Australia’s massive size as a continent and its inherent diversity of landscapes are some of the main reasons exploring the country is such an enjoyable exercise.
Want a view showcasing the contrast of beautiful sand and sea? We’ve got it. After majestic alpine peaks and hidden valleys? Check. More of the wistful type for the serenity of untouched outback wilderness? Can do.
But which is the absolute best amongst this cavalcade of stunning outlooks? If you’re an avid photographer wanting the perfect postcard snapshot, or simply explorer in search of Australia‘s best views, here are 20 of the most incredible spots you’ll want to sling your camera across your shoulder for.
Location: Townsville, Tropical North QLD
Why it’s special: Blend of city, ocean & island views
An underrated regional city with a number of underrated natural and historical secrets, Queensland’s Townsville makes for a great alternative holiday spot. This city on the Tropical North QLD coast offers a solid balance of landscapes, military architectural features and picturesque reef-based scenery courtesy of its neighbouring Magnetic Island.
One of the city’s standout features is the large pink granite monolith of Castle Hill which juts prominently out of the mixture of residential buildings and commercial highrises. The 286m-high peak offers a number of vantage points from which to take in the impressive panorama below, with walkers presented with a range of different tracks leading to its Summit lookout.
These tracks vary in difficulty from drawn-out, more leisurely strolls to more direct, yet challenging routes including the ‘Widow-Maker’ track that’s both spectacular and something of a risk, with no safety barriers to speak of.
Image credit: Melissa Findley via Tourism & Events QLD
The view atop Castle Hill provides an impressive 360-degree overlook of the city and the lovely waters out to Magnetic Island and is particularly beautiful at sunrise for the early risers out there.
It’s also accessible by car, so the less ambitious among us can still soak in the spectacle while saving those precious calories…
Location: Gippsland, VIC
Why it’s special: 360 degree views of a nature reserve, lake & coastline
This relatively unknown walking track in Victoria’s East Gippsland offers plenty of adventurous opportunities for the aspiring bushwalker and hiker.
Situated to the north-west of Mallacoota, the track is accessible via a gravel road off the Princes Highway, and only requires a 1.5km return walk of easy to moderate difficulty to complete. The main highlight of the track is definitely the Genoa Peak walk that takes you to an outstanding final lookout.
The walk takes roughly 2 hours to complete at a leisurely pace, starting off easier and ending up in a more difficult section at the end whereby the top viewing platform is reached by climbing a steel ladder to the top.
After this final ascension, you’ll be treated to some glorious 360-degree views of the surrounding nature reserve that extend all the way out to Mallacoota Lake in the distance.
The viewing platform clocks in at a height of 490 metres above sea level, and as a result the views on offer here are totally uninterrupted, spanning to the Croajingolong wilderness coastline.
Due to the difficulty of the final section of the walk, this is a trek that’s best to do earlier in the day to avoid any stumbles while returning.
Location: Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD
Why it’s special: Amazing island panorama viewable from within rooms
Talk about a room with a view. The Whitsundays’ ultra-luxurious Qualia resort carries with it a high-end price tag, but the return on this investment is perhaps the most stunning outlook obtainable from a hotel room in Australia.
The award-winning accommodation located on the northern end of Hamilton Island is famed for its reputation as a honeymoon and special occasion destination, and along with its combination of pampering and service, it’s the outlook that makes for such a remarkable place to stay.
Featuring a panorama of the Coral Sea broken up by the figures of the various surrounding islands, this is the closest to a Bora Bora-style environment one can expect within domestic waters.
The resort is divided up into a series of sections dubbed “Pavilions”, and views can be taken in from multiple points within these, including the Long Pavilion which is host to a bar and restaurant with scenery aplenty on offer.
The resort’s Pebble Beach Terrace also allows for slightly more casual dining while still boasting an excellent outlook, however, it’s the in-room spectacles that are truly breathtaking.
Image credit: Qualia Resort
Should you be willing to open your wallet a little extra for a Windward Pavilion room – each of which comes with their own private plunge pool – you’ll be treated to uninhibited island views from your bed and bathroom.
While it’s out of reach for an impulse-travel stay for the majority of us, there are few better special occasion accommodation options in the country, and as a result, Qualia has a firm place on many Aussie’s bucket lists.
Location: Tasman National Park, TAS
Why it’s special: Unique rocky cliffs and columns plus verdant greenery
Tasmania as a state is host to some of the best scenery in Australia with an environment that’s quite different to the mainland.
One such section of Tassie that’s especially unique is the Cape Huay section of the Tasman National Park, which features a mixed cavalcade of the amazing steep cliff and rock formation views that extend along a ruggedly beautiful coastline.
The region is famed for its large dolerite columns that can be seen jutting into the sky, including named notables the Candlestick and Totem Pole, with hikers able to soak this all in while making their way through a range of pristine natural environments along the way.
Passing through woodlands and heath, it’s a well-marked track with multiple excellent viewpoints along the way.
Image credit: Stu Gibson via Tourism Tasmania
The walk is one of the more accessible from nearby Fortescue Bay, which can be reached in just over an hour from Tasmanian capital Hobart. Walking the Cape Huay trail takes roughly 4.5 hours return, with the track following closely to cliff edges at various points, so a vigilant eye is needed.
Its mixture of distinctive rock formations and ocean-adjacent cliffs – along with characteristically verdant Tasmanian nature and views that extend out to Maria Island – make for one of the unique landscapes on this list.
Location: Nambung National Park, WA
Why it’s special: Distinctive, moonlike landscape
Roughly 245km to the north of Western Australian capital Perth lies one of Australia’s most distinctive landscapes: the Pinnacles Desert, which in turn resides in the heart of the state’s Nambung National Park.
Featuring thousands of odd limestone figures jutting out of the desert sands, the panorama on offer here is both magical and slightly eerie, bringing to mind an alien landscape from science fiction.
The Pinnacles themselves vary in both size and shape, with some of the largest measuring up to 3.5 metres tall, and form an incredible backdrop for photography both amateur and professional alike.
Formed from the remnants of an eroded bed of limestone over thousands of years, they’ve quickly become one of Western Australia’s most visited natural landmarks.
Lighting conditions play an especially prominent role in the panorama of the Pinnacles; they’re especially spectacular at sunrise or sunset as the effect of thousands of shadows comes into play, and full moon here is especially eerie – and even slightly spooky!
Image credit: Melissa Findley via Tourism & Events QLD
Adventures to the Pinnacles are typically based out of the nearby small town of Cervantes and are 2-wheel-drive accessible with a number of parking bays available for those wanting to explore on foot.
Visiting is also doable on an extended day trip from Perth, with guided day tours also available to book.
Location: Stanley, TAS
Why it’s special: Unique rock formation intermingled with coastal scenery alongside charming town
The small yet picturesque town of Stanley in Tasmania’s north-west is charming if unremarkable in its own right, however, it’s its prominent neighbouring natural feature that makes the surrounding landscape a standout from the norm.
That is because there’s the massive, 152-metre high remnant of an extinct volcano which looms over its buildings – known as The Nut, the flat-topped plateau contrasts with the town itself and the adjacent sea to make for an unusual and scenic vista.
Great views can be had both of The Nut when viewed from afar, and from atop its surface gazing out to the surrounding area, and as a result paying a visit to this little slice of the Southern State brings with it some truly rewarding vantage points.
Ascending to the top of the Nut grants wonderful, 360-degree views of rolling greenery and the waters of the Bass Strait, and its relatively flat top is conducive to some excellent sightseeing.
Visitors have the option to walk to the plateau of the Nut via its signature Zig Zag Track, which is a steep but rewarding little adventure; it’s only around 400 metres in length but will put the burn into your calves; be sure to wear appropriate footwear if attempting.
Image credit: Tourism Tasmania
Alternatively, those looking for an easier way up – along with some spectacular scenery along the way – can opt for the excellent Nut Chairlift which offers a more leisurely 250-metre ride to the top.
Once atop the plateau, the adventure doesn’t have to stop, as the summit is equipped with a roughly 1-hour circle track that offers multiple great lookout points along the way, as well as the chance to spot wildlife in the area including a number of Wallabies.
Location: Kakadu, NT
Why it’s special: Magical combination of swimming and outback wilderness panorama
The expansive Kakadu National Park is home to numerous wonderful spectacles but none quite as perfect as Gunlom Falls and the plunge pool that grants sweeping views of the park’s southern hills. Located on Waterfall Creek in the national park’s southern section, it’s one of the more epic – and distinctly Aussie – viewpoints available in Kakadu.
The combination of the vista Gunlom offers along with its swimming opportunities make it exceptionally popular with tourists, especially during peak season. Both the view at the top of the lookout and from within the pools are amazing, so you won’t be disappointed if you opt out of swimming.
Gunlom is also relatively easy to access compared to some other popular areas of Kakadu, with a 4WD vehicle not required and thus making self-drives possible for most visitors. There’s a steep climb to the top of the waterfall lookout itself (which grants the best view), but the reward is well worth the effort.
Shaded picnic and grassed areas make for a magical spot to enjoy lunch, and the surrounding billabongs and their walks provide plenty of chances for bird watching, as well.
Location: Blue Mountains, NSW
Why it’s special: Expansive panorama of rugged mountains and Aussie bushland
A favoured day trip destination of Sydneysiders and those visiting the region from afar, the Blue Mountains are renowned for their rugged, gorgeous scenery and seemingly endless number of walking tracks with well-situated lookouts.
As the highest lookout in the range available to the public, Hassan’s Wall just outside the town of Lithgow offers unmatched views of both countryside and mountains, with sheer cliffs on either side to complete the spectacle.
The aspect from Hassan’s Wall includes an outlook that covers the western edge of the Blue Mountains and further on to Kanangra Walls (see further below) to the south. Gazing down also provides a perspective on the Great Western Highway winding its way far below, which offers an extra sense of just how high up the vantage point is.
The lookout’s more recent improvements have included lookout railings, which are now decked out with improved fencing for safety due to some previous incidents, and those with a fear of heights can still fully appreciate the spectacle while having an extra dose of reassurance.
Hassan’s Wall Lookout can be easily accessed from Lithgow – visitors can either take a short, 5-minute drive from the town or enjoy a great walk or ride up to the top – via the aptly-named Hassan’s Wall Road. It’s equipped with picnic shelters, too, so enjoying a late lunch and then sticking around for a gorgeous sunset comes highly recommended.
Location: Purnululu National Park, WA
Why it’s special: Unique “honeycomb” rock landscape
This remarkable, remote and entirely unique looking part of the country was formed over immense eras of natural landscaping but only came to European attention since its discovery in 1983, and ever since the Bungle Bungles have been a key bucket list item on the itineraries many travellers to Western Australia.
This is a singular landscape that has no real counterpart elsewhere in Australia, with its orange and black-striped mounts reminiscent of beehives making for a dramatic spectacle from both above and below.
Image credit: Melissa Findley via Tourism & Events QLD
The Purnululu National Park’s relative isolation has made it a location that’s perhaps best viewed from above with a scenic flight. From altitude, the character of the landscape becomes more readily apparent as it’s a spectacle that’s akin to abstract art with the numerous formations truly fascinating.
The sheer scale of the range also comes into full view when viewed from high above; this is not some tiny individual slice of the country that happens to be unique.
Scenic flights over the Bungle Bungles can be taken with a number of operators including Aviair, Bungle Bungle Expeditions and Kingfisher Tours, and while they’re expensive they offer a perspective on the range that’s unbelievably dramatic.
Alternatively, 4WD access is a possibility for those looking to drive, and although it can be fairly challenging conditions have been improved in recent years.
Exploring on foot brings its own rewards; there are a number of marvellous gorges to explore on foot, and the changing colours of the sandstone with the passage of the day are impressive when viewed up close.
Camping here is possible and a wondrous experience but requires bringing along all supplies; there’s no true accommodation here to speak of, but this is raw Australia in its truest sense.
Location: Central Highlands, TAS
Why it’s special: Beautiful blend of alpine & lake scenery
In terms of photogenic locations worthy of a postcard, there are few spots in Tasmania that can compare with the outlook across Dove Lake towards Cradle Mountain within the Lake St. Clair National Park.
Pick the perfect day with ideal conditions, and the mirror-like reflection of the mountain of the lake’s surface is incredible, and one of the most iconic examples of pristine Tasmanian nature at its best.
Cradle Mountain’s distinctive shape from which it derives its name is majestic in its own right, with its twin, jagged dolerite peaks forming a clear “cradle” figure that makes for a great backdrop for exploring Dove Lake’s surrounds.
With an incredibly tranquil and serene atmosphere on offer, Dove Lake’s encompassing Loop Track is one of the most meditative walks in the state, following a fairly easy path through sections of wild and hoary forest.
A significant portion of the walking track around Dove Lake is a boardwalk and mostly leisurely to navigate, with only a shorter section of moderate difficulty breaking things up. The track takes around 2 hours to complete, with earlier in the day generally being the best time to visit to avoid sharing the serenity with too many other fellow travellers.
Image Credit: Tourism Tasmania
During the summer months, the flat waters of the lake make for a refreshing splash of coolness, while during the colder seasons the addition of snow-dusting to the top of Cradle Mountain adds yet more charm to the spectacle. The national park is
The national park is about a 90-minute drive from Devonport, and it’s one of Tasmania’s absolute must do’s.
Location: Kakadu National Park, NT
Why it’s special: Amazing panorama of outback wetlands, rock art & magical sunsets
Another outstanding vantage point in Kakadu, Ubirr is predominantly famous for two main things – its rock art, and its sunsets.
Home to a number of Aboriginal rock art sites that date back thousands of years, Ubirr carries with it a truly prehistoric sense of being a land that time forgot. The vantage point on offer from atop its rocky outcroppings showcases a wilderness landscape of wholly untouched floodplains and escarpments.
The views admired after navigating the relatively easy track that clocks in at around 250 metres in length are breathtaking in terms of distance, as the plains stretch out as far as the eye can see and are particularly glorious after recent rainfall.
The wetlands here come to life during the wet season, with the water drawing out wetlands birds such as Jabirus and geese, as well as marsupials who come to drink.
It’s the sunsets, however, that make Ubirr’s views such a significant and spiritual feeling experience; the skies change from a vibrant blue to a blazing orange, and the contrast with the floodplains greenery makes for a vivid tableau of colour.
Timing your visit to take place during sunset is not only great for the spectacle but for the accompanying ranger talks that coincide with them and lend an extra level of context to the proceedings.
The site comes equipped with rustic benches on which to rest and reflect, and it’s hard not to feel moved by simply sitting down and absorbing the entire process.
Accessible via a half-hour drive from Jabiru, Ubirr’s blend of landscape and profound history make a visit all but essential.
Location: Freycinet National Park, TAS
Why it’s special: Unique, picture-perfect bay within mountain environment
While Tasmania might not carry with it the reputation for spectacular beaches that many of the mainland Australian states do, that’s certainly not the case for the east coast’s Wineglass Bay. The bay is a clam-shaped cove of pristine sand and vibrant sea that looks straight out of a photo shoot.
Part of Tassie’s wonderful Freycinet National Park, Wineglass Bay is reachable via a 2-hour drive from Launceston or 3-hour drive from Hobart, and then requires an additional walk to its signature lookout where the true spectacle unfolds.
It’s not just the wonderful contrast of the white/blue water and beach combination that makes the panorama here so special, either; the surrounding pink granite peaks of the Hazard Mountains encircle the bay while adding a third colour to the palette.
Taking in this scenery at its best involves a 1.5-hour return journey from Wineglass Bay’s carpark to its lookout which lies high on the ridges between Mounts Amos and Mason overlooking the bay.
The track is well formed, and upon reaching the lookout it’s the ideal spot to bring along a packed meal and absorb the view of what is widely considered one of Australia’s best beaches.
Once you’ve drunk in your fill of the view from the lookout, the option exists to either turn back to the carpark or continue further on down to the beach of Wineglass Bay itself. While the walk downwards is steeper and more of a challenge than the initial portion, the reward of feeling the sand between your toes more than justify the time and physical investment.
Combine the spectacle of the beach with an abundance of activities, such as snorkelling, kayaking and exploring rock pools, and wildlife of the greater national park and you’ve got one of the most well-rounded beach spots in the country.
Location: Southern Coast, SA
Why it’s special: Dramatic, edge-of-continent scenery
When people envisioned the edge of the earth, South Australia’s Head of Bight is likely a close approximation of what they had in mind; it’s not hard to feel that the Australian continent abruptly ends here.
Situated in the far west of the state, this is an awe-inspiring spot where the sheer, dramatic limestone of the Bunda Cluffs tower above bright and vibrant waters below, making for an impressive panorama regardless of which season you visit.
However, should you coincide your visit in a particular part of the year, you’ll come away even more inspired – while the view itself is jaw-dropping, it’s the presence of Southern Right Whales that complete the experience.
During the prime migratory season of June to September, visit here and you’ll be able to step out onto viewing platforms looking directly down onto the sheltering marine giants and appreciate why this is considered one of the world’s most beautiful whale watching locations.
The cliffs themselves are huge in their scope and stretch far into the distance, spanning a total length of 200km and measuring an average of 70 metres high, with sheer drops lapped by the waters of the Bight below.
Time your visit with a day of clear skies and solid weather, and the azure blue of the water against the rock faces is highly photogenic.
Image credit: Tourism SA
While there’s a fee to access the Head of Bight viewing platforms, it’s well worth the investment – and the diversion from the highway – for the view on offer.
As an added bonus, it’s also wheelchair accessible and comes complete with a visitor’s centre and small shop too.
Location: Kanangra-Boyd National Park, NSW
Why it’s special: Sweeping views of surrounding gorge
Part of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, this panoramic mixture of sheer sandstone cliff faces, prominent waterfalls and enjoyable forest trails serves as an equally-if-not-more impressive alternative to the popular Blue Mountains National Park.
The Kanangra Walls are the major highlight of the Kanangra-Boyd National Park, and its main lookout is a magnificent vantage point that overlooks the gorges of Kanangra Creek and the high tops of Mount Cloudmaker which can often be seen draped in mist.
This spectacular vista is relatively under-visited, which is something of a shame as its remote nature and blend of scenery is worthy of more attention; the fact that it falls outside of many mainstream day touring routes is a large contributing factor.
The National Park explorable below the lookout is home to plenty of lush nature and birdlife as well, and by following a nearby large number of steps you’ll arrive at a lovely waterfall/pool combination that’s quite picturesque.
The Kanangra Walls Lookout is easily accessed from its carpark via a wheelchair-accessible walk, but it’s the initial getting there that’s the challenge. Driving out is possible with a 2WD vehicle, however, it’s mostly along a gravel/dirt road, so be sure to progress carefully and watch for potholes along the way.
Located roughly 180km from Sydney, if you’re looking for a viable alternate destination for amazing views to the eternally-busy Katoomba-and-Three-Sisters combo, spare a thought for Kanangra Walls Lookout instead; it’s a panorama of unadulterated World Heritage landscape.
Location: Kimberley Region, WA
Why it’s special: Wonderful multi-tiered falls & landscape contrast
One of the true jewels in the crown of the Kimberley region amongst its many other impressive natural attractions, Western Australia’s Mitchell Falls are one of the state’s most photographed highlights.
The gorgeous, multi-tiered waterfall is exceptionally remote but undeniably beautiful, as its waters cascade over the typical fiery orange-red rock into the waiting maws of the pools below.
Part of the wildlife-rich Mitchell River National Park, its isolation is one of the main reasons visiting here is so rewarding.
As with many of the other panoramas on this list, the beauty of Mitchell Falls is hard to capture in mere pictures – but this is particularly so with an animated landscape such as waterfalls when much of its draw lies in the sheer power, flow and ambient sound of the tumbling water.
Given its water-based nature, Mitchell Falls is also an attraction that’s best viewed just after the conclusion of the wet season, when the muddy roads have dried yet the water is still flowing at an impressive rate.
Mitchell Falls are located on the Mitchell River Plateau – a spot that is accessible either by an extensive, multi-day drive by 4WD vehicle and then additional on-foot hiking, or by scenic helicopter flights that take passengers directly to access the falls themselves.
Flying in, and then walking the Punamii-Unpuu Trail which leads to the most famed photo spot overlooking Mitchell Falls is a popular option for those short on either energy or time, and given its epic outlook is well worth the monetary investment.
There’s plenty to see on the walk to the falls, too, as it passes through a mixture of savannah-style woodlands and pockets of rainforest before culminating in the falls themselves.
Mitchell Falls is a magical spectacle carved out of the landscape over millions of years, and reason enough alone to make the long trek into Australia’s northwest.
Location: Flinders Ranges, SA
Why it’s special: Huge and unique natural amphitheatre
This enormous, crescent-shaped amphitheatre in the heart of the Flinders Ranges of South Australia lies far from major civilisation and is massive in scope, measuring roughly 17km long – and as a result the best view of which comes from the air.
Due to the popularity of this amazing aerial spectacle, a range of companies have sprung up over the years to provide those looking to see Wilpena Pound from above with plenty of options for taking in its majesty.
Scenic flights over Wilpena Pound come in a variety of itinerary lengths and departure points, with times ranging anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, and from airstrips at the likes of Hawker airstrip, Rawnsley Park Station on the Pound’s south side, and from Wilpena Pound Resort (the only true accommodation in the area) itself.
Light aircraft that fly over the pound come equipped with purpose-built viewing windows, which leads to some incredible photo opportunities from high above; seeing the mountain-engulfed valley from this angle is amazing – but it’s not your only option for a great view.
Wilpena Pound is very popular for bushwalking, with a number well-signed walking trails for the aspiring adventurer who’s willing to put in some effort for a spectacular return including a number of gorgeous lookouts.
The most notable of these is the panorama atop St. Mary’s Peak – the highest of such in the Flinders Ranges at 1171 metres – that takes roughly 6 hours to complete. It’s a fairly challenging circuit, but the resultant views of the Flinders Ranges, Aroona Valley and western salt plains are an excellent reward for your efforts.
Add to this the general scenery on offer at the Pound – seeing hundreds of kangaroos and wallabies drinking after rainfall, and amazingly clear night skies are particular highlights – and you’ve got a natural wonder that many people feel can hold it’s own with #1 on this list below.
Getting to the Pound requires a 5-hour drive from Adelaide, with a stay at Wilpena Pound Resort available for a touch of outback luxury before returning.
Location: Grampians National Park, VIC
Why it’s special: Panoramic views of surrounding ranges & plains; great sunsets
Victoria’s Grampians National Park is a destination that offers one of the greatest numbers of spectacular lookouts of any locale in the country; its various canyons, gorges, peaks and valleys all provide different aspects from which to take in the rugged Australian bush land within.
Rich in both natural scenery and indigenous Aboriginal rock art, the sandstone mountains of the Grampians have been featured in art, literature and film – a testament to their rugged beauty.
The Grampians provide wide and far-reaching panoramas to take in as well as a section of Victoria that is rich in wildlife and draped in colourful flora – particularly in Spring.
Natural sites abound – perhaps most famously, the rocky outcroppings of the Balconies – and the diversity on offer within the national park is impressive. It’s a mixture of tumbling waterfalls, deep gorges and even fine dining that provide an all-around natural destination that’s impressive in its scope.
The Balconies serve as perhaps the Grampians most visited lookout point for a reason; they require relatively little effort to reach, with a simple 1 hour/2 kilometre return walk from their carpark, and they offer incredible views over the greater Victoria Valley.
There’s plenty of birdlife to be spotted along the way to the lookout point, and it’s all interspersed with stretches of interesting bush and colourful wildflowers when in the season.
The region was also used by famed Japanese animator Miyazaki as his inspiration for the environment in his acclaimed film “Princess Mononokoe, as pictured below.
Barriers at the lookout have been put in place for safety purposes, although many visitors choose to shuck caution and climb over for a photo on the rocks (do so at your own risk!).
This is another spot on the list where sunsets are particularly breathtaking, so bring along a drink and some food, and simply bask in the glory of nature’s creation as the wonderful landscape changes before your eyes.
Location: Whitsunday Island, QLD
Why it’s special: Amazing views over Whitehaven Beach, one of the world’s best
There are few spots in Australia – let alone the world – that can compete with the island beauty of the Whitsundays, and there are few spots in the Whitsundays that showcase that beauty better than the immaculate Whitehaven Beach on the chain’s Whitsunday Island.
Famed for its pristine, powdery-white silica sand and ultra-clear surrounding water, the beach was voted as Australia’s Best Beach in our national poll back in 2013 and continues to prove immensely popular with those touring Queensland’s highlights.
The best spot to get an overall panorama of the beach’s striking colouration is a visit to Hill Inlet on the island’s northern end, epitomised by the view from the purpose-built lookout at Tongue Point.
Accessed via a short and easy stroll under shaded trees from the beach itself, once at the top you’ll likely be competing for a vantage point with a number of fellow tourists – but any aggravation is more than worth it, as the spectacle of turquoise-blue ocean and incredibly white sands is unlike any other in Australia.
The outlook on offer here is best viewed at lower tides when the sand is at its most visible, with the distinctive swirls of the water on top of the sand creating a wonderful rippling effect.
Keep your eyes peeled, and you may even spot a mixture of fish, sharks and rays piloting their way through the water. In many ways, it’s even better than being on the beach itself, as the full blend of sky, sea, sand and greenery combines for an amazing array of contrasts.
Those wanting to visit will have plenty of options to getting to Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet due to its popularity, with regular day and half-day tours operating out of popular departure points such as Hamilton Island, or Airlie Beach on the mainland.
While it can be expensive to reach, such is the price to pay for stepping into a living postcard – and Whitehaven Beach is exactly that.
Location: West Arthur Range, TAS
Why it’s special: Beautiful “mountain lake” and additional extended views
800 metres above sea level within the wild Western Arthur Range of Tasmania lies a microcosm of why Tasmania’s physical beauty is often compared with the likes of Switzerland for its alpine majesty.
The beautiful Lake Oberon is a photographer’s dream, as a body of pristine water nestled amongst dramatic mountain surrounds formed from glaciers from the distant past.
Add to the scene the fringing pandini trees – which add a wonderful dash of colour during the autumn months in particular – and it’s an escapist’s heaven
It’s unfortunate, then, that the Lake is so difficult to access, as the only way to view its majesty is via a challenging, multi-day walk through the Western Arthurs that is considered to be one of Australia’s most difficult treks.
This is both due to terrain that’s notoriously unpredictable and the continuous worry of having to deal with the variable weather; while November to March is widely considered the best time of year to do the hike, the propensity for sudden bouts of rain and even snow presents another factor to deal with.
The journey to Lake Oberon heads from Scott’s Peak up Alpha Moraine to the lake proper, with the full route spanning a 10-day traverse that heads further onward into yet more exposed sections.
As a result, many trips to Lake Oberon simply return back along the approach route – a trek that still takes an average of 3 to 5 days. The final descent down to Lake Oberon is particularly gruelling, however, the gorgeous scene that awaits and the picture-perfect spot offered by its campsite in magical in return.
As a result, this is an adventure that requires a solid level of fitness and a respectable level of hiking experience to complete.
The less initiated can join operators Tasmanian Wilderness Experiences for the trip, who offer guided journeys to tackle the adventure head-on. And hey, aren’t the best things in life worth working for?
Location: Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, NT
Why it’s special: One of the world’s most unique rock formations; distinct colour enhanced by lighting
There are few symbols of Australia that are more recognisable to the international community than that of Uluru / Ayers Rock, for a number of reasons; its scale, its isolation, its uncanny feeling of spiritual significance, and its blend of colours.
No time is this more apparent than at sunrise and sunset, where the transition from night to day and vice-versa seems to happen in slow motion and the conveyed feeling of serenity and peace is indescribable.
There’s a reason Uluru holds a special spot in many traveller’s hearts and, despite its fame, is often said to be the highlight of an entire Australian journey.
As one of the most popular sunsets and sunrise spots in Australia, specially designated viewing areas have been set up to allow visitors to take in the magical views. Due to its sacred nature amongst its Aboriginal custodians, there are regulations in place restricting viewing and a number of specific places from which to view the rock.
This includes an additional platform just 3 kilometres from Uluru constructed in collaboration with the Indigenous community that provides one of the best perspectives of the phenomenon.
It’s also equipped with several kilometres of walking track for you to find a peaceful section to yourself.
Those with cars can drive and stop at a number of other great viewing areas landscaped into the sand dunes that provide a great overview of Uluru and even Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) in the background. While as Australians we’ve been inundated with imagery of Uluru over the years, when witnessed in person the spectacle takes on a whole other level.
There is some debate as to whether sunrise or sunset is the best of the two when viewing Uluru, but other than sunrise requiring a 4 or 5 am wake-up time there’s no reason why both can’t be done.
Getting to Uluru isn’t difficult, but it can be expensive due to the sheer distance from most east coast Australian cities; budget carriers such as Jetstar and Virgin fly directly there from Sydney, while other routes connect from most capital cities to Ayers Rock Airport.
A number of companies also operate day tours and transfers from Alice Springs, and those looking to explore the outback along the way can embrace the drawn-out journey of driving themselves.
One of Australia’s true natural wonders, Uluru has amazed human eyes for thousands of years and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future. Go see it for yourself!
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