Australia is well known as being one of the world’s most beautiful countries, thanks to its abundance of stunning natural landmarks, unique wildlife and a mostly year-round agreeable climate that makes exploring this beauty in comfort a real breeze. However, despite the wealth of jewels sitting in our own backyard, many Aussies still prefer to travel overseas for rest and recreation. In the interests of helping us Aussies explore and appreciate more of our own backyard, True Local have put together this list covering 7 of the most breathtaking views down under!
- Distance from Adelaide: 73 KM (1 hours, 4 mins by car to Tanunda)
- The lowdown: Rolling vineyards and a pleasant, Mediterranean climate
Only one hour drive north of the South Australian capital Adelaide, lies the world famous Barossa Valley, one of Australia’s leading wine growing regions that’s home to over 150 individual wineries. Centred around the historic town of Tanunda, Barossa Valley also features a few noteworthy natural landmarks worth checking out, including the panoramic Mengler Hill Lookout.
- Distance from Cairns: 125 KM (2 hours, 23 mins by car)
- The lowdown: Ancient tropical rainforest close to the Great Barrier Reef
Described by the great Sir David Attenborough as one of the “most extraordinary places on earth”, Queensland’s Daintree Rainforest is one of the only places on the planet where two world heritage-listed attractions collide – in this case the Daintree itself and nearby Great Barrier Reef. From walking amongst the ancient ferns and lush green vines to zip lining through the forest’s canopy for a stunning bird’s eye view, the Daintree offers visitors a refreshing communion with nature.
- Distance from Darwin: 1,093 KM (11 hours, 58 mins by car)
- The lowdown: Granite boulders scattered across a red desert valley
1,100 KM south of Darwin in the heart of Australia’s red centre lies the mischievously named Devils Marbles, a series of huge granite boulders scattered across a shallow desert valley. Formed by the powerful forces of erosion over millions of year, this odd natural landmark is a must see stop over for anyone attempting the gargantuan drive from the Top End to Uluru/Alice Springs. Like most places in the Outback, Devils Marbles holds great significance to the local Aboriginal people – in this case those from the Warumungu, Kaytetye, Alyawarra and Warlpiri nations (tribes).
- Distance from Sydney: 192 KM (2 hours, 48 mins by car)
- The lowdown: Stalactite limestone caves in the serene Blue Mountains
Not far from bustling metropolitan Sydney lies the spectacular Blue Mountains National Park, one of Australia’s most accessible tracts of native bushland and a welcome retreat for stressed city slickers. Nestled towards the edge of this vast national park are the Jenolan Caves, an intricate labyrinth of stalactite-lined limestone caves with a handful of spectacular chambers that rise as high as 54 metres. These underground wonders aside, this site also houses the gracious Jenolan Caves House – an iconic hotel first opened in 1896.
Port Campbell VIC
- Distance from Melbourne: 231 KM (2 hours, 52 mins by car)
- The lowdown: Towering seaside cliffs facing the Southern Ocean
A few kilometers down the road from the 12 Apostles which hogs most of the spotlight on Victoria’s stunning Great Ocean Road is Loch Ard Gorge, a small windswept gorge or inlet nestled between towering cliffs that opens out to the wild waters of the Southern Ocean. More than just a stunning natural feature, Loch Ard Gorge also has a rich history, including the 1st June 1878 running aground of clipper ship the Loch Ard – with the site of this wreck overseen by a vertigo inducing lookout.
- Distance from Perth: 711 KM (7 hours, 27 mins by car)
- The lowdown: Salt lake with a vivid pink hue, depending on weather conditions
One of Western Australia’s most unusual natural attractions is the so called “Pink Lake” (Spencer Lake is the official title) that lies on the edge of Esperance – a major town fronting the state’s stunning southern coast. Why pink you might ask? Well in the right weather conditions, this 3 KM round body of water turns a bright shade of pink due to a heavy algae concentration. For those seeking a great vantage spot for a happy snap – head to the lookout along nearby Eleven Mile Beach Road and photograph to your heart’s content!
Freycinet National Park TAS
- Distance from Hobart: 197 KM (2 hours, 43 mins by car)
- The lowdown: Stunning lookout over a secluded white sand, azure water bay
Named after the distinctive shape this stunning natural feature carves out of Tasmania’s Freycinet National Park, Wineglass Bay offers enthusiastic hikes to what is without a doubt one of the most spectacular vantage points in the entire country. Whilst the walk from the main car park to the main lookout can be a little arduous (even more so if you decide to get off the beaten track), the view from the top – especially at sunrise or sunset is well worth the effort! With its location close to popular holiday spot Coles Bay, Wineglass Bay can easily be tackled within a single day.