Nature has so much beauty to offer and that’s evidenced by the fact that when our country went under lockdown, the only thing filling people’s Instagram feed was the clear blue skies, the vibrant green trees and a series of animal appearances that would have been otherwise left unnoticed on any given day. Man has a deep relationship with nature and anything out of the ordinary strikes us. If a day with an AQI under 100 can fill us with such joy, can you imagine what would happen if you were to witness natural beauty in all its glory? If there’s one place on this planet that can boast for some of the best natural phenomena then it’s none other than Australia. Don’t believe us? Then continue reading:
1. Bioluminescent Plankton at Jervis Bay in NSW
I bet everyone reading this article would have come across pictures of shores with blue translucent light beaming on the surface. Well, at Jervis Bay, which is a mere 3 hours away from Sydney, this phenomenon becomes a reality. Due to a natural chemical reaction within plankton, the plankton become luminescent and emanate a blue glow. This unusual natural phenomenon, which can only be seen at night can happen at any time of the year but is more common in spring and summer months when the water is warmer.
2. Min Min Lights, Outback Australia, Northern Territory
The easiest way to convince people that you saw a UFO or some supernatural phenomenon is by taking a picture of the Min Min Lights. These unexplained light phenomena literally will stalk you. Described by witnesses as floating, fast-moving balls of colour that glow in the night sky that stalk people, leaving some feeling confused and frightened, there is debate as to whether the Min Min Lights exist, or if they are simply an Aboriginal folktale that has been passed down for Generations. If you want to find out and investigate further, the only way to do this is by heading down under to outback Australia.
3. Morning Glory Cloud, Burketown, Queensland
Wondering what Morning Glory clouds are? Well, think of contrails but make them big and close. Close enough to touch. And then multiply these in 2, 3, or even 4s! During September and October, the rare meteorological phenomenon referred to as the ‘Morning Glory Clouds’ roll across the Gulf and can be observed above the skies in Burketown. The cloud bank can be up to 1,000km long, 1-2km wide and can travel at speeds of up to 60km/hour. Although these clouds can be found in other parts of the world, Burketown is the only place where they appear frequently at set times of the year.
4. Coral Spawning, The Great Barrier Reef, Queensland
Once a year, on cues from the lunar cycle and the water temperature, entire colonies of coral reefs simultaneously release their tiny eggs and sperm, called gametes, into the ocean. Known as Coral spawning, this phenomenon creates an underwater blizzard with billions of colorful flakes cascading in white, yellow, red, and orange. An extremely crucial process in fertilisation, this lasts only a few nights, but travellers can take a night time coral spawning dive trip or join an overnight vessel during the coral spawning dates for another chance to view this weird and wonderful sight
5. Cuttlefish Annual Aggregation, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia
Australia is the only place in the world where a mass of beautifully colored cuttlefish come together to migrate to the waters of the upper Spencer Gulf to breed. This annual migration, which takes place predictably every winter, is a sight to behold for every scuba enthusiast. Travelers can snorkel with the amazing giant cuttlefish at Stony Point between June and July, located on the coastline of the Upper Spencer Gulf Marine Park in the Eyre Peninsula.
6. Australia’s Pink Lakes, South Australia, and Western Australia
Another Insta-worthy phenomenon, Australia is home to several pink lakes. From the outback of South Australia to the coast of Western Australia, few things are as beautiful and baffling as Australia’s pink lakes. Most of these stand-alone lakes get their vibrant hues due to the high concentration of salt in them.
7. Aurora Australis, Tasmania
Much like the Northern Lights, the Southern light illuminates the Aussie sky in colors of green, blue, red, and even pink. The Southern Lights can be viewed all year round – although most commonly during winter, May to August, and during the spring equinox in September. You can head to Bruny Island, Satellite Island, Bathurst Harbour, and Cradle Mountain for the beautiful natural light show.
8. The World’s Largest Dinosaur Footprints, Broome, Western Australia
It’s hard to imagine a world where dinosaurs roamed freely along with man. But if there’s one place where this becomes a reality it is in Broome, Western Australia. At 1.7-metres long, the fossilized dinosaur footprints here are 130 million years old and extend in patches for 80km along the coast. At the southern end of Cable Beach is Gantheaume Point, a scenic area of red sandstone cliffs where visitors can observe footprints of dinosaurs located on the flat rocks 30 meters out to sea and are only visible at low tide. This phenomenon is definitely for the bucket list.
9. Horizontal Falls, Western Australia
One of the most fascinating natural phenomena on this list is Horizontal Falls, which can be found in Talbot Bay in the Buccaneer Archipelago. The first fall is about 20-meters wide, while the second is about 10-meters wide. The powerful tides in the Kimberley can reach more than 10-metres and the direction of the flow reverses ensuring the water flows two different ways each day, and a unique waterfall effect. A scenic flight or a sea safari is the best way to explore the Horizontal Waterfalls.
10. Red Crab Migration, Christmas Island
Walk the red crab carpet on Christmas Island, off the far north-west coast of Australia. The island is home to an estimated 40-50 million bright red land crabs. Each year, at the start of the wet season (November – January), a spectacular awakening occurs. Mother Nature rolls out the red carpet as hordes of crabs emerge from the island’s forests and march their way down to the ocean to breed.
This content was produced in partnership with Tourism Australia.