It's been a while since we've been on a plane and activated our wanderlust. There's no bigger thrill than getting lost in the majestic mountains, sparkling seas, or vast expanses of a distant land. *Sigh*
And there are times when nature really out-does herself, surpassing every human marvel ever made. And Australia is one place where nature is truly magical, housing some of the most unique landscapes and incredible natural wonders. I mean, you have to see it to believe it.
So here are 10 natural phenomena from the beautiful land down under, that will take your breath away.
1. Bioluminescent Plankton, Jervis Bay, New South Wales
Located three hours south of Sydney, Jervis Bay is well known for its white sandy beaches — which light up at night! Yes. Due to a chemical reaction, the planktons in the water turn luminescent, emanating a blue glow and the entire beachfront looks like a vast magic carpet. Although we can witness this phenomenon at night, any time of the year, it is more common in the spring and summer months, when the water is warmer.
2. Min Min Lights, Outback Australia, Northern Territory
This mysterious phenomenon has been known to have spooked many in the past. The reason being, that the lights float, almost like fast-moving balls of colour, glowing in the night sky. Some witnesses have even described the lights following them! People are still trying to figure out the scientific reason behind this strange phenomenon. But there are, in fact, several mythical stories about these lights in Aboriginal folklore, being the spirits of elders looking after the country.
3. Morning Glory Clouds, Burketown, Queensland
This rare meteorological phenomenon can be observed above the skies in Burketown in the months of September and October. Locals believe that the ‘Morning Glory Clouds’ are created by the Rainbow Serpent, and are of great cultural significance. These clouds can be up to 1000 kms long, 2 kms wide, and can travel at a speed of up to 60 kms per hour. So if you're not a morning person, this might just be the greatest incentive for you.
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 travelers 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
Described as 'the premier marine attraction on the planet', the Cuttlefish Annual Aggregation is one of the most spectacular natural events in the Australian marine environment. In this phenomenon, the giant Australian cuttlefishes migrate to the waters of the upper Spencer Gulf to breed. These fishes are also masters of camouflage, and can change their shape and texture to look like rocks, sand or even seaweed. Travellers 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, Southern And Western Australia
No. We're not kidding you about this one. There are actual pink lakes in Australia. These are as pink as the last bubble-gum that you popped in. The most famous one is Lake Hillier, which is located on Middle Island off the coast of western Australia. It's surrounded by the dark blue waters of the Indian Ocean and a strip of lush green forest acting as a barrier. Another famous one is the Hutt Lagoon, which changes from red to pink and even to lilac purple. The pale pinks, oranges and yellows of Lake Eyre in South Australia is also a stunning sight. Talk about a cotton candy dreamworld existing in real life!
7. Aurora Australis, Tasmania
Now who doesn't know of this? The view of the sky lighting up with shades of green, blue, purple and red is a sight for the sore eyes. Just like its Northern Hemisphere counterpart, the Aurora Borealis, the Auroura Australis is an oval shaped curtain of light centered on the southern magnetic pole. This beautiful phenomenon can be viewed all year round, but more commonly during winter, from May to August, and during the spring equinox in September. If you want to witness it in full glory, then visit the southernmost state of the country, Tasmania.
8. The World’s Largest Dinosaur Footprints, Broome, Western Australia
We all know a certain paleontologist who would be really glad to visit this site. The world’s largest dinosaur footprints can be found on the north coast of Broome in Western Australia. These footprints are believed to be 130 million years old, at the southern end of the Cable Beach in Gantheaume Point. So if you're not scarred after watching Jurassic Park, you should definitely check this place out.
9. Horizontal Falls, Western Australia
The Horizontal Falls is the name given to a breathtaking natural phenomenon on the coast of the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Located in Talbot Bay, these are basically horizontal currents that look like waterfalls turned sideways, on bright turquoise water. These incredible natural wonders are the work of some of the largest tidal movements in the world. You can join a scenic flight or take a sea safari to the see the Horizontal Waterfalls. Here I come!
10. Red Crab Migration, Christmas Island
Christmas Island is home to an estimated 40-50 million bright red land crabs. And if you ever were to visit the Island during the start of the wet season, then you can witness mother nature rolling out the red carpet for hordes of crabs, as they march their way down to the ocean to breed. And it's a sight to behold.
Hard times are upon us, but we shouldn't lose hope of overcoming this period until we can plan our next holiday. And with these stunning natural wonders, we have already started dreaming of our Australian escape.
So if you too, like us are smitten by Australia's beauty and are planning a post-COVID holiday to the country, then click here .