"After 10 seconds at Tongariro National Park, it's easy to understand why the region was chosen as the backdrop for Peter Jackson's epic Lord of the Rings trilogy," said Lonely Planet, describing the park's "three dormant volcanoes, immortalised in the films, rise high above the cool, clear waters of Lake Taupo".

According to Lonely Planet, the Craters of the Moon is "the highlight of Tongariro's ethereal sights," a "steamy stretch of burping mud and smoke-spewing craters".

The World's Best Parks and Preserves

1. Namib Naukluft National Park, Namibia

2. Banff National Park, Canada

3. Mungo National Park, Australia

4. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, USA

5. Khao Sok National Park, Thailand

6. Northeast Greenland National Park, Greenland

7. Iguazu Falls National Park, Argentina/Brazil

8. Saba Marine National Park, Netherlands Antilles

9. Tongariro National Park, New Zealand


10. Galapagos National Park, Galapagos Islands