Our great country of Australia boasts the Great Barrier Reef, the Sydney Opera House, the spectacular red-centre and of course, some of the most spectacular beaches in the world. It’s not hard to understand why so many people want to visit and explore this beautiful country.
Whilst there are many well-known attractions that you've possibly already visited (or at least plan to) there are also a variety of lesser-known fun and unusual things to do across in this country. Whether you're off on a personal adventure or you're showing off to visiting friends and family, here’s a breakdown of our top five lesser-known places to visit in Oz:
1. Penguin Parade – Phillip Island
Fairies may be the little people of legend and folklore, but here they are a reality. Well sort of... Each night on Phillip Island, just a 90 minute drive from Melbourne, a colony of 32,000 tiny “fairy penguins” return ashore after a day of fishing. Welcome to the Penguin Parade.
Fairy Penguins are the smallest penguins on earth, each one standing at an average height of just 30 centimetres. Visitors to the island can marvel at the tiny birds as they waddle from the ocean to their burrows in the sand.
These adorable little birds could very well be part of fictional fairy stories. The bird’s eyes are so light-sensitive, all forms of photography are prohibited and so this nightly wonder must be only visited in person to be believed.
2. Lake Hillier – Western Australia
We’ve always been taught that the water is blue, and the grass is green, which is why this awesome lake is somewhat of a mystery. It is bubble-gum pink!
Some think that a form of micro-algae is the cause for the puzzling colour of the lake’s water, however, the reason for its uniqueness is still not fully understood by scientists. Even when bottled, the water keeps a baby pink hue.
Unfortunately, you can’t be taking home this unicorn water for yourself, as the lake is protected for research purposes, it can only be seen from the air. You’ll just have to take a helicopter ride over this wonder of Western Australia!
3. Wave Rock - Hyden
Surfing is a popular pastime in Australia, how about a wave that looks to be stopping time? Australia’s Wave Rock is one of the most stunning rollers in the world. Made out of billions of layers of stone, this natural phenomenon looks as though the Goddess Medusa gave it one of her best stares.
Located in the town of Hyden, the wave boasts a height of 50 feet and a width of 300 feet long. Local tribes believed that the rock was a creation of the Rainbow Serpent, a well- respected icon of cultural learning in the area. Legend has it the Rainbow Serpent was dragged across the earth after consuming all the water in the land, creating the wave in her wake.
4. Stunning Street Art – Newtown, Sydney
Newtown is ground central of Sydney’s mural art scene. This quirky expression of art can be seen to be stretching across the most dynamic precinct in Sydney.
Since 1991 the area has attracted artists with a message, covering walls in paint and posters that are both creative and inspiring.
These amazing murals can be seen via a Sydney street art treasure hunt, or you can join a guided walking tour. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you should create your own tour to make sure you catch all of them!
5. Paronella Park – Mena Creek, Northern Queensland
Situated in Mena Creek in Northern Queensland, this award-winning wonder is also not one to be missed!
Surrounded by 7,500 tropical plants and an avenue of Kauris which replicate cathedral spires, here you can step back in time to a hidden castle in the rainforest and uncover the park’s mystical story.
Visitors have the opportunity on numerous tours, including the night tour which features flood lighting (courtesy of the restored hydro-electric generator) where the parks secrets are revealed. There are plenty of hotels near-by for an overnight stay, or if you prefer to re-connect with nature, there are cabins available on site.