Good Morning! The 11 Best Sunrises on Earth
Best sunrises for families to see By Yahoo! Travel
Sunrise over Joshua Tree (Flickr: Joshua Tree National Park)
Sometimes you rise early for it, other times you’re up (real) late for it, but whichever way you cut it, witnessing the sunrise is more often than not a spectacular experience. Add to that formula jagged mountain peaks, seemingly endless sky, or the deep blue of the ocean, and you are likely to have a moment in which Mother Nature reminds you just how powerful she is. In the interest of finding beauty wherever we venture, we’ve culled a list of the most breathtaking sunrises around the world. Subjective as a list like this may be, there is little chance that watching the giant ball of fire ascend into the heavens from one of the following locations will be anything less than phenomenal.
Lake Te Anau Sunrise (Flickr: Brendan Bombaci)
Fiordland National Park, New Zealand: Take in lake views on either side of the ridgeline as you hike along New Zealand’s Kepler Track in Fiordland National Park, on your way to the Luxmore Hut. Watch the sun take over the sky from the 54-bunk hut, situated far above the bush line, affording it a stunning vista across the Kepler Mountains and over Lake Te Anau.
Petoskey, Michigan: This could be the most unexpected spot on the list, but those who spend time in Northern Michigan will fight for its rightful place on it. Both summer and winter (although you’ll have to bundle up, if it’s the latter) offer a jaw-dropping scene as the sun extends over the vast lake. There are several charming resort towns and fishing villages in Northern Michigan to choose from, but witnessing the yellow ball ascend into a crisp, clear blue sky over Little Traverse Bay in Petoskey is something you won’t soon forget.
Hydra, Greece: This off-the-beaten-path artists’ haven is one of the Saronic Islands of Greece, a little more than an hour’s ferry ride from tourist-heavy Athens. Grab a croissant (or if you’re feeling slightly more debauched, a beer) at the open-early O Fournos bakery, and sit on the west side of the crescent-shaped harbor and look over to the opposite side of the island just as the fishermen set out in search of the catch of the day. Your view won’t be hindered by any roaring engines: Motorized vehicles are not permitted on the island.
Joshua Tree National Park, California: Take your chances at the first-come, first-served Jumbo Rocks campsite, and make an adventure out of it. Given that you’ll be sleeping outside or in a tent, you shouldn’t have any issue getting up early to climb atop one of the giant rocks and watch as the blistering desert sun rises high in the sky over the gangly, Dr. Seuss-like Joshua trees.
Sunrise at Lake Batur (Flickr: Matthew Kenwrick)
Lake Batur, Bali, Indonesia: Hike straight up the still-active Mount Batur volcano in the dark of night for two and a half hours, and prepare to be stunned. In a scene that seems to go on forever, a kaleidoscope of gold, coral, neon orange, and fluorescent pink suffuses the sky, as the sun makes its presence known.
Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia: The light in Byron Bay is spectacular, no matter what the weather, but there is nothing quite like the tango the sun and the sky engage in here. You’ll likely have the sensation of summiting the globe when you walk your way to the Cape Byron Lighthouse, on the easternmost point of mainland Australia, for a truly stunning and colorful view over the Pacific. Afterward, reward yourself for the early wake-up call by grabbing arguably the best flat white coffee in town at the nearby Top Shop.
Sunrise over Table mountain (Flickr: Ian Barbour)
Masada, Israel: When your alarm goes off in the middle of the night, you may not be thrilled. That will all change, however, after you make the 30- to 40-minute, pitch-black trek up Masada at the western edge of the Judean Desert, to be rewarded by the sun ascending over the Dead Sea. As the legend goes, King Herod built the fortress at the end of the first century B.C.E. Around 74 C.E., the siege of Masada took place, when the troops of the Roman Empire stormed the city toward the end of the first Jewish-Roman War, resulting in the mass suicide of its inhabitants. Remnants of the palaces and fortress still exist, so make sure to walk through the remains and take in the history, once the sun’s show is complete.
(Related: Floating Alive on the Dead Sea)
Sconset, Nantucket, Massachusetts: On the eastern end of Nantucket (which roughly translates to "faraway island"), lies the charming and pristine village of Sconset. Head to the historic Sankaty Head Lighthouse for some of the first views of the rising sun anywhere in the country. The lighthouse is positioned atop the Sankaty Head bluff overlooking the Atlantic, providing an idyllic view of the big orange ball as it dramatically rises out of the water.
Cape Town, South Africa: South Africa’s Table Mountain (named for its flat top) overlooks the city of Cape Town and is the country’s most iconic landmark— and not surprisingly, its most photographed. You’ll find it hard not to contribute to that statistic when you watch the sun rise here, exploding into a deep array of orange hues stretching 180 degrees across the horizon.
Haleakala Sunrise (Flickr: Bill Devlin)
Haleakala, Maui: You may feel like you are on another planet — or at the very least, the top of the world — after driving to the top of the massive Haleakala volcano. It makes up more than 75% of the island, and Haleakala National Park is the place to watch the sunrise. Don’t forget to bring layers: The temperature at the 10,000-foot summit tends to be chilly, despite the fact you’re in Hawaii. After the sun has come up, take an unexpected route down by traveling the road to Hana, for a stunning adventure through pineapple vineyards and the countryside of Maui.
Angkor Wat, Cambodia: Cambodia’s top tourist attraction, Angkor Wat (which translates to "City of Temples"), is a complex of temples that require a pass to access. Purchase the several-day option and make sure to rise early for one of them: Forgoing a few hours of sleep allows you a chance to take in the largest religious monument in the world without the crowds. While there is no shortage of tour guides to take you there, you can also rent a bike to explore the more than 100 beautifully carved temples and shrines within the 154-square-mile area. Climb atop one of the ancient temples to take in the moment. With any luck, it will just be you and a few monks.
By Sari Anne Tuschman