Five Must-See Natural Wonders to Visit on Your Next Aussie Getaway
Explore the picturesque beaches, rainforests and national parks that Australia is famous for.
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Of the official seven natural wonders in the world, Australia has one: the Great Barrier Reef. But there are loads of others that haven't made the formal ranking. Next time you're planning a holiday, consider turning it into an adventure and tick off one of these gems — from stepping on the pristine white shores of the biggest sand island in the world to scaling the highest peak in the country. We've scoped out five spots around Australia that boast spectacular natural sights.
From pristine beaches and bountiful wine regions to alpine hideaways and bustling country towns, Australia has a wealth of places to explore at any time of year. We've partnered with Tourism Australia to help you plan your road trips, weekend detours and summer getaways so that when you're ready to hit the road you can Holiday Here This Year.
Some of the places mentioned below may be operating differently due to COVID-19 restrictions. Please check the relevant websites before making any plans.
K'GARI (FRASER ISLAND), QUEENSLAND
Welcome to the biggest sand island in the world — its 184,000 hectares are made of sands of 72 colours. If your weekend dreams are made of beaches, beaches and more beaches, then World Heritage-listed K'gari (Fraser Island) is the place to go. Spend your weekend lazing about in a four-star eco resort, complete with a day spa and pool, or pack your tent and go wild. If you're feeling especially adventurous, there's also the K'gari (Fraser Island) Great Walk — a 90-kilometre adventure that'll take you via crystal clear inland lakes, across sand dunes and through lush rainforests. It'll take around six to eight days to complete.
NITMILUK GORGE, NORTHERN TERRITORY
Nitmiluk means 'cicada place' in the language of the Jawoyn and Dagomen peoples, who have maintained cultural connections to the area also known as Katherine Gorge for thousands of years. There are 13 separate gorges that make up Nitmiluk Gorge, and its sandstone rock reaches heights of up to 70 metres in some parts. One of the most spectacular sights in the national park is when the rock appears to change colour as sunlight hits the cliff face, and you can take tours at dawn and sunset to capture the moment. Nitmiluk Tours (which is a 100-percent Indigenous owned and operated tour company) run comfortable, 12-person trips on intimate cruise boats. If you prefer to explore the area via helicopter, canoe or on foot, you can do that, too. You'll find the entrance to Nitmiluk National Park 30 kilometres northeast of Katherine.
KOSCIUSZKO NATIONAL PARK, NEW SOUTH WALES
Kosciuszko National Park's claim to fame is Mount Kosciuszko, the highest peak in mainland Australia. While a climb to its summit is mandatory, there are plenty more adventures on offer, too. During winter, you can conquer the Crackenback Supertrail — the longest downhill run in Australia — on your skis or snowboard and take a dip in a piping-hot thermal pool at Yarrangobilly Caves. Come summer, explore stunning glacial lakes, spectacular wildflower meadows and magical snow gum forests on foot or by mountain bike.
NINETY MILE BEACH, VICTORIA
Along the southeast coast of Victoria runs Ninety Mile Beach. The 151-kilometre (or 94-mile) stretch of golden sand is the second longest beach in Australia, behind Coorong in South Australia (which is a whopping 222 kilometres). Ninety Mile separates the Bass Strait from Gippsland Lakes, so you can spend your getaway hopping from wild surf to dreamy still water. In between sunbaking, swimming, surfing and fishing, take a wander through the coastal villages of Woodside Beach, Seaspray, Loch Sport and Lakes Entrance.
WINEGLASS BAY AND THE HAZARDS, TASMANIA
This world-famous bay gets its name from its perfect curves and crystal-clear waters. You'll find it on Tasmania's east coast within Freycinet National Park and not far from the Hazards — pink granite mountains that rise dramatically from the water. To see both in one fell swoop, catch a scenic flight. Alternatively, follow the steep, three-kilometre hike to Wineglass Bay Lookout and then, if you have the stamina, continue along the Hazards Beach Circuit. There's also a bunch of luxe stays that offer panoramic views, so you can see everything without leaving your bed.
Whether you're planning to travel for a couple of nights or a couple of weeks, Holiday Here This Year and you'll be supporting Australian businesses while you explore the best of our country's diverse landscapes and attractions.
Top image: Nitmiluk Gorge via Tourism Australia.
Published on May 29, 2020 by Jasmine Crittenden