› Extraordinary places

Extraordinary places to visit in Australia

There are so many incredible places to visit in Australia. It’s impossible to choose just one favourite. Instead, here are 10 surprising spots that captured our hearts…some well-known, others not.

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1. Cape York Peninsula (Qld)

A giant termite mound at Bramwell Junction, Cape York PeninsulaKumar had to drive the car alongside this giant termite mound at Bramwell Junction, Cape York Peninsula!

Most people already see this as an iconic 4WD road trip in itself. But, what I didn’t know is – you don’t have to be a 4WD enthusiast to do it. The development road to the top makes Cape York far more accessible, even if you’re towing. And, the journey is all it promises to be…and more.

2. Great Barrier Reef (Qld)

Groupers hanging around on one of our reef dives. Snorkelling is rewarding too.

I think I had low expectations of this Australian national treasure. Overpopulated with tourists, I expected the reef to be damaged and crowded. Don’t get me wrong…it is very busy. But, once the boats fan out and you travel to the outer reef, it’s easy to see why it’s a protected paradise..and one of the top places to visit in Australia.

3. Outback Queensland

Longreach waterhole, QldIt was a dusty old camp spot, but the river view at Longreach waterhole more than made up for it.

It is dusty and dry, and there is A LOT of spinifex. But hang around for a while and it will grow on you. The outback is full of wide open spaces and big starry skies. It’s a beautiful place tinged with harshness… I came away admiring those who live there.

4. Nathan River Road and Limmen National Park (NT)

'The Lost City' along this little known route. We wandered around overgrown paths to explore this beautiful eerie place.

I’d never heard of either of these until we were driving the Savannah Way. Nathan River Road is an alternative route from Borroloola to Mataranka, via Roper Bar…it’s remote and really rocky. The route has some beautiful isolated spots, and great fishing. We only spent a few days traveling here, but I really wish someone had told us about it, so we could have stayed longer!

5. Steep Point (WA)

Steep Point, WA. The most westerly point of OzKumar taking in Steep Point, WA...the most westerly point of Oz.

On the far tip of Shark Bay, Steep Point is the most westerly point of the Australian continent. It is a breathtaking place. I was overwhelmed by the surging Indian Ocean smashing into the Zuytdorp cliffs…and the archipelago of sand islands and dunes stretching as far as the eye can see.

You can only reach it by sandy 4WD track, and several hours’ drive from the nearest town. It is a journey we won’t forget in a long while. If you can find your way to travel here, please do. It's definitely one of the special places to visit in Australia.

6. The Nullarbor Plain (SA and WA)

The kids explore their own private 'ship' wreck at the Eyre Bird Observatory on the Nullarbor Plain, WA.

I just thought this was a long, straight, boring bitumen road that went forever. Oh, how I was wrong. Most people don’t venture much beyond the highway. You’ll be well rewarded if you do. We spent a week exploring the Nullarbor, on and off the bitumen.

7. Flinders Ranges (SA)

View from the top of Mt Ohlssen Bagge, Flinders Ranges, SA.It was a sensational view all alone at the top of Mt Ohlssen Bagge, Flinders Ranges, SA.

Ok, so the Flinders Ranges is definitely on the well-worn tourist trail. But, the Flinders Ranges surprised me because it was even better than I expected. The ranges seem to go forever, it’s like another world. And the best bit…you can still get away from the crowds and find your own special place to absorb the beauty of this incredible national park.

8. The Coorong (SA)

The Coorong, where the mighty Murray meets the Ocean.The Coorong, where the mighty Murray meets the Ocean...such a serene place.

This national park is where the Murray River meets the Southern Ocean. The Coorong is a special, quiet place. It’s made up of a myriad of lagoons all abundant with wildlife, especially birds. It was the perfect starting point for our journey along this mighty river.

9. Murray River (SA, VIC, NSW)

Kings Billabong, near Mildura.We whiled away a few days here at picturesque Kings Billabong, near Mildura. The Murray is full of beautiful spots like this.

We whiled away a few days here at picturesque Kings Billabong, near Mildura. The Murray is full of beautiful spots like this.

Camping out under the stars, surrounded by mighty river red gums…it’s magnificent.

There are lots of scenic free camps tucked away from everyone else. It’s one of those places to visit in Australia which truly captures the essence of our vast country.

10. And of course, there are the beaches.

Everyone has different ideas of what makes the best beach. These special beaches took my breath away with their beauty, their majesty and their isolation...not because of the size of the surf!

Where was our favourite spot?

When we tell people about our trip around Oz – they almost always ask us this question. The answer is – we don’t have one. Even here, I’ve only touched on a few of the special places to visit in Australia.

It’s the whole, not the parts that make it special.

When you add it all up – the special places, well-known attractions, and the journey itself –it’s one unique, incredible adventure.

What extraordinary Australian place have you discovered?

I have no doubt that Australia is full of hidden surprises. Please share the unexpected gems you've found in your travels...and I'll post it as its own page on the website.

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› Extraordinary places