Header images courtesy of Tourism Australia
Australia is blessed with more sun-soaked coastlines than any other nation in the world. In fact, the country’s unspoilt shores are not only its pride and joy, but they are also woven into the very fabric of local culture, laying the foundation to the outdoor Aussie lifestyle that so defines the Land Down Under and magnetises travellers from every corner of the globe.
Whether you are dreaming of a place to sink your toes into powdery-white sand or listen to the sound of roaring waves crashing against rocky cliffs, follow us as we uncover six sensory-awakening experiences to be found along Australia’s coastlines.
If you are keen on getting your pulse pounding and adrenaline pumping, then the Three Capes Lodge Walk will no doubt deliver in spades. Tracing the southeastern edge of the Tasman Peninsula, where towering coastal cliffs drop into the crashing blue surf of the South Ocean, the Three Capes Lodge Walk is a four-day, 48-kilometre hiking expedition hosted and guided by the Tasmanian Walking Company.
Feel as though you are teetering on the edge of the earth and take in the area’s remarkable blend of rugged wilderness and sublime coastline from timber boardwalks hundreds of metres above the sea. To break up the long journey, guests are invited to stay in sustainable in-park lodges and savour fine Tasmanian delicacies each night.
In what seems like blatant defiance of the laws of gravity, the raging tides at the Kimberley Horizontal Falls pours not downwards but sideways! Tucked deep within Talbot Bay, the Horizontal Falls are lauded as one of Australia’s most unusual natural phenomena.
Forceful currents surge through two mighty red-rock gorges to create an extraordinary horizontal waterfall effect, made even more spectacular by the deep roar echoing from its gushing heart. Due to its remote location, the Horizontal Falls can only be observed by a boat or plane tour, booked via various cruise and seaplane operators.
Marine lovers will find nirvana at the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef, a 260-kilometre stretch of fringing barrier coral reef lining the coast of the western Exmouth Gulf. The colourful juxtaposition of the rosy-hued corals, blue-green waters, and creamy white sand dunes makes for a mesmerising sight to behold—but that is only scratching the surface.
Besides hosting world-class natural coral formations, Ningaloo Reef is also home to a thriving kingdom of aquatic beauties, including tropical fish, turtles, sharks, and manta rays. Snorkelling tours are available to allow visitors to dive out into the water and immerse themselves in the dazzling underwater life.
For a visual feast of rocky treasures, you cannot beat the sheer splendour of the Twelve Apostles, a collection of limestone pillars strewn just off the coast of the Port Campbell National Park along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. Standing at over 40 metres tall, these imposing sea stacks make for a dramatic scene that is striking from any angle.
However, If you are looking to up the ante, take to the skies in a helicopter and marvel at the ancient landforms from a jaw-dropping aerial view. As you soar over Victoria’s Shipwreck Coast, you will also get a glimpse of other nearby geological gems like the London Bridge and the Bay of Islands, as well as Australia’s oldest lighthouse at Cape Otway.
No round-up of Australia’s coastal wonders would be completed without a mention of the Great Barrier Reef, the planet’s single largest coral reef system. Spanning 2,300 kilometres along the northeast coast of Queensland, the pristine natural habitat is shared by over 600 species of corals and a vast array of aquatic creatures.
Located on the outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef, Agincourt Reef is frequently touted as the prime spot to observe the area’s vivid rainbow of flourishing marine life, with over 16 different dive sites to explore. Indulge in the mesmerising beauty of the ribbon reef with Quicksilver Cruises, which brings guests on a crystal-water adventure of snorkelling, scuba diving, and helmet walking in the arms of Australia’s most prized national asset.
You may often hear the term “pearlescent sand” or “luminous turquoise waters” used in a figurative sense to describe a beautiful shoreline, but what if we told you that the waters of Jervis Bay literally glow electric blue at night?
While the horseshoe-shaped shoreline in New South Wales is ravishing at any time of day, it reveals its most enchanting face after dark, when bioluminescent planktons work their magic and turn the inky water into an ethereal display of twinkling neon-blue lights. Visit Jervis Bay during the spring and summer on days when red algae blooms occur in the water to catch nature’s captivating aquatic light show.
Can’t wait another second to jet off and immerse yourself in Australia’s coastal wonders? Feed your aching wanderlust with Tourism Australia’s new immersive video, launched in eager anticipation of Australia’s international border reopening.
With the help of innovative technologies like 8D audio and striking visuals, the digital experience captures the essence and breadth of Australia’s extraordinary landscapes. Sit back, plug in a pair of headphones, and soak in the authentic sights and sounds of Australia.