Australia is a varied mecca for nature lovers. It’s different from anywhere else in the world, with our dry rural scapes, lush tropical rainforest and cute, fierce wildlife. Here’s a list of the most varied experiences and sites for nature lovers who are visiting Australia.
The Daintree, Queensland
The incredible Daintree region, about an hour north of Cairns, is believed to be one of the oldest rainforests in the world. It’s full of incredible plant life and tropical fauna, found nowhere else, and it’s a bird lover’s dream come true.
There are a few exciting ways to see the Daintree: take a hike and see everything up close and personal, take a river cruise or for the more adventurous, ride a horse or zip-line through the rainforest canopy.
Cradle Mountain, Tasmania
The absolute best way to see Cradle Mountain is by hiking—it’s one of Australia’s more famous hikes—so this trip isn’t for the fainthearted. But don’t be put off too soon; you can always opt to do smaller hikes as an alternative to the recommended and famed Overland Track, which takes about six days to hike, as well as a lot of preparation and planning.
Cradle Mountain is all about dense flora, craggy rocks, beautiful lake views and animal spotting; think wombats, platypuses, eagles and wallabies. It’s definitely not a spot to be missed if you’re a nature lover.
Cradle Mountain | © Steven Penton/Flickr
If you want to see Australian animals, Phillip Island is where it’s at. A small island only about 140km south of Melbourne, this location makes for the perfect day trip for animal lovers. You’ll find a koala conservation centre, watch a penguin parade, see whales off the coast and visit local working farms. The island is full to the brim with things to do for wildlife enthusiasts.
Koalas on Phillip Island | © edwin.11/Flickr
Great Barrier Reef, Queensland
The Great Barrier Reef is a no-brainer and one of the most famous natural wonders in the world. If you’re a coral and sea lover, then head straight to the Great Barrier Reef. You’ll never want to leave. There are loads of options for where to stay, and you can take day trips to the many islands for snorkelling and hiking. You won’t only see fish and coral. The landscape itself is lush and tropical; you’ll feel like you’re in an episode of Lost, as you hike around places like Cape Tribulation.
Rottnest Island, Western Australia
Rottnest Island is full of true Australian experiences just waiting to be had; the water is like no other, but the snakes are also like no other, not to mention the sharks! Ride a bike around the island, and take in every bit of scenery and wildlife this destination has to offer. However, keep your wits about you in the water, and do not stray too far from the bike path.
Enjoy an experience like seeing osprey nests at Fish Hook Bay. Ospreys mate for life and return to their home nests year after year. With a wingspan of 1.5m, they’re an impressive sight to see.
Rottnest Island | © Pedro Szekely/Flickr