It’s easy to get lost in the wild beauty of Australia, a vast and spectacular natural landscape carved by the passing of millennia. For lovers of the great outdoors, the country is an endless playground of rugged shores, snow-capped mountains, dramatic rock formations, and remote deserts. Whether it’s your first or nth time Down Under (or if you’re a local yourself, mate!), these 10 nature spots in Australia will blow you away.
Great Barrier Reef
As the world’s largest reef system, the Great Barrier Reef is among Oz’s greatest treasures. The 25-million-year-old natural wonder extends 3,000 kilometres off the Queensland coast, an immense underwater landscape that’s the only living thing on Earth visible from space. It’s home to a stunningly diverse collection of marine life, including 1,500 species of tropical fish and 400 types of coral.
Uluru (Ayers Rock)
The physical and spiritual immensity of Uluru will never get old. A 550-million-year-old sandstone rock formation found in the remote outback of the Northern Territory, Uluru or Ayers Rock is one of Australia’s most iconic natural features. It towers 348 metres to the sky, a sacred monolith with a rich indigenous heritage.
Keep in mind that while there are plenty of activities to indulge in around the monolith, tourists are strictly prohibited from climbing Uluru. Kata Tjuta, another dome-shaped rock, is also found in Uluru National Park.
Located in Nambung National Park, The Pinnacles is among Australia’s beautiful but bizarre natural attractions. Thousands of strangely shaped limestone pillars as high as seven metres are scattered across the alien-like landscape, remnants of a receding ocean that left seashell deposits on the land.
Boasting 260 kilometres of corals, Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia is the world’s largest fringing reef. It’s home to an amazing array of ocean life, the perfect spot to catch a glimpse of tropical fishes, turtles, manta rays, humpback whales, and even the occasional whale shark. Diving, snorkelling, and surfing are popular in the area.
On the western edge of the Australian continent sits Shark Bay, a 1,500-kilometre coastline of dazzling waters, white sand dunes, and limestone cliffs. Besides featuring one of the largest seagrass beds in the world, Shark Bay is famous for its diverse population of marine wildlife. Sharks, humpback whales, rays, and green turtles call these waters home, and it’s not uncommon to spot dolphins and dugongs in the crystal-clear bay.
At the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, there are 74 tropical islands known collectively as Whitsundays. Although each one is postcard-pretty, Whitehaven Beach is beyond idyllic. Snowy white sands swirl like paint on a canvas of electric blue waters—a landscape that’s just mesmerizing to see on foot or by plane.
Mackenzie Falls is the largest waterfall in the Grampians National Park, a sandstone mountain range in Victoria that’s home to thousands of kangaroos. On sunny days, tourists can marvel at the rainbow mist appearing like magic in the 30-metre cascade.
It’s easy to be awestruck by the Kings Canyon in the Northern Territory, an imposing collection of 100-meter sandstone walls dwarfing the boundless desert. While some choose to view the canyon via helicopters, a 6-kilometre Kings Canyon Rim Walk is a great experience for an intimate walkthrough of the majestic expanse. The three- to four-hour hike takes travellers through iconic spots in the canyon, including the lush Garden of Eden, The Lost City, and Priscilla’s Crack.
The pristine shores of the bay are the highlight of every trip to Tasmania’s Freycinet National Park. Trek to the Wineglass Bay lookout for awe-inspiring views of the white-sand beach and crystalline waters. Surrounded by pink-coloured granite peaks, it’s an unforgettable sight that’s stolen the breath of many a tourist.
There are only two everglades systems on Earth, and one is in the Cooloola National Park in Queensland. Take the rare opportunity to explore the ancient landscape of wetlands, lakes, and mangrove forests that’s home to 40% of the country’s bird species. Dubbed by locals as the River of Mirrors, the shockingly clear waters reflect the lush flora of the region.
Australia is blessed with so many natural gems that it’s nearly impossible to choose your next destination. What’s your favourite nature spot Down Under? Visit KKday for more travel ideas and deals in and beyond Australia.
*Featured photo via Pixabay, Pexels, and KKday Supplier