Australia and Tasmania have such unique geography and locations; they are home to some of the strangest places to visit on Earth. Most of the places we are featuring in this two part blog series do not even look like they are of our Earth. There are extraordinary colourings and strange features that make these places look more like they are part of a sci-fi movie rather than a natural occurrence. When you visit Australia and Tasmania, definitely try to map out and discover these exotic places to visit, you certainly will not be sorry!
5 More of the Most Outta’ Sight Places to Visit in Australia and Tasmania
Photo Credit: OurNakedAustralia.com.au
The Naracoorte Caves are one of the most unusual places on Earth, not just for how they look, but for how they preserved the history of the wild life and mega fauna for the last 200 million years. In fact, more animals and megafauna fossils are still being discovered there. There are many caves, some of which are open to the public for tours and self-exploration. The caves are inside Naracoorte National park with a café, camping grounds, dormitory, and visitor centres. It is the only World Heritage Site in Southern Australia; located right on the south-eastern coastal border between South Australia and Victoria. If you want to travel there on your own, it is close by if you rent a car at the Mount Gambier Airport location. The cave’s unique look comes from the limestone formations that have been formed over time with the rain water, acid, and erosion of the limestone. However, the eroding limestone has been what first trapped and then preserved all of the wildlife of eras past which are now being discovered there. Some of the fossilised skeletons of the region are on display. This is considered one of the most important fossil sites in the world with more than 100 species’ fossils found inside the caves. Many of the fossils represent animals that went extinct long ago. There is also a good bit of culture in the caves with preserved Aboriginal cave paintings.
Bioluminescence in Gippsland Lakes
Photo Credit: PhilHart.com
Photo Credit: PhilHart.com
This is one of the most amazing scenes in the history of our planet and was much contested as being faked or doctored photos, although it is a very natural, yet rare occurrence. From Mother Nature’s wrath comes beauty. In this case, the Victoria bushfires in 2006 and the floods in 2007 led to a rare set of circumstances that exacerbated the bioluminescence already present in the Gippsland Lakes. The natural reaction to the combination of ash, floods, and seawater produced more than usual algae bloom which glows at night, especially when the water is disturbed as with splashing or, in the case of the pictures above, waves upon the shore. The Gippsland Lakes are inland in New South Wales near Victoria east of Melbourne. The photographer is a camp counsellor who has photographed the lake and its bioluminescence for many years. He describes what it is like and explains how the stars get distorted in the circular motion when certain lenses and focus is used. The bioluminescence returned brightly again early in 2013 and he was there to capture the phenomenon once again.
Photo Credit: News.com.au
Photo Credit: StreakyBay.sa.gov.au
Murphy’s Haystacks are a geological formation that is believed to be more than 15,000 years old. The ancient sight is located on a family’s farm but is visited by many travellers in Southern Australia. The odd thing is that these ancient pink granite rock formations are located in the middle of a wheat field. The strange shapes make them look like they are right out of a fairy tale forest or fantasy movie. It is easily accessible by car because it is only 2 kilometres off of Flinders Highway. It is one of the most photographed spots on the Eyre Peninsula; there is a trail to walk through, interpretive signage, and places for a nice picnic lunch.
Horizontal Waterfalls in Talbot Bay, Australia
Photo Credit: AmusingPlanet.com
Photo Credit: DerbyTourism.com.au
Most waterfalls on our planet do not defy the laws of gravity. That is why Talbot Bay’s Horizontal Waterfalls make our list of the strangest places in Australia. Talbot Bay is on the Kimberly coast on the northern part of Western Australia. You can get to this pretty remote, but beautiful area of Australia by hiring a car in close by Broome. You can then take aerial or boat tours to see this amazing phenomenon up close. This waterfall-like effect is created as tidal waters are forced through from the larger bay through the narrow passages. The tides have a 10 metre variation from low tide to high tide, which takes more than 6 ½ hours to complete. The process spectacularly reverses each day and moves one way during low tide and the opposite direction for high tide. The water builds up at the two gaps faster than it flows through them creating the sideways waterfall that can be 4 metres high. There are times when it is safe for tour boats to drive through the gaps over the waterfalls and you can be one of the few people to say that you rode over a waterfall!
Glow-Worm Caves Near Russell Falls, Tasmania
Photo Credit: LaunchPhotography
Photo Credit: RoamingDownUnder.com
Glow-worm filled caves are one of the most unique sights on the planet. Tasmania and nearby New Zealand are two of the very few places where they can be seen. A little known fact about the glow-worms in Tasmania is that you can go exploring for them for free. There are a couple well-known glow-worm caves in Tasmania that are part of paid tours, but there is one place that you can easily get to see them for free. The odd thing about this is that it is very nearby the most visited tourist attraction in Tasmania, Russell Falls. Almost every visitor to Tasmania goes to see Russell Falls, but they often miss seeing the nearby caves that are within walking distance of the Land of the Giants Campground. The reason most people do not venture over to see the glow-worm caves is because the glow-worms are only seen at night and most everyone goes to see the beautiful falls during the daylight. So if you have your own transportation or decide to hire a car near Hobart, Tasmania, then you can drive to the campgrounds or just use the free car park there and set out to hike the trail to the caves. The walk is short and pretty flat, so it is easy to get to the caves. Along the way, also keep on the lookout for other local wildlife. Once inside the caves, you can catch a glimpse of the amazing part of nature that has adapted to cave living in the dark. There are not many pictures of the glow-worms available because taking pictures of them with a flash causes them to go dark, and it also disrupts their feeding cycle.