It's a known fact that Australia is a large country and its diverse landscape continues to attract visitors year on year - beaches, islands, deserts, unique animals, reefs, rainforests and bustling cities. Australia, along its down to earth locals - is like no where else on this planet! Don't believe us? Read on... here is a list of Australia's Top 10 Strange and Spooky places that are well worth a visit!
1. The Pinnacles
One hour north of Perth lies the Western Australian Nambung Desert. As you walk across the yellow sand, you will soon spot the kilometre wide collection of large, eerie limestone rock formations – resembling what can often be described as, ‘Life on Mars.’
The aboriginal owners of the land claim that the rocks represent the vast number of locals that historically died in the desert’s quick sand. The formations now serve as a warning to locals to steer clear of the creepy desert! If brave enough, you can walk throughout the Pinnacles Desert – not only do the limestone rocks provide a sight that cannot be seen anywhere else in the world, the shadows cast by these rocks at sunset provide some pretty spectacular photo opportunities!
2. Umpherston Sinkhole
The Umpherston sinkhole is located in Mt Gambier, South Australia. It was once a cave, which collapsed in the 1800s. Today, it is a lush green garden hidden beneath the earth’s surface.
3. Pink Lake
A few hours north of Perth on the Western Australian coastal drive, you will come across the strange pink waters of the Port Gregory Pink Lake. The lake’s algae and salt concentration causes the waters to turn a bright pink! TIP: There is actually a Pink Lake in Melbourne that has recently developed. The lake sits underneath the Western Gate Bridge and the best way to get there is by car or bike from Melbourne CBD.
4. The Devils Marbles
This eerie outback destination is said to be the oldest religious site in the world! The Devil’s Marbles are strange, circular, stacked rocks that can be found in the desert halfway between Alice Springs and Darwin. Known as Karlu Karlu by the lands traditional Aboriginal owners, the large, round granite rocks are scattered across a large valley – many of them ‘balancing’ upon one another.
5. The underground town of Coober Pedy
As you drive north of Adelaide towards Alice Springs, you will come across a strange stretch of red desert – home to an underground mining town and 80% of Australia’s opals.
Coober Pedy was established following WWI by returning Australian soldiers looking for the chance to make it big in the midst of the mining revolution. Whilst working in extreme heat, the soldiers soon realised that living underground would ward off most of the heat. Hostels, hotels, the local church, museum and restaurants are located underground!
6. Wolfe Creek Crater
We’ve all seen the movie and we’ve all struggled to sleep! Wolfe Creek is one of the most ‘obvious’ or ‘distinct’ crater holes in the world. Located in the Western Australian outback, the crater was created by a meteorite and discovered from space in the 1940s.
7. Daly Waters Pub
Want to experience the real outback? A beer with the Daly Water’s locals is a must do! To really experience the ‘vastness’ of the Australian landscape – a visit to an outback pub is essential.
Daly Waters Pub is decorated in travelling memorandum – urging all visitors to leave a little something behind – ID cards are stuck to the walls, international flags hang from the ceiling, bras and underwear dangle from the roof, a colourful Flip Flop Tree serves as the outdoor centrepiece and international coins and notes line the bar. Keen for a few beers? Spend the night in one of the pub’s tin cabins!
One of Australia’s first hippie communities can be found in the rainforest hinterland just west of Byron Bay. During the 1960s counter culture movement, a music and arts festival brought students, hippies & artists to Nimbin. The festival came to an end, but many of those that had attended agreed to stay on in Nimbin and form communes and a self sufficient community. The town today is home to a quirky population, rainbow flags, colourful arts and crafts stores and its very own hemp museum.
9. Wycliffe Well
This tiny town claims to be the UFO Capital of Australia. As you arrive into Wycliffe Well, you will be welcomed by two large alien statues. This town is located in the middle of no where - adding to the strange like atmosphere! The locals will tell you that UFO sightings have been a regular occurrence since the town’s establishment following WWII.
10. Port Arthur Ghost Town
Port Arthur, a historical convict settlement located near Hobart, Tasmania, is spooky by day, let alone by night. In 1833, the town became a prison to Britain’s hardest criminals. Today, Port Arthur is a World Heritage Listed site that claims to be the most haunted destination in Australia. Torture cells, prison buildings, an onsite hospital, asylum and town centre line the river and offer tales of suicide, mistreatment and horror stories. Ghost Tours are offered at sunset!
Written by Katie Tobias