Discover Australia’s most colourful natural landscapes.
By Amy Bryant
The Australian landscape is painted with a blend of vivid colours, from the cool coastal blues, to the outback’s warm auburn hues, the country is a vibrant playground. Admire the magnificence of the colourful land and explore the unique nature experiences these destinations have to offer.
Kata Tjuta, Red Centre, Northern Territory
This striking red rock edifice is Kata Tjuta, an incredible formation of ancient stones located just 30 kilometres (18.6 miles) from Uluru in Australia’s spiritual heartland of the Red Centre. It is made up of 36 domes believed to be about 500 million years old, that stretch across 20 kilometres (12.4 miles). The site has many walking tracks that allow visitors to soak up the ochre shapes, mesmerising towering domes and stunning creek beds. To get to Kata Tjuta, you can take a direct flight from Sydney to Alice Springs, and then it’s a 4 ½ hour drive to the Red Centre. Spend the night near Kata Tjuta at Longitude 131°, a luxury desert base camp that is set amongst the tranquil desert wilderness.
Broome, The Kimberley, Western Australia
Broome in the Kimberley is an explosive scenery of contrasting colours, with a landscape that combines turquoise waters, rich red earth, and beautiful pockets of rainforest. Broome is one of Western Australia’s much loved towns, located a two and a half hour flight north of Perth. It is a destination of adventure and history that once thrived on a booming pearl industry. To experience the true essence of the Kimberley, embark on a cruise through the stretch of red cliffs, giant trees and pristine beaches, departing from Broome. Stay the night at one of the town’s resorts, like Cable Beach Club, right on the extraordinary Cable Beach, or have a luxury safari experience at The Billi.
Brunswick Heads, New South Wales
The seaside village of Brunswick Heads is a stunning destination located at the mouth of the Brunswick River. With a combination of river, marina and surf beach, it’s perfect for water activities like kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, boating and snorkelling. The town is lined with cute cafes, restaurants and boutiques, as well as great places to stay, making it an excellent spot for a relaxing getaway. To get here, it’s a short 10 minute drive north of Byron Bay, or an hour drive south of the Gold Coast.
Dirk Hartog Island, Western Australia
This colourful display is found on Dirk Hartog Island in Western Australia’s Shark Bay World Heritage Area, a destination that consists of expansive sand dunes and stunning coastal landscapes. Explore the sparkling rose lake, the rugged rockpools and secluded beaches. There are walking tracks across the island that take you through sand dunes and past blowholes. You’ll have ample opportunity to spot turtles and dolphins. Stay the night at the Dirk Hartog Island Eco Lodge, located just 30 metres from the ocean for a true island experience.
Bay of Fires, Tasmania
The rock formations that dot the beaches along the Bay of Fires get their brilliant orange-red colour from the lichen that naturally grows on the rocks. The white-sand beaches stretch nearly 30 kilometres (18.6 miles) along the east coast of Tasmania, from Binalong Bay to Eddystone Point. The closest town is St Helens where there are great choices of accommodation, or in the nearby coastal village of Binalong Bay.
The Whitsundays, made up of 74 islands, is home to some of the most stunning beaches in Australia. Whitehaven Beach and Hamilton Island offer sweeping shorelines of white powder sand and tropical blue waters. Being alongside the Great Barrier Reef, a visit to this beautiful region combines relaxation with nautical adventure. To get to the Whitsundays, fly to Airlie Beach where you can catch a ferry or charter flight to the island destination of your choice.
Great Barrier Reef, Queensland
The Great Barrier Reef, a World Heritage site off the north-east coast of Queensland, is teeming with exotic marine life and colourful coral gardens. The underwater masterpiece expands 2300 kilometres (1430 miles) and amazes visitors with its magnitude, beauty and diverse wildlife. Dive or snorkel the reef with a tour departing from destinations like Port Douglas, Lady Elliot Island, the Whitsundays and Cairns. There are some great day trips to take on the Great Barrier Reef and secret islands to discover. Stay at some of the finest resorts on the reef, like qualia, Bedarra Island Resort and Heron Island.
Loch Ard Gorge, Victoria
Along the epic stretch of the Great Ocean Road’s coastline is the striking cliffs of Loch Ard Gorge. The limestone towers and rolling waves tell more than a story of natural beauty – they also tell tales of a rich maritime history. Visitors can learn about the area’s heritage along the track down to the gorge, or at the nearby Port Campbell Visitor Centre. A drive along the Great Ocean Road is an unforgettable journey that takes you along spectacular coastlines, beech forest and unique formations like Loch Ard Gorge and the Twelve Apostles. The drive starts in Torquay and travels 244 kilometres (152 miles) to Allansford, with luxury accommodation in towns along the way, like The Boomerangs in Johanna, Sandcastles in Port Fairy, and Chocolate Gannets in Apollo Bay.
Lake Bumbunga, South Australia
Lake Bumbunga is South Australia’s mesmerising pink saline lake. This natural phenomenon gets its brilliant bright pink colour from the high concentration of salt, which has been harvested and used in swimming pools for more than 30 years. To discover the surreal pink landscape, drive two hours north of Adelaide, or combine a visit to the lake with a couple of days exploring the elegant wine region of Clare Valley. One of Australia’s oldest wine regions, and known for some of the finest riesling, Clare Valley is just a 30-minute drive from Lake Bumbunga. Stay the night at the lakeside Clare Country Club or St Helen’s Cottages nestled amongst Riesling trail.
Blooms, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
Canberra puts on a stunning nature display during autumn, winter and spring. The parks are lined with beautiful big trees, with changing colours as the seasons pass. During autumn admire the golden leaves gently fall, while in winter, frost glazes the branches like soft icing sugar. In spring, the leaves and flowers begin to blossom, producing pretty pink petals and vibrant blooms. Head to Weston Park, which is the ideal place to stroll, bike ride or take an afternoon picnic among the vibrant colours. Canberra is a cultural hotspot and foodie mecca, so explore what else the city has to offer with this guide and three-day itinerary. Stay a few nights at the swanky Art Deco Hotel Kurrajong, or the hip boutique East Hotel.
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