Discover our TOP #20 unusual spots in Australia! This enormous country has beautiful landscapes, hundreds of national parks and thousands of beaches well known to tourists. But there are also many spots less known worth a visit – you will be pleasantly surprised.
1. Newcastle Waters, NT: A Ghost Town
Newcastle Waters is a small typical Australian outback town. It was once a place of passage for livestock farmers. Now it is completely deserted. It is possible to visit this ghost town and enter the abandoned buildings. The Jone’s Shop and the Junction Hotel in particular are well preserved and reflect the pioneer era.
2. Coober Peddy, SA: A Troglodite City
Situated in the heart of the Australian Outback, this city was founded when the first pioneers settled in 1915 in search of gold. They did not find gold. They did however find opal. This typical Australian gem has brought many men in search of riches over the years. But on these plains the living conditions are so difficult (it can be above 45 degrees Celsius in the shade) that many of the buildings are underground. You can visit underground houses, museums and even churches!
3. The Breakaways Reserve, SA: A lunar landscape
Located a few kilometers from Coober Peddy, this nature reserve offers breathtaking scenery. This is where one of the instalments of Max Max was shot. With an dystopian atmosphere the choice of the director makes a lot of sense!
4. Burnie, Tasmania: The Penguin City
In this small town in North West Tasmania the penguin is king. A colony of penguins can be observed from the Little Penguin Observation Center. In the city center, you can also find a statue of this little mascot!
5. Shell beach WA: A beach of shells
Located in Shark Bay in the heart of the west coast you will find a beach of only seashells! You will not find a grain of sand! A natural phenomenon caused by extremely salty water has led to the development of these shells. There potential predators can not tolerate these conditions.
6. Remarkable Rocks, Kangaroo Island SA
At the tiny Kangaroo Island in South Australia you can discover beautiful rocks strangely arranged by the sea. Actual natural sculptures created by 500 million years of erosion.
7. Wycliffe Well, NT: The Roadhouse to Aliens
If you take the road that connects Alice Springs with Tennant Creek (or Darwin), you will probably stop at this unusual Roadhouse. Here you will be greeted by little green guys! This spot has the reputation of having a record number of UFO observations. It has been ranked the 5th in the world of its ‘alien’ activity. Feel free to stroll through this roadhouse with many figurines and reproductions of space vehicles!
8. Daly Waters pub, NT: A legendary Australian outback pub
Located a few hundred kilometers south of Katherine, in the Northern Territory, this pub is a true Australian legend. In an improbable and fun setting, you will dive into the typical Australian Outback lifestyle Built in the 1930s by a miner and his wife, this pub was originally a grocery store intended to supply travellers. A few kilometers away Australia’s first international airport was built. It allowed you to reach London in 8 days! The Daly Waters Pub quickly became a place of passage for travellers. Here you can have a meal, some drinks and a good night’s sleep before a long journey.
9. Port Arthur and its haunted houses, TAS
Port Arthur is a unique place full of history. Every night it is possible to take a guided tour during which you are told the stories of the convicts and their ghosts who still haunt the place to this day!
10. Lock Ard Gorge, VIC
In 1978, on this beautiful beach on the Great Ocean Road, a ship that connected England To Melbourne was truck by tragedy. Along the southern coast of Australia, the captain was caught in mist and did not realise he was to close to the coast before it was to late. He hit one of the cliffs. Only two of the 54 passengers on board survived the shipwreck. They allegedly spent the night in a cave along the coast before climbing the cliff and finding help.
11. Glenrowan, VIC: The City of Ned Kelly
This small Victorian town attracts quite a cult following of Australia’s most beloved outlaw: Ned Kelly. You can follow the in the tracks of this bandits last standoff.
12. Nimbin, NSW: The Hippie City of Australia
On the east coast of Australia you with find the town of Nimbin. It is famous for its tolerance of soft drugs. Many travelers stop there to explore this hippie atmosphere and smoke some grass. Every year the famous Grass Festival bring Cannabis consumers from around the world together with numerous concerts and shows.
13. The Baobab Tree Prison in Derby, WA
In the North West of Australia a huge Baobab dating back about 1500 years allegedly served as a prison during 1890s. Yes. You read it correctly. The tree acted as a prison for Aboriginals during their transfer to Derby. Circling 14 meters with a whole in the truck acting as a door this tree is now protected by the aboriginals. You can visit it by going to Derby and driving another seven kilometers.
14. Nourlangie, Kakadu National Park, NT: Aboriginal rock paintings
Kakadu is a world famous site for its rock paintings. Some are over 20.000 years old! Best to visit during the dry season. If it is wet season make sure to check if the National Park is accessible to avoid disappointment.
15. Devils Marble, NT: Rock formations in the middle of the desert
A site not to be missed when traveling between Alice Springs and Darwin. You will discover these magnificent rocks with the typical colours of the Australian Outback. One really wonders what these big ‘pebbles’ are doing in the middle of the Australian Outback. Feel free to spend the night in adjacent the camp site. It will allow you to take phenomenal pictures at sunset and sunrise!
16. Gunlom Falls, Kakadu National Park, NT
The filming location of Crocodile Dundee. Fans will immediately recognise the location of the famous scene where Dundee is spear fishing!
17. Nullarbor Lind Golf Course, SA
This 18-hole course is the longest in the world! It stretches over 1.360 kilometers. A great attraction when crossing the Nullarbor!
18. Broken Hill, NSW
This Isolated town in NSW near the SA border is considered by many to be the Outback capital. You can explore the Living Desert with its 12 giant sculptures made by various artists in 1993.
19. Australia Big Things
Huge iconic statues are scattered throughout Australia. Best know ones are the fruits, such as The Big Banana in Coffs Harbour, the Big Mangoe in Bowen and the Big Orange in Gayndah. Throughout Australia 150 of such sculptures have been cataloged. Some represent the region, others were simply built to attract tourists. They are always fun to come across during a road trip!
20. Mataranka, NT: Hot Springs (Thermal Pools)
Located in the middle of Australia. With the extremely hot temperatures of the Outback, what is better than cooling of with a swim in translucent waters in the middle of palm trees? These natural water springs form an oasis for travellers to fresh up and relax during their road trip. According to folklore you will see hundreds of bats fly over you head while staying there!
Updated on the 13/12/2019. Initially published on the 20/09/2018.