Underrated ‘rock stars’ of Australia
Mind-boggling geological wonders are spread across the country.
Many are Australian icons, but others receive far less attention despite being seriously captivating.
From quirky formations to rugged peaks, check out these Instagrammable rock stars.
Some of them you might never have heard about…
Within this sprawling national park is a series of eye-popping granite boulders, some appearing to defy gravity. Many of these massive creations can be reached along walking tracks and carry creative names like Balancing, Castle, and Turtle Rock as well as The Sphinx. Girraween is 95km south of Warwick.
Nearest BIG4 park: BIG4 Warwick Holiday Park.
This seasonal creek is a fascinating feature thanks to the relationship that exists between rocks and water. Here, their chemistry leads to changes in the water’s colour depending on the time of day and the sun’s presence, or otherwise. And it’s a great spot for a refreshing swim. The best time to visit the spa pool is May-September, and it’s located roughly 70km south of Mission Beach.
Nearest BIG4 park: BIG4 Beachcomber Coconut Holiday Park, South Mission Beach.
Ok, so Castle Hill isn’t exactly a spotlight dodger, but you could argue that it warrants more attention. This massive granite monolith makes for a captivating sight from so many vantage points, occupying a position on the fringes of the CBD. Better still, the incredible panoramas revealed from its summit are even more impressive.
South West WA, and indeed the entire state, is full of rock stars. The ancient granite creations found within this prized park usually play the role of support act to the headliners, yet are absolutely dazzling. Reaching the top of Castle Rock is a must and includes a skywalk feature at its peak. The track also passes well-named Balancing Rock, the sight of which has most visitors reaching for their cameras.
Witness a painstaking and ongoing work of art created by the Indian Ocean over thousands of years. Craggy, colourful, and captivating, Canal Rocks are geological eye candy and an Instagrammer’s best friend. There are almost-endless angles to frame that perfect pic, no matter the weather, and a dedicated walkway makes for easy viewing.
Admire a series of varying rock formations measuring up to 15m high and boasting an assortment of vivid colours and striking shapes. This site has rich cultural significance with ancient Aboriginal rock art dotted around. The Granites are roughly 350km inland from Geraldton.
Nearest BIG4 park: BIG4 Geraldton Sunset Beach.
While it’s not one of Tasmania’s most iconic peaks, at 1233m high and with rugged cliffs, Mt Roland hardly hides from the spotlight. Whether admiring it from a distance or tackling the summit walk where the views are mesmerising, Mt Roland is an obliging photo subject. Find it 55km south of Ulverstone or 110km west of Launceston.
We’ve featured these cloud-piercing dolerite formations previously, but their wow-factor status means they deserve more mentions. The southern hemisphere’s tallest sea stacks – some reaching a height of 300m – are simply astounding. And they are located just offshore from gem-rich Tasman National Park, which is easily reached southeast of Hobart.
This intriguing, flat-topped formation is a beauty. The Nut is all that remains of an ancient volcanic plug, and at 150m tall it dominates the surrounds. A climb to its peak reveals magnificent panoramas of the coastline and the town below it. The Nut is located 110km northwest of Ulverstone.
Nearest BIG4 park: BIG4 Ulverstone Holiday Park.
We couldn’t settle on just one highlight in a region dotted with geological greatness. The likes of the Talia Caves near Elliston, Pildappa Rock near Minnipa, and the cliffs and offshore creations admired from Cummings Monument between Elliston and Coffin Bay are simply stunning. And each provides incredible up-close encounters.
Nearest BIG4 park: BIG4 Ceduna Tourist Park.
This delightful, tranquil area is home to a towering gorge and dramatic rocky ridges with bold shapes and colours. It meshes with a raft of splendid scenery, including waterfalls, which can be spotted along various walking paths. And the park is so easy to reach, just 12km east of Adelaide or 35km northeast of Hahndorf.
The soaring limestone cliffs that line sections of the Murray River are simply magical. Big Bend is no spotlight dodger having been splashed across many a tourism website or brochure, but it is just one of many gigantic sections of wall that are a photographer’s delight in these parts.
It might require a little imagination, but whatever the case Camel Rock is an enchanting feature. It’s even more striking thanks to its location at a beach that shares its name, and within a beautiful stretch of South Coast NSW.
Nearest BIG4 park: BIG4 Wallaga Lake Holiday Park.
This area is astounding, home to some of the oldest rock formations to be found on the east coast of Australia. Rugged and imposing, these natural treasures can be viewed with ease from beautiful stretches of sand. If anything, the bay’s attention-evading ways enhance its appeal, adding to the powerful ambience.
Nearest BIG4 parks: BIG4 Ingenia Holidays Broulee or BIG4 Moruya Heads East's Dolphin Beach Holiday Park.
Warrumbungle isn’t the most central park, which somewhat explains why it dodges much attention. However, the visually stunning volcanic landscape that dominates these surrounds are worth shouting about. A feast of jutting formations, led by The Breadknife, are incredibly captivating. Warrumbungle is roughly 30km west of Coonabarabran.
Tjoritja/West MacDonnell National Park explodes with astounding finds, so this gigantic gorge is among a competitive field. The towering, colourful, and craggy walls of this mighty creation deliver a visual feast, coupled with the chance to capture some amazing reflections.
Nearest BIG4 park: BIG4 MacDonnell Range Holiday Park, Alice Springs.
Ubirr would have to be considered one of the most recognisable formations on this list. And so it should be. It’s immediately attention grabbing, is a fantastic spot to steal a stunning sunset, and is home to absorbing ancient rock art. What you might not know is that a depiction of a Tasmanian tiger is among this fascinating rock art.
Nearest BIG4 park: BIG4 Howard Springs Holiday Park.
Mother Nature has cooked up another eye-catching creation along the Great Ocean Road. However, this one doesn’t quite capture the heat of its iconic neighbours, The Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge. Yet, considering it’s only a few kilometres west of this dazzling duo, it warrants an extended stop along this spectacular stretch of coastline.
Nearest BIG4 parks: BIG4 parks in the Great Ocean Road region.
This quirky sandstone sea stack is among the highlights of the scenery-rich 14km-long Bunurong Coastal Drive that links Cape Paterson to Inverloch. The funky formation is planted on a rock ‘base’ just off a headland, and if the tide is out it’s possible to stand directly underneath this imposing feature.
Nearest BIG4 park: BIG4 Inverloch Holiday Park.
Found at the southern tip of the peninsula, Cape Schanck is littered with visual highlights and is a must for any Mornington visit. And Pulpit Rock, spotted just offshore, is absolutely ripe for admiration and fantastic photos.
Nearest BIG4 park: BIG4 Mornington Peninsula Holiday Park.
Check out these geological wonders on your next BIG4 break. Start planning your next exciting escape now.
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