Life in Australia isn’t just about just work and study. Australia is renowned for its vast and rugged natural beauty, and with good reason – with so many iconic landmarks to visit you may never see them all. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the top 15 natural wonders in Australia. Take a bit of time see them, you won’t be disappointed.
1. The Twelve Apostles
The defining feature of the Great Ocean Road, the Twelve Apostles are outstanding rock formations rising from the ocean along the Victorian coastline, and one of the continent’s most well known and breathtaking natural formations. The Twelve Apostles are situated roughly a 3 hour drive from Lonsdale Institute Melbourne campus, ideally located for a weekend getaway along the Great Ocean Road.
An enduring icon of the Australian outback, Uluru is a sacred site for the Anangu people, a sandstone monolith rising out of the desert that captures light brilliantly at dusk and dawn. In the more recent past, people would climb ‘Ayers Rock’. Now, we appreciate it from a distance out of respect for the traditional owners of the land.
3. The Flinders Ranges
A few hours drive north of Adelaide, the Flinders Ranges are towering walls of white and ochre rocks that capture the sun in magnificent fashion at sunrise and sunset. Along with ranging mountains, there’s deep gorges that have been carved out over 800 million years of weathering. Home to many indigenous artifacts dating back 45,000 years, this natural wonder is best experienced as a flyover or by four wheel drive.
4. Mackenzie Falls
Head to Grampians National Park in Victoria and discover Mackenzie Falls, a 30 meter drop into a sandstone gorge that flows year round, giving off a faint rainbow mist. Grampians National Park is home to many kangaroos and other native fauna, and only a few hours drive from Melbourne.
5. Purnululu (The Bungle Bungles)
One of Australia’s most unique rock formations, the orange and black banded Bungle Bungles are only accessible during the dry season (roughly April through November). With many walking paths winding through the range that reveal hidden watering holes and expansive gorges, The Bungle Bungles are a must see while in the northwest of WA.
6. Undara Lava Tubes
Exploring the Undara Lava Tubes is a unique prospect. Located within the Undara Volcanic National Park in Queensland, the Lava Tubes offer explorers the opportunity to see how a once volcanic area shaped the environment. The eruptions at Undara took place almost 200,00 years ago, yet it’s possible to see their beautiful devastation even today. Undara is located roughly a 3 hour drive southwest from Cairns.
7. Pink Lakes
Spread about the country, Australia boasts a number of lakes coloured pink by the presence of algae in the water. On the west coast, Lake Hillier near Esperance is perhaps the most well known, while on the east coast there are pink lakes in the Murray-Sunset National Park in Victoria.
8. Great Barrier Reef
Provided we can continue to protect this World Heritage Listed site, the Great Barrier Reef remains the enduring natural treasure of Australia. Thousands of kilometres of spectacular coral reefs mark it an international treasure enjoyed by millions from around the world.
9. Shark Bay
Shark Bay’s coastline of white sand dunes and limestone cliffs stretches 1,500 kilometers along Australia’s western coast. About 800 kilometers north of Perth, it is home to many protected species of flora and fauna, including around 10,000 dugongs and the most diverse range of seagrass in the world.
10. Wineglass Bay
Tasmania’s beautiful Wineglass Bay is part of the Freycinet National Park, and one of the island’s most beautiful treasures. Spectacular walks through natural environments provide the intrepid trekker with great views and rewarding experiences.
11. Lord Howe Island
About a third of the way between Australia’s eastern coast and New Zealand you encounter huge basalt mountains rising out of the sea. Welcome to Lord Howe Island, a spectacular, world heritage listed paradise, pristinely preserved and among our best natural wonders.
12. Walls of China
Located in the Mungo National Park, about two hours drive from Mildura in NSW, the Walls of China can be accessed via a bike path, providing a breathtaking vista as you approach these natural rock formations.
13. Whitsunday Islands
White sands, clear waters and spectacular coastline, the 74 islands of the Whitsundays are located in the heart of another natural wonder, the Great Barrier Reef. Explore the beaches by foot, boat or plane and marvel at the spectacular natural beauty.
14. The Pinnacles
Located in Nambung National Park, Western Australia, the Pinnacles are a collection of limestone pillars rising from the desert floor in a fascinating display that’s made all the more interesting when you consider just how close they are to the ocean. The Pinnacles are only a two hour drive north from Perth.
15. Kings Canyon
A six hour drive from Alice Springs, Kings Canyon in Watarrka National Park is an unmissable natural landmark. Walk along the rim of the rising sandstone walls or view them from below. From just about any angle this lesser-known natural beauty is great for a photograph.
Feeling ready for an adventure? Make sure you reward yourself with a break from your studies and take a trip to one – or more – of these 15 natural wonders during your time in Australia.