We’ve all heard of Uluru and the Harbour Bridge, but there are lots of hidden gems around the country that you should be visiting.
1. Mungo National Park, NSW
This huge national park in the southwest of New South Wales, more than 800 kilometres from Sydney, looks like it belongs on another planet. Ancient dried-up lakebeds and sandunes have a desolate, otherworldy quality and are a window in what life would have been like here millions of years ago. The oldest human skeleton ever found in Australia, Mungo Man, was also discovered here.
2. Town of Murals, TAS
The small town of Sheffield in northwest Tasmania has transformed itself into an outdoor art gallery. In the mid 1980s the town was going through a serious economic slump and decided to develop a new project to attract tourists. More than 2,000 square metres of murals depicting the town’s history and local heroes are painted on walls around the town. And though Sheffield has a population of just 1,000, the murals draw more than 220,000 visitors a year.
3. Wave Rock, WA
Four hours east of Perth is one of Australia’s most remarkable natural formations. This huge granite cliff is 15 metres high and 110 metres long, and is almost perfectly shaped like a gently breaking wave. The rock has been eroded by wind and rain over millions of years, forming an unlikely and arresting wave. Climb to the top for sweeping views over the scrubby plains, which are carpeted with wildflowers in spring.
4. Qantas Founders Museum, QLD
Go back to where it all began for one of our true national icons. Qantas was officially born in Winton, about 170 kilometres north of the museum in the larger centre of Longreach. Learn about Qantas’ rise from tiny outback carrier to one of the world’s aviation powerhouses, see historic aircraft and take a behind the scenes tour of a modern 747 jet.
5. Umpherston Sinkhole, SA
Just outside of Mount Gambier you’ll find one of the most breathtaking – and unusual – gardens in the country. The sinkhole was formed when the roof of a natural limestone cave collapsed and a garden was planted on the site in the late 1800s. Walk down the ramp and into the sunken garden on the floor of the cave while being surrounded by climbing and hanging gardens up the walls. The resident colony of possums come out after dark and love to be fed fresh fruit.
Have you been to any of these attractions?