Australia is well known as one of the world’s most unique landscapes. The expansive country is full of enticing natural wonders and incredible flora and fauna. Here are our picks for the ten best natural wonders in the nation.
# 10. Wilpena Pound
In the state of South Australia, the geographic formation of ‘Wilpena Pound’ creates a unique landscape that is also home to many Australian animals and plants, including tens of thousands of kangaroos! Wilpena Pound was also recently handed back to the traditional Aboriginal owners, so there is plenty of culture on offer, too.
# 9. Kimberley – The Bungle Bungles
The isolated Kimberley region in northern West Australia is staggeringly expansive and staggeringly beautiful. While the entire region is visually spectacular, the ‘Bungle Bungle’ rock formations are particularly stunning, especially when viewed from above on a scenic flight.
# 8. Snowy Mountains – Mount Kosciuszko
The highest peak in all of the mostly flat Australia lies in the beautiful Snowy Mountains Region in New South Australia. Tourists can take the easy 8km route to the top of the peak, which gives a beautiful view over the mountainous region. You’ll even get a cute certificate for your troubles!
# 7. Daintree Rainforest
At 1,2000 square kilometres, the Daintree Rainforest in northern Queensland is the largest rainforest in Australia. It is considered one of the most ecologically significant rainforests in the world, with endless Australian plants and animals to admire. There are many beautiful hikes through the forest, as well as trips to the nearby Daintree River.
# 6. Uluru
Perhaps one of the most recognizable icons of Australian, Uluru, or Ayers Rock, is a massive rock formation in the centre of Australia’s red desert. Although the traditional owners ask that visitors do not climb the rock, the view from the ground is absolutely beautiful, especially at sunrise or sunset. There are also many beautiful hikes and views around the rock, as well as opportunities to learn more about Aboriginal Australians and the significance of this
# 5. Mackenzie Falls
Located in the Grampians, a beautiful natural area in the state of Victoria, the Mackenzie Falls are one of the largest waterfalls in Australia. There are many easy walks in the area, which are suitable for people of all ages and abilities, and allow tourists to get a great view of the beautiful falls. Beyond the Falls, the Grampians offer many incredible hiking opportunities, and are a much-loved favourite for outdoor loving Aussies (and visitors!).
# 4. Shark Bay
One of Australia’s many beautiful beaches lies in Western Australia, at the furthest western point on the continent. Not only is this beach visually stunning, but it is also home to one of the less-known Aussie animals, the dugong! There are over 10,000 dugongs in the area (over 12% of the world’s population!), as well as many bottle nose dolphins, who are particularly friendly in the area known as ‘Monkey Mia’. Definitely one for the animal lovers!
# 3. Kakadu National Park
This national park about 170km south of Darwin in Australia’s north is almost 20,000 square kilometres – larger than the entire nation of Slovenia! With an incredible variety of landscapes including rivers, floodplains and outliers, the park is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is also home to Aboriginal rock art that is estimated to be over 40,000 years old and a truly incredible site.
# 2. 12 Apostles
Part way along the Great Ocean Road, one of the world’s most famous driving routes, lies the 12 Apostles. An incredible natural formation just off of the coastline, in fact, most of the 12 have sadly crumbled into the sea – but the views over the rugged coast of Australia are nonetheless stunning. Along the route are many other stops, such as ‘The Grotto’ and ‘The London Bridge’ – all worth a look.
# 1. Great Barrier Reef
With a title like ‘the world’s largest living thing’, the Great Barrier Reef is bound to be impressive. This area features some of Australia’s most incredible marine life, including many species of fish, turtles, dolphins and amazingly colorful coral. The Great Barrier Reef draws tourists from all over the world, with many choosing to either dive or snorkel – although there are land-based activities, too, from hiking to the unique “cane toad racing” in nearby Port Douglas.