10 Stunning Photography Locations Downunder
Written 7 years ago by Mark Evans
Location, Location, Location is all you hear when talking about Real Estate, and it applies to some extent to photography as well. Its true that skill is required to capture a stunning image, but having a stunning location to start with certainly helps! And there’s definitely no shortage of said locations in Australia, from snow-white sandy beaches and red deserts to lush tropical rain forests and immense waterfalls, the land of the ‘roos certainly provides more scenery than any photographer can poke a camera at.
The Great Ocean Road
Starting from Melbourne and snaking its way along the coast to Adelaide, the Great Ocean Road speaks for itself. Its great. The meandering highway takes the traveler past plunging cliff top drops that fall in to the crashing waves below, serene bays with pretty towns and one of Australia’s most iconic rock formations – The Twelve Apostles. These rock formations are basically remnants of the eroded cliff sides, standing tall in the pounding surf, but provide a stunning back drop to any shot taken here, and with the ever-changing conditions and sea spray to contend with it can be a challenge, but one that is worthwhile nonetheless. Great location for: Wave motion, moody sunsets/sunrises.
Cape Le Grand National Park
With so many pristine beaches on the east coast of Australia, and the shear remoteness of the west coast, it’s easy to see why many people fail to even think about getting to this stunning location nestled in the south western corner. But that’s whats so great about it, this place is my idea of heaven, impossibly white sandy beaches gently shelving into a turquoise ocean that fades out to deep blue, green bushland backdrop with no development to speak of (its a national park), and not another soul in sight. Great location for: Classic beach landscapes, wave motion, sunrises, wildlife(kangaroos).
Once you set eyes on these things its not hard to see why they’re called the Pinnacles. Its a strange yet captivating location, where hundreds if not thousands of pointy rocks, some measuring a few meters in height, stand together in a relatively small desert like area, forming a strange alien landscape, but one worthy of an awesome landscape shot and of its place in list. Great Location for: Unique landscapes, sunrise/sunsets.
Karijini National Park
One of the hidden treasures in Western Australia, Karijini National Park is home to a vast network of deep red rock canyons, with cool green rivers running through the ravines into picturesque tree lined swimming holes. Karijini is another one of those ‘in the middle of nowhere’ locations, but feels so inviting when you get there. Coupled with the absolutely astounding number of stars you can see at night, Karijini is a place of magic, and a fantastic location for photography. Great location for: Glowing canyons, moving water, sunsets/sunrises, wildlife.
Nestled in the north western corner of the red continent is the unique Kimberley region. Containing some of the most ancient rock formations in Australia, dating to over 350 million years old, which form the stunning Purnululu National Park and home to hundreds of aboriginal rock paintings, the Kimberley region is as remote as it is beautiful. The area is also known for its abundance of Boab trees, appearing with bulbous trunks and spindly branches, like something out of a Tim Burton movie, making for great landscapes. Great location for: Unique landscapes (rocks/trees), sunsets/sunrises, rock art.
Kakadu and Lichfield National Parks
Pounding waterfalls, unbearable heat, cooling lakes, crocodile infested rivers and crazy polar aligned termite mounds, all set amongst lush bushland – Between these two National Parks they have an astounding array of scenery to captivate any tourist or indeed any photographer. Highlights include, Jim Jim Falls, Twin Falls, magnetic termite mounds and fantastic open vistas. Great location for: Waterfalls, water motion, general landscapes, wildlife, rock art.
The Great Barrier Reef
Underwater photographers will be in paradise with this location. Visible from space and perhaps one of Australias best known attractions, The Great Barrier Reef is a haven for millions of brightly coloured tropical fish, turtles and throngs of tourists. Its a little wonder though; coral reefs, warm clear blue ocean, and a similarly tropical climate make for one of the best photographic locations in OZ. Great location for: Underwater photography, underwater wildlife, beaches, boats, people.
Located close to the Great Barrier Reef are the stunning Whitsunday Islands, these islands form part of the Whitsunday National Park, and provides a superb back drop of coral white sandy beaches with crystal clear waters which are great for snorkeling or scuba diving. A highlight is climbing to the hill lookout, and beholding the glorious view over Whitehaven Beach. Great location for: Fantastic views, underwater photography, beach vistas, wildlife (+ underwater), boats, people.
The Blue Mountains
A few hours drive from Sydney is the Blue Mountains. A popular tourist spot but for a good reason; this spot is endowed with more than its fair share of rocky outcrops and rugged terrain, criss-crossed with great walking trails. Perfect for the nature loving photographer, the blue mountains also has an abundance of flora and fauna, and surprisingly gets a pretty cold and even a coating of snow in winter. Great Location for: wildlife photography and country landscapes.
This bustling metropolis provides such a huge gamut of photographic opportunities, you’ll find it hard to know what to shoot. The city itself provides some nice architecture to shoot, including the Centerpoint Tower, the Harbour Bridge and the iconic Sydney Opera House. While traveling to the eastern suburbs reveals some great beaches surrounded by nice rocky outcrops that can make fantastic landscapes. But that’s not all, Sydney is filled with a mix of interesting (and a few crazy) people, making it perfect for street scenes and portraits. Great Location for: Night scenes, architecture, boats (harbour), wave motion, people, beaches…
Australian Photo Locations
This list is definitely only the tip of the iceberg for great photography locations in Australia, there are far more locations than can be covered here and in the coming weeks we’ll be publishing a follow up article with readers suggestions with the low-down for a few local hot spots.
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