Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre National Park, South Australia © Allan Dixon/South Australian Tourism Commission
3 Aussie holidays that take you to the edge of the world
These awesome off the beaten track lookouts give a new meaning to living on the edge.
By Lee Atkinson
It’s not every day you can stand at the edge of the world and witness nature's wild wonders. And that’s exactly why these amazing Australian spots should be on your bucket list. Nothing compares to the thrill of knowing that you’ve made it to the end of the world, or the top of the country, or even to the bottom of it. You don’t have to be a thrill-seeker to go to extremes in Australia – all you really need is a sense of adventure.
Perch on the edge of the world (quite literally)
You’ll want to take a deep breath as you gaze out over the colossal waves at the Edge of the World viewpoint overlooking the mouth of the Arthur River in northwest Tasmania, because this is officially some of the cleanest air in the world – in fact, pollution levels at nearby Cape Grim are the lowest on the planet. You might be technically standing at the edge of Tasmania, but there’s nothing except ocean between you and the tip of South America. If that isn’t otherworldly enough, the area is home to the Tarkine, one of the world’s largest and wildest cool temperate rainforests. It might be just a day trip from the township of Stanley, but you’ll feel like you’ve gone back to when the world began.
Few places on Earth match the remoteness of the northernmost tip of mainland Australia. It takes at least three days to drive from Cairns to the top of Cape York in Queensland – simply known as The Tip – but you’ll want to take much longer, because there are so many amazing things to see and do along the way. Think camping on beaches fringed by swaying coconut palms, swimming in crystal clear pools beneath waterfalls, fording rivers, bumping along 4WD tracks, chatting to locals in outback pubs, gazing at Aboriginal rock art galleries, viewing vast wetlands brimming with birdlife and fishing for the prized barramundi. Whether you take the adventurous Old Telegraph Track, or the partly-sealed Peninsula Development Road, every trip on the Cape is a 4WD adventure that will give you more travel tales to enthral your friends than you could ever imagine. As for the selfie you snap beside the famous sign at The Tip? Well, that’s priceless.
Journey to the bottom of an inland sea
This is one low point that is guaranteed to be a holiday highlight. Australia’s largest lake, Kati Thanda–Lake Eyre in outback South Australia is the lowest point on the continent, 15 metres (49 feet) below sea level. Covering more than 9,500 square kilometres (almost 3,700 square miles), it’s famous for its striking white salt plains that, when flooded with rain (every few years), emanate dream-like pink and orange hues. It’s not just the astonishing colours, but the wildlife that’s attracted to the lush oasis that makes this rainfall quite special. But go when it’s empty, when you can venture out onto the surface, and you’ll see nothing but dazzling white salt in all directions. If you can’t make it to the moon, this is the next best thing.