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My husband and I have travelled extensively throughout Australia and have seen a lot of out-of-the-way places, most of which are a little off the beaten track. It would blow your mind to know that there are numerous natural wonders in our country that some of you wouldn’t even know existed. I’ve come up with 21 places in Australia you’ve probably never heard of.
Here they are state by state:
This interesting formation of large boulders are actually located on privately owned farmland at Mortana on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, not far from the town of Streaky Bay. They stand like a crooked set of giant’s molars on a hilltop and are actually ancient wind-worn pink granite boulders that formed 1500 million years ago.
Talia Caves or The Woolshed
The Woolshed is large cavern carved into the granite cliff by wave action, located 40 kms north-west of Elliston on the Eyre Peninsula, South Australia. There is a walkway and wooden steps providing access onto the rocks to view the cave with its honeycombed ceiling, dark crevices and nearby blowholes.
Red Banks Cliffs
We stumbled across this remarkable 20 to 30 metre high escarpment that stretches 25 kms along the coastline of Kangaroo Island near the small town of American River. The drive in is along a dirt road that is very rough in places and there is very limited access, with the cliffs being fenced off and located on private property. To catch a glimpse of the banks, you have to walk out on the narrow strip on top of this particular section of the cliff, or climb across a fence and scamper down a steep embankment to access the beach.
This wave-like rock formation is located in the Gawler Ranges on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. Most of you would be aware of Wave Rock in West Australia, however Pildappa Rock is a good alternative as it is just as impressive. The granite rock with the highest and longest wave formations affords 360 degree views of the surrounding area and is located 15 kms from Minnipa, the gateway town to the Gawler Ranges. There are campsite facilities here too so you can camp overnight or for a few days.
Point or Cape Labatt
A conservation park located on a headland on the Eyre Peninsula, Point Labatt is where there is the only permanent colony of Australian sea lions. There is a purpose built viewing platform 50 metres above the seal colony allows you to closely observe the sea lions diving in and out of the sea or basking in the sun on the flat rocks. Cape Labatt is part of a rugged cliffed coastline, predominately limestone, rising to about 50 metres above the wild swells of the Great Southern Ocean. The drive in is extremely hard going across a single lane corrugated dirt road about 50 kms south of Streaky Bay.
Sandy Cape is a snow-white beach situated in a small, sheltered bay offering great swimming, snorkelling, fishing and sandboarding located 10 km north of Jurien Bay. Although it’s relatively unknown it’s an extremely popular spot for beach camping with a great campground adjacent to the sheltered bay. There are pristine sand dunes that run the length of the beach – hence the name Sandy Cape.
Red Bluff, Quobba
I thought I’d died and gone to heaven when I first glimpsed this exquisite beach located in Quobba Station on the coastline 135 km north of Carnarvon. It’s actually located on the southern end of the Ningaloo Reef and offers a glamping experience or modest beach shelters for camping. Red Bluff is renowned as being a top surfing spot with a decent surf break, is great for fishing, swimming with turtles or just swimming in the pristine waters. It’s not an easy drive getting here, but once you get here it’s fully worth your while!
Located 32 kilometres north of Geraldton along the Mid West Coast is Coronation Beach, the perfect spot for all sports that require wind. Yes it’s very famous for sailing or windsurfing! Additionally, it’s a great beach to simply swim, snorkel, stand-up paddleboard or go fishing. Coronation Beach is a very pretty spot with great nature based camping facilities.
Cape Range National Park, Exmouth
Situated 40 kms from Exmouth, Cape Range National Park is a spectacular place comprising of rugged limestone ranges, breathtaking deep canyons such as Yardie Creek, and is surrounded by 50 kilometres of pristine beaches, in particular, Turquoise Bay. There is an abundance of flora and fauna, including emus, euros, red kangaroos, birdlife and beautiful wildflowers that burst into colour during the winter months. Within the park there are several nature-based camping spots, that you need to book through the National Parks & Wildlife office.
Cossack Ghost Town
Cossack is 15 km from Roebourne and near the mining town of Wickham in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. This old pearling town is situated on Butchers Inlet at the mouth of the Harding River, during 1866 had a lucrative pearling industry in the town and at its peak, had 80 pearl luggers in operation. Today, many fine stone buildings have been fully restored to provide informative and memorable insights into the town’s wild and fascinating history.
Some of the highest coastal cliffs in Victoria overlooking the deep-blue waters of Bridgewater Bay, Cape Bridgewater is 21 kms south-west of Portland, at the end of the Great Ocean Road. Stroll through the petrified forest which looks like a forest of tree roots turned into rock on this ancient volcano crater. Also watch as the sea spray blasts metres skyward at the blowhole and check out the large breeding colony of fur seals from a lookout above. An almost surreal experience!
A beach located off the Great Ocean Road between Glenaire and Lavers Hill, that is renowned as a great surfing spot by locals and visitors. In fact it has been used to host the Ripcurl Pro Bell’s Beach Surfing Event on a few occasions. Johanna beach is also a very popular fishing spot particularly for schools of salmon. There is a fantastic nature based camping ground adjacent to the beach that is the perfect spot to base yourself when you’re exploring the Great Ocean Road.
Situated between Torrumbarry and Koondrook, Gunbower island is bounded by the Murray River and Gunbower Creek. The island consists of the Gunbower National Park and Gunbower State Forest trail with about 80 percent of the area containing magnificent Red Gum and Black Box Forests that provides a home for a large range of birds, native mammals, reptiles and amphibians. The creek is a popular for fishing, bushwalking, canoeing and free camping.
Across the bay from Port Stephens in Hawks Nest is this tranquil, calm and very scenic beach called Jimmys Beach. It’s the perfect beach for long walks along the sand, safe swimming, fishing or just chillaxing. Within a short walking distance you can camp at Jimmys Beach Caravan Holiday Park that is nestled amongst shady trees and vast grassy areas. It’s one of the North Coast of New South Wales best kept secrets!
East of the town of South West Rocks is this very scenic headland called Smoky Cape that is situated within the Hat Head National Park. There is a stoic lighthouse that sit atop the headland that gives majestic views to the beaches to the south and north. If you’re feeling energetic you can walk down to the private secluded beaches for a swim or a fish. Smoky Cape is a fantastic spot for whale watching, birdwatching and picnicking, and you can stay overnight at the lighthouse keepers’ cottage if you like.
This once thriving little town was located on the Hume Highway years ago but is now a short diversion off the major freeway between Sydney and Melbourne. Jugiong is 40 kms northeast from Gundagai and sits on the Murrumbidgee River. The name bears absolutely no relevance to a marine mammal, the dugong, but is a local Aboriginal word meaning “valley of the crows”. The historical town has a great pub, many antique shops, a colonial church, the superb Long Track Pantry cafe and gift store and the iconic monument to Seargeant Parry – a local police officer who was shot and killed by bushrangers.
This very unique cave and absolutely stunning beach is located about 7.5 km south of Port Arthur Historic Site on the Tasman Peninsula. The cave itself is a long tunnel eroded from the base situated under a cliff on the water’s edge, where you get glimpses of the surf crashing into the cave. There is a viewing platform at the bottom of 115 steps offer a tremendous view of the cave opening. But also the views from the top are breathtaking. Remarkable Cave is a popular spot for surfers and bodyboarders.
This picture postcard perfect harbour and beach is located on the north coast of Tasmania. Boat Harbour is a sleepy holiday village, located on the side of a gentle hill that tumbles down to a pure white beach with rocky headlands on either side. The sea is intensely green and blue, the beach so clean, the rolling hills are green and fertile, and the village is sleepy and peaceful. The day we stopped here the local ladies knitting club was having a meeting in the local beachside cafe shop. It was so enchanting!
A strange name for a beach, but this quiet little holiday town is located 50 kms northeast of Rockhampton. Emu Park has two main beaches, called Ladies and Mens Beaches, separated by Emu Point. The beach is fringed by an extensive grassy foreshore reserve that runs the full length of the beach. Emu Park overlooks Keppel Bay and is the gateway to the Southern Great Barrier Reef. There is a great caravan park called Fisherman’s Beach Holiday park that is located right on the beach near the village of Emu Park.
Killarney Glen, Canungra
It is true that sometimes what is right in our backyard we are completely oblivious to. For example I never knew that this Gold Coast Hinterland natural attraction called Killarney Glen even existed until a couple of years ago. It’s actually located on Department of Defence land and is about a 10 minute drive from the town of Canungra. Killarney Glen’s heart shaped rock pool launched 1,000 Instagram posts and is now a popular tourist attraction. There is a 2.5km walk to Killarney Glen down a narrow steep path winding its way down to the rock pools and waterfalls. It’s a perfect spot for a picnic and a refreshing swim in the coolish rock pools. Plus you must get epic photo of the heart shaped pool!
Flinders Beach, North Stradbroke Island
Most locals that live on the Gold Coast or in Brisbane would probably heard of North Stradbroke Island, but have you heard about Flinders Beach? This long stretch of open surf beach runs between Point Lookout and Amity Point and is a popular camping area for generations of beach campers. There are 12 designated beachfront camping areas which are nestled in the sand dunes. The camp sites are in natural areas and are only accessible by bush tracks, or from the beach outside of high tide times. Popular pastimes on Flinders Beach include surfing, swimming, fishing and 4 wheel driving along the long stretch of flat beach.
Australia is an amazing country and it continues to astonish me every single time I travel it. If I really put my thinking cap on I could easily come up with another list of relatively unknown places that I’ve visited. You can check out Bookmundi’s Australia tours for more ideas where you might want to go next.
Have you been to any of these Australian places? I would be interested to know how many of them you’ve heard of.
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.