Are you dreaming of some well-deserved time off in a secret destination?
Close your eyes and imagine the wilderness of a red barren land. Red sand and rugged formations as far as your eyes can see. Suddenly, you hear a far distant noise and turn around. A kangaroo is hopping around, looking for some shade in the scorching desert heat.
Then, in a split second, you’re transported to a green oasis, surrounded by millennia-old trees deep in the rainforest. As your eyes marvel at the jungle around you, you catch a glimpse of crystal-clear waters and a white sandy beach lying far on the horizon between the trees.
And as you start walking towards this immaculate beach, a giant dinosaur-like bird emerges and runs across the forest. Open your eyes.
You’re in Australia!
A land where nature still rules, providing travelers and nature lovers with the opportunity of a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, only a few will have experienced before.
So, if you’re after hidden spots and jaw-dropping natural wonders, read on as we highlight the top ten hidden destinations in Australia for you.
Located near Mount Gambier, 430 km south of Adelaide in South Australia, Umpherston Sinkhole was, once upon a time, a cave. Yet, over 40 million years ago, its roof collapsed, creating a yawning chasm earning it the nickname of the ‘’Sunken Garden’’. In 1886, James Umpherston turned it into a seaside garden and a magical place for visitors to enjoy.
The enchanted and tranquil spot features a gorgeous terraced garden, a fountain, and beautiful vines covering the walls.
Best things to do in Umpherston Sinkhole
- Visit the site at sundown when this unusual place comes alive with hundreds of possums looking for food as the sun sets.
- Walk down to the base of the sinkhole to observe the beautiful fountain, hydrangeas, and tree ferns.
- Explore the region with a self-drive Mount Gambier sinkhole tour.
Have you ever seen a pink lake? Or perhaps heard of one before?
Australia is a paradise land for nature lovers, photographers, and adventurers thirsty for lesser-known natural wonders such as pink lakes. In fact, out of the 49 pink lakes discovered in the world, the country counts ten! And while some, such as Lake Hillier, have been largely popularized by influencers on social media, others are still relatively little-known. That’s the case for Lake Eyre, a gorgeous (occasionally, depending on the rainfall!) pink lake located in South Australia.
Best things to do in Lake Eyre
- Observe Australian pelicans, gulls, and sandpipers.
- Hop onto a scenic flight.
- Embark on an outback walking tour.
We couldn’t write an article about Australia without listing a destination featuring the iconic koala!
A genuine tropical oasis in the great barrier reef featuring palm-fringed sandy beaches and granite boulders, Magnetic Island is filled with cute native animals. But the most prevalent one is the adorable koala. In fact, the island is home to the largest colony of wild koalas in the world!
Some of the other animals you’ll be able to spot during your trip include the rock wallabies, brushtail possums, black flying foxes, little bent-wing bats, and echidnas.
Best things to do on Magnetic Island
- Explore Forts Walk.
- Horse ride on the beach.
- Snorkel at Geoffrey Bay.
Want to take a trip to utopia?
Then, Hinchinbrook Island should definitely be at the top of your list!
Situated just 6 km from Cardwell on the Queensland coast, this Jurassic island brims with natural wonders, including unique native plant species and amazing local wildlife such as dugong, green turtles, and even crocodiles!
The forgotten paradise also provides visitors with many spectacular hiking opportunities. These hikes are a great way to explore the island and its hidden treasures, including pristine beaches, wetlands, eucalyptus forests, lush mangroves, and cloud-covered mountains.
So, if long walks in untouched rainforests, fun eco-adventures, and hidden natural gems are your idea of the perfect vacation, you’ll love spending time on Hinchinbrook Island.
Best things to see on Hinchinbrook Island
- Marvel at the breathtaking Wallaman Falls in Girringun National Park.
- Rent a kayak to explore the enchanting island from the ocean.
- Hike the incredible Thorsborne Trail. Note that to minimize tourism impact on the environment, the trail is capped at 40 hikers a day. As a result, make sure you book your spot early!
Located in South Australia, in the heart of the Australian Outback, lies Coober Pedy, a city lost in the middle of a vast and uninhabited red desert.
Known as the world’s opal capital, this unusual destination encapsulates the incredible beauty of the Australian red center.
But what’s so special about this remote mining town, you ask?
In addition to featuring the largest opal (birthstone of October) mine in the world, the desert town provides visitors with a unique underground experience. Indeed, the special thing about Coober Pedy is that the town is mostly built underground! Old discarded mining sites have been converted into houses (called dugouts), hotels, bars, and even churches. This allows residents to escape the scorching heat while making for an incredible experience for visitors.
Best things to do in Coober Pedy
- Watch the sunset at Big Winch viewpoint.
- Visit the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Catacomb Church.
- Stay in a dugout.
Mungo National Park
One of Australia’s best-kept secrets, the little-known Mungo National Park is a must-see for any nature lover and adventure aficionado.
Set at the western border of New South Wales, the remote park seems frozen in time and will most likely take your breath away with its surreal, wild, arid, and lunar landscape. What’s more, fossils of a man and woman believed to date back 40,000 years (the oldest human remains ever found in Australia) were retrieved in 1974, turning the national park into an archeological ground. But what makes this park even more fascinating is its iconic Walls of China feature. Yes, you read correctly. Australia has its very own Wall of China. Only, instead of stones, this unique structure is made of sand and fluted rock outcrops shaped in this unusual form after millennia of sandstorms and erosion.
Best things to do in Mungo National Park
- Cycle the incredible Mungo Track to observe the rock formations.
- Camp in the park overnight.
- Watch the magical sunrise or sunset from the Walls of China platform.
Known to harbor whales, seals, and penguin colonies, Montague Island is a must-see if you’re traveling to the Narooma region and love marine animals. Indeed, surrounded by clear waters, this rugged and protected nature reserve provides visitors with breathtaking scenery and a festival of wildlife all year round. Here, on the same day, you’ll be able to marvel at acrobatic humpbacks, observe seals basking on the beach and watch in awe as hundreds of penguins emerge from the waters at night. If that’s not a unique experience, we don’t know what is!
Best things to do on Montague Island
- Enjoy a glorious morning walk around the island.
- Embark on a whale-watching adventure.
- Snorkel with seals.
- Sign up for an evening penguin viewing excursion.
Boat Harbour Beach
There’s no doubt about it, Tasmania is home to some of the most underrated gems of Australia.
And Boat Harbour Beach is one of them!
Nestled on the north coast of Tasmania, this picture-perfect unspoiled beach looks like an advertisement for holidaymakers.
A word of warning, though; this beach is so little-known that, depending on the season, you might very well be on your own when admiring the various shades of green and blue in the water, feeling your toes in the crisp white sand, and enjoying the secluded rock pools.
Best things to do in Boat Harbour Beach
- Enjoy a picnic on the beach.
- Explore the nearby Table Cape Tulip Farm.
- Walk the Boat Harbour Beach Coastal Walk.
Coco Islands (formerly known as the Keeling Islands) is an archipelago made up of 27 breathtaking coral islands located in the Indian Ocean, 2,936 kilometers northwest of Perth.
There, time seems to have stopped. If you’re looking for a relaxing holiday, away from the hustle and bustle to re-energize, explore some untouched natural wonders, and meet with friendly locals, you’ll absolutely love Coco Islands.
Best things to do in Coco Islands
- Explore uninhabited islands by canoe.
- Relax on Cossies Beach, awarded the most beautiful beach in Australia.
- Experience world-class diving.
- Learn about the local culture and traditions.
The Eyre Peninsula
When thinking about the Eyre Peninsula, four words come to mind: wildlife, wilderness, and culinary experiences!
Often overlooked by travelers, the Eyre Peninsula is one of the most underrated destinations in Australia. Located along the mesmerizing Great Australian Bight, this spectacular promontory tumbles into the clear waters of the Indian Ocean.
A great spot to observe whale migrations between June and September, it’s also one of the gourmet capitals of the country, boasting world-class seafood along with many internationally acclaimed wines.
Best things to do in the Eyre Peninsula
- Cage dive with great white sharks.
- Explore the Gawler Ranges National Park.
- Enjoy a whale-watching eco-tour.
- Sample premium oysters
We hope this article has provided you with some helpful, off-the-beaten-path travel inspiration for your next trip to help you soothe those itchy feet wanting to wander the world.
And talking about feet, if you’re all about exploring the world the sustainable way, it all starts with eco-friendly travel apparel. At Footy Intl, we’re committed to protecting the planet while providing adventurers, like you, with high-quality socks Made in the USA to turn your hikes in the wilderness into a comfortable experience. So, if you want to treat your feet to some goodness, don’t hesitate to browse our range, knowing you’ll also help support a sustainable cause while doing so.
About the Author
Christelle has a Master’s Degree in Marketing and specializes in content marketing. As a freelancer, her passion for words, writing, and social media led her to collaborate with hundreds of businesses over the last few years to help them tell their story. Indeed, she’s dedicated to turning her client’s experiences and ideas into compelling and engaging stories to capture a specific audience’s attention. Christelle is also passionate about travel and photography and when she’s not writing, she loves a good adventure. From historical Europe and mystical South America to the Australian outback and tropical Pacific Islands, she has been able to enjoy some of the most wonderful sights on the planet and hopes to see more in the coming years!