The land of wondrous oceans and islands, red soil, and unique wildlife, Australia is home to several man-made and natural wonders. Each a phenomenon that leaves an inspirational impression on the spectators, while enticing a sense of excited astonishment.
The Australian continent, the land far below, has evolved into a mixture of mind-blowing coastal to arid landscapes, and evolutionary thoughts manifested into artificial wonders; ideas enticed by its indigenous and modern residents.
Here, we have gathered seven natural wonders along with seven man-made wonders of Australia- geared for bucket list travelers.
The world’s largest coral reef sits in the northeastern coastal regions of the country; covering an area of 3000 square kilometers of flamboyant marine life within the territorial islands and coast of the Coral Sea. Also known as the most complex ecological marine region in the world, these scenic reefs are home to rare varieties of fishes, corals, and several other oceanic life.
Snorkeling is a favorite activity here, which opens the mesmerizing underwater world of the barrier to its visitors. This nature’s masterpiece is also beautiful on the surface, fringed by verdant coastal forests, white sand stretches, and breathtaking vistas from a sailor’s point of view or bird’s-eye perspective.
A name inspired by their ethereal impression, the Twelve Apostles were once attached to the coastal towering cliffs, and then carved into separate pillars by constant erosion.
Verged by the senior marine landscape of the Southern Ocean, these limestone pillars mark one of the major attractions of the national geographic drive of the Great Ocean Road– snaking along with iconic tall trees and rugged scenery of the windswept seaside.
Paces away, the cliff tops overlook the rolling ranges of Otway’s National Park that descend to temperate forests and golden stretches of sandy beaches- offering mesmerizing views and a wonder within itself.
When it comes to Australian natural wonders, the amalgam of pink lakes is a reminder of the continent’s otherworldly attributes. While the country is dotted with several of these pink beauties, Lake Hillier is marked as the most wondrous sight when compared to its rivals.
Boasting a vibrant rose color, the lake is located on the coastal verges of Middle Island, contrasting with the breathtaking azure ocean and lush verdant jungles at its border. The surrounding nature features the quintessential wildlife of south-western Australia, combined with an impeccably desolate wilderness that offers an ever-pristine vista.
Flying and cruise ships are the most common routes to the beach lines of the pink Lake Hillier.
Quaint islands, disinherited from the rest of the world, are always interesting, but a sole mountain rising over the oceans is a truly wondrous sight. Known as the Ball’s Pyramid, this mountain island is the remnant of an ancient caldera, displaying a dramatic silhouette with craggy cliffs that overshadow the placid South Pacific Ocean.
It is highlighted as the tallest volcanic stack worldwide, rising to 562 meters, and often encircled by flying seabirds.
The majestic island can be admired from over the waters of the Tasman sea while boating and diving near Lord Howe Island. Climbing this rather strenuous barren rock requires a permit and much training beforehand.
Not far from this magnificent island, Totem Pole is another high-rising rock amid the Tasman Sea with naturally forming symmetry that inspires awe in its visitors.
Only a few kilometers from Perth, the Capital city of Western Australia outbacks and Indian Ocean coasts, the Pinnacles is a landscape depicted in arid and yellow-hued plains, marked with queer limestone formations. This terrain was once home to prosperous marine life that was swept away from the ocean by moving sand dunes.
It is located paces from the newly formed beaches and filled with remains of seashells, and marine life evidence that is scattered around these arid regions. Nambung National Park is famous for its column rocks and cheerful kangaroos.
In a country famed for its surfing scenes and love for the pristine shorelines, a rock shaped accurately like a wave highlights a breathtaking visual- seeming to carry a euphemism from mother nature. Known as the Wave Rock, the name is derived from the literal translation of the word “Katter Kich” in the Noongar language.
Displaying a tall pipe wave, the rock is located on a solitary hill near Hyden. Once a shapeless block, the hill-s surface has been sculpted into a perfect wave by countless years of wind and rain erosion. Colorful trips of ochre, tan, gray, dark brown, golden, and red shades in between add to the dazzling attraction of Hyden Hill.
While the North American terrains offer upwards reversing waterfalls, the Northern Territory of Australia presents a rare natural phenomenon in the form of Horizontal Falls. Also renowned as Harries, the falls are located near Kimberly, famous for their cultural complexity from the earliest Australian colonies dating back to 41,000 years until today.
Caused by massive reversing tides, the falls are located at a narrow gorge in Talbot Bay, surrounded by respective wilderness over verdant rolling hills of Lalang-garram / Horizontal Falls Marine Park and aquamarine waters of Buccaneer Archipelago.
Flying over the gorge for a comprehensive vista, or taking a cruise boat, and strolling over the scenic trails offer unmatching vistas of this unusual natural wonder.
Located in Australia’s Outbacks of the barren southern terrains, Coober Pedy’s Underground Town was formed as a small opal mining colony. Also nicknamed the Opal Capital of the World, the town and its complex structure remained in fashion over time.
Besides the wealth it had brought up to its residents, the dugouts, as often called by the locals, functioned like a shelter from the scorching heat of southern Australia’s arid landscapes- described as the moon’s surface.
Today, this iconic underground city is maintained by modern architecture, fashionable amenities, and even hotels to accommodate the curious visitors of this wondrous and like township.
In contrast with Umpherston Sinkhole, the hanging gardens of Babylon are a thing of the past, replaced by a combination of natural beauty and 19th-century landscaping innovation. Named as the sunken garden, this wonderland was created as a collaboration of nature and man-made ingenious. It was once a massive limestone cave below the surface, which gradually collapsed by erosion caused by a mixture of natural elements.
After the collapse, the cave garden was enhanced with curated platforms, terraces, viewpoint platforms, hanging vines, and blooming greenery- sided by occasional waterfalls during heavy rainfalls- all put together for a mesmerizing sight.
Tropical forests, quintessential Australian wildlife and a Spanish fairytale-resembling castle- Paronella Park combines it all. Located in the land of trembling waterfalls and otherworldly landscapes in the vicinity of Mena Creek, the park was a dream come true of José Paronella, a Catalonian immigrant and the builder of the Paronella.
The castle holds a close resemblance to Spanish forts which is encircled by a lush assemblage of tropical plants and palm trees and nearby waterfalls- visitors of this location often describe it as a world of fantasy.
Australia is home to an unprecedented aboriginal culture, and home to art and thumbprints of the first humans ever existed. Located at the heart of one of the world’s largest tropic landscapes, Kakadu National Park features over 5000 sites of aboriginal art, dating back to 41,000 years ago.
But what makes this park stand out is the perseverance of these sights throughout eons, which helps to understand the evolution of human art and skills in over 400 centuries.
Besides the pictographs and the prevailing communities that are registered as a world heritage, the park itself is a mesmerizing blend of tropical forests, savannah plains, lagoons, and lush hillside overflowing with silver-lined waterfalls.
Port Arthur’s Ghost Town was once designed as a center of punishment and prison. Although it was initially built as a timber center in the lush outbacks of these scenic terrains of Tasmania, thousands of people were condemned in this heavenly location to pass time in prison, 7000 of whom died during this period- hence the ghostly overcast of the town that was later suggested as hunted by locals.
Visitors can visit the tall, unforgiving prison cells and abandoned houses during the day. Although the most attractive tour takes place at night, lasting over two kilometers of lantern-lit march in the phantom hours.
Marking one of the most unusual monuments in Australia, Swan Bells is situated in the sun-kissed town of Perth, encircled by Indian Ocean and spectacular nature of western Australia. In an artistic combination of copper and glass, the 82.5 meters tall tower is ranked among the four largest carillons in the world. It is also nicknamed as the Great ANZAC Bell, this large musical instrument constructs one of the most beautiful urban sights on the surface of our planet.
The largest steel arch bridge in the world is sure to be a wondrous vista and architectural phenomena. Sydney harbour bridge is one of Australia’s urban icons, lounging over a naturally formed harbour.
Nicknamed as a Coathanger by the natives, the bridge highlights a major transport route of vehicular, to rails, to pedestrians and cyclists. It also offers the best vistas over Sydney urbanscape and the Pacific Ocean; the southeast pylon viewing platform is reached by climbing two hundred steps, while the pylon itself harbors a museum and several heritage-oriented exhibitions.
Visitors can also walk over the arch for thrilling yet rewarding vistas of the cultural metropolitan.
Here are two other wondrous locations in Australia that did not make it to the list;
Devils Marbles is located in its namesake reserve, featuring a fascinating formation of sandstone rock. While the perfectly round boulder itself stands among the many unusual formations in the Northern Territory, the rock is cut in two perfect halves by symmetrical precision- sided with numerous other oddly standing around rocks in the vicinity.
Called Australia’s outback UFO capital, Wycliffe Well is a rare and must-visit destination. The story behind such designation goes back to the claim of many locals about UFO sightings in the region, leaving behind their memorials and notions in the form of a theme park near Alice Springs.