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Natural phenomena, something extraordinary that exists without human input, occurs all over the world. Here are ten examples of natural phenomena occurring right here, in Australia:

1. PINK LAKE, WA

Pink Lake (properly known as Hutt Lagoon) at Port Gregory in Western Australia is a mind-bending sight if you time it right. The lake is sometimes pink, pale purple or red depending on the season, time of day and rise and fall of the water’s salinity. It’s also an eye-popping contrast to the sapphire blue of the Indian Ocean across the sand dunes. See westernaustralia.com

2. BURNING MOUNTAIN, NSW

Mt Wingen, a smouldering coal seam in the Upper Hunter Valley north of Sydney, has been sending up smoke from 30 metres underground for 6000 years. The emerging smoke shifts a metre a year, affects the surrounding vegetation, and leaves scorched earth stained black, white and red. A faint sulphurous smell adds to the hellish scene. You can see it on a four-kilometre national parks trail. See nationalparks.nsw.gov.au

3. HORIZONTAL FALLS, WA

Aerial View Of The Horizontal Falls, Talbot Bay. Image Supplied By Tourism Western Australia For Traveller Pls Note Credit Requirements

Photo: Tourism Western Australia

Only an expedition cruise ship or seaplane gets you to Talbot Bay in the Kimberley. When its gigantic 10-metre tides rush through a narrow break in the bay’s escarpment – once a day in each direction – powerful currents give the impression of horizontal waterfalls. Visitors can plunge through the tight gap in the rust-red cliffs on bumpy Zodiac rides that envelop them in spray. See australiasnorthwest.com

4. GIANT SINKHOLE, SA

Sa Tourism Limestone Coast Sinkholes Cenotes Mt Gambier One Time Use For Traveller Only

Photo: Michael Ellem/SATC

South Australia’s Limestone Coast, which runs from the Victorian border, is pockmarked with sinkholes (or cenotes) created by collapsed caves. The most wonderful is Umpherston Sinkhole for its size and vegetation-draped sides, and because you can walk into its base, which is planted with gardens. The adventurous can snorkel in the clear waters of Kilsby Sinkhole or explore Hell’s Hole, popular with cave divers. See discovermountgambier.com.au

The Three Capes Track Has Already Been Hailed As Australia'S Premier Coastal Bushwalking Experience. Over Four Days And Three Night You Will Cross Chasms, Tall Forest And Tip-Toe To The Edge Of Australia'S Highest Sea Cliff. At Days End, You Can Rest In Warm Comfortable Cabins Supplied Pr Image For Traveller. Cape Pillar, Tasmania. Images From Tourism Tasmania. Ben Groundwater Feature.

Photo: Tourism Tasmania

The southern hemisphere’s tallest sea cliffs rise 300 metres from the foaming ocean at Cape Pillar off the Tasman Peninsula. Between waves and winds, the rock climbing is strictly for experts, and even if you just want to admire the cliffs you’ll need to tackle a rugged bushwalk. It’s worth it for spectacular views of Tasmania’s plunging edges and ranks of slender hexagonal pillars that look like organ pipes. See parks.tas.gov.au

6. LAVA TUBES, QUEENSLAND

Sunfeb2Lava Undara Experience Qld Lava Flow ; Text Byã‚ David Mcgongigal ; Supplied Via Journalist ; Stephenson'S Lava Tube

Photo: Undara Experience

Over 160 ancient, worn-down volcanoes pepper Undara Volcanic National Park 255 kilometres southwest of Cairns in the Queensland outback. But what lies beneath is even more remarkable. Massive caves and some of the world’s longest lava tubes create vast, echoing and eerie spaces filled with bats and peculiar underground insects. In places where the rock ceilings have collapsed, patches of rainforest flourish. See tropicalnorthqueensland.org.au

 

7. SKULL ROCK, Victoria

Credit: Pennicott Wilderness Journeys One Time Use Traveller Only Skull Rock / Cleft Island Wilsons Promonotory

Photo: Undara Experience

Officially known as Cleft Island, this giant weathered dome of rock off Wilsons Promontory in Victoria is hollowed out on one side and, from certain angles, looks like a half-submerged skull. Few people have landed, but recently a cruise-tour from Tidal River has started heading out into the notoriously rough seas to view Skull Island up close and admire its colonies of fur seals and birds. See visitgippsland.com.au

 

8. BALANCED BOULDERS, NT

Karlu Karlu - Devils Marbles In Outback Australia, An Aboriginal Ancient Meeting Place And Spectacular Place For Environmental People And Geologists. Istock Image For Traveller. Re-Use Permitted.

Photo: iStock

Karlu Karlu or the Devil’s Marbles near Wauchope in the Northern Territory is an indigenous sacred site, and it isn’t hard to see why. These massive egg-shaped boulders stand out in a flat landscape, some balanced seemingly precariously, others split in half as if by a mighty hatchet. At sunrise and sunset, they glow red against a tawny landscape studded with spindly bloodwood trees. See northernterritory.com

 

9. BIOLUMINESCENT BAY, NSW

Bioluminescent Algae Seen At Plantation Point, Vincentia In Jervis Bay. Melb - Syd Coast Stops For David Whitley Story Plantation Point, Jervis Bay Nsw

Photo: Destination NSW

Jervis Bay is a popular seaside retreat three hours south of Sydney whose generous bay is best known for white sand and whale watching. But after dark, another wonder presents itself as bioluminescent algae give the water’s edges of vivid blue glow. The unpredictable bioluminescence tends to be more common in spring and summer after rain, and is best seen late at night. See jervisbaytourism.com.au

 

10. WAVE ROCK, WA

Blonde Woman Enjoying Surfing On Wave Rock, A Natural Rock Formation That Is Shaped Like A Tall Breaking Ocean Wave, In Hyden, Western Australia. Happy Funny Girl In Australian Outback. Copy Space. Satjune6Cover Wave Rock, Western Australia Photo: Istock

Photo: iStock

This dramatic rock feature near Hyden in Western Australia was the result of water erosion far below the surface. When the hard granite was subsequently exposed, it left what looks like a giant fossilised wave streaked with rusty iron deposits and black algae. It isn’t the only peculiar rock formation in this region east of Perth: check out The Humps, Mulka’s Cave and the Hippo’s Yawn too. See australiasgoldenoutback.com

 

This blog article was written by Brian Johnston and published in traveller.com.au on Feb 25 2022.

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