Stuck inside but craving the great outdoors? Although there’s nothing like experiencing nature first hand, these virtual tours might give you a little of what you’re longing for.
Read on to discover our list of online nature experiences. Whether you’re after refined and elegant gardens or unspoiled wilderness, these virtual tours have something for everyone.
1. Smell the roses in California
The botanical gardens at the Huntington Library and Art Museum in San Marino, California cover almost 120 acres. Their virtual tour allows you to explore the Chinese and Japanese gardens, and even allows you inside their conservatories. One of the biggest attractions is the rose garden, with over 1,400 varieties of roses. A virtual wander around these historic gardens is a must for any plant lover.
2. Get the royal treatment
Nowhere brings to mind decadence and glamour quite like the Palace of Versailles. But the palace’s grounds are an attraction in their own right: Take a virtual tour and explore the Orangery, Marie Antoinette’s Estate, and the exquisite Apollo Fountain. This comprehensive tour gives a real feel for the breadth and beauty of these timeless gardens. A short journey from the city centre, make a tour of Versailles part of your next trip to Paris.
3. Your living room with a mountain view
If you want to see stunning mountain views of the Canadian Rockies, then look no further. These five webcams provide you with regularly updated 360 degree footage. Marvel at views of mountains, lake, and sky from Banff and Jasper National Parks.
4. Cultivate a love for flora in the US capital
The United States Botanical Gardens lie in the shadow of the magnificent Capitol Building in Washington D.C. The gardens are home to over 10,000 species of plants. Take an online tour of the Conservatory, National Garden, and Bartholdi Park, and get inspired for your next trip. The gardens are a must-see part of any tour of DCs monuments and attractions.
5. Watch in wonder
If you want a truly meditative experience, why not watch Yosemite Falls from the comfort of your own home? This live feed shows you one of the world’s tallest waterfalls in all its glory. Watch the water cascade from this 739 meter (2,425 ft) natural wonder and feel yourself transported to the serenity of Yosemite Valley. This small taster might make you want to add a future tour of Yosemite to your bucket list.
6. Dive into an Australian reef
Dive into Australia’s oceans and make some underwater friends with Port Phillip Bay’s reef cam. This is a truly tranquil experience. Become familiar with some of the deep-sea flora and fauna lying just off the coast of Melbourne. There is even a handy guide to help you identify the fish you might see gliding gently past.
7. Follow in the footsteps of giant
Journey to the Atlantic Coast of Northern Ireland with a virtual tour of the world-famous Giant’s Causeway. This geological phenomenon was caused by an ancient volcanic eruption that resulted in 40,000 interlocking hexagonal basalt columns. Legend has it that the columns are the remains of a road built by a giant. The online tour offers 360 degree views from different areas along the stretch of this breathtaking coastline.
8. Watch the sky light up
The Northern Lights, or the aurora borealis as they’re also known, are one of nature’s most awe-inspiring phenomena. The earth’s magnetic field reacts with electrically charged particles from the sun to light the sky in an array of colors. The “Lights over Lapland” project has made it possible to see the lights from the comfort of your couch. Take a virtual journey beyond the Arctic Circle and watch the lights dance across the sky.
9. Grand by name, grand by nature
It’s difficult to get a sense of the scale of Arizona’s most famous landmark from a photo. But these virtual views of The Grand Canyon are so realistic they might just give you vertigo. Take a 360 degree tour of this 1857 meter (6092 ft) canyon — just make sure you have a head for heights.
10. Go on a home safari
Always wanted to go on safari but not yet made it to the wilds of Africa? Now is your chance to get a taste of life in the South African wilderness. The Africam live webcams allow you to observe exotic animals in their natural habitat. Watch elephants drinking from water holes, cheetahs prowling through long grass, and giraffes strolling across the plains (if you’re lucky!). This glimpse of the unspoiled wilderness might inspire you to go on safari on a future trip to Africa.