The 10 Most Beautiful Views in Australia

Australia is a vast country/continent rich with scenic grandeur on a magnificent scale. From Queensland to Western Australia, Tasmania to the Northern Territory, splendor is always on display. Although this is only a small sample of what the country has to offer, here are arguably the 10 most beautiful views in Australia:

10. Mount Wellington Peak, Tasmania

The gorgeous state of Tasmania has many magnificent views to take in but one of the most rewarding is the view from the top of Mount Wellington. At its peak, Mount Wellington stands over 4,000 feet above sea level and provides spectacular views over the capital city of Hobart, the Derwent River and the World Heritage Protected Mount Faulkner Conservation Area to the west.

Mount Wellington Peak, Tasmania

9. Devils Marbles, Northern Territory

These gravity-defying rock formations are located in Karlu Karlu/Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve, between the towns of Tennant Creek and Alice Springs in Australia’s Northern Territory. These large granite boulders have been shaped by weather and erosion and many are naturally precariously balanced on top of one another, forming larger rock formations. Some have even been split clean in half by natural forces. The Karlu Karlu site has great cultural and spiritual significance to the Aboriginal owners of this land, making the view even more special.

Devils Marbles, Northern Territory

8. Sunset at Mindil Beach, Darwin

Some of the most spectacular Australian sunsets can be witnessed from Darwin’s Mindil Beach as the sun dips below the Arafura Sea. Beautiful hues of pink, orange, blue and purple paint the sky each night while the beach setting of sandy shores and palm trees swaying in the breeze set the ultimate tropical tone. From April to October you can enjoy the festive nightlife of the famous Mindil Beach Sunset Markets which celebrate the gorgeous view each night.

Mindil Beach, Darwin

7. Sydney Harbour and Circular Quay, Sydney

It’s a view known the world round as one of the most popular and iconic shots of Australia. The famous Sydney Harbour and Circular Quay can be best experienced from a birds eye view, one you can experience yourself if you have the nerve to climb 143 meters above sea level to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It may be a nerve racking climb for some but it’s guaranteed to be an amazing view that you’ll remember for a lifetime.

Sydney Harbour

6. Uluru at Sunrise, Ayer’s Rock

There’s something magical about witnessing the first beam of sun hitting the big red rock as dawn breaks in the Australian outback. Uluru is a deeply spiritual place for the Aboriginal people of the area and it’s well worth a visit to see the colors of this monolith change over the course of the day depending on the light conditions. Personally we think sunrise is the most impressive when the whole rock is glowing red.

Uluru at Sunrise

5. The Pinnacles, Western Australia

This is one Australian view that’s eerily beautiful. These limestone formations are known as The Pinnacles and can be found in Western Australia’s Nambung National Park. One theory of how they formed is that long ago they were formed from seashells which were broken down into limestone sand which blew inland forming the dunes that can be seen today.

The Pinnacles, Western Australia

4. McLaren Vale, South Australia

This impressive wine region of Australia lies just 35 kilometers south of the city of Adelaide in South Australia. This internationally renowned wine region was first planted with vines in 1838 and has some vines over 100 years old that are still producing today. The lush rolling hills of vibrant greenery provide a picture perfect setting to rival the most beautiful views in the country.

McLaren Vale, South Australia

3. Cape Byron Lighthouse, Byron Bay

This next view is not only beautiful but significant; the Cape Byron Lighthouse is the most easterly point in the entire country. Each year more than 500,000 people visit the lighthouse which rises up above Byron Bay offering spectacular views of the bay, the beach and even an opportunity for whale watching when the season is right.

Lighthouse, Byron Bay

2. The 12 Apostles, Victoria

Who knew limestone could be so beautiful? The golden sand and rolling turquoise water probably helps out this magnificent view but the star… or should we say stars of this scene are the giant limestone stacks known as the 12 Apostles. Located near Port Campbell in Victoria, just off the Great Ocean Road, the apostles were formed by erosion. Over the years some of the stacks have fallen, with the most recent collapse in 2005. Today eight Apostles still stand on the shores providing a most breathtaking view.

12 Apostles

1. Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays

For many, the typical Australian image is of a beautiful beach with soft sand and blue waters all around. The 7 kilometer stretch of sand known as Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island is about as beautiful of a beach view as one can get anywhere in the country. The beach is known for it’s powder white sands which are 98% pure silica giving it the signature bright white color. The sand at Whitehaven also doesn’t retain heat meaning that walking barefoot on the beach is comfortable even at the hottest points of the day. Whitehaven can only be accessed by boat making this a pristine picture worthy of any postcard.

Nadezda Zavitaeva / Shutterstock.com
Nadezda Zavitaeva / Shutterstock.com

8 Amazing Images of Uluru

Also known as Ayers Rock, Uluru, located in the southern portion of Australia’s Northern Territory, has been a sacred place for thousands of years. It’s not hard to see why: looking at Mother Nature’s masterwork inspires awe and a new kind of reverence for the amazing planet we live on. If these 8 amazing images of Uluru won’t suffice, well, you might just need to visit Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and see the sandstone inselberg glowing red at dawn or sunset for yourself.

8. The Approach

Uluru is an “inselberg,” an “island mountain.” That means it stands alone, rising high above the plain that surrounds it. Roads with special accesses and parking have been constructed so that visitors can get the best view of Uluru. The most popular times to see Uluru are dawn and dusk since the inselberg seems to glow red in the light, especially at certain times of the year. The rock when first exposed had a grayish color, but the presence of oxidizing iron-bearing minerals are what give Uluru its distinctive hue. Here, Uluru is seen from a distance, which gives the viewer an idea of how large the formation really is, especially compared to the trees growing at the base of it. The blue sky provides a stunning backdrop for the deep, red hue of this sacred site.

Stanislav Fosenbauer / Shutterstock.com
Stanislav Fosenbauer / Shutterstock.com

7. Crevices in the Rock

Uluru is, like any other rock formation, subject to the process of weathering; that is what gives it that famous red hue, after all. The inselberg is also not immune to the effects of erosion. Around the landmark, you’ll find waterholes, springs and rock caves. The caves and other formations in the rock, like the ones in this picture, are the result of erosion over thousands of years; Uluru is estimated to be millions of years old, with its initial deposits formed during Cambrian times and later thrust up during a period of Paleozoic mountain-building into the formation we see today. Analysis of Uluru’s formation shows evidence of a relatively fast rate of erosion, especially of its granite components. Uluru is also in large part sand, which means rain water makes deep cuts in the surface as it travels down the rockface.

Uluru2

6. The Caves

Uluru was formed by the deposit of sediment from areas further south in Australia, then thrust up into a mountain; it probably stood much higher than its current 1,142 feet. Erosion has played a significant role throughout the inselberg’s history; rain washes away parts of the formation, making deep pathways in the rockface, and high winds whisk away loose sediment and speed erosion. These processes have contributed to the formation of caves in the monolith. Many of the fissures and cracks in the rock have spiritual significance for the local Anangu people. The largest of the caves have been sacred sites for generations, and many have ancient rock art etched onto their walls as a testament to their spiritual importance. Many of these sites are considered “forbidden” by the Anangu, particularly depending on one’s sex, and so may be off-limits to visitors.

Uluru3

5. Rock Art

People first arrived in the area around Uluru an estimated 10,000 years ago, or perhaps even before then. Uluru, with its height and deep hues, quickly became a sacred site for the people who lived in the area. Today, the local Anangu people are the keepers of this history. As the Traditional Owners of Uluru, they ask that visitors not climb Uluru, as the path crosses one of the sacred Dreamtime tracks, and they request that tourists not take photos in certain areas, in order to protect Anangu people from encountering images of “forbidden” sites in the outside world. Some aspects of the myths the Anangu tell about Uluru are captured in the rock art; other images have different spiritual and sacred meanings. The art serves as a reminder that we are not the first ones to be inspired by Uluru.

Uluru4

4. Wildlife

Australia’s Northern Territory is known for its harsh desert landscape, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t an abundance of animals and plants around. Historically, there were 46 different species of animals known to inhabit the area around Uluru; today, surveys indicate the number has fallen to 21 native species. Six introduced species, including camels like the ones in the photo, inhabit the park and may be threatening native species. Some plants, mostly those that thrive in the wetland area around the base of the monolith, are considered endangered. Four species of frogs are known to inhabit the area and are abundant after summer rains. An astounding 73 different species of reptiles inhabit the vicinity. There is discussion about reintroducing some native species, such as the black-footed rock wallaby, into the habitat.

Uluru5

3. View from the Top

Uluru is one of the highest points for miles, along with nearby Kata Tjuta. It only takes about an hour to climb to the top of Uluru—some 1,142 feet up—but it isn’t recommended for those who aren’t physically fit to undertake the strenuous climb. Even if you are fit enough to climb to the top, the Anangu people request that visitors not make the ascent, because of the sacred Dreamtime tracks on the monolith. That hasn’t stopped some people from conquering Uluru, of course—the view from the top is breathtaking as you look out over a wide swath of desert terrain. Debates about whether visitors should be allowed to climb Uluru—out of concern for the sacred sites and concern for the easily eroded rock—continue and are unlikely to be resolved any time soon.

Uluru6

2. Uluru from Above

Uluru is easily one of Australia’s most recognizable monuments, if not the most recognized symbol of the Australian continent. It certainly stands apart as acknowledgment of Australia’s indigenous peoples and their claims to the land, as evidenced by the fact that Uluru has been handed back to its original owners, the Anangu, and is officially known by its Pitjantjatjara name, rather than the English moniker “Ayers Rock.” Aerial photos of Uluru, like the one here, show just how massive the monolith is in the context of the scrubland that surrounds it. Viewing an image like this, you can only imagine how it must feel to approach this formation by air, by car or even on foot; it’s little wonder that it inspired the local people to tell so many stories about it and to hold it as a sacred place.

Photo By: Corey Leopold [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Photo By: Corey Leopold [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

1. At Sunset

The best time to visit Uluru is at sunrise or sunset; as the iron-bearing minerals in Uluru’s composition weather, they rust. As a result, Uluru appears to be red at most times of day, in almost any light, but the hue is particularly striking at dawn and dusk, as the sun rises or dips below the horizon, which changes the wavelengths of light (and thus the colors) we see. Since short wavelengths like green and blue are almost entirely eliminated during sunrise and sunset, we tend to see more oranges and red. This intensifies the red color of Uluru and at these times, the inselberg seems almost to “glow”—a feature that has earned Uluru much of its international renown. Of course, that’s only one reason why Uluru has been deemed a sacred place that deserves our reverence and respect.

Stanislav Fosenbauer / Shutterstock.com
Stanislav Fosenbauer / Shutterstock.com