Travel Tips
Australia

Australia’s Best Unique Destinations

Posted on 20 August 2019

Avoid basic, opt for unique. Australia has an abundance of weirdly wonderful and truly memorable things to see and we’re here to give you some of our favourites.

Nimbin, NSW

Nimbin, NSW

Image thanks to Ministry of Cannabis Blog

Situated in Northern NSW, Nimbin is one of Australia’s first hippie hubs. Famous for its colourful quirky people, and countercultural views, the rainforest hinterland has little regard for the laws against growing, selling and smoking marijuana. Its’ people run the town, and the police have barely any stress over the events that take place. One in particular being the annual ‘Mardi Grass’ festival, where attendees take part in joint rolling, and bong throwing competitions to celebrate the weed culture. Nimbin was first developed in the 1960’s with a festival to support music and arts. Thanks to a few attendees that agreed to stay and form communes the town has prospered into a place that invites environmental activities, musicians and artists to live and breath freedom in its most natural form. If you’re heading over to Byron Bay, add this to the bucket list and explore rainbow pride, crafts and Nimbin’s very own hemp museum.

Coober Pedy, SA

Coober Pedy, SA

With its sweltering hot dusty plains, and 6-8-hour drive from its’ nearest town of Port Augusta, it may not sound like the most desirable place to jot down on your bucket list. However, as the most opal-rich area in the world, Coober Pedy is sure to provide you with a memorable experience. Established post World War I, Coober Pedy made its mark by inviting soldiers to join the mining revolution where they came to work in extreme heat and live in underground dugouts and mine shafts with the rest of the local residents. When entering the town, the bizarreness of the underground lifestyle becomes prominent as you begin to feel like you’ve witnessed the last inhabitants of mankind or driven into the Star Wars fictional desert planet, Tatooine. In saying this, there is a fair bit to do. Set out an hour or two for a self-guided tour to the many long-standing mine shafts, play a game of grassless golf at night, admire a sole tree made up of scrap metal, visit a house decorated with women’s underwear, or head down under into one of the underground hotels, hostels, churches, museums, and restaurants. Pack your singlets and water and get down to one of the more unusual places in Australia, Coober Pedy.

Wave Rock, WA

Wave Rock, WA

Image thanks to Budget Motels

We all know Uluru as one of the most spectacular tourist destinations; a large culturally significant red rock, however plenty forget Wave Rock, also known as Hyden Rock. Located in the small town of Hyden, hence its name, the rock is a truly unique vision that like Uluru, seems almost too staged to be natural. The breaking wave, a product of over 2.7 million years of erosion, rises 15 metres above the plain and features multi-coloured granite that looks as if someone has spent tedious amounts of time carving into the rock face. The sight itself is complemented by the picturesque farmland drive to get to the destination, along with Mulka’s Cave, a nearby wall adorned with 450 aboriginal rock paintings. If you visit the wave after winter, there is also a strong chance you will be surrounded by billions of mesmerising Western Australian wildflowers as a result of the rain. Travelling to Western Australia? Visit the Wave Rock Spectacle.

Gippsland Lakes, VIC

Gippsland Lakes, VIC 

Image thanks to hywamiq

A story that starts with a rather disastrous beginning; a series of over 70 bush fires in December of 2006 that activated after a band of thunderstorms and lightning lit up the states sky. Following a very dry several years, the fires remained remote, and in bone dry forest locations, lasting for just under 70 days. Covering over a million hectares, the fires were followed by torrential rains in 2007 and then surplus amounts of ash and soil in 2008 that washed into the Lakes of Gippsland. Initially, locals feared health concerns and the outbreak of the blue-green algae, however to their surprise, the bloom of bacteria that remained murky red during the day glowed a fairy-tale like blue at night. Although the bioluminescence has lessened over the years since, the iridescent faint glow is still a phenomenal midnight skinny dip spot in the Summer.

A story that starts with a rather disastrous beginning; a series of over 70 bush fires in December of 2006 that activated after a band of thunderstorms and lightning lit up the states sky. Following a very dry several years, the fires remained remote, and in bone dry forest locations, lasting for just under 70 days. Covering over a million hectares, the fires were followed by torrential rains in 2007 and then surplus amounts of ash and soil in 2008 that washed into the Lakes of Gippsland. Initially, locals feared health concerns and the outbreak of the blue-green algae, however to their surprise, the bloom of bacteria that remained murky red during the day glowed a fairy-tale like blue at night. Although the bioluminescence has lessened over the years since, the iridescent faint glow is still a phenomenal midnight skinny dip spot in the Summer.

Glow Worm Tunnel, NSW

Glow Worm Tunnel, NSW

Image thanks to ellalist

Another extraordinary and utterly unique Australian destination? Venture to the abandoned railroad tunnel inhabited with a colony of bioluminescent bugs. The 400m long tunnel, a 2.5-hour drive from Sydney was built in the early 1990s in order to heighten the mining industry in Lithgow and Newnes. However this place now invites families and individuals to experience glow worms clinging to the damp and shadowy walls. Begin with a short 1km walk to the tunnel entrance while observing sky scraping forests, leafy ferns and natural gorges before entering the tunnel to experience the captivating constellation of blue and green glowing stars. A few tips: Avoid too much noise as glow worms are incredibly sensitive to sound, visit during the week to avoid crowds, and remain respectful of the ecosystem by staying on the walking track at all times.

Paronella Park, QLD

Paronella Park, QLD

Image thanks to Cairns Attractions

Paronella Park - designed using the inspiration Jose Paronella gained on his Spanish honeymoon in 1925 - is an estate agents dream creation placed on five hectares in North Queensland. Located in an Australian tropical jungle, the castle was built and opened in 1935 after a decade of intensive labour by Paronella himself. To create the masterpiece, he planted thousands of trees, built a grand staircase to transport river sand up the hills, a house, and then a grand castle. Unfortunately, after his death in 1948, the park became difficult to maintain and was decimated after years of natural disasters. The park was sold in 1993 after many years of closure to a couple that begun preserving the works of Jose. Now, Paronella Park hosts guided tours during the day and night to explore the natural and man-made curiosities including the theatre, fountains, waterfalls, and blooming flowers.

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