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6 Places you won’t believe are actually in Australia

Published March 27th, 2018

From Illawarra to the Kings Canyon, here are the places that you will not believe are actually right here in our own backyard. Whether it’s driving along winding coastal drives ripe for a Hollywood blockbuster or diving and exploring sunken shipwrecks, Australia has it all.

Keep reading to discover more about all the places you didn’t know existed in the land down under and then go check out our Aussie Adventures sale with Black Market discounts on domestic flights with Virgin Australia* that you can’t get anywhere else.


1. Copper Canyon, Mexico or The Grampians

Just three hours west of Melbourne in the home of glorious flat pastoral country you will find the majestic Grampians rise from the horizon. There’s so much to discover from towering waterfalls to rugged cliffs with sweeping views of western Victoria. You could travel to northern Mexico’s rugged Copper Canyon or ‘El Chepe’ for a similarly mountainous terrain but why travel so far when you can see some of the country’s most significant Aboriginal rock paintings dating back almost 22,000 years.



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2. Egypt or Moreton Island?

Many of the best scuba diving sites around the world are centred around shipwrecks and one of the most well known is SS Thistlegorm which sank in the northern section of Egypt’s Red Sea. However, Queensland has plenty of its own including SS Yongala in Townsville and the picturesque Tangalooma Wrecks off Moreton Island. It doesn’t matter what your skill level is as both experienced and beginner snorkel and scuba divers can both experience these sites.



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3. Dubai or Kangaroo Island?

Pack the car and escape to South Australia's Kangaroo Island on a 4WD adventure. Much like Dubai’s desert safari dune bashing, do a little of your own on Kangaroo Island or have a go at some thrilling sand dune surfing and tobogganing. Take your car on the SeaLink ferry or hire one on Kangaroo Island.



4. Big Sur or NSW?

You would be forgiven for thinking that this glorious like something out of a California road trip movie highway was Big Sur when in actual fact it is Northern Illawarra’s Sea Cliff Bridge on the Grand Pacific Drive from Sydney to Wollongong.



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5. Mars or Kings Canyon in Watarrka National Park

Now this comparison isn’t technically bound by the terrain of earth however the first thing you will be guaranteed to think about Kings Canyon is how much it looks like photos of the planet mars. The red rock, red dirt and ridiculously tall cliffs are completely surreal to see in person and feel 100 percent out of this world.



6. Scotland or Tasmania?

Much like Scotland’s Old Man of Stoer, a 60-metre-high sea stack of Torridonian sandstone on the country’s North-West coast, Tasmania’s Totem Pole and Candle Stick are equally as colossal and mesmerizing. Located in the Tasman National Park, the vertiginous 300m tall cliffs of Cape Hauy are especially impressive to see by sea aka by boat. :)


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Student Flights

Sam Aldenton

Sam Aldenton is a travel writer, digital content creator (read: takes photos/videos with her iphone and sometimes a real camera) and former retail and youth trend forecaster. When she's not off discovering the world’s best pizza (an obsession picked up from her 4-years in New York), she makes her home in Brisbane, Australia. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram at @samaaldenton.