Top 10 Largest Natural Reserves in The World

feature image - largest reserves

Nature embraces us with beauty and refined elegance. Nonetheless, most of the time, we neglect to appreciate and understand the excellence of the planet.

An undisturbed wilderness, complete with lush vegetation, clean waterfalls, cool breezes, and a plethora of wildlife, seems like a dream but is within our reach. Are you considering a getaway to some of the world’s most beautiful locations?

Below, you will learn a comprehensive list of the world’s top ten largest natural reserves, including various protected areas, conservation parks, natural parks, marine resources, transactional parks, and many more.

1. Natural Reserves of the Coral Sea

New Caledonia - largest natural reserves
The seashore of New Caledonia viewed from Amédée lighthouse (source)
CountryNew Caledonia
Area499,217 square miles
Major AttractionMarine Park

New Caledonia is world-famous for its beautiful nature, diverse species, and spectacular coastal ecosystems.

The Coral Sea Natural Park safeguards extensive marine habitats vital to the inhabitants, wildlife, and environmental protection of the territories in the southwestern Pacific region.

Natural Park of the Coral Sea in New Caledonia is a haven for sharks, whales, and turtles, as well as the world’s third-largest community of dugong, the very last living aquatic creature that consumes only plants.

Undisturbed world-class scuba diving locations, such as remote reefs with colorful coral walls that provide the scenic setting for roaming reef sharks, can be found in the Natural Park of the Coral Sea.

New Caledonia also possesses one of the world’s largest lagoons, measuring 24,000 square kilometers (nearly 9,000 square miles), surrounded by the planet’s second longest coral reef, measuring 1,600 kilometers (618 miles).

The lagoon supplies fresh seafood and coastline defense to the locals. The lagoon stretches back to ancient times and is essential to the distinctive local cultures and traditions.

2. Pacific Remote Islands

Pacific - largest reserves
Corals of Pacific remote islands (source)
CountryUnited States
Area490,929 square miles
Major AttractionCoral Reefs

Located in the central Pacific Ocean, the Pacific Remote Islands Monument includes seven islands and atolls: Baker, Howland, Jarvis Island; Johnston, Wake, Palmyra Atolls; and Kingman Reef.

There are 165 identified oceanic plates in the Monument that are sites of diversity and species richness. It is one of the earth’s most beautiful tropical marine habitats.

The island hosts corals, fish, shellfish, marine mammals, seabirds, land birds, insects, and flora existing nowhere else on the planet.

Green and hawksbill turtles, pearl oysters, giant clams, reef sharks, coconut crabs, groupers, hump-head, Napoleon wrasses, bump-head parrotfish, dolphins, and whales are just a few of the vulnerable, threatened, and depleting creatures that dwell in the territory.

Since January 2009, the National Monument has been designated as a protected area. Commercial fishing and resource mining are forbidden in this area. Travelers wishing to visit must get a special permit, which is usually only granted to researchers.

3. South Georgia Marine Protected Area

South Georgia - largest reserves
Penguins of Sandwich Islands (source)
CountrySouth Georgia and the Sandwich Islands-United Kingdom
Area413,129 square miles
Major AttractionEndangered marine species and albatross 

The South Georgia Marine Protected Area is a vast natural preservation and conservation area around the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands in the far southern Atlantic Ocean. It is very much closer to Antarctica’s coastlines.

Because the islands and the surrounding area are classified as British Overseas Territories, the British Government protects the natural reserve.

No inhabitants reside in this location due to the isolated geography and freezing weather throughout the year.

South Georgia shelters a large population of wandering black-browed and grey-headed albatrosses, macaroni, Gentoo, and king penguins.

The islands’ water is particularly full of nutrients attributable to their proximity in the Antarctic Convergence Zone. Thus, providing favorable circumstances for albatrosses, penguins, seals, and whales. 

The marine reserve’s laws in this location are highly restrictive, with no commercial fishing permitted and extensive “no-take zones” where all fishing activities are forbidden.

Longline and krill fishing is only allowed during the colder months when albatrosses, krill-eating penguins, seals, and whales are few or non-existent.

Furthermore, the transportation and use of heavy crude oil and the misuse of natural resources are restricted.

4. Coral Sea Commonwealth Marine Reserve

osprey reef - largest reserves
Australian Osprey coral reef (source)
CountryAustralia
Area382,180 square miles
Major AttractionShallow reef systems and canyons

The park is one of the world’s largest marine parks and is located off the coastlines outside the Great Barrier Reef.

Coral reefs, sandy cays, deep-sea plains, and canyons are among the unique ecosystems found in the Coral Sea Marine Park.

Annually, humpback whales travel through the marine park from Antarctica, and legendary black marlin swarms may be spotted at Osprey Reef.

Marine turtles and seabirds reproduce in comfort and solitude on secluded cays above the sea. The Coral Sea Marine Reserve is home to six of the world’s seven aquatic turtle varieties.

Additionally, the marine park preserves sixteen diverse bottom ecosystems, including seamounts, canyons, and plains.

It consists of 34 large reef zones and 67 cays and islets, and 15,000 sq. km of shallow reef systems followed by much marine life.

5. Northeast National Park

Northeast - largest reserves
Northeast National Park (source)
CountryGreenland
Area375,291 square miles
Major AttractionArctic wildlife and Northern lights

The world’s largest national park, Greenland’s National Park, is a magnificent Nordic wonderland. It shelters a diverse assortment of species as well as breathtaking landscapes.

And did you know that the National Park is more significant than the majority of countries? Well, the territory is approximately the same size as France and Spain put together!

As beautiful as its coastlines and rocky cliffs, Greenland National Park is also a place of residence to Arctic fauna that should not be ignored.

This extremely picturesque region is home to numerous species of walrus, musk oxen, and varieties of seals. Beluga whales, narwhals, and uncommon Arctic seabirds have been spotted off the coast, adding to this diverse wildlife population.

Due to vegetation and biodiversity, multiple international research, assessments, and expeditions are drawn to the territory yearly. 

Additionally, experts look into the historical artifacts from ancient towns along the shore to study human civilization. At present, the only inhabitants located here permanently are tiny groups of about 40 individuals.

6. Chagos

Chagos - largest reserves
Chagos Region (source)
CountryBritish Indian Ocean Territory
Area247,105 square miles
Major AttractionPelagic wildlife

The Chagos is home to one of the globe’s most delicate and spectacular marine habitats. The Chagos archipelago is a collection of 55 small island chains surrounded by 60,000 square kilometers of coastal ecosystems and the purest ocean water on earth.

The territory’s marine environment, tropical coral reefs, and archipelagos shelter various aquatic and land animals. It comprises the Great Chagos Bank, which is the world’s biggest surviving coral atoll.

Furthermore, Chagos boasts a large colony of the few mating seabirds in the tropical Indian Ocean and is eight times richer in reef fish population than elsewhere in the Indian Ocean.

The Chagos has a tropical oceanic climate that is warm and wet with prevailing winds to regulate the temperature. Plenty of sunlight, pleasant warmth, precipitation, and moderate winds characterize the peculiar environment of this area. 

As per Southern Maldivian hearsay, native tradespeople and fisherman were periodically lost at sea and trapped on one of the Chagos Islands.

They were subsequently rescued and returned home. These islands, therefore, were deemed excessively distant from the Maldives to be sustainably colonized by Maldivians. 

As a result, the Chagos Islands were overlooked by their northern neighbors for several generations. This neglect might be one reason why the Chagos ecosystems have shown to be resilient to climate change and environmental disruption.

7. Hoggar National Park

Hoggar - largest reserves
View of Ahaggar National Park (source)
CountryAlgeria
Area173,746 square miles
Major AttractionHoggar Mountain and Lava Fields

The Hogar National Park, also popularly known as Ahaggar National Park, is not simply rich in biodiversity and wildlife but is full of enthralling cultural and natural heritage.

The most prominent peak in Algeria, Mount Hoggar, is situated in the world’s largest desert adding to the tremendous natural splendor.

The site is also famous for its engravings, paintings, and multi-faced landscapes. The vegetation is diverse, with a large variety of species coexisting in harsh environments.

Olives, lavender, myrtle, acacias, tamarisk, and palms are among the most widespread plants. The Tuareg use the majority of these herbs as folk medicine.

The fennec fox, Dorcas gazelle, bighorn sheep, rodents, and prickly rock hyrax make up the majority of the biodiversity of the national park.

Desert dunes, lava fields, and dormant volcanoes are some other attractions that have pulled visitors to this location for ages.

8. Phoenix Islands

Phoenix Island - largest reserves
Astonishing hotel of Phoenix Island, Sanya Hotel (source)
CountryKiribati
Area157,626 square miles
Major AttractionRing-shaped atolls and underwater mountains

The Phoenix Islands is a cluster of coral islands and a portion of Kiribati. It is located southwest of Hawaii in the west-central Pacific Ocean. These low-rising sandy atolls were uncovered by American fishing ships in the early nineteenth century.

The Phoenix Islands protected area maintains one of the world’s most pristine oceanic coral archipelago ecosystems, as well as 14 confirmed underwater sea mountains (extinct volcanoes) and other profound deep-sea habitats.

Around 800 varieties of wildlife have been identified in the vicinity, comprising 200 coral species, 500 types of fish, 18 marine animals, and 44 avian species.

The ecosystems demonstrate the important migratory route and buffer. It consists of a spectacular group of enormous underwater volcanoes that rise directly from the vast deep sea bed.

The sterile environment, exceptional underwater visibility, the sight of large packs of colorful aquatic species and sea birds are significant attractions.

9. Kavango-Zambezi (KAZA) Transfrontier

KAZA - largest reserves
Aerial view of Okavango Delta (source)
CountryAngola-Botswana-Namibia-Zambia-Zimbabwe
Area149,473 square miles
Major AttractionVictoria Falls and Okavango Delta

The Okavango Delta, with the green and arid blue landscape- the world’s largest inland delta, and the striking Victoria Falls- one of the world’s seven natural wonders, are the two significant assets of this great multitude of conservation areas.

This colossal territory is home to a diverse range of habitats and landforms and comprises unparalleled natural diversity spanning through a vast stretch of southern Africa.

The Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area includes exhilarating salt ponds and desert grassland, woodland and shrubland, seasonal wetlands and permanent marshes, and other biomes.

Approximately 3,000 plant species can be found in these locations. African elephants, critically endangered black rhinos, cape buffalo, leopards, and lions are among the classic “big five” on travelers’ must-see checklists.

Furthermore, it is almost twice as large as the United Kingdom!

10. Papahanaumokuakea

Papahanamokuakea - largest reserves
Reef of Papahanamokuakea (source)
CountryUnited States
Area138,997 square miles
Major AttractionSpire-like Mokumanamana

Papahanaumokuakea is a large and remote horizontal clump of tiny, low-lying islands and atolls located northwest of the central Hawaiian Archipelago.

Over 7,000 sea creatures live on the vast coral reefs of Papahanaumokuakea, known as the “rainforests of the sea.”

Several islands and shallow coastal areas are symbiotic environments for unique species like the threatened Hawaiian monk seal and the 14 million shorebirds that breed and live offshore.

Additionally, the region has the most significant number of holy places in the Hawaiian Archipelago with immense spiritual value.

To Wrap Up

Nature reserves all around the planet are vast swaths of pure wilderness that are among the most beautiful areas, unaffected by commercialization and intervention.

Are you tired of your fast-paced life? If so, go ahead and visit a natural reserve and fulfill your desire to spend some time alone with nature.