12 Amazing Natural Wonders of Australia

Kakadu National Park

(images via: wikimedia commons, rileyroxx)

A sprawling wilderness in the Northern Territory that’s nearly half the size of Switzerland, Kakadu National Park includes the Alligator Rivers Region with four major river systems, a diverse range of landforms like floodplains, lowlands and hills, and an amazing concentration of wildlife. It’s also full of Aboriginal cultural sites from the native people who have inhabited the area for at least 40,000 years.

Bungle Bungles

(images via: neilsphotography, david bush aus)

The Bungle Bungles are striped, rounded orange-and-black rock towers in the Purnululu National Park. Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Bungle Bungles are located within the rugged Kimberley region of western Australia, and beyond them remain Australia’s last unexplored lands, which are partially restricted Aboriginal country. The banding of the domes is caused by varying clay content and porosity in the sandstone layers.

Simpson Desert

(images via: atlas of living australia, 2)

Arid and largely uninhabited, this desert is found nearly smack-dab in the center of the Australian continent. Beneath its dry, rippling red sands is the Great Artesian Basin, one of the largest inland drainage areas in the world. The Simpson Desert also contains the world’s longest parallel sand dunes, which are held in place by vegetation.

Fraser Island

(images via: wikimedia commons, richardfisher)

The largest sand island in the world, Fraser Island is a wild tangle of rainforests, eucalyptus woodland, mangrove forests, swamps, sand dunes and coastal heaths, just off the coast of Queensland. While it has been inhabited by humans for at least 5,000 years, its current population is below 400. Fraser Island has 19 species of bats as well as swamp wallabies, echidnas, sugar gliders, flying foxes, dingoes and saltwater crocodiles.