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10 amazing natural wonders in Australia

Published December 26th, 2012

If you live in Australia, sometimes we often overlook travelling around our island continent. Sure, each year many of us do a quick weekend away to a beach or big city. But how many of us have actually ventured a little further, dig a little deeper and dive down further. Did you know we had a lake with PINK WATER!? Or a mountain that constantly emits smoke? While we know that Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef are world famous attractions, turns our Australia has a whole lot more natural wonders to see. Here are ten unexpectedly amazing sites you can find in your own backyard.

 

The Pinnacles, Nambung National Park in Western Australia The Pinnacles in Western Australia

The Pinnacles, Nambung National Park in Western Australia

If you’re looking to film a sci-fi, post-apocalyptic short this summer, the Pinnacles are the place to do it. The crazy Tatooine-like desert landscape is made up of numerous limestone formations and makes for a great place to play Star Wars. BYO white robes and podracers.

 

Hiller Lake in Western Australia It’s the pink lake I never knew existed but am sure glad it does. The reason why the water is pink is still unknown, although one favourable theory is that it could be due to the water’s salt concentration reacting with bacteria or algae. Never the less – it sure is pretty!

 

Horizontal Waterfalls, Derby in Western Australia Why see a vertical waterfall when you can see a horizontal one? Yep, just when we thought the world had gotten over that Simpson’s episode about our toilet water going down the opposite way, we go and get ourselves a horizontal waterfall. Okay so I guess we’ve probably had it for a while now, but I only just discovered it then and I’m not even mad. I’m impressed. The natural wonder occurs in Talbot Bay in the Buccaneer Archipelago and is made possible by the immense water flowing between two parallel gaps resulting in a waterfall effect. Mother nature is one crazy lady!

 

Wolfe Creek Crater in Western Australia Don’t let the serial killer name fool you, this isn’t that Wolf Creek. It might be set in the same place as the movie, but visit Wolfe Creek (with an ‘e’) and you’ll feel more like you in Independence Day thanks to the area’s awesome meteorite crater. With a diameter of 875 metres, the crater it pretty big too – the second most obvious crater in the world. To get the best view of it, you can’t beat seeing it from above  with a plane ride.

 

Jewel Cave, Margaret River Region in Western Australia For some Labyrinth style cave magic, the Jewel Cave in Western Australia certainly lives up to the name. With the longest straw stalactites found in any tourist cave in the world, the cave and its four large chambers is a fantastic place to explore while dressed as David Bowie with a mullet.

 

Ball’s Pyramid, Lord Howe Island in New South Wales In the spirit of comparing our natural wonders to movie sets, Ball’s Pyramid would look at home in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. All sharp edges and steep cliffs jutting out from the water, the rocky pyramid soars 562 metres high, making it the tallest volcanic stack in the world and very worthy of hobbits and elves and stuff.

 

Wave Rock in Western Australia Wave Rock in Western Australia

Wave Rock in Western Australia Lords of Dogtown anyone? This naturally formed granite rock is the stuff of skateboarding dreams, but considering it’s incredible cultural significance to Australia’s native land owners, we don’t recommend bringing your board – just dreaming about it.

 

The Lost City, Litchfield National Park in Northern Territory To embrace your inner Indiana Jones, Litchfield National Park in the Northern Territory is where you need to be. While it may not actually be home to some lost civilisation, the ‘city’s’ freestanding rock formations certainly look like they could have, with blocks and pillars standing tall after softer sandstone has eroded away over time. After exploring the city, take a much deserved dip at the Wangi Falls.

 

Burning Mountain in New South Wales Also known as Mount Wingen, Burning Mountain is the smoke emitting mountain I mentioned earlier. The smoke is due to a smouldering coal seam that runs underneath the sandstone surface and emits smoke from the ground. Scientists have estimated that the underground fire has been burning for approximately 6000 years. Talk about a fire hazard!

 

Marakoopa Caves, Mole Creek Karst National Park in Tasmania While it hasn’t got the world ‘jewel’ in its name, the Marakoopa Caves in Tasmania are just as pretty. The limestone cave system has two underground streams, rim pools, crystals, stalactites and plenty of glow worms. Take a tour of the caves where you will enter the Great Cathedral cavern and see the best of the cave’s glow worms.

 

Lauren Burvill

Australian born but London based, I'm a sucker for big cities and small tropical islands. When travelling, I like eating like a local, dressing like a local, but staying in 5 star style. Have a travel story to share? Tweet me @laurenburvill.