The most memorable travel moments are usually the fun and weird ones when the place you’ve traveled to isn’t like anywhere else. If you’re looking for unusual places to visit, Australia is a ripe ground for different kinds of bizarre sightings and travel experiences. The Land Down Under is filled with odd natural wonders and strange urban places. If you want a peculiar adventure, visit the great country of Australia and check out these spots:
Perhaps the strangest town in the world, Coober Pedy is a small town situated at the heart of the Australian Outback. This city was founded by pioneers settled in 1915 in search of gold. They did not find gold, but they found opal instead. It’s the world’s biggest opal mine, which brought many men in search of riches over the years. It is blisteringly hot in here – you can find no shade – so most houses are built underground, to protect the people from the searing heat. You can find homes, churches, dive bars, and hotels buried underground. Driving to the town feels like you’re looking for the last remnants of mankind, because it’s too far away. Its nearest town, Port Augusta, is six to eight hours of driving away. There’s little or nothing in the way in between. To add to the strangeness, the town also has a golf course with no grass and can only be played at night, because it’s too dusty and scorching hot to play on it in the morning.
The Whispering Wall at the Barossa Reservoir in South Australia may not look like much, but what you hear is what makes this spot interesting. It was a revolutionary feat of engineering for its day when it was built between 1900 and 1903. It is at nine stories high, and it was once the highest dam wall in Australia. The curved dam walls have an acoustic effect, making the whispers on one side of the dam be clearly heard on the other side 140 meters away—children in particular love to visit the wall and test its abilities.
The Horizontal Waterfalls is one of the world’s greatest natural wonders. Located in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, this ocean phenomenon creates horizontal currents that look like waterfalls turned sideways. It’s formed by a break between the McLarty Ranges, and the waters flow horizontally. This gorgeous waterfall is worth checking out. The area is operating tours, so try it if you want to get up real close to this unusual waterfall.
Located in the Shark Bay region of Western Australia, Shell Beach is one of the most unique beaches in the world. As with the name, the beach is made of only seashells – you won’t find a simple grain of sand! This bizarre phenomenon is caused by extremely salty water that has led to the development of these shells. Potential predators cannot tolerate this salty condition.
Newcastle Waters is a small, Australian outback town in the Northern Territory. It had a rich and vibrant history as a gathering place for drovers and a place of passage for livestock farmers. But today, it’s completely deserted and now rests as a ghost town that attracts large flocks of water birds after raining. Visitors can safely explore this town, as well as the preserved 1960s buildings in the area. It’s rare to find a legit ghost town made into a tourist spot. The Jone’s sTore and the Junction Hotel, in particular, were reminders of the pioneering era, which were both well-preserved.
If you’re more of a backpacker, you’re going to enjoy your trip to Mount Kaputar National Park in New South Wales. Be amazed by the sight of the magnificent Sawn Rocks, which is one of Australia’s best examples of a type of rock formation called organ piping, because it looks like a large wall of giant organ pipes. Plus, the small alpine forest at the peak of the mountain, near Narrabri, is home to a diverse and fascinating ecosystem where you can find giant hot-pink slugs that can grow to a whopping 20 centimeters long. These slugs look like a big pile of pink bubble gum, except that they are a bit slippery-looking and, of course, moving. With their unusual color, they are a real sight to behold.
Kanku-Breakaways Conservation Park
The Kanku-Breakaways Conservation Park covers almost 15,000 hectares of land featuring majestic arid scenery. When you’re here, it’s like you’re in a lunar landscape. It’s located a few kilometers away from the town of Coober Pedy. This place is home to more than 60 native flora and fauna, including red kangaroos, and a fat-tailed dunnart. This is also where one of the installments of the dystopian movie Mad Max was filmed, and the location is just perfect for that.
If you’re a fan of all things extraterrestrial, Wycliffe Well is an epic sight to visit. It’s one of Australia’s bizarre tourist attractions. It can be found in about 400 kilometers north of Alice Springs in the dusty red center of the Northern Territory. Self-proclaimed as the UFO Capital of Australia, Wycliffe well is like many of the country’s sunburnt rural outposts. The owner of the park, Lou Farkas, says that the sightings of extraterrestrial life forms have attracted visitors from all around the world. The park brochure even says, “UFO sightings are so common, that if you stayed up all night looking, you would be considered unlucky not to see anything, rather than lucky to see something.”
Wave Rock is a natural rock formation shaped like a tall breaking ocean wave, thus the name. It can be found in the southeast of Perth in Western Australia. Also known as the Hyden Rock, Wave Rock is a unique spectacle, and it looks as if it was carved by men centuries ago. But this curved cliff face is rounded by weathering and water erosion, with water dissolving and re-depositing chemicals in the granite.
Here’s another bizarre beach: Squeaky Beach. It is so named because of the squeaky sounds you’ll hear while you walk along its white sand. This happens because the beach is made of rounded grains of quartz that makes a squeaking sound when you step on it. Despite the strange noises, this beach is a great location. It’s located in Wilson’s Promontory National Park in Victoria, where you can see giant granite boulders on either side of the beach. These boulders are great for natural rock climbing.
Daly Waters Pub
Check out Daly Waters pub in the Northern Territory if you’re looking for a pub that’s improbable and unique. This pub is an Australian legend that allows you to dive into the typical Australian Outback lifestyle. It’s a historic pub built in the 1930s, which was originally a grocery store. It’s a few kilometers away from Australia’s first international airport, so it quickly became a place of passage for tourists and travelers. What’s wacky about this pub is it’s known for its collection of memorabilia from visitors. It started as a tradition in the ’80s, as the visitors’ way of commemorating their visit. The walls are adorned with photos, surfboards, artificial limbs, Irish hurling sticks – to name a few. Its bar is even lined with bras hanging from the ceiling.
On the east coast of Australia, you can find the town of Nimbin in New South Wales. Nimbin is a colorful little bush town famous for its tolerance of soft drugs. It’s a hub for growing, selling and smoking marijuana, with little to no regard for the laws against it. Every year, they hold a Grass Festival that’s a testament to their weed culture. Nimbin feels like a place with its own rules, where people run the town, and the police just watch. Also, it’s a hub for hippies, musicians, artists, and environmental activists worldwide.
The name itself sounds shady and weird, so at first hearing, you might already think that something is strange with that place. Devils Marbles are ancient granite boulders formed over millions of years and are a spectacular sight. Don’t worry – the marbles have nothing to do with the devil. These boulders are unusual because some sit precariously on top of others in a gravity-defying display. Also, the boulders tend to change colors at sunrise and sunset – from pink to bright red. While there are no official tours of the site, it’s a massive draw for tourists. If you’re going to travel from Adelaide to Darwin or Alice Springs to Darwin, then it’s a must-stop for a photo opportunity.
Baobab Tree Prison
In Derby, Wyndham, you can find a large hollow Baobab tree in North West of Australia that stands out among other baobab trees. The baobab tree prison is a 1,500-year-old tree that allegedly served as a prison during the 1890s. Yes, a real prison. It housed Aboriginal prisoners during their transfer to Derby for sentencing. A hole in the trunk acted as the door to this tree.
Nullarbor Links Golf Course
Believed to be the world’s longest golf course, the Nullarbor Links Golf Course covers 1,365 kilometers along the southern coast of Australia. It’s too long that it occupies two time zones and two states: South Australia and Western Australia. A round at a typical golf course lasts about four hours, but a round at Nullarbor can last up to four days. This 18-hole par 72 golf course is one of the largest course you’ll ever see in your lifetime.
Broken Hill Sculptures and Living Desert
In the isolated town of Broken Hill in New South Wales, you can visit the Living Desert Reserve to see some quirky giant sculptures. There’s a dozen sandstone artworks in this desert, completed in 1993 by different artists around the world. The sculptures are located on a majestic hilltop within the center of the reserve.
Australia Big Things
Large statues and structures are scattered all throughout the country, which is called Australia’s Big Things. The first was the Big Banana, established in 1964 in Coffs Harbour, but today, more than 150 of such large sculptures have been cataloged. Some represent the region, while others are simply built to attract tourists. You can find a big apple, mango, orange, bottle, bull, buffalo, penguin, guitar, pineapple, cheese koala, gumboot, lobster, milkshake, oyster, potato and many other random things! They are always fun to come across during road trips.
Kakadu National Park
The Kakaduku National Park is famous in the world for its rock paintings. And it’s not just rock paintings – some are more than 20,000 years old. It’s renowned for its rich Aboriginal cultural sites, with more than 5,000 recorded art sites that illustrate Aboriginal culture for more than thousands of years. The park is also home to an enormous, biodiverse nature reserve.
If you’re brave, Port Arthur’s haunted houses are a place to visit. Port Arthur is a village full of history – it served as a penal settlement during the 19th century, and now it’s an open-air museum. Ruins here include the huge penitentiary and the remaining shell of the Convict Church built by inmates. Every night, this place holds a guided, spine-chilling walking tour where you will be told stories of convicts and ghosts that still haunt the place to this day. Those who finish the tour can get a “Certificate of Bravery and Courage.”
Uluru is a massive sandstone formation in the heart of Northern Territory’s Red Center, with Alice Springs as the nearest large town. It’s one of the most unusual places in Australia because it’s just plain weird for a large chunk of red rock to just stand there in the middle of the desert. It looks out of place and doesn’t look lifelike. Also, the sunrise and sunset’s golden light make the rock’s color come alive.