A vast continent like Australia means constantly changing scenery as you roam around the country. From panoramic coasts overlooking the ocean, to mountain ranges of unusual shapes, deserts with strange rock formations, or a seashore full of living fossils, there's so much to see that it would be a shame to fall asleep during the journey!
Check out these 12 surreal landscapes to add to your Australian bucket list! You won't believe til you get to see these marvellous wonders with your very own eyes ?
1. The Pinnacles, Western Australia
The first thought that comes to mind is that you’ve landed on the moon! One of the most visited sites in Perth, the Pinnacles is an almost eerie-looking desert dotted with countless limestone pillars jutting out of the yellow sand.
Credit: fzhuo on Flickr
The best times to visit are the hours leading to sunset, where the lunar landscape is bathed in rays of fiery light. Have fun uncovering all the stacks, domes and distorted shapes while wondering how seashells from eons ago came to form them over time!
Credit: esia_one on Flickr
2. Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday
A mesmerising swirl of whites, blues and greens, Whitehaven Beach’s shifting tides and sands create a kaleidoscope effect that is best viewed from above. But that doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy this beach with your feet firmly on the ground!
Credit: @paulmp on Instagram
Ranked as one of the world’s best beaches, the pristine waters and white sand will leave you feeling like you are in paradise.
Credit: @saraharmstrong_photos on Instagram
3. Uluru Rock, Northern Territory
Located in a remote area of the Northern Territory called the Red Centre, Ayers Rock or Uluru is a sandstone monolith that is believed to have been formed over 500 million years ago.
Credit: @saltywings on Instagram
Its height stands at 348 m, which is actually taller than the Eiffel Tower! How is that for scale? ?Credit: esia_one on Flickr
Uluru is sacred to the indigenous Australians, and you can find ancient cave paintings on some of the inner surfaces and caves of this gargantuan monument.
Credit: ccdoh1 on Flickr
4. Hamelin Pool, Shark Bay, Western Australia
Stromatolites at Hamelin Pool are the oldest and largest living fossils on earth. Over 3.5 billion years old, biologists and geologists think they are indicative to how the earth’s landscape looked like then!
Credit: Paul Morris on Flickr
Since that time, the cyanobacteria that form stromatolites have been taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. There is a purpose built jetty overlooking the marine reserve where you can see these living organisms up close without damaging them.
Credit: @shannon_stent_images on Instagram
5. Ball's Pyramid, Lord Howe Island, NSW
This monumental remnant of a shield volcano stands at 562 metres (taller than the KLCC!) and lies 20km southeast of Lord Howe Island. Part of the massive submerged continent of Zealandia, this sea stack came into the spotlight in 2001 when a team of conservationists discovered a small colony of Lord Howe Island stick insects.
Credit: martin7d2 on Flickr
Thought to be extinct, the insects were living in a small shrub at 100metres above the shoreline. Two pairs from the colony were then brought to the mainland to breed new populations!
Credit: martin7d2 on Flickr
6. Wave Rock, Western Australia
Perfectly resembling ocean waves about to crash, Wave Rock is found in Wheat Belt of Western Australia.
Credit: @snapntour on Instagram
Over the centuries, dissolving minerals formed the unusual streaks after heavy rains eroded the rock surface. About14 metres high and stretching a little more than 100 metres long, it’s worth stopping by to marvel at this natural wonder.
Credit: @jasontsai21 on Instagram
7. Lake Hillier, South Western Australia
The striking pink hue of this lake will have most scratching their heads in confusion, but the sirap bandung
colour is caused by the dye created by bacteria living in the salt crusts.
Credit: @jaimenhudson on Instagram
The effect of the bubblegum pink colour is best viewed from the air!
Credit: @jaimenhudson on Instagram
8. Bay of Fires, Tasmania
This spectacular spot on the east coast of Tasmania got its name because an English navigator noticed the fires of Aboriginals on the shoreline when he came upon it in the late 18th
Credit: @broodjegeluk on Instagram
At the same time, a fiery glow seemed to come off the rocks along the beach. This is due to a rare lichen that grows on the granite rocks.
Credit: @brookie_burkhart on Instagram
9. Bungle Bungles, Western Australia
The Bungle Bungle mountain range consists of beehive and dome-shaped peaks with discontinuous stripes of orange and grey sandstone. Its geology is so unique that it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage conservation site.
Credit: @abercrombiekent on Instagram
Located in the northwestern corner of WA, colonialists did not discover this strange otherworldly landscape until 1983. However, Aborigines have inhabited the area for over 40,000 years. According to aboriginal Dreamtime legend, they believe the Rainbow Serpent slithered across the terrain to shape the beehive domes.
Credit: @tanjavla on Instagram
10. Heart Reef, Queensland
In the 2300km area of Great Barrier Reef, there are thousands of distinctive coral compositions. But there is none more unique than this heart-shaped reef!
Credit: @drama_rama92 on Instagram
Located off the Whitsunday Islands, it’s visible if you pass by on the plane or go on a helicopter ride ?
Credit: @maud_nns on Instagram
11. Bunda Cliffs, Western Australia
The largest single piece of limestone worldwide, the Nullarbor Plain abruptly ends at the Bunda Cliffs where there is suddenly a sheer drop into the Southern Ocean. Making up a breathtaking 100-kilometre expanse of the Great Australian Bight, it is the longest coastal cliff anywhere on earth.
Credit: @earthscapeimages on Instagram
If you travel during winter, it’s possible to spot southern right whales popping out of the ocean!
Credit: @all.about.adventure on Instagram
12. The 12 Apostles, Victoria
One of the landmarks along the Great Ocean Road, the 12 Apostles are striking rock formations that jut out of the sea.
Credit: @ambrosiniv on Instagram
Years of being pounded by the relentless ocean waves eroded the cliffs and left only seven of the original stacks standing.
Credit: @wilsonliew88 on Instagram
Don't forget to say subhanAllah and take lots of photographic evidence so you can show your friends and family back home that these are real places ? Do you know of any more surreal places in Australia that we may have missed?