Australia is an island where nature rules. Green, red, blue… It takes on its most beautiful colors to the delight of tourists, many of whom visit its natural sites.
Ecotourism is king in Australia! It is time to refocus your travels on discovering nature and local culture, while respecting the environment of course. No more big hotel chains and organized trips, we invite you to discover Australia through its great natural spaces. Kangaroo Island, Great Barrier Reef and Outback, visit the country “from the inside out” in ecotourist mode. We have selected for you the 6 most beautiful places where to see nature in Australia, in all its splendor!
1. The Great Barrier Reef and Ningaloo Reef
Off the coast of Queensland stretches the Great Barrier Reef, an impressive 2,600 kilometers in size. It is a coral reef made up of debris of small marine organisms, skeletons and shells of animals that have inhabited the reef. Limestone is therefore king and offers you a marvelous spectacle.
Diving in the waters of the Pacific, you will enter a universe of warm water and shimmering colors and see spectacular fish such as neon lights, clownish, starfish, not to mention the corals themselves: there are many. there are almost 400 different kinds!
Australian coral © DR
This site, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is gradually disappearing, eaten away by a starfish, but also by human pollution: thus, sunscreens are wreaking havoc in this living organism. Departures by boat are organized from the city of Cairns, a small tropical town. You can either dive yourself or watch the birds … or simply enjoy the sea air and get a closer look at the different atolls, taking advantage of the glass bottom boats.
Great Barrier Reef in Australia © DR
Other natural ocean sites are must-see in Australia, such as the Ningaloo Barrier. Less visited than its big neighbor with “only” 270 kilometers of reef to explore, it offers an equally interesting fauna with tiger rays, harmless sharks and turtles.
Ningaloo Reef © MXW Stock
2. Kangaroo Island
Australia’s third largest island, Kangaroo Island is a land near Adelaide where kangaroos, seals, sea lions, koalas and other wallabies live. These animals live in peace, protected by this immense natural park. Here again, you will rub shoulders with sometimes green, sometimes deserted spaces.
Kangaroo Island Sea Lions © DR
All the splendor of nature in Australia! So, don’t miss the Little Sahara, a series of sand dunes as thin as the great desert. Get a board and surf on the sand!
The little Sahara © Deborah Pickett / Wikipedia Commons
It is near Kangaroo Island that you will be best placed to observe the great white shark. There are about 200 in this region alone. But don’t think that you’ll be the next hero of “Teeth of the Sea”. White sharks rarely attack humans (one victim per year: we have seen the worst serial killer!).
A white shark © DR
3. The Australian Outback
The outback (or bush) is the part located in the interior of Australia. These vast lands populated by herders and aborigines (the native people of Australia, present thousands of years before the first settlers), are comparable to the great spaces of the American West.
The Australian Outback © DR
You will be able to meet, among other things, many flocks of sheep. Wool is indeed an engine of the Australian economy. Notice to inveterate backpackers: the farmers will welcome you, in return for small services. A way to get to know an authentic and picturesque Australia!
An Australian farm in the Outback © DR
4. Uluru and Kata Tjuta National Park
Located in central Australia, the national park is made famous by Ayers Rock, this large red monolith, the second largest in the world (348 meters high, three kilometers long, around ten in circumference).
Ayers Rock © BackyardProductions
Please note, since 2019, it is forbidden to climb to its summit. Know that in the aboriginal culture, this monolith was born during the Tjukurpa, that is to say during the period of Dreamtime. You might as well say that it is considered sacred! However, you can take the path around Uluru (the aboriginal name for Ayers Rock). You will thus avoid offending the guardians of this sanctuary …
Stroll around Ayers Rock © BackyardProductions
To recover from your emotions, you can stay in the small resort of Yulara, which offers hotels and camping in the middle of the desert. Finally, not far from Uluru, you can discover the Olga Mountains (or Kata Tjuta): this conglomerate of 36 domes forms a landscape much more varied than that of Ayers Rock. Take the Valley of the Winds, a marked path that will allow you to slalom around these domes of about 500 meters in average covered with eucalyptus.
The Olgas Mountains © Sara Woodmansee
5. Kakadu Park
Kakadu Park is Australia’s largest park. Located in the northern territories, it presents a characteristic flora and fauna.
A waterfall in Kakadu Park © DR
This park is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its archaeological and ethnological wealth, in particular its Neolithic remains.
Cave drawings of aborigines © DR
Be careful, however, of alligators on the edge of swamps, very numerous in the Outback… they are an integral part of nature in Australia. It is not Crocodile Dundee who wants! Stay on the marked tracks, which will lead you straight into an aboriginal village.
A crocodile in Kakadu Park © DR
6. The Blue Mountains
Another place also appearing on the UNESCO lists: the Blue mountains. If their name has something to dream of (“the blue mountains”), it is actually a sandstone massif, covered with eucalyptus forests.
The Blue Mountains © DR
As it evaporates, the oil from this tree forms a blue mist that envelops the mountain. Many walks are organized from towns like Wentworth Falls, which will allow you to meet the koalas that inhabit the branches of these huge trees.
Koala © DR
We could have put a lot more, there are so many beautiful landscapes in this country … But as we did not want a 3km long article, we tried to select the most beautiful (and it was not easy). On the other hand, if you want to share your best spots with other travelers, don’t hesitate to add them to us in the comments!