During the summer there’s practically nowhere in Australia where you won’t at least catch a shimmering sunset and calm, sparkling twilight, but if you want especially picturesque views consider our choices for the five most breathtaking places to visit in the upcoming months.
- Whitsunday Islands
Only a short trip outside of Brisbane (and accessible via plane from Sydney, Melbourne, and Cairns), the Whitsunday Islands are an excellent choice for a nearby island vacation. You’ll be shocked by how calm the Barrier Reef-girt seas are once you land on Hamilton Island, and this collection of sunken mountains certainly is the place to be if you’re keen on exploring life-filled waters.
If staying on land is more of your thing, Whitehaven Beach’s 98% pure silica shoreline is known for both its crisp white colour and its lack of heat retention, meaning that this is the one beach where you’re certain not to burn your feet (though you’ll want to remember to bring along your sunnies). There’s also camping and bushwalking on the islands, so nature lovers certainly won’t be short for options.
- Ningaloo Coast
Western Australia has stunning hidden secrets of its own including the Ningaloo Coast, which has a 260 km reef that you can snorkel through. Drive in from Perth and spend the night on a beachfront campsite for an intimate alternative to a Great Barrier Reef trip.
- Coogee Beach
Summer fun doesn’t have to be isolated: Sydney’s Coogee Beach is the perfect choice for people who want to enjoy the weather without leaving the city. Boasting a stunning coastal walk with an annual summer sculpture exhibit, Coogee also has plenty of activities for the beach-bound with frequent volleyball tournaments, a scuba diving shop, and walled-off open saltwater baths (Wylie’s is the one favoured by locals). Shower off at your room in one of the many nearby hotels before heading out for a night of fine dining and a drink or two at one of the area’s rooftop bars.
- Nimbin Rocks
A short drive from Nimbin, the New South Wales town where the farm meets a permanent music festival, are a set of 20-million-year-old geological formations that are absolutely worth stopping at if you’re nearby or on your way to Byron Bay. It’s hard to decide whether it’s the beautiful, imposing rocks or the emerald hills that they emerge from that are more stunning, and there’s an undeniable magic about the place that makes it a perfect picnic and photo spot. There are also plenty of day spas in the area, in case trekking around the flatlands and greeting cows proves to be too taxing.
- Jenolan Caves
If you’ve just had it with the heat, consider an unlikely escape to the Blue Mountains. The Jenolan Caves always measure in at 15 degrees Celsius regardless of the weather, but even if it weren’t for the respite from the sun you’d likely be drawn to the pristine underwater rivers flowing through the caves’ limestone floors (which you can explore in a tour setting).