Are you headed down under? If you’re into beautiful scenery, then read on, fellow traveler. Here are some of the most gorgeous gorges in Australia (or anywhere else)!
1. Kermits Pool
Word is getting out on this secret location. The hiking trail that leads to the shining emerald waters of Kermits Pool leads you through a close canyon, past an attractive natural amphitheatre, and through the tricky Spider Walk. Veteran visitors say when you reach this hidden pool you’ll undoubtedly agree it was certainly (ahem) worth the wade.
2. Ormiston Gorge
Ormiston Gorge is situated 135 kilometers from Alice Springs in lovely West MacDonnell National Park in Northern Territory. It is well-known for its thundering waterfalls and towering red rock walls. Here you can go on nature walks and go swimming too. In fact, the waterhole is there all year. Hikers can access sections of the Larapinta Trail here as well.
3. Ghost Gum Lookout
While you’re in the Ormiston Gorge, don’t forget to visit Ghost Gun Lookout. The path to this lookout is well-paved complete with steps. Set at the top of a red quartzite cliff, it’s perfect for Instagram opportunities. The views as you overlook the beautiful landscape from this popular platform are said to be stunning.
4. Nitmiluk Gorge
Also known as the Katherine Gorge, Nitmiluk Gorge is situated in popular Nitmiluk National Park in Northern Territory. (“Nitmiluk” is the local Jawoyn name for this gorge. Literally translated, it means “Cicada Place”.) This noteworthy sandstone area includes incredible cliffs that veteran visitors say actually “glow in the changing light” and consider it a required stop when in the NT.
5. The Ravines
The ravishing ravines of Nitmiluk Gorge are obviously also a required stop. This great gorge features a notable network of 13 different ravines. The best time to visit popular Nitmiluk Gorge and neighboring Nitmiluk National Park is during the country’s dry season from May through September. The area is much less likely to flood and have fewer crocodiles around there as well.
6. The Saltwater Crocodiles
Speaking of crocodiles, these animals enjoy brackish wetlands and saltwater habitats. Thus, they can sometimes be found along the rivers of Australia. Inquire with the local tourist authorities to learn if it is safe to be anywhere near the water. After all, crocodiles were aggressively hunted for their skin until some time in the 1970s so they might still hold a grudge.
7. Carnarvon Gorge
This gorge can be found in Carnarvon National Park in Central Queensland 593 kilometers northwest of the city of Brisbane. Closer to the towns of Rolleston and Injune, it’s almost 30 kilometers long and 600 meters deep.
The product of water erosion, this gorge is reported to be the most visited place in the park due in part to the numerous opportunities offered there and the easy accessibility.
8. The Ol’ Swimming Hole
If you are a big fan of swimming, nature, enjoy trying to spot wildlife and also like a bit of privacy then all you need to do is grab your trunks and head for a secluded swimming hole. Walk across a moss carpet, visit the waterfalls, see the largest fern in the world, and look for platypuses and even swamp wallabies.
9. Indigenous Artwork
Another highlight of touring the gorgeous gorges of Australia is the “natural art gallery” there. Here you see some of the nation’s best Indigenous art. See Aboriginal Australian artwork created via a surprisingly broad range of media. You may see rock carving, rock painting, wood carving, cave painting, bark painting, and more. Tours are available if you’d prefer to see more than what you might accidentally discover.
10. Hancock Gorge
This lesser-known gorge can be found in the Karijini National Park in Western Australia. Those who have been there say it’s one of the country’s “best-kept secrets.” If you want to get the most out of your visit, it is best to hike this picturesque place with a local guide. If you plan on hiking here though you should know that some stretches are challenging.
11. Windjana Gorge
This gorge is located in the Windjana Gorge National Park in Western Australia’s Kimberley region. This gorge was the result of the Lennard River eroding an almost four-kilometer area of the Napier Range. The range itself, composed of Devonian limestone, was formed more than 300 million years ago.
The gorge’s walls are as high as 30 meters and are more than 100 meters wide. The best time to visit is during the dry season. Be sure to watch for freshwater crocodiles too!
12. The Lennard River
You will also find the Lennard River in Western Australia’s Kimberley region. Explorer Alexander Forrest named the river on June 8, 1879 while venturing into the region. He named it after his fiance Amy Eliza Barrett-Lennard. It’s 180 kilometers in length and has a catchment area that’s 14,757 square kilometers. See the river from above as it mirrors the striking blue of the sky.
13. The Stripes
Image courtesy of clarehoran.com
No, we aren’t talking about the stripes of a living creature. In fact, the once native thylacine or Tasmanian tiger is extinct. The tiger stripes that visitors to Australia are now more likely to see are actually part of the lovely landscape. These particular tiger stripes are natural streaks through the orange and red rock. As Tony might say: “They’re gr-r-reat!”
14. Kings Canyon
Kings Canyon can be found in Australia’s Northern Territory. Specifically, it’s situated at the George Gill Range’s western end in the Watarrka National Park. The canyon’s walls are more than 100 meters tall.
Kings Creek is at the bottom. Hikers here may choose from three different walks. Since a portion of this gorge is actually a sacred Aboriginal site, you should avoid veering off the trails.
15. “The Towering”
No, this phrase does not refer to the 1990s Brisbane-based hip hop music group either. Towering is yet another noteworthy aspect of the gorgeous gorges in Australia. Be sure to take notice of the bright, beauteous red sandstone in these gorges that visitors have said offer a veritable “kaleidoscope of colors” that are found towering over the verdant greenery that grows far below.
16. The Kings Canyon Rim Walk
If you’re in reasonably good shape and are an avid hiker this is the hike for you. The hike will have you exploring the impressive Watarrka National Park located in Australia’s Northern Territory. You will see massive 270-meter-high sandstone walls, beehive-like sandstone domes, and even a luring natural spring waterhole nestled amidst large ferns and gum trees. It’s aptly named The Garden of Eden.
17. The Loch Ard Gorge
The lovely Loch Ard Gorge is said by some travel experts to be one of the most-loved stop-off points along Australia’s Great Ocean Road. It is located in Victoria’s popular Port Campbell National Park. This gorge is maybe three minutes from the well-known formation known as the Twelve Apostles. Veteran visitors say you’ll enjoy the inlet of blue, crystal-clear water and a pearlescent bay too.
18. The Legend of Loch Ard Gorge
The previously-mentioned Loch Ard Gorge is not only impressive it also has some history to its name. It is named after the infamous clipper ship, Loch Ard. The vessel ran aground on neighboring Muttonbird Island on June 1, 1878. The ship was near the end of a trip from England to Melbourne. Out of 54 passengers and the full crew, only two people survived.
19. The 12 Apostles
Of course, the Loch Ard Gorge is reported to be overshadowed by the Twelve Apostles. The Twelve Apostles is a group of limestone stacks situated off the shore of the previously-mentioned Port Campbell National Park, in Victoria, Australia. Only seven of the original eight stone stacks are still standing following the total collapse of one stack in July of 2005. Oddly, there were never 12 of them.
20. Cataract Gorge
The European explorer William Collins officially discovered the entrance to this place in 1804. This river gorge is found in the Cataract Gorge Cliffgrounds and Reserve, in Launceston, Tasmania. It’s a 15-minute walk (1.5 kilometers) from the city center. One of the area’s big tourist attractions, it’s located at the lower portion of the South Esk River.
21. World’s Longest Chairlift
If you prefer taking in the scenery while sitting on your butt, Australia has just the attraction for you. Of course. you had best not be afraid of heights. Indeed, it’s there in Cataract Gorge that you can ride the longest single-span chairlift in the world. Built in 1972, it spans the surroundings of the large natural basin frequently filled by the rushing South Esk River.
22. King’s Bridge
The iconic landmark known as King’s Bridge is a strong wrought-iron bridge that crosses the thundering South Esk River. It’s located at the mouth of the popular Cataract Gorge in Launceston. Construction began in 1864. Once known as the South Esk Bridge, it used to be the only place in the city where vehicles could cross the river.
23. Cania Gorge
The Cania Gorge is situated in the Cania Gorge National Park in Cania within the North Burnett Region of Queensland. The gorge is approximately 225 kilometers west of Bundaberg. The 70-meter sandstone cliffs are perhaps the park’s most dominant feature. Indeed, the Aboriginal art found on the cliff walls reveals there’s been a community there more than 19,000 years ago.
24. Discover Hidden Treasure
And speaking of Aboriginal art, such national parks are often rife with such hidden treasures as Aboriginal art, unique rock formations, beautiful springs and crystal-clear pools, and assorted native wildlife. Some of the best national parks to see great rock art are the Kakadu and Ubirr National Parks. (The former is reportedly owned by the indigenous people.)
25. The Sandstone Cliffs
Those who have been can confirm that the popular Cania Gorge in Cania Gorge National Park in Cania locality is actually surrounded by vibrant, memorable, towering sandstone cliffs, crevices, caves, and verdant rainforest. There’s local wildlife here too. The park has something for every kind of nature lover.
26. Barron Gorge
Barron Gorge is an official locality in Queensland’s Cairns Region. Nearly the entire place is as yet undeveloped land located within the well-known Barron Gorge National Park that actually spans significantly into more than one of the nearby localities. The gorge itself is actually the result of erosion from the Barron River rushing through the Great Dividing Range. It’s highlighted by plunging waterfalls and lush greenery.
27. The Kuranda Scenic Railway
In the words of the Quad City DJ’s: “Come on, ride the train . . .” This special line goes from the city of Cairns, Queensland, over the famous Great Dividing Range to the small town of Kuranda located on the Atherton Tableland. It follows a specific route on the Cairns-to-Kuranda line which only functions as a tourist service. It passes over 40 bridges and through 15 tunnels. You can ride it any time except for Christmas Day.
28. A World Heritage Area
Famous for fishing, the Barron River is located on the Atherton Tablelands. Barron Gorge National Park is a part of Queensland’s Wet Tropics World Heritage area. The river flows through Lake Tinaroo and eventually empties into the Coral Sea.
29. Mossman Gorge
Magnificent Mossman Gorge can be found in the distinctive Daintree National Park in Queensland. It has been designated a part of Queensland’s official Wet Tropics World Heritage area. Here you will find superb swimming spots and walking tracks too. Nature lovers will also appreciate the natural beauty and flourishing flora and fauna as well.
30. The Mossman River
This river is situated in the Cape York Peninsula in Far North Queensland. It was named by Scottish explorer and colonist George Dalrymple in 1873 after politician Hugh Mosman who discovered gold in the town of Charters Towers. The river runs through the famous Mossman Gorge, a portion of the Daintree National Park, and past the little township of Mossman. The neighboring rainforest is rife with mossy boulders, bright ferns, and untold tales of its intimate Indigenous past.