A close-up of a grinning American crocodile and a landscape of a purple-hued southern Australian sky are among hundreds of images nominated for a premier international photography prize.

The 2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year competition wraps this Friday and the photographers who captured the breathtaking images are in the running for the coveted title, as well as a trip for two to the Galapagos Islands.

People from all over the world have submitted photos, the best of which are showcased on the magazine's website, but unfortunately Kiwis aren't eligible.

The competition has four categories - landscape, wildlife portraits, action and environmental issues.

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The top three photographs in each category will be rewarded first, second and third prizes.

But there will be only one supreme winner who will take out the grand prize.

After the competition closes on November 4, the judging panel will select up to 10 entries as finalists. The winners will then be chosen in early to mid-November.

However there is one catch - in order to claim the grand prize of a 10-day cruise aboard the National Geographic Endeavour, the winner and their guest will have to make their own way to Guayaquil, Ecuador and then pay around US$520 for a flight to Galapagos.

Prizes for each category are:
• First: $2500
• Second: $750 & a signed National Geographic book
• Third: $500
natgeo.com/photocontest

Russell Wiltshire snapped auroral beams dancing over the Bass Strait, on the southern coastline of mainland Australia. Picture / Russell Wiltshire/National Geographic
Russell Wiltshire snapped auroral beams dancing over the Bass Strait, on the southern coastline of mainland Australia. Picture / Russell Wiltshire/National Geographic
Eugene Kitsios says he was photographing this young grey seal when they both got caught in a sandstorm. Photo / Eugene Kitsios/National Geographic
Eugene Kitsios says he was photographing this young grey seal when they both got caught in a sandstorm. Photo / Eugene Kitsios/National Geographic
Brett Lobwein caught a shot of an American crocodile on the surface in Gardens of the Queen in Cuba. Photo / Brett Lobwein/National Geographic
Brett Lobwein caught a shot of an American crocodile on the surface in Gardens of the Queen in Cuba. Photo / Brett Lobwein/National Geographic