Nature Views in Alice Springs

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Australia
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Uluru
The ancient red rock formations of Kata Tjuta rise from the dusty land to make an incredible sight in Central Australia. Witness the spectacular rocks as they appear to change colour and immerse yourself in the Aboriginal stories of this special place, 500 million years in the making. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is jointly managed by its Anangu traditional owners and Parks Australia. Kata Tjuta is sacred to the Anangu people, who have inhabited the area for more than 22,000 years. The sandstone domes of Kata Tjuta are believed to be about 500 million years old
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Anzac Hill
The most visited landmark in Alice Springs, Anzac Hill is the ideal spot for an overview of the town. The lookout offers a panoramic view of Alice Springs and the beautiful surrounding ranges. The Anzac Hill Memorial was unveiled on 25 April 1934 (Anzac Day) and was originally dedicated to all those members of the armed services who had paid the supreme sacrifice during World War I. It has now become a memorial to all those who have served in the defence of their country during all wars in which Australia has participated. Facing the Gap, interesting and comprehensive interpretative signs border the lookout. These detail some of the local Arrentte people's creation stories, featuring the Yeperenye Caterpillar of the MacDonnell Ranges and Mparntwe (Alice Springs).
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Alice Springs Desert Park
Alice Springs Desert Park is an inspiring portrayal of Australia's desert environment that effortlessly blends the plants, animals and people of our arid regions. A 'must see' for every visitor to the Red Centre. Walk through three re-created desert habitats and discover how deserts are full of life. Stories of the desert are shared through interpretative displays, cultural presentations and guide activities. Do not miss Nature Theatre with free-flying birds of prey and other animals demonstrate their natural survival skills at the base of the MacDonnell Ranges. Spend some time in the Nocturnal House where you can spot rare or endangered mammals of the desert. Let your eyes adjust to the evening light and enjoy animals in their natural environment including the bilby, mala and thorny devil. At night, spotlight rare and endangered animals on the Nocturnal Tour. With an expert guide step into a predator proof enclosure in the foothills of the ranges and get up close with bilby, mala, echidna, brush tailed bettongs and other animals of the night.
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Cactus Beach
On the western side of the Point are the world-famous Cactus and Castles beaches, and their surrounding surfing breaks. The Penong Road runs along the back of Cactus Beach, with a large camping area set amongst the dune scrub, between the road and beach, and good vehicle and foot access to the back of the beach. There is a small camp store, which provides the only commercial activity in the area. The beaches are 250 and 400 m long respectively. They face west and are backed by a low foredune, bordered by calcarenite bluffs and fronted by exposed beach rock and shallow calcarenite reefs. In the lee of the reefs is a narrow high tide sand beach, and while waves can be large on the outer reefs, they are usually less than 0.5 m when they finally reach the beach. However, both beaches are drained by strong permanent rips, particularly off Castles. In addition to the Cactus left and Castles right surf breaks off the beaches, to the south of Cactus out on Point Sinclair is Witzigs, Backdoors and Cunns, while off the north Castles bluff is Caves, Crushers and Supertubes. All the breaks are over calcarenite reefs and receive slight protection and cleaner waves owing to refraction around the point and over outer deeper reefs.
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Kakadu National Park
In Australia's biggest national park you'll find rugged escarpments, lush rainforest and rock art galleries up to 20,000 years old. Learn about Aboriginal culture from traditional owners the Bininj/Mungguy people, take in thundering waterfalls and witness millions of migratory birds among the wetlands. Experience Kakadu's magic in six dramatically different seasons.
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Glenelg Beach
Glenelg is Adelaide’s most popular beach. It is famous for its sandy wide beach, long grassed and shaded picnic areas right on the seaside, rich heritage, charming hotels and bustling shops, sidewalk cafes and plenty of entertainment at venues or on the strip with many talented buskers. Jetty Road is one kilometre of shopping that leads right into the jetty and the beach itself. You can take yourself off for some retail therapy with plenty of fashion and gift boutiques, shoe stores, swimwear and surf shops, art galleries and jewellery stores. Whether it is winter or summer, you can enjoy the myriad of activities available at Glenelg beach for all ages. The Glenelg foreshore has a natural playspace for kids to balance and swing. Moseley Square has water fountains to cool off on hot days.
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Town Beach
This pretty little beach is located a few minutes’ drive from the centre of the historic pearling town and overlooks the stunning turquoise coloured Roebuck Bay. Town Beach is a popular draw-card for holidaying families. Its spectacular calm aqua water makes for perfect photo opportunities. Bring your own picnic and spread out on the grass or on one of the picnic tables or enjoy dishes from the café near the water’s edge. A bonus for parents is the small water playground, ideal for the children to cool down. Town Beach is also a popular gathering point to see the natural attraction of the Staircase to the Moon on certain dates throughout the year. The moon rises above the exposed mudflats creating an optical illusion in the darkened sky of stairs reaching to the moon. The Town Beach Markets often complement this event and provide an opportunity for you to purchase craft items, dinner from the stalls and relax and enjoy the entertainment.
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Reddell Beach
Reddell Beach, a favourite beach amongst the Broome locals, with stark contrasts of red pindan bordering the white sandy beach. Examine the unusual rock formations with their intricate erosion patterns along the pristine stretch of beach. The calm refreshing waters are ideal for swimming. This lesser-known Broome beach is accessible along the unsealed Kavite Road which stretches from the Broome Port to Gantheaume Point Lighthouse. Car Park 3 is the usual access point and you need to walk down rugged sand cliffs to reach the stunning red rock formations standing like sculptures opposite the Indian Ocean.
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Cable Beach
With 22 kilometres of pristine white sand edged by the stunning turquoise water of the Indian Ocean, Broome’s Cable Beach attracts visitors from around Australia and the world. Bounded by sand dunes and ochre red cliffs, Cable Beach is as nature intended, with the convenience of resorts and caravan parks close by. With months on end of perfect warm weather there is no better place to enjoy a beach holiday. This white sandy beach offers many great beach activities. Uncrowded even in peak season between May and October, you can always find a quiet stretch of sparkling sand to lay down your towel or hire a deckchair and umbrella, and be lulled into relaxation as the waters gently lap the shoreline. Broome has huge tidal movements and visiting the beach at low tide will provide you with a large expanse of sandy beach to enjoy. If you are feeling active, try your hand at swimming, fishing, kayaking, surfing (when the swell is up), a beach stroll along the flat sands, or just relax and soak up some sunshine.
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Balgal Beach
Balgal Beach forms part of the popular Northern Beaches district of Townsville North Queensland. Offering a superb sand beach and secure swimming in the stinger net from November to May, Balgal is ideal for a relaxing day by the ocean or a fun way to spend time with the whole family. The area is also a renowned river fishing location. For those wishing to explore deeper and head out to the Great Barrier Reef, Balgal Beach provides excellent boat ramp facilities and easy access to the spectacular Palm Island group. There are a number of licensed cafés and accommodation available in the area including holiday units and designated tent camping and vehicle camping areas.
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Waitpinga Beach
Waitpinga, an Aboriginal name meaning home of the wind, is about 10 km southwest of Victor Harbor. It is well known for its fishing, mostly salmon and mullet, and also popular for its surfing. Waitpinga is an exposed beach that has the best consistent surfing this close to Adelaide. Recommended only for experienced swimmers and surfers with what may be considered dangerous conditions. There are rough waves, with powerful rips.
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Atherton Forest Mountain Bike Park
Atherton Forest Mountain Bike Park is a network of purpose-built, single-track mountain bike trails located in the Herberton Range State Forest. Trails meander through an open forest of gums, bloodwoods, mahoganys, she-oaks, grasstrees and cycads and some of the trails pass former forestry experimental plots of teak, blackbutt and tallowwood trees.
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The Crystal Caves
The Crystal Caves will rock your world! One hour from Cairns on the Atherton Tablelands, share one man’s passion for crystals and fossils at the Crystal Caves. Journey through 300m2 of tunnels and grottos that Rene built to feature his million year old natural crystals and prehistoric fossils. Take a self-guided tour and marvel at the interactive displays which allow you to touch and photograph the crystals, you can even crack your own!
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Crater Lakes National Park
This popular park features a deep crater lake surrounded by cool lush rainforest. Lake Barrine, part of Crater Lakes National Park, is a maar—a crater lake formed by two massive volcanic explosions. Take the short stroll to the giant bull kauri trees or stretch your legs on the longer 5km track around the lake. Look for rainforest animals, such as the colourful but cryptic Boyd's forest dragon, along the way. Paddle your canoe onto the smooth lake and look for fish, turtles, eels and waterbirds along the shallow, reedy edges.
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Anderson Park Botanic Gardens
Anderson Gardens is the largest of Townsville's botanic gardens, offering 25 hectares of fauna and flora to explore. Wander through the collection of garden displays or find a shady spot to sit back and relax. Centrally located in Mundingburra, the Garden contains fine specimens of tropical trees, palms and Pandanus. The World Cycad Garden, Grand Avenues and Tropical Orchard are of particular note. A representative collection of Cape York Peninsula rainforest specimens is displayed along with native plants and flora of the dry tropical regions of the world. Anderson Gardens were named in appreciation of the work of William Anderson, City of Townsville's first Curator of Parks from 1878 to 1934. Anderson Gardens is a quiescent beauty amongst Townsville's abundant natural attractions.
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Paronella Park
Today Paronella Park remains a unique eco-friendly experience where history and romance are seamlessly fused together. Paronella Park is a magical, unforgettable place nestled amongst heritage gardens and 13 acres of lush Australian rainforest situated on the banks of the crystal clear waters of Mena Creek, south of Innisfail. The ruins of the Spanish Castillo feature prominently on the grounds of Paronella Park, as do several other distinctive structures that were designed and built by the original owner of Paronella Park – Jose Paronella. Visitors can explore the architecturally unique ruins of the Castle and buildings of yesteryear, or wander through the lush gardens and Australian rainforest while being transported to another time and place altogether.
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Castle Hill
Just metres short of a mountain, Castle Hill is the giant pink granite monolith that stands proud in the centre of Townsville - a perfect place for visitors to orientate themselves. As well as offering vehicle access, Castle Hill provides a number of popular walking tracks, which are frequented by more than 2,500 locals a day! The 360-degree views of Townsville at the top are well worth the journey. Be sure to have a camera on hand, particularly for sunrise or sunset as these are photo opportunities which shouldn't be missed. Apart from being an iconic centrepiece for the city and a lookout for spectacular scenic views, Castle Hill has a significant history. The Hill's vantage was used by visiting American soldiers during World War II. According to local legend, the visitors famously offered to demolish the hill and use the rock to build a bridge to Magnetic Island. A World War II observation bunker sits on one corner of the Hill reminding visitors of Castle Hill's military history.
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Eighty Mile Beach Marine Park
The marine park has significant cultural, natural, and socio-economic values to the Australian community. The marine park protects habitat for endangered sawfishes and boosts food supplies for the hundreds of thousands of migratory shorebirds that use the adjacent Eighty Mile Beach, one of the most important shorebird sites in Australia. Natural oyster beds in the area provide crucial seed stock for the pearling industry. The marine park is about halfway between Port Hedland and Broome, adjacent to Western Australia’s Eighty Mile Beach Marine Park. The marine park covers 10,785 square kilometres, with depths from less than 15 metres to 70 metres. Charter fishing and recreational fishing are allowed in the marine park, though most people tend to stay a little closer to shore.
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Josephine Falls
The Josephine waterfalls and swimming hole are ranked amongst some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Tropical North Queensland Australia, and as such have been used in many television commercials. Visitors can swim in the crystal clear waters, and relax on the sandy beach as the gentle breeze rustles leaves high in the overhead rainforest canopy. Josephine Falls is a great place to spend a full day, half-day or just a visit and quick swim with a day tour operator. The public facilities here allow you to set up a barbeque and picnic in the purpose-built facilities and relax in this beautiful rainforest environment with your family and friends for a day. If you are an adventurer and love bushwalking or you are a dedicated a hiker then you may like to choose from a 1.2 km walk to the top waterfalls, a 10 km Bartle Frere hike to Broken Nose (return) or a 15 klm (one way) walk Bartle Frere up to the Atherton Tablelands over the back of the mountain. Josephine Falls is loved by Cairns locals all year round and a definite destination for nature lovers and backpackers alike. When you mingle in the clubs and bars around Cairns city you will hear the backpackers talking about their day’s adventure on the granite rock slides, the deep crystal clear rock pools and the absolute beauty of the place.
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Crystal Cascades
Crystal Cascades is one of the secrets of Tropical North Queensland that locals wish they could hide from visitors, accessible only by self drive. It is a secluded freshwater swimming hole, hidden in a tropical rainforest. A series of small waterfalls flow into large pools surrounded by large impressive granite boulders.
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Australian Butterfly Sanctuary
The Australian Butterfly Sanctuary has been in operation for over 20 years and is the largest butterfly flight aviary in Australia. More than one million guests have enjoyed the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary since its inception. Come experience why the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary has been such a long lasting success. The aviary at the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary has been designed to recreate the butterfly's natural tropical habitat. Enjoy the tranquility of the flowing fresh water streams, complete with waterfalls and surrounded by exotic tropical plants and flowers. This is the perfect natural haven for the spectacular butterflies. As you wander along the large paths that snake through the aviary take time to appreciate the vast variety of Lepidoptera (species of butterflies and moths). The Australian Butterfly Sanctuary is also home to the world’s largest moth – the Hercules Moth. The Hercules Moth is endemic to Tropical North Queensland Australia and is a majestic creature of the jungle that really has to be seen to be believed! The Australian Butterfly Sanctuary is an all weather activity, perfect for rainy days typical of the tropics. For guests that want to gain a greater appreciation for butterflies 30 minute complimentary tours are conducted every 15 minutes, providing visitors with a greater understanding of the butterflies life cycle and behaviour.
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Kuranda Scenic Railway
The Kuranda Scenic Railway is an unforgettable 1 hour and 45 minute journey up the tropically clad mountainous range from Cairns City to the eclectic Rainforest Village of Kuranda. The scenic railway journey winds its way through the spectacular World Heritage listed tropical rainforest and Barron Gorge. This memorable scenic train journey showcases the very best that Cairns and Tropical North Queensland has to offer, such as magnificent scenery, lush tropical rainforest, steep ravines and cascading waterfalls and rivers. The Kuranda Scenic Railway is one of Cairns' most popular attractions, and most visitors would not make the journey to visit Cairns and Tropical North Queensland without experiencing this enchanting unforgettable train ride.
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Fitzroy Island
Fitzroy Island is one of the most unspoilt islands adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef. Fitzroy Island National Park is a mountainous rainforest oasis surrounded by fringing reef formations. Enjoy the resort facilities and rainforest walks to white coral beaches and spectacular lookouts. Fitzroy Island also offers a wide range of water sport activities as well as snorkelling, introductory and certified diving and a learn-to-dive school. The island is 339 hectares in size, 324 of which is protected as Fitzroy Island National Park. The island is on the continental shelf and is within sight of the mainland; in fact, it’s a peak in a mountain chain which lies south of Cairns. The reef surrounding Fitzroy Island is a “Fringing Reef”. Fitzroy Island is located on the Inner Barrier of the Central Region of the Great Barrier Reef. It is part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
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The Pioneer Valley and Eungella National Park
A wonderland of waterfalls, refreshingly cool rainforest and the chance to see a platypus in the wild awaits in Eungella National Park. Australia's longest stretch of sub-tropical rainforest, Eungella, is a must-see attraction. Travel through the lush lowlands of the Pioneer Valley, surrounded by sugar cane, stop in at Platypus Beach just after Mirani or visit the beautiful Finch Hatton Gorge. Scuba dive with the platypus, fly among rainforest canopy on a zipwire or take a stroll to one of Finch Hatton's waterfalls, before driving up the range to Eungella. See a diverse range of flora and fauna on a rainforest walk and experience breathtaking views of the Pioneer Valley, truly spectacular at sunrise and sunset. Travel to Broken River for the chance to see a platypus in the wild. Eungella National Park can be experienced as a day trip, or extend your visit to enjoy warm hospitality from one of the rainforest's many accommodation and dining establishments.
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Finch Hatton Gorge
A wonderful landscape of waterfalls, lush flora and volcanic boulder formations make Finch Hatton Gorge a must-see attraction. There are many walking tracks which weave through sub-tropical rainforest. One of the most popular trails starts at the Finch Hatton picnic area and takes you on a 1.6 kilometre journey to the beautiful Araluen waterfall. The granite boulders and surrounding vegetation make this an ideal place to take in the scenery. Take a refreshing dip in one of the nearby rock pools, a cooling haven favoured by locals in summer. Keep an eye out among the rainforest for rare and unusual flora and fauna, such as the rare gastric brooding frog, the orange-sided skink, Mackay tulip oak, Eungella spiny cray and Eungella honeyeater. Adventure opportunities are plentiful, with the opportunity to scuba dive in the rainforest waters with platypus, or to zip-line through the tree-top canopy.
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Airlie Beach Lagoon
The Airlie Beach Lagoon is situated right in the centre of Airlie Beach and has become the focal point of the area. When you want to meet someone you meet "at the Lagoon". If you want a great day of relaxation with no admission fee, "spend a day at the Lagoon". And the most rewarding thing of all is that the people of the Whitsundays have taken the Lagoon to their heart as much as tourists and visitors. The Airlie Beach Lagoon was officially opened by the Premier of Queensland on 8 January 2001. The experiences on offer are not just a result of the physical facilities but rather a combination of natural and man-made attributes that allow a visitor to enjoy Airlie Beach's "Beach", with all its security and support. The lagoon is surrounded by grassy knolls, perfect for a spot of sunbathing, or finding a quiet spot in the shade to read a book. The sandy beach area at one end provides a safe stinger free environment for the children to play in the shallows and the lagoon is surrounded by landscaped gardens for added aesthetic appeal. A children's pool is situated at one end.
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Hardy Reef
Hardy Reef, part of the Great Barrier Reef near the Whitsundays, is home to thousands of spectacular reef fish including coral trout, travelly, snapper and smaller tropical species. Hardy Reef is also the location for the Reefworld pontoon, a permanent structure which has been in place for over twenty years. Visitors can experience excellent snorkelling and diving on Hardy Reef, and will see a myriad of interesting marine animals such as turtles, reef sharks, giant Maori Wrasse and even the two metre long Giant Queensland Gropers, which hang around the pontoon. Visitors can also view the stunning Hardy Reef from the air by seaplane or helicopter, including world-famous Heart Reef. The aerial view of the Great Barrier Reef and natural heart-shaped formation is a must-see experience for the Whitsundays.
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Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens
Located just five kilometres from the Mackay city centre, the Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens showcases the beautiful tropical flora from Mackay and the Whitsundays, along with other beautiful Australian native and exotic plants from similar climates around the world. This young botanic garden opened in 2003 and provides many resources to visitors - from over three kilometres of walking and cycling trails, wetland boardwalks, a unique cafe and gallery perched high above the wildlife filled lagoons, to excellent bird watching opportunities. Feature gardens include the luxuriant Fernery, the Regional Forest, rare and threatened flora of the tropical Shade Garden and the unique Coal Garden - tracing the evolution of plants and the importance of coal.
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Bushwalking in the Hamilton Island
Exploring Hamilton Island on foot can be a great way to explore its natural beauty, at your own pace. Discover secluded, sandy coves, climb to the top of the island for stunning views, or enjoy a picnic in one of the island’s many picnic spots.
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Catseye Beach
One of the main beaches on Hamilton Island, beautiful Catseye Beach is a perfect spot for relaxing, swimming, and enjoying a whole range of fun watersports. Hamilton Island Beach Sports is located right on the beach, and has catamarans, paddleboards, windsurfers, kayaks and snorkelling equipment available for hire. The long and curved Catseye Beach is a beautiful place to while away the hours - soaking up some sun, enjoying a good book, or swimming in the turquoise water. At low tide, take a leisurely stroll out on the sand flats and see the island from a different perspective.
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Hill Inlet
Hill Inlet in the Whitsundays is a stunning inlet located at the northern end of Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island, the largest of the 74 islands in the Whitsundays. As the tide shifts, the white sand and blue hues of the inlet blend seamlessly to create a breathtaking mosaic. Hill Inlet is best viewed from the lookout at Tongue Point on Whitsunday Island. Most people moor their boats in Tongue Bay, take a dingy ashore and make the short uphill walk to the lookout for breathtaking views. If possible, try to reach the lookout when the tide is low to fully experience the beautiful fusion of colours that emerge. Not all operators visit Hill Inlet and the Tongue Point lookout on a Whitehaven Beach visit, so be sure to check before you book if you'd like to go to the lookout. There are several ways to experience the beauty of Hill Inlet. Many companies offer day trips to Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet by ferry, power boat or luxury yacht. Most overnight sailing trips also stop here.
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Connie Bay on Keswick Island
At the far north end of Keswick Island, Connie Bay is a secluded beach of sweeping white sand, turquoise water and fringing coral. The beach is quite secluded, which has made it a favourable area for nesting turtles. And nearby the majestic melaleuca wood is a point of interest for many visitors, especially when the swarms of vibrant blue butterflies are in residence.
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Spinnaker Park
Award winning Spinnaker Park was officially opened in 2001 by the Gladstone Ports Corporation, the park has become the premier recreation area of Gladstone City. Two and a half kilometres of educational walking tracks along the ocean wall, through native wetlands and ponds makes the park excellent for walking, riding or rollerblading. The beached cove is wonderful for a dip on a warm day while the barbecue and picnic areas make it a great place to entertain.
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Ballarat Botanical Gardens
One of Australia’s most significant cool climate gardens, the Ballarat Botanical Gardens feature a remarkable collection of mature trees and marble statues set amongst colourful bedding displays. Located on the western shore of Lake Wendouree, approximately four kilometers from Ballarat’s CBD, the Gardens are a popular and invaluable heritage and recreational location for residents and visitors. The Gardens cover 40 hectares and are divided into four distinct zones. The central part of the Gardens features the traditional, 'gardenesque' style, open parkland on either side are known as the North and South Gardens and the area alongside Lake Wendouree as the Lake foreshore precinct.
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Ballarat Wildlife Park
Founded in February 1985 through a passion for conservation of wildlife and the environment. The Parker family have long realised the value of allowing people and animals to come together in a relaxing, friendly and educational environment. The selection of animals is truly unique and features animals that can only be described as natural wonders of the world.