There’s no denying Australia has some truly remarkable nature to explore. Aside from its famous beaches and exotic native animals, there are millenia-old rock formations, tropical ocean reefs and weird and wonderfully coloured lakes. Here are just 8 incredible nature places you need to add to your great Australian to-do list.
1. Great Barrier Reef
Surely at the top of many travel bucket-lists, the Great Barrier Reef is a beautiful marine miracle, and with increasing threats to its survival, you might want to bump this one up on the list. There are many ways to experience the reef: cruise on top of it, fly over it, or dive or snorkel inside it. The reef stretches for 2,300km, but the most wanderlust-worthy places to visit are Whitehaven Beach and Heart Reef (yep, the magical heart shaped reef sure to pull on the heart strings of even the most unromantic of travellers).
2. Blue Mountains
Just two hours from Sydney, you’ll find this stunning World Heritage site that feels a world away from the bustle of the city. Explore walking tracks through millenia-old forests and rock formations. You can’t miss seeing the mighty Three Sisters. According to Aboriginal legend, these pillars were once three beautiful sisters who were turned into stone by a powerful tribal elder. Ride the Scenic Skyway gondola and take the world’s steepest incline railway at Katoomba. Plus, check out the underground rivers at the Jenolan Caves, one of the oldest caves systems in the world.
3. Fraser Island
Journey 300km north of Brisbane to the largest sand island in the world and you’ll find sapphire blue and emerald green freshwater lakes, and a whole lot of nature and fun on Fraser. Spend a day relaxing on the pure white sands and pristine waters of Lake McKenzie, and explore the sand dunes at Lake Wabby. You’ll need to hire a 4WD to get around, or take a tour from Hervey Bay or Noosa.
Not exactly a ‘pop-in’ destination from any of Australia’s capital cities, however, a trip to Uluru is well worth the journey. Experience the array of colours over Uluru at sunrise and sunset as the sun’s rays hit the mammoth rock formation, casting a spectrum of different shades. Take a bicycle tour around the base of the rock, and learn more about the area’s sacred history with a guided walking tour with a local ranger.
5. Pinnacles Desert
Take a daytrip from Perth to walk on the other-worldly moonscape of the Pinnacles. With plenty of chances to meet kangaroos, try out sandboarding and dig into the region’s famous seafood delicacy, fresh lobster, along the way!
6. Ningaloo Reef
Another ‘world’s largest’, Ningaloo Reef is the world’s largest fringing reef, spanning 260km along the West Australian coastline. Home to turtles, manta rays, humpback whales, it’s considered the best place on earth to swim alongside the elusive and gentle whale shark, which reliably congregates on the reef.
7. Pink Lake
Western Australia’s bubblegum pink Lake Hillier in Esperance is an Instagrammer’s holy grail. It’s believed the bright colour is caused by an extremely high level of naturally occurring salinity, and it’s a sight to behold. Fly 1.5 hours (or take an 8-hour road trip) from Perth to reach the coastal town on Esperance, then, Lake Hillier is just one scenic flight or cruise away.
8. Sea cliffs, Tasman National Park
One of the most southern points of Australia, if you make the trip across the Bass Strait to Tasmania, you ought to explore the copious amounts of stunning nature on offer in Tassie. There’s epic coastline to hike and remarkable rock formations to explore just over an hour from Hobart, including the famous Tasman Arch and Tessellated Pavement.
Ready, set, nature!
Whether you’re travelling from overseas or within Australia, we’ve got discounts to help make your Aussie nature dreams come true. Check out our cheap domestic flight deals around the country, and more!