Australia is full of mind-blowing landscapes and natural wonders that are perfect for outdoor adventures. The most famous, of course, is the Great Barrier Reef—but there are also dramatic mountain ranges, bubblegum pink lakes, and tropical islands filled with unique wildlife.
Our team of Australia experts have traveled far and wide across this amazing country, often venturing off the beaten path to discover Australia’s most incredible scenery. These 10 natural wonders of Australia are sure to get you dreaming of a trip down under!
Great Barrier Reef
Did you know that the Great Barrier Reef is the only living thing on earth visible from space? It’s also roughly 25 million years old and is the world’s largest reef system—stretching for almost 2,000 miles off the coast of Queensland. Over 400 different types of coral and 1,500 species of tropical fish call this amazing reef system home.
Snorkeling amongst vibrant corals in the Great Barrier Reef. Image: Tourism Queensland
Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is a sacred site to the indigenous people of Australia’s Red Centre. The monolith is located in the heart of Australia’s outback, surrounded by bright red soil dotted with pale green desert shrubs. Uluru gains its fame not only from its massive size, but also from the beautiful variety of hues that wash over the stone throughout the day, particularly at sunrise and sunset.
The magnificent Uluru Rock in Australia’s Red Centre. Image: Tourism Northern Territory
The Twelve Apostles
The Twelve Apostles are limestone stacks created by erosion. You can see them from the Great Ocean Road, a popular road trip from Melbourne to Adelaide (or vice versa). Despite the name, there are actually only nine “apostles.” Today, they continue to erode from their base at a rate of two centimeters a year.
The Twelve Apostles are truly a breathtaking sight. Image: Tourism Australia
At Ningaloo Reef, you’ll find yourself surrounded by emerald lagoons, brilliant coral, and vibrant tropical fish! The Ningaloo Reef is the largest fringing coral reef in Australia and can be reached right from the shore, making it an amazing snorkeling destination. You can also swim with whale sharks or humpback whales!
Whale sharks frequently visit Ningaloo Reef. Image: Sal Salis Ningaloo
The Blue Mountains
This escarpment of mountain ranges is located about 2 hours outside of Sydney. Here, you’ll find yourself in awe of the colors before you: red stone giving way to green eucalyptus forest, all covered in a shimmering haze that tints the landscape blue. Some of the most famous sites in the Blue Mountains are Echo Point, the Great Dividing Range, and the Three Sisters. Keep an eye out for sleepy koalas in the trees!
The majestic Blue Mountains. Image: Boutique Tours Australia
Fraser Island, located off the coast of Queensland, is the world’s largest sand island. Here you’ll find rainforests, 780-feet-high sand dunes, 100 freshwater lakes, and unique animals like wallabies, sugar gliders, echidnas, and dingoes!
A dingo enjoys the beach on Fraser Island. Image: Tourism Queensland
Bungle Bungle Range
The Bungle Bungle Range is condensed sandstone range, located in Purnululu National Park in the wild Kimberley region of Western Australia. Rising nearly 1,000 feet above the grass-covered plains that surround them, the orange and black sandstone domes are one of the world’s most fascinating geological landmarks. Also found in the area surrounding the Bungle Bungles are dramatic gorges, tropical pools, and caves home to unique mammals and wildlife.
The Bungle Bungles are a very unique geologic formation. Image: Tourism Western Australia
Kakadu National Park
Kakadu National Park features the type of pristine outback scenery that inspired Crocodile Dundee. Within this massive wilderness in the Northern Territory, you’ll find incredible tropical biodiversity. Kakadu is home to 2,000 plant species, around one-third of all Australian bird species, and about one-fifth of all Australian mammals. It is also home to floodplains, tidal flats, and rocky outcrops. Aboriginal rock carvings are found throughout the area, as well as both freshwater and saltwater crocs.
Wallabies playing in the Mary River floodplains. Image: Bamurru Plains
Lake Hillier is the most famous of remote Western Australia’s otherworldly pink lakes. Located on Middle Island, the bubblegum-pink lake makes a striking sight against the surrounding forest, white sandy beach, and turquoise ocean! Though you can see the lake on a boat excursion, we recommend viewing it on a scenic flight out of Esperance.
Lake Hillier is a striking shade of pink. Image: Tourism Western Australia
Located about 3 hours outside of Perth, the Pinnacles are limestone formations created roughly 30,000 years ago, as the receding oceans left deposits of seashells on shore. They rise several meters out of the sand in Nambung National Park on the remote western coast. You’re likely to see an amazing amount of wildlife here, including kangaroos, emus, and reptiles.
The Pinnacles seem to be otherworldly formations. Image: Tourism Western Australia