | 7 Wonders of the Backpacker's World

7 Wonders of the Backpacker's WorldWhat wonders in the world have you seen?

There are dozens of “Wonders of the World” lists these days – not limited to the 7 Wonders of the “Modern” World, the 7 Wonders of the “Ancient” World, the 7 Wonders of the “Natural” World & so on. So here’s my list of the 7 Wonders of the Backpacker’s World, in no particular order.

All of these places are completely within reach for any backpacker – so within reach for any person, in general. All of these destinations were under $300 to go to (after getting to the country that is) and a few of them were free – you just had to hike a little ways to get there :)

1. The Great Barrier Reef

Scuba diving and snorkeling off the Agincourt Reefs along the continental shelf. [$290 for 2 dives + 1 snorkeling trip. For more details, click here.]

2. Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Beautiful 19km hike in the North Island of New Zealand. [$80 for transportation to and from the start/end points]

3. Milford Sound

Kayaking around the Fiordlands in the South Island of New Zealand. [$220 for a kayak tour]

4. Nacula Island, Fiji

Island hopping in Fiji to the furthest islands – the Yasawas. Hiking, snorkeling and relaxing in paradise :) [Free hike near the Blue Lagoon Resort.]


5. 12 Apostles, Lorne, Australia

One of the many beautiful sites along the Great Ocean Road. [Free viewing points]

6. Bali, Indonesia

Vibrantly green Tegalalong Rice Terraces [Free viewing points]

7. Phang Nga Bay, Thailand

Boat tour around the hundreds of islands of Phang Nga Bay. [AMAZING $25 boat tour with Rattanachol Canoeing – although it was advertised for a bit more than that]

I’m 24 years young (well 25, according to Korea) and I’ve been blessed enough to have been able to go to these beautiful places during my life thus far. Don’t get me wrong, it took a lot of hard work – saving money, planning, researching and most importantly, it took a LOT of determination. But if I can do it, you can do it :)

To my fellow travelers: What places would you put on your 7 Wonders of the Backpacker’s World list? (even if you’re not necessarily a “backpacker” :))


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18 Comment

  1. Elizabeth says: Reply

    Super post! My 7 would be (in no particular order):

    Iguazu Falls, Argentina/Brazil. Just wow!

    Machu Picchu, Peru – trekking rather than catching the train! Hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life but oh so worth it!

    Cycling down Death Road in Bolivia. Scaryyyyyy, exhilarating, freezing cold, boiling hot, bumpy, incredible!

    Sand boarding in the Atacama Desert, Chile. Great workout for the glutes, makes for amazing photographs.

    Staying at Octopus Resort, Waya Island, Fiji. The BEST beach I’ve ever seen and the best hostel ever. We won a free massage, a bottle of champagne and a lobster dinner from playing beach party games. Backpackers dream!!! Food is insane.

    Hiking Franz Josef glacier in New Zealand. I’ve never experienced anything else quite like it.

    Watching the sun rise over Angkor Wat, Cambodia. A very humbling experience.

    Wow I could have gone on forever. I can’t recommend backpacking enough. I met my best friend travelling in Brazil who is a bridesmaid at my wedding next year where I am marrying the man of my dreams who I met travelling in Vietnam!!

  2. robynd says: Reply

    Wow. Thailand and New Zealand look especially appealing.

  3. Hello,

    Went to 3 out of the 7… not bad. Tongariro is such a cool trek.

    Isn’t your list a little bit far easted? :) You could include there something in Euro for exemple, Plitivic Lakes in croatia and in America, e.g. Machu Picchu, Peru.


    1. Kirsten Joelle says: Reply

      You’re definitely right! I’m Euro-bound in a few weeks so I’ll hopefully be making a new list soon! :)

  4. john says: Reply

    this is an amazing list of beautiful places and it is difficult to choose best place out of these 7 places for backpacking. I like the milford sound in new zealand and it is the best place as per viewing in picture. I will definetely visit this place.

  5. Isabella says: Reply

    I enjoyed trekking to reach undeveloped (not much means of transportation, no hotels nearby) places/beaches. Haven’t travelled much but I really liked Nagsasa Cove and Anawangin in Philippines. Check out Hidden Falls and Calaguas on this page: https://yabagmc.wordpress.com/ This guys are awesome, and they’ve got the transportation & itinerary planned out for like less than 50CAD. From, camp, trekking, rapelling, canyoneering, surfing…

  6. Jodie says: Reply

    Wow, I’ve actually been to every place on your list!! Nice :)
    I would choose Ningaloo Reef (Western Australia) over great barrier (reef is straight off the beach, no need to pay to get out there) and better still in Oz- Karijini NP or Lord Howe Island. Google them and have a look. I’d also say that southern China has some of the best scenery in the world and far more of an ‘adventure’ than South East Asia. Check out Lijuang and Yangshou.
    Happy Travels!

  7. jheiss says: Reply

    Kaweah Gap in Sequoia National Park in the Sierra Nevada mountains in California, USA would be on my list. Beautiful scenery and a trail blasted out of the side of a cliff with little tunnels and overhangs.

  8. Sarah says: Reply

    Great post! My 7 wonders (in no particular order) would be:

    1. Corniglia, Cinque Terre, Italy- Spectacular hiking, wonderful people and quaint streets.

    2. Dusseldorf, Germany- The kindest and most welcoming people, beautiful parks and a vibrant city.

    3. Eze, France- a quiet little coastal town with traditional restaurants, cosy cottages and local markets.

    4. Rarotonga, Cook Islands- one of the happiest places in the world! Snorkelling, kayaking, relaxing on the beach, hiking, swimming, fishing. Get involved in the local way of life by attending church (a very fun and colourful event) and joining a street party.

    5. Kampot, Cambodia- unspoilt riverside town. Pepper farms, caves, river cruises ($5 max).

    6. Siem Reap, Cambodia- temples, sunsets, people, food, markets, lively atmosphere. Definitely take a quad bike tour of the surrounding countryside. Spectacular!

    7. Singapore- contrary to popular belief Singapore can actually be a cheap place to visit. Discover Chinatown and Little India and you will find yourself immersed in the rich culture of Singapore including authentic (and xheap) local food. Free tours in both areas.

    1. Awesome list!! I’ve only been to Singapore but I’ll be visiting Cambodia in a few months and will definitely be going to Siem Reap! I was also looking into Kampot so thanks for the tips! I’ll hopefully be moving to Europe next fall so I’ll attempt to check off #1, 2 and 3 as well! Thanks so much for reading!

  9. Eilidh Morrison says: Reply

    I just need to know- how are you 25 according to Korea?

    1. Haha they calculate age differently – when they’re born, they’re already 1 and everyone turns a year older on January 1st. So if a child was born on December 31st, then the next day, they’d be 2 years old!

  10. Phil says: Reply

    Agree totally with NZ! Plan on making a trip to Australia to dive the reef soon as well. As for you, I’d suggest Switzerland. Expensive but not bad if you just get a Swiss pass and take the trains and see where you end up

    1. I’ve been to Switzerland once, but for only a few days back when I was in high school! I absolutely need to make another trip back there, though! It’s such a beautiful country! The boyfriend and I have briefly discussed climbing the Matterhorn :)

  11. nick says: Reply

    check out the falkland islands. There you can travel (with only paying taxi costs) for basically free to all of the islands outside of the mainland. They are so pretty!

  12. Ceri says: Reply

    One of the wonders of the backpacker’s world is being able to get free breakfast at your hostel. 😉 Haha

  13. awesome . keep living life as it should be. .having fun..blessings

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