Enhancing Wellbeing in Nature: Five of The World's Best National Parks

Mirador Salto Grande waterfall, Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
Mirador Salto Grande waterfall, Torres del Paine National Park, Chile | © Image Professionals GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo
Josephine Platt

Commissioning Editor

Green spaces in our cities work wonders on our mental health by connecting us with nature. There’s nothing quite like a jaunt out of the bustle to forests that stretch as far as the eye can see, though. Enter National Parks. Culture Trip cherry-picks five across the globe for you to plan your next trip around.

Kruger National Park, South Africa


Elephants crossing a river in Kruger National Park, South Africa.
© Ben McRae / Alamy Stock Photo
If seeing the ‘Big Five’ – lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffalos – is on your wish list, Kruger National Park needs to be, too. At this South African park, which covers an area of almost 20,000 square kilometres (7,722 square miles) across the provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga, you can see all of these mammals in their natural habitat along with hundreds more as you pass through bush plains, mountains and tropical forests on a safari tour. To get there, your nearest international South African airport is in Johannesburg.

Yellowstone National Park, USA


Trout Lake at Yellowstone National Park
© Martina Sliger / Alamy Stock Photo
Yellowstone National Park stretches nearly 9,000sq km (3,500sq mi) across Wyoming, with sections in Montana and Idaho. In other words, there’s a lot of ground to cover. It’s most fabled for its natural wonders in the ground including its kaleidoscopic Grand Prismatic Spring and its Old Faithful Geyser; these are definitely worth a visit, but expect a lot of tourists to be around. The way to do it is to block out four or five days and get your hiking boots on. Don’t forget the bear spray.

New Forest, United Kingdom


Path leading through the New Forest, UK
© Travelpix Ltd / Getty Images
The New Forest is less than two hours from London, but it’s a whole world away, with roaming ponies and cows as its inhabitants. The countryside in this National Park is no less than the stuff of classic poems. It’s one of the largest unenclosed pasture lands – stretching across Hampshire and Wiltshire – with numerous things you can do other than walking or cycling its tracks. Among them are riding a steam train at Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway, visiting the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, and snooping around Henry VIII’s former fortress, Hurst Castle.

Arakwal National Park, Australia


Tallow Beach at Arakwal National Park
© Paris Jefferson / Getty Images

As an Australian coastal town that’s known first and foremost for its surf culture, Byron Bay’s National Park of Arakwal is, naturally, inclusive of the beach as well as greenery. The coastline in question is Tallow Beach; the park begins at the Lighthouse reserve and follows the curves of the seashore some 2,000km (1,2443mi). Here, you can swim, fish, and maybe even spot a whale.

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile


Lake Pehoe, Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
© Stefano Paterna / Alamy Stock Photo
Chile’s Patagonia region is home to a remarkable park of approximately 181,414 hectares (448,284 acres) called Torres del Paine, meaning the Towers of Blue. It takes its name after the three distinctive rock towers that lie among the mountains, glaciers, lakes and rivers. Its Torres del Paine W Trek is a classic route for which you should leave three or four days. Warm clothes are a must.
culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.