(images via: wikimedia commons, cloudchaser32000)
Virtually unknown until the 1960s, the Pinnacles might just be among the world’s most unusual landscapes. These limestone formations within the Nambung National Park in Western Australia are now visited by over 250,000 people every year. There’s no consensus on how, exactly, they were formed, but we do know that the limestone they’re made of was originally seashells in an earlier epoch, which were broken down into lime-rich sands and blown inland to form dunes.
(images via: paleontour, kyle taylor)
The largest continuous area of rainforest on the Australian continent, Daintree is a wild tropical paradise containing a stunning array of flora and fauna, including 65% of Australia’s bat and butterfly species. Found on the northeast coast of Queensland, Daintree Rainforest is partially protected by the Daintree National Park and is also a section of the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Site. Inside the rainforest are some of the earliest land plants and about 430 species of birds.
(images via: timparkinson, wikimedia commons)
On Australia’s third-largest, sparsely populated island, you’ll find sea lions, koala, wallabies, penguins and, of course, kangaroos. Kangaroo Island is composed of diverse wilderness including and dunes, wetlands, cliffs and dense forest. Located about 70 miles southwest of Adelaide, the island is home to about 4,000 people, mostly descendants of the original settlers working in agricultural industries like wine, wool, meat and honey. A quarter of the island is conserved in national parks and wilderness protection areas, and more than half of it has never been cleared of vegetation.
The Twelve Apostles
(images via: shiny things, wikimedia commons)
Standing like sentinels just beyond the shore of the Port Campbell National Park in Victoria, Australia, the Twelve Apostles are a collection of limestone stacks that have separated from the cliffs. Their dramatic appearance at the edge of the water attract two million tourists every year. The stacks were caused by erosion; the ocean waters initially created caves, which collapsed into arches, and the arches eventually broke apart.