Australia remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, thanks to its unique landscape. Although a major part of the country is a dry desert, it still has enough natural wonders to delight any outdoor enthusiast. Here is a pick of 10 such stunning natural wonders in Australia that should not be missed when visiting this country.
- Wilpena Pound
Wilpena Pound is a unique natural landscape that is located in South Australia, about 440 km north of the city of Adelaide. Looking like an amphitheater made of mountains, it is a part of the Flinders Ranges National Park. The name Wilpena literally means bent fingers in the native Aboriginal language, probably in reference to the mountains which look like a cupped hand when seen from above. The region was handed back to the native Aboriginal people in the recent past thus enabling an exchange of culture for visitors. Wilpena Pound and its surroundings is home to many flora and fauna, including a large population of kangaroos.
- Bungle Bungle Rock Formations
Located near the north western border of Western Australia, the Purnululu National Park is home to the Bungle Bungle Range of mountains. Made of sandstone and conglomerates, these natural mountains look like giant beehives when seen from an aerial view. It is scattered in the expansive deserted Kimberly region which is a part of the Aboriginal territory. Although it was discovered as a potential tourist landmark, the place has already been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its cultural and natural significance.
- Snowy Mountains – Mount Kosciuszko
Mount Kosciuszko is the highest mountain in mainland Australia. It is a part of the Snowy Mountain region in the state of New South Australia. Mount Kosciuszko is a popular hiking spot and enthusiasts can take the 8 km hike to the mountain top. Do not forget to ask for your certificate for your achievement! There is an interesting history as to the naming of this mountain. This peak was originally named Mount Townsend and its neighboring peak — just north to it — was named Mount Kosciuszko. It was believed at that time that the neighboring peak was the higher of the two. However, when researchers found out that Mount Townsend, standing at 2228 m, was slightly higher than its neighboring Mount Kosciuszko at 2209 m, the names were officially swapped to keep Mount Kosciuszko as the name of the tallest peak!
- Daintree Rainforest
Covering an area of about 1200 sq km, the Daintree Rainforest is the largest rainforest in the whole of Australia. Located in Queensland, this rainforest is considered to be one of the most diverse and ecologically significant in the world. It is home to a large number of flora and fauna. The site is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts and those who like nature hikes as there are several scenic hikes through the forest, including some to the Daintree River.
Located in the Northern territory, right in the heart of Australia, is one of the most popular nature landmarks of the country — Uluru. Officially known as the Ayers Rock, this huge sandstone rock formation is a visual delight in the middle of the vast red desert, especially during sunrise and sunset. The traditional owners of this rocky formation request visitors not to climb it but there are several trains around the rock which can be explored.
- Mackenzie Falls
The Mackenzie Falls, located in the Grampians National Park in the state of Queensland, is one of the largest waterfalls in Australia. Beautiful scenery and easy access through walking trails make this waterfall a favorite with many trekkers. These trails are suitable for visitors of all ages thus appealing to a large section of people. There are several lookouts at the falls where visitors can closely observe the multiple cascades of the Mackenzie river.
- Shark Bay
Shark Bay is a beach area that is located at the westernmost tip of Australia, in the state of Western Australia. This World Heritage Site is about 800 km north of the city of Perth. Shark Bay is known not only for its scenic beauty but also for its large population of dugongs — a typical Aussie animal. It is said that nearly 12 percent of the world population of dugongs — or sea cows — are found at Shark Bay. Head to the Monkey Mia where you will come across many Indo Pacific bottle-nosed dolphins.
- Kakadu National Park
The Kakadu National Park is located in the Northern Territory of Australia, about 170 km south east of the city of Darwin. This UNESCO World Heritage Site covers an area of over 19,000 sq km — which is nearly half the size of Switzerland. The park is home to many rivers, lowlands, floodplains, hills, and the stone country which makes it a must-visit for those who love the outdoors. It is also home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. When visiting the site, do not forget to search for the famous Aboriginal rock which is believed to be over 40,000 years old.
- The 12 Apostles
If you are driving along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, you will come across several limestone towers just off the coast of Port Campbell National Park. Theses typical rock formations are a popular tourist attraction and is known as the 12 Apostles. Interestingly, there were never 12 limestone stacks, but only 9 originally. Presently, there are 8 left as one of the stacks crumbled in 2005. However, the name and the popularity has not waned over the years. If you are driving along this route, look out for other popular quirkily named landmarks like the London Bridge and the Grotto.
- Great Barrier Reef
The iconic Great Barrier Reef is probably the best known natural wonder in the world. Located just off the coast of Queensland, it is the largest barrier reef on the planet — stretching around 2300 km! The reef is home to a stunning variety of colorful marine life that attracts tourists from all corners of the globe. The reef is renowned for its snorkeling and scuba diving sites. However, for those who want to keep their feet dry, there are a number of land based activities in the region like hiking and the unique ‘cane toad racing’.
Originally posted 2017-03-13 06:42:53.