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

10 Best Sights of Litchfield National Park

Darwin and the surrounding Top End is home to some of the best weather, most breathtaking scenery and historically important sites in Australia, and is less often included in the traditional Australian travel trail, making it easier to find those pockets of real remote outback. 100km south of Darwin lies Litchfield National Park, named after Frederick Henry Litchfield – one of the initial explorers to visit the area in 1864. The park is a microcosm of Northern Territory wildlife and scenery crammed into 1500 square kilometres.  Sometimes overshadowed by the ‘other’ famous big park in Australia’s Northern Territory, Litchfield has just as many amazing experiences to be had. You can explore the park using your own vehicle, or take a guided tour from Darwin, either way, if you make it to the tropical north be sure to check out the best this park has to offer:

1. Florence Falls

Set just off the main sealed road that runs through the park and most likely the first set of falls you’ll arrive at after entering the park, Florence Falls is a beautiful segmented waterfall that splashes down 64 meters in total over several tiers to get to the idyllic plunge pool below.  Set in amongst luscious rainforest there is a viewing platform close to the parking area to take in the amazing view of the falls and surrounding valley. Then walk down over 150 stairs to take a closer look and have a dip in the pool (check conditions). To further explore the surrounding area, the Sandy Creek and Florence Creek trails nearby are easy going and mostly shaded.

Florence Falls Litchfield

2. Buley Rockholes

A 3 km trip along the Florence Creek trail from the Florence Falls will take you to the Buley Rockholes, a series of cascades, rapids and plunge pools. The Rockholes are surrounded by picturesque bushland and are a great spot for kids (and adults!) to have a splash around followed by a bit of cooling relaxation in the natural spas. This natural cascade features rockslides and some reasonably strong rapids depending on the time of year so always make sure swimmers (especially children) are supervised. Camping facilities are close by for those looking to stay a bit longer, camping fees do apply.

Photo by: Nick Rains
Photo by: Nick Rains

3. Tolmer Falls

A short walk from the main park road is the viewing platform to Tolmer Falls. The Tolmer Creek cuts a steep gorge through the Litchfield sandstone and plummets over 328 feet to a shimmering aqua pool below.  As much as you’d love to dive right in, this pool isn’t open for swimming as a protection measure for the rare inhabitants of the nearby caves – ghost and orange horseshoe bats.  If you do want a closer look, trails leading down further are available along Tolmer Creek.

Photo by: Tourism NT
Photo by: Tourism NT

4. Greenant Creek

One of the less crowded spots in the park, the walk along Greenant Creek is roughly 2.5 km round trip and is easily trekked within 2 hours. The initially shaded trail ambles easily along the Creek through beautiful monsoonal forest, before a brief climb takes you to the relatively secluded Tjaetaba Falls and pools further on. The falls area is an Aboriginal sacred site so swimming is only permitted in the plunge pools upstream. As with any swimming spot in Litchfield, make sure you check all signs and information before diving in.

Aboriginal Art

5. Wangi Falls

Situated just off the main road in the west of the park these falls are both the most spectacular and the most visited in the park.  As with other sights in the park there is a viewing platform if you take a short hike up, affording amazing views over the falls and the deep plunge pool.  Beyond the platform, steps lead down to a boardwalk at water-level making it easy to slip in for a refreshing dip while admiring the towering surrounding escarpment from a different angle. Swimming is permitted during dry season only, from May until October as rising water levels during the wet season mean increased crocodile sightings, however, the higher volume of water also makes the falls all the more impressive.  Camping, cafe and an art shop are all nearby.

Wangi Falls Litchfield

6. Magnetic Termite Mounds

One of the first stops after entering the park from the east are the magnificent termite mounds.  The mounds, built by million-strong colonies of termites, are often over 6 and a half feet tall, and are long and thin prompting many visitors to liken them to tombstones.  To look at, the mounds aren’t as breathtaking as some of the park’s other attractions, but it’s the fascinating information about the engineering behind them that draws people in.  They are all aligned north to south, minimizing heating from the sun and keeping the interior temperate, just the way the termites like it.  Close by are larger cathedral mounds, which can rise to over 20 feet.

Photo by: Nick Rains
Photo by: Nick Rains

7. Tabletop Track

At 39km in total, the tabletop track is recommended for fit and well prepared walkers.  Hiking the trail takes between 3 and 5 days and makes for a very unique experience of the Northern Territory outback as your wander along a series of creeks and pass waterfalls, through monsoonal forest and woodlands.  Wildlife is abundant so keep your eyes peeled for wallabies and flying foxes.  Camping is allowed only at designated areas along the trail, and it is mandatory to carry a topographic map of the area.  It is also recommended to inform a reliable person of your intended route and estimated time of return. If you’re looking for an authentic outback adventure consider tackling the Tabletop Track.

Flying Foxes litchfield

8. Blyth Homestead

Located along one of the many 4×4 tracks in the south of the park, lies the Blyth Homestead, a rundown old shack built in the 1920s that sits exactly as it was left when abandoned in the 1960s.  The homestead is a throwback to Litchfield’s mineral mining and farming history, and is a reminder of how truly remote the area was for early explorers, and is also an important architectural artifact.  A 4 wheel drive vehicle is required to access the area, and road conditions should be checked before departing.

Photo by: Tourism NT
Photo by: Tourism NT

9. Walker Creek and Bamboo Creek Tin Mine

More easily accessible than Blyth Homestead, Bamboo Creek is the site of a remarkably well preserved tin mine which operated on and off between 1906 and the 1950s.  The mine provides an excellent education into the methods and mechanisms used by early workers to extract the tin from the ground before the invention of heavy machinery.  You’ll wonder how they worked so hard in the stifling conditions.  Close by is the walk through Walker creek which takes around 2 hours round-trip, and is a great spot to hear the calls of the local bird life.

Photo by: Bryn Pinzgauer
Photo by: Bryn Pinzgauer

10. The Lost City

Off the beaten track, and considered one of the best short walks in the path, a trail will take you to the stand-alone sandstone blocks of the The Lost City, so named due to their resemblance to some long-deserted prehistoric civilization.  Again this site is accessible only by four-wheel drive and track conditions can change depending on time of year. If the road is open during your visit to Litchfield Park, we definitely suggest taking the time to check out this most impressive natural wonder.

Photo by: Tourism NT
Photo by: Tourism NT

11 Things to See and Do in Kakadu National Park

Regardless of what time of year you get the chance to visit Kakadu National Park in Australia’s Northern Territory, jump on that opportunity and enjoy what the park has to offer.  Dry season (May to October) will grant you more accessibility and activity options, but wet season (November to April) offers incredibly green, lush, verdant vistas and smaller crowds.  With no shortage of salt and freshwater crocs, waterfalls, boat cruises, walks, swimming, bird watching, and fishing, you are sure to have an unforgettable journey to Kakadu that will have you hankering after your next visit.  Get yourself a permit online before you travel to save yourself some hassle.

1. Yellow Water Boat Cruise

Take a journey through Kakadu’s expansive and magical wetlands on the Yellow Water Boat Cruise.  The Yellow Wetlands, at the end of Jim Jim Creek, are home to countless crocodiles and about a third of all the bird species represented in Kakadu.  Operating year round with a choice of a 90 minute or 120 minute experience and a knowledgeable and highly trained guide, this tour will get you up close and personal with the wetland.  If you want a more unique experience, book at dawn or sunset, check out the night time cruise, or explore their fishing packages.

Saltwater Crocodile, Photo by: Tourism NT
Saltwater Crocodile, Photo by: Tourism NT

2. Nourlangie

Nourlangie Rock, or Burrunggui, is a breathtaking rock formation.  On a 1.5 km walking loop of the outcrop, you can observe ancient mythological Aboriginal paintings.  If you are visiting during dry season, visit the nearby Anbangbang Billabong and enjoy the views of the Nourlangie.  If you feel up for a challenge, the 12 km Barrk Sandstone Walk over the outcrop presents a great opportunity for fitness enthusiasts to make it to the top and enjoy the spectacular views while sneaking in some exercise.

Nourlangie Rock, Photo by: Peter Eve & Tourism NT
Nourlangie Rock, Photo by: Peter Eve & Tourism NT

3. Maguk Gorge

Maguk Gorge is found in the southern part of Kakadu National Park, just over 10 km off the main highway.  If you are travelling with 4 wheel drive and have checked the road conditions, head to the trailhead, park your vehicle, and begin the 2 km walk to Maguk.  Walk through lush forest and thick vegetation – try to spot some birds and lizards – until the path opens up to a swimming hole and see the only waterfall in Kakadu that flows regardless of season.  Swim across the pool and let the water wash over you.  Feeling brave?  Try cliff jumping!

Barramundie Gorge, Photo by: Tourism NT
Barramundie Gorge, Photo by: Tourism NT

4. Jim Jim Falls

Accessible by 4 wheel drive in the dry season or by air in the wet season, be sure to catch a glimpse of Jim Jim Falls.  Or if you don’t want to drive yourself, join a tour group to make some friends and leave the driving to an expert.  Once you park, you will brave a short but challenging walk to the falls.  If you’ve got the time and energy, do the Barrk-Mariam Buswalk – a 6 km round trip walk that gives breathtaking views of the surrounding area.  Jim Jim Falls also has a nearby campground, so you can stay overnight (book this popular campsite well in advance).  If you have the time, check out the nearby and popular Twin Falls for some more epic waterfall action.

Jim Jim Falls, Photo by: Tourism NT
Jim Jim Falls, Photo by: Tourism NT

5. Explore the Yurmikmik Walks

If you feel like you’ve been cooped up in the car while exploring Kakadu, get out of the car and spend a day hiking at Yurmikmik.  Hikes from the Yurmikmik parking lot range from a 2km loop to a more challenging 14 km loop.  If you’re planning a longer hike, look into obtaining a camping permit to extend your hike overnight.  Check out the Yurmikmik lookout and explore the Motor Car Falls.  Keep an eye out for peregrine falcons, black wallaroo, and saltwater crocodiles!

Yellow Water Billabong, Photo by: Tourism NT
Yellow Water Billabong, Photo by: Tourism NT

6. Grab a Bite to Eat at Kakadu Bakery

Hungry from a long day in the bush?  If you find yourself hungry and close to Jabiru, be sure to drop in on Kakadu Bakery. Grab breakfast, meat pies, sandwiches, burgers and fries, or stock up on their famous pastries, meat pies or bread rolls to refuel before your next jungle adventure.

Aussie meat pie

7. Get a Bird’s Eye View of Kakadu

If you want a real sense of the magnitude and beauty of Kakadu, you absolutely must head to the air to get the full experience.  Choose from fixed wing or helicopter and a variety of itineraries to make sure you get the experience you are looking for.  Depending on if you are travelling in dry or wet season, different tours may be available.  If you’re near Jabiru, check out Scenic Flight Company (fixed wing) or Kakadu Air (fixed wing or helicopter) for the aerial trip of a lifetime.

Jim Jim Falls Arial

8. Take in the Sunset at the Escarpment

Grab some groceries, make a picnic, and head to the Arnhem Land Escarpment by Jim Jim creek to sit back, relax, and take in the view while the sun sets.  Be sure to bring your cameras to this memorable, breath taking view.  If you have the time, try and catch a free talk by the local Rangers to learn about the rich history of the area.

Kakadu Sunset, Photo by: Johan Lolos
Kakadu Sunset, Photo by: Johan Lolos

9. Bardedjilidji Walk

This gentle walk is suitable for the whole family! Accessible during the dry season, the Bardedjilidji (the Aboriginal word for walking track) Walk takes you on a 2.5 km loop and will take approximately 1.5 hours tops.  Explore the sandstone rock formations beside the East Alligator River, try to spot some Aboriginal stone art, check out the caves, and keep your eyes open for the unique plant and animal life that inhabit the area.

Aboriginal Rock Art, Photo by: Peter Eve & Tourism NT
Aboriginal Rock Art, Photo by: Peter Eve & Tourism NT

10. Animal Tracks Safari

Enjoy the bush experience of a lifetime by taking a dry season tour with Animal Tracks Safari.  Start in Cooinda at 1pm and head to a local buffalo farm, then let your Aboriginal guide lead you through the wilderness to gather food, teach you about bush medicine, and then make a feast at sunset!  Help make a campfire and learn about traditional cooking methods while you absorb the sunset jungle view with your tour group.  If you’re worried about roughing it – they provide plenty of water and access to bush toilets that will keep you comfortable even in the heart of the jungle.  You’ll be back in Cooinda by 8:15pm, and discounts are available for children 4 -16 and under 4 are free.

Bush Walk, Photo by: Tourism NT
Bush Walk, Photo by: Tourism NT

11. Warradjan Cultural Centre

The Kakadu area has been home to Aboriginal People continuously for over 50,000 years. This is evident throughout the park with many sacred sites and ancient aboriginal rock drawings. The Bininj/Mungguy are the traditional land owners and welcome you to experience their beautiful lands and learn about their traditional culture and the Warradjan Cultural Centre located near Cooinda Lodge offers visitors the chance to learn about aboriginal life while exploring the exhibit and also get an up-close look at some unique aboriginal art, many of which are produced by local artists and are for sale.

Warradjian Cultural Centre, Photo by: Tourism NT
Warradjian Cultural Centre, Photo by: Tourism NT