The 10 amazing places you can only reach by boat

Brave the boat and be amply rewarded with these ten magical hard-to-reach spots.

The Knoydart Peninsula, Scotland

Knoydart has roads. The problem is that they're not connected to the other roads in Scotland, and the only way onto the Knoydart Peninsula is a 25km hike down a rough track or by boat. Woodland hiking and fishing expeditions are amongst the activities on offer, but the real goal is a pint in the Old Forge Inn – Britain's most remote pub. See visitknoydart.co.uk

The Mine Bay Rock Carvings, New Zealand

In 1976, wearing just Speedos and safety goggles, Matahi Whakataka-Brightwell set about carving a likeness of his ancestor Ngatoroirangi. He picked a spot he'd paddled to on Lake Taupo, and spent four years on the project. The main cliff-side carving stands 14 metres high, and there are plenty of other little oddities carved into rocks on the ground. Lake cruises and kayak tours head out to the modern day masterpiece. See greatlaketaupo.com.

Dusky Sound, New Zealand

While roads head to the edge of Milford and Doubtful Sounds, Dusky Sound further south is properly cut off, and perhaps even more spectacular. There are 350 islands, beaches with nary a soul on them, dolphin pods and rainforest shrouded outcrops to enjoy, but your best way of getting there is on a five day boat expedition with Real Journeys. See realjourneys.co.nz

Horizontal Falls, WA

In a series of gaps between the Kimberley's McLarty Ranges, seawater builds up faster on one side than the other, meaning the tides create a waterfall-like effect up to five metres high. Heading through on a jet boat is a little like a high octane rapids ride at a theme park, with whirlpools and the visual effect of a waterfall cascading horizontally. See horizontalfallsadventures.com.au

Agia Roumeli, Greece

In the south of Crete, Agia Roumeli has some darned fine beaches. But it has avoided being developed as a high rise tourist resort because its roads aren't connected to the rest of the island. Ferries arrive at the jetty, but for hikers, it's the reward at the end of a hot, sweaty trek through the rugged Samaria Gorge.

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska

The north-eastern corner of Alaska has been set aside as a refuge since 1903, and its 78,000 square kilometres of tundra, boreal forest, mountains and river valleys has no roads in. Polar bears, caribou, wolves and eagles roam unbothered by cars. Wanna see it? Then you're going to have to float or raft down the rivers. See expeditionsalaska.com

Juneau, Alaska

It's not just remote national parks that are cut off in Alaska – the state's capital city is too, Juneau has mountains to one side, and water to the other, so there's no way in by road. That doesn't deter the tens of thousands of cruise ship passengers that pour in every season, though. Unsurprisingly, that spectacular mountain backdrop is key to Juneau's appeal, with hiking, glaciers and gold mining heritage on the tourist menu. See Juneau.com

Livingston, Guatemala

Getting to this Caribbean port town involves coming in by boat – often through the super-scenic Rio Dulce waterways system. Highlights include the Los Siete Altares series of freshwater pools and waterfalls, but the place is really about the vibe in the bars and cafés and the Garifuna – descendants of an African slave ship wreck – culture.

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Tristan da Cunha

Sure, lots of islands are technically only accessible by boat, but it tends to be a short ferry hop from the mainland. Not so for Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic. The most remote inhabited island on earth sees a few cruise ships each year, but otherwise it's a case of heading on a polar research or fishing vessel from Cape Town, 2,810km away. Those who brave it can go penguin-spotting and volcano-climbing. See tristandc.com

Fisherman's Point, NSW

You don't have to go all that far to find spots that are cut off from the road network, however. Just north of Sydney, there are several small hamlets along the Hawkesbury River that have never had road links. These boat-only spots are often home to artists who like living away from it all, but at Fisherman's Point, you can get a taste for it by renting out a luxury four bedroom house with swimming pool, tennis court and jacuzzi. See fishermanspoint.com.au

See also: The bizarre story of how Australia's floating hotel ended up in North Korea

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