Australia is not only the world’s sixth largest country, the sheer size of its natural attractions and landmarks is also truly impressive. With amazing national parks and deserts that are larger than whole countries combined, the vastness of this country contributes to why it’s so unique. This makes it even more difficult to make a decision on places to visit during your road trip. To give you some inspiration Travellers Autobarn has listed a top 5 must sees in every state. Enjoy!
Karijini is so remote, isolated and under-serviced it is remarkable anyone visits it at all. However the touring coaches, campers and caravans pour into the place. The countryside is stunning the summer temperatures are scorching. Climb down into a gorge and swim in a crystal clear rock pool.
Don’t visit this area just to climb the tree top walk. The drive to get there is magnificent, the rarefied air at the base of the ancient and massive Tingle trees make the place feel like something from Lord Of The Rings. The region itself hosts a beautiful coastline, wineries and fine food and arts and crafts.
A visit to Kalgoorlie and the surrounding region is essential to an understanding of Western Australia and the history of the state. Massively wide streets designed for camel trains, the superpit, two-up, underground mine tours and one of the most comprehensive areas anywhere to cater to the tourist market. The Palace Hotel is a Kalgoorlie icon and sits on the corner of the main intersection in town and deserves at least one nights stay. Make sure to get a balcony room overlooking the street.
Bungle Bungle in Purnululu National Park was only ‘discovered’ by a film crew in 1938 but has become a Western Australian iconic destination. Getting to Bungle Bungle is an effort in itself and while the majority of the Kimberley landscape is as visually spectacular as it is harsh, Purnululu offers a unique vista, the striped, sandstone gorges and domes seemingly popping out of the ground. They are in fact, the laid down sediments of an ancient river bed, eroded, exposed and weathered by millions of years of baking sun and torrential rain.
A visually remarkable stretch of coastline creates a seascape bursting with underwater colour and awesome marine life while the location and climate make it accessible virtually all year. Remote enough not to suffer from the over-development of the larger tourist destinations, Ningaloo offers a fully catered and serviced touring experience or the ability to self drive the region via 4WD. Not solely about stunning blue water and white sand, a deeper look at this region reveals a little more than the brochures offer.
Nothing in Australia is as readily identifiable as Uluru (Ayers Rock). No matter how many times you’ve seen it on postcards, nothing prepares you for the hulk on the horizon – so solitary and impressive. Uluru is 3.6km long and rises a towering 348m from the surrounding sandy scrubland (867m above sea level). If that’s not enough, it’s believed that two-thirds of the rock lies beneath the sand. Closer inspection reveals a wondrous pitted and contoured surface concealing numerous sacred sites of particular significance to the Anangu people. If your first sight of Uluru is during the afternoon, it appears as an ochre-brown colour, scored and pitted by dark shadows. As the sun sets, it illuminates the rock in burnished orange, then a series of deeper and darker reds before it fades into charcoal. A performance in reverse, with marginally fewer spectators, is given at dawn.
A striking group of domed rocks huddle together about 35km west of Uluru to form Kata Tjuta (the Olgas). There are 36 domed rocks shoulder to shoulder forming deep valleys and steep-sided gorges. Most visitors find them as captivating as their prominent neighbour. The tallest rock, Mt Olga (546m, 1066m above sea level) is approximately 200m higher than Uluru. Kata Tjuta means ‘many heads’ and is of great tjukurpa significance, so climbing on the domed rocks is not advised.
The Olgas by www.instagram.com/misdavishan
Watarrka (Kings Canyon) National Park features one of the most spectacular sights in central Australia – the yawning chasm of Kings Canyon. The Kings Creek Walk is an easy trail following the rocky creek bed to a raised platform with views of the towering canyon rim. Walkers are rewarded with awesome views on the strenuous Kings Canyon Rim Walk. After a steep climb, the walk skirts the canyon’s rim before entering the Garden of Eden: a lush pocket of cycads around a natural pool.
Australia’s largest national park, Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory, is equal to the size of Israel and nearly half the size of Switzerland – so you need plenty of time to explore all of its incredible 20,000 square kilometres. Kakadu showcases the remarkable landscape, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Northern Territory. Visit wondrous and enigmatic rockart sites and explore spectacular wildlife-teeming wetlands with local guides.
Spectacular Katherine Gorge forms the backbone of this 2920-sq-km park, about 30km from Katherine. A series of 13 deep sandstone gorges have been carved out by the Katherine River on its journey from Arnhem Land to the Timor Sea. It is a hauntingly beautiful place – though it can get crowded in peak season – but prioritise this as a visit from Katherine town. In the Dry, the tranquil river is perfect for a paddle, but in the Wet the deep still waters and dividing rapids are engulfed by an awesome torrent that churns through the gorge. Plan to spend at least a full day canoeing or cruising on the river and bushwalking.
South Australia is defined by extreme wilderness. From the Southern Ocean coastline to the empty expanse of the Nullarbor Plain and the Outback desert. Its capital, Adelaide, is known for its history of religious diversity and is close to the vineyards of the Barossa Valley.
If you want to get out of the city in search of sun, sea and sand, the Yorke Peninsula is the place to go. Being just over an hour’s drive from Adelaide, the postcard worthy beaches will take your breath away. With a distinctive 700 kilometres of coastline, it’s easy to find the perfect beach spot and let your worries melt away. The Yorke Peninsula can also brag about having some of Australia’s greatest surfing beaches with many well known surfing and body boarding competitions held over there. If you are a beginner or an experienced scuba-diver or snorkeller there are numerous scattered shipwrecks, reefs and unspoiled ocean waters to discover – some are even maritime Heritage listed.
Pondalowie Surf Beach, Yorke Peninsula by www.instagram.com/maxi0001
This is one of Australia’s best-known outback towns. Named after the Aboriginal word, which translates roughly to ‘white man’s hole in the ground,’ is a fairly apt description as over half of the town’s population live underground. This is due to the area’s extreme weather with some summer days tipping 50 degrees Celsius and nights in winter dropping below freezing. The town is also known as the ‘Opal Capital of the World’ a fact represented by one of Coober Pedy’s better known above ground monuments, The Big Winch. Indeed, the identity of the whole town is closely linked to the mining of opals with some of its best known attractions revolving around the mining of these precious stones. There is an opal-mining museum as well as the chance for people to mine their own opals in supervised mines.
The once majestic colonial highway that linked NSW and Victoria with South Australia has, in many places, suffered badly from insufficient flow, a build of phosphates in the water and high saline levels which has seen much of the river dry up or fall to extremely low levels. Many parts of South Australia’s Murray Basin still highlight the river’s once great majesty – one can still ride the steam powered paddleboats, which have cruised up and down the Murray for the best part of two hundred years. The river also provides some great fishing spots where anglers can try and catch the readily abundant schools of European carp.
Taking a guided tour to Lake Eyre around midday you will experience a true phenomenon – the lake surface can often become very flat. The surface then reflects the sky in a way that leaves both the horizon and water surface virtually impossible to see. While Lake Eyre remains the most famous and best known there are a number of other, similar salt lakes in the surrounding area, including Eyre’s little brother Lake Hart, which is located very conveniently right next to the Stuart Highway. These large, backing salt flats have become something of an Australian outback icon.
The Flinders Rangers are the largest mountain range in South Australia. There are many bushwalking tracks spread across the rugged landscape with the opportunity to engage with the Aboriginal culture by exploring ruins, checking out rock paintings and carvings and visiting ghost towns.
A few must sees around Flinders Ranges are
Located on over one million hectares of vast wilderness just a short hour’s drive from Sydney you will find the majestic Blue Mountains. This amazing natural wonderland is home to attractions such as the Gardens of Stone, the famous Jenolan Caves and majestic Katoomba Falls. Echo Point would have to be one of the most famous lookouts to view the Three Sisters and Jamison Valley, which are amazing wonders of Mother Nature. With dense rainforest, waterfalls, deep gorges and world class bushwalking trails, the Blue Mountains truly are a world class destination.
To experience the genuine wet tropics don’t forget to visit the Daintree Rainforest.The Daintree Rainforest is a tropical rainforest -located on the north east coast of Queensland- and is believed to be one of the three oldest in the world with unique plants and animals found nowhere else. At around 1,200 km2 the Daintree is the largest continuous area of tropical rainforest on the Australian continent.
Cape Tribulation is the village where two spectacular World Heritage sites meet, the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. Cape Tribulation is located in northern Queensland, 110 km north of Cairns.
Cape Tribulation by www.instagram.com/jayneazzo
The beautiful coral cay of Green Island is a protected Marine National Park, topped with emerald rainforest and surrounded by white sandy beaches and magnificent coral reefs. The marine life includes endless varieties of colorful fish, turtles, giant clams, shells, starfish and sea anemones. Green Island is 27 kilometers from Cairns, and you’ll cruise there aboard an air-conditioned catamaran with spacious, luxurious cabins and decks to enjoy Queensland’s warm, tropical climate.
Mission Beach is a small village along the Coral Sea in Queensland, Australia. Mission Beach is a thriving tourist town that has been able to maintain its small town feel. The town is spread out along a thin strip of land between the ocean and the hills and farmland behind. Visit the beach, go fishing or do one of the many popular hiking trails in the area. Whilst in Mission Beach you must visit Queensland’s number one must see tourist attraction Paronella Park. Voted by tourists as the most memorable, amazing, beautiful day out. It’s a Spanish castle built in the rainforest with a beautiful love story and history that goes with it.
Mission Beach by www.instagram.com/clairehill009
Noosa is a charming town with a stunning natural landscape of crystalline beaches and tropical rainforests. If you are on a tight budget there’s heaps of things to do for free.
Walk through the National Park (free entry) to spot Koalas or go to “Dolphin Point” where you are bound to see loads of dolphins!
Don’t foget to check out the Eumundi markets every Wednesday (8AM – 1.30PM) & Saturday (7AM – 2PM) in Eumundi. Eumundi Markets gives you a great insight into the local culture of the Sunshine Coast. Enjoy the live music, friendly people and good and relaxing vibe. Take the bus 631 from Noosa.
Sunshine Beach by www.instagram.com/mmdej91
9. Dorrigo National Park Dorrigo can be found in the New England area of New South Wales, nestled in the mountains. This peaceful country town enjoys amazing surrounding natural beauty, with spectacular views every way you look. As well as the art galleries and shops within the town and the Dorrigo Steam Railway Museum, tourists travel from far and wide to visit the National Parks Rainforest centre. Home to a skywalk overlooking the treetops and many unique walking tracks, this is a must-see while in the region. The Bellinger Valley has captivating lookouts and a short walk to the Dangar Falls. With its scenery and attractions, you simply can’t miss Dorrigo.
There you go! Enough inspiration to start planning your trip of a lifetime. Chat to one of our experts and get a quick quote 1800 674 374!
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