By Julia Austin, Planet Green
Many resorts and travel destinations can give you the feeling of isolation. The sounds of tropical birds pumping through speakers tucked into fake palm trees, a semi-remote location and staff members in grass skirts can almost give the impression that you’ve made a big track in search of serenity. Almost. However, for some adventurers the adrenaline rush/deep relaxation/sense of freedom or whatever it is they are looking for only sets in when they really worked to get to their vacation destination. And by “worked” I mean took some small, shaky, infrequently traveled form of transportation to one of these truly remote destinations. Here are some of the worlds most isolated locations for the diehard adventurer.
Cape York Peninsula, Australia
An expanse of untouched wilderness at the country’s northern tip, Cape York Peninsula is home to 18,000 people, most of whom are part of aboriginal tribes. Cape York Peninsula is one of the world’s largest undeveloped places and has become wildly popular amongst adventurers who are serious about going where no man (or almost no man) has never gone before. Visitors can drive jeeps or trucks but some overgrown regions are simply inaccessible and have only been seen by helicopters.
This island is so stunning that one group of people left their families, their jobs—everything—upon seeing it to stay and live there. I’m talking about the famous HMS Bounty mutiny of 1789 when crew members were so enchanted by the island, they overthrew their commander, burnt their ship and settled down. Only about 50 people inhabit the island today, most of them descendants of the entranced crew. To get to the island, visitors must take a boat trip out of New Zealand which can take up to 10 days.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Motuo County, China
Mutuo is the last county in China with absolutely no road leading to it. Located in the Tibetan Atunomous Region, Motuo is considered by Buddhist scripture as Tibet’s Holy Land. Botanists find a form of worship there too, as the county houses 1/10th of all of China’s flora. Motuo seems to resist any connection with the modern world. Millions of dollars have been spent in an attempt to build a road leading into it, but every effort has failed due to avalanches, landslides or mudslides. The only road that was ever completed was overgrown by wildlife within a matter of weeks. For those ready to go on foot, they must travel through frozen parts of the Himalayas before crossing a 200-foot suspension bridge.
Macquarie Island, Australia
This island became a tourist destination by a fluke when vessels carrying travelers to Antarctica stopped there to break up the multi-day voyage. Halfway between Tasmania and Antarctica, the island is home to a mere 20 Australian scientists and their support staff and is the only place to see an Ophiolite—a biologist’s dream and a rock that indicates the existence of a former ocean basin.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Deception Island, Antarctica
The Island got it’s name after a small aircraft pilot misjudged his distance from the land and crashed, killing 4 passengers and leaving one to perish while he waited for help. If the story behind the name doesn’t put off adventurers, today they can wander around the remains of old Antarctic bases, long destroyed by volcanic eruptions, swim in volcanically heated waters at Pendulum Cove, or visit approximately 200,000 birds at Chinstrap Penguin colony.
Bald Head Island
While this remote island is, admittedly, just 2 miles off of North Carolina, I thought it only fair to show that the U.S has its own spots unaffected by modern life. Known for its 110 foot tall and 5 foot thick lighthouse, the island has served as a trusty sentinel since 1817. It is only accessible by private boat or ferry and once on the island the main forms of transportation or golf carts and bicycles. Located at the mouth of Cape Fear River that leads right into the Atlantic Ocean, the island was once a hot spot of exploration by Native Americans, European settlers and Spanish sailors.
If you’re craving a departure from the guarded adventures offered by popular tourist destinations, take your wilder side to one of these remote destinations and leave some of the few human footprints there.