What do Namibia, The Cook Islands, Oregon and Great Barrier Island have in common?
Probably not a lot really - apart from sharing 7th best score on National Geographics list of the worlds 99 top islands and coastlines...
The Nat-Geo Traveller Magazine experts rated 99 of the world's great islands, coastlines, and beaches for sustainability and authenticity. The results were broken down into 5 catergories - Top Rated, Doing Well, In The Balance, Facing Trouble and Bottom Rated.
Newfoundland and Labradors' Avalon Peninsula took out 1st place with a score of 84 while New Zealands' Tutukaka Coast shared 2nd best score with the Pembrokeshire coast in Wales.
Chile, Hawaii and Oman tied for 3rd and British Columbias' Gulf Islands, parts of Nova Scotia, Australia, Argentina, Scotland and Italy took out 4th, 5th & 6th places.
Some of the results were surprising!
'Facing Trouble' with a score of 48, Australias' Gold Coast gained critical comment like "displays symptoms of aggressive development—including air and water pollution, traffic congestion, and ugly sprawl."
Hawaiis' Waikiki scored a mere 45 and was described as facing severe problems. Comments included: "With its imported sand, high-rise concrete jungle, polluted water, and superficial touristic representation of indigenous Hawaiian culture, Waikiki certainly differs markedly from Kauai's pristine Na Pali coast."
So what did they have to say about little old Great Barrier Island?
Nicely postioned in the 'Top Rated' category the island is described as being "in excellent shape, relatively unspoiled, and likely to remain so."
The article touches on how unaffected Great Barrier Island remains, despite it's nearness (55miles) to Auckland Cosmopolitan area.
"With fewer than 1,000 permanent residents, more than half of its land area administered by New Zealand's Department of Conservation, and fewer introduced species than elsewhere in the country, the island is in good shape ecologically and will likely remain so for a while."
The panelists were generous with their praise for Great Barrier Island with 'anonymous' comments like, "Gin-clear waters and secluded coves lure sailors to New Zealand's Great Barrier Island..."
"The diverse coastal landscape is relatively unmodified and of outstanding aesthetic
"The bays, beaches, bush, and coastal waters are spectacularly beautiful. A majority of residents are committed to environmental sustainability"and, "Great location with high levels of biodiversity."
Sounds like a pretty good place to us!