When non-Aussies hear about Australia, the two most common images of nature that cross their mind would probably be the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru/Ayers Rock. There is no denying the fact that these two amazing natural World Heritage Sites are truly worthy of their global fame. But Australia is a vast continent chock full of lesser known yet equally spellbinding natural wonders. In all, Australia has another whopping 10 natural wonders which have been conferred with UNESCO’s World Heritage Site status. Here is a look through some of these amazing works of nature in Western Australia:
Mount Augustus: This is as good a location to start this list as any. Uluru may be more famous, but this monolith is bigger, way bigger. In fact, it is the biggest rock, in the world. Standing at over 860m tall, this majestic site is sacred to the Wadjari Aboriginal people, whose caves and rock art adorn its base. You need a four wheel drive to cover its massive 49km base trail. The surrounding countryside is teeming with wildlife, full of emus, kangaroos, kookaburras and other local fauna.
Shark Bay: This world heritage site is the only one in the whole world which qualifies all four basic criteria for a natural wonder to be considered a Heritage Site. With a mind-boggling biodiversity, this site is home to several national parks, including Francois Peron National Park and Dirk Hartog Island National Park, home to some of the rarest animals, birds and plants in the world. The stars of the show are indubitably the wild dolphins of Monkey Mia, who are not afraid of interacting with humans. Other than the wildlife, the site is also a fantastic place for snorkeling, diving, and fishing.
Jewel Cave: Nestled deep within the Karri Forests of the Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge, this breathtaking show cave boasts of some of the world’s biggest stalactite formations. The cave system reaches a depth of almost 42m and runs for an amazing 1.9Km. With stunning caverns that glow vibrantly in spotlights, ancient fossils, amazing forest vistas, and a well developed and modern visitors centre, this young cave system is certainly worth a visit.
Purnululu: This national park is another of Australia’s natural wonders that have a World Heritage Status. The park is home to one of the strangest hill like ranges in the world, the Bungle Bungle range. This massive sandstone range, with its fascinating beehive shaped formations, is the perfect place for a truly Australian outback adventure. The scenery created by the massive 300m ranges decked in contrasting striped shades need to be enjoyed in a scenic flight. The rugged countryside is filled with canyons and pools, a perfect backdrop for a camping adventure.
Karijini National Park: for anyone with a thirst for adventure, this is truly the place to visit. With its incredible hiking trails, tunnels, and canyons of marbled rock, waterfalls, and pristine pools, this is a fabulous landscape. The national park is eminently suitable for camping, picnics, and scenic drives as well.
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