I spent a year road tripping around Australia, and the thing that got me the most about this country, other than its sheer vastness, was the variety of scenery and sights on offer.
From desert-like sand dunes to tropical rainforest, from incredible beaches to splendid mountains, from natural gorges to man made artworks, Australia kept me enthralled. And I barely even made it to Queensland!
Though I run the risk of sounding like a clichéd brochure – Australia really does have something for everyone. Let me take you through some of the diverse sights I found whilst travelling in Oz, and let me know if you agree!
Australia: land of contrast in photos
I thought I’d start with a classic. This is Uluru at sunset. It’s a bloody long way from anywhere, and it’s “just a rock”… but wow. What a rock!
Australia is home to one of the worlds greatest road trips, along the Great Ocean Road in the state of Victoria. These rock outcrops are part of the Twelve Apostles, which is arguably the highlight of the road trip.
When I thought of Australia before I visited, lush verdant forest was not the first thing that sprang to mind. I was, it turns out, entirely wrong. Forests like this coastal rainforest in the Otways are spectacularly green and eminently explorable. Hurrah!
Now this is more the Australia that I imagined, although I never thought that the outback could be quite so weirdly colourful. This is the Painted Desert, just outside the underground mining towm of Coober Pedy. It’s not hard to see where the name came from!
The massive scale of the Australian outback means that there is plenty of room for plopping a bit of art here and there without bothering anyone.
This is Antony Gormley’s “Inside Australia” piece, which spans ten square kilometers on a dry salt lake in Western Australia. It is, as with many attractions in Australia, a long way from anywhere. Still worth the visit though!
I mentioned mountains I believe. This is the view from the top of the “Castle” in Morten National Park across to the New South Wales coastline. This walk was probably one of the toughest day hikes I’ve ever done, and was my favourite day hike in Australia.
Being British, it would be remiss of me to talk about a place without mentioning the weather. Outback storms can be fierce and seriously dramatic – as this one was! The brunt of it hit camp seconds after I got this shot, and washed my tent away. I slept in the car.
The outback is a red place. Really really red. In this shot the red sand of the outback meets the sea in Francois Perron National Park, on the Western Australian coastline. The black line along the coastline is a flock of comorants. WA is the less popular coastline in Australia for travellers, but it really deserves some serious attention.
Speaking of beaches, Australia has no shortage of these, with some seriously impressive beaches to be found all around its coastline. This is Hellfire Bay in the Cape Le Grand National Park in Western Australia.
Australia is a place with an incredible cultural history, having been populated by the Aboriginal people for over 40,000 years before the white man rocked up and, well. History does not paint a pretty picture. Rock art like this can be found in all sorts of places, and it is truly fascinating stuff.
Speaking of art, here’s another wacky bit of outback sculpture, found out on the Oodnadatta Track in South Australia. This one is called Planehenge.
Sure, Australia can’t compete with other countries when it comes to waterfall scale, but what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in availability. If you like a good waterfall, then you’ll find plenty to get your waterfall on down under!
I have to admit, I was a bit of a fan of the outback. This is the wave rock, a giant rock formation that looks like a frozen wave. There is all sorts of science behind its formation, but really, what you’ll want to do when you visit is pretend you’re surfing it. Far more fun than reading about geology.
And really, I couldn’t finish without sharing a couple of sunrise / sunset photos. The first shot is of the sun rising across the eighty mile beach in Western Australia, whilst the second is the sunset at lagoon beach in Tasmania.
And that’s it! I hope you enjoyed the photo essay – I’d love to hear your thoughts on the photos or Australia in the comments below!
Laurence. I’m a traveller, writer and photographer, slowly exploring the world on a trip I started in June 2009 after quitting the corporate life.
Laurence is a talented traveller, writer and photographer. Follow along with all of his adventures on his travel blog Finding The Universe, like his facebook fan page & follow him twitter.
Tips For Taking Great Travel Photos In Australia
Capturing great travel photos in Australia can be a challenging task for photographers, particularly those who want to showcase the beauty and diversity of this vast continent. However, with proper planning, patience, and creative vision, it is possible to create stunning images that convey the essence of Australia’s unique cultural and natural heritage.
To begin with, it is essential to plan your shots and do some research beforehand to identify the best locations to capture. This may involve consulting travel guides, online resources, and local photography groups to find out about the most photogenic spots and the best times of day for lighting. For instance, photographers might want to take advantage of the golden hours, the period shortly after sunrise and before sunset when the light is soft and warm, to create atmospheric and colorful images.
Once you have selected your locations, it is crucial to pay attention to the composition of your photos. While Australia’s natural beauty is undoubtedly a highlight, photographers should also look for unique and interesting subjects that can add visual interest and variety to their portfolio. For example, capturing the local wildlife, such as kangaroos, koalas, and colorful birds, can create compelling images that evoke the wildness and beauty of the Australian outback. Similarly, photographing the country’s iconic landmarks, such as the Sydney Opera House, Uluru, or the Great Barrier Reef, can capture the architectural and cultural richness of the country.
In addition to selecting your subjects, it is also important to experiment with different angles and perspectives to create original and dynamic compositions. For instance, using a low-angle shot can create a sense of drama and power, while a high-angle shot can give a broader perspective of the scene. Moreover, using techniques such as framing, leading lines, and selective focus can help guide the viewer’s eye to the focal point of the image and add depth and visual interest.
Lighting is another critical factor that can make or break a photo, and photographers should pay close attention to it to create the desired mood and atmosphere. For example, shooting in the early morning or late evening can create soft, warm light that can enhance the texture and color of the scene, while shooting in the middle of the day can result in harsh, unflattering light that can wash out the details and create harsh shadows. Additionally, photographers can experiment with different filters, such as polarizers or neutral density filters, to control the intensity and quality of the light and create the desired effect.
Including people in your travel photos can add a human element to your images and create a sense of scale and context. Photographing locals or tourists enjoying the scenery or engaging in local activities can create compelling narratives that tell the story of the place and the people who inhabit it. However, photographers should be respectful of people’s privacy and cultural sensitivities and seek permission before taking their pictures.
Taking great travel photos in Australia requires a combination of technical skill, creative vision, and cultural sensitivity. By planning your shots, experimenting with different techniques and perspectives, and paying attention to lighting and composition, you can create images that capture the unique beauty and diversity of this fascinating continent.
Best Locations For Travel Photographers in Australia
Australia is a destination that has long been revered by travel photographers from all over the world, due to its remarkable natural landscapes, diverse wildlife, and rich cultural heritage. The country offers an expansive canvas for capturing some of the world’s most breathtaking images. We’ll cover the most extraordinary locations for travel photographers in Australia.
One of the most iconic landmarks in Australia is Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock), which is located in the remote Australian outback. Uluru is made of sandstone that changes hues throughout the day, offering photographers a vast array of visual possibilities. The national park is also home to Kata Tjuta, a group of large domed rock formations that provide a spectacular backdrop for photographs. The intricate patterns and textures of these rock formations create a unique and dramatic effect, which can be captured by the skilled eye of a travel photographer.
The Great Barrier Reef is another destination that is highly sought after by travel photographers. The reef is the largest coral reef system in the world and houses a vast array of marine life, presenting photographers with a remarkable opportunity to capture the vivid colors and intricate patterns of the coral and fish species, as well as the sharp contrast between the translucent waters and the deep blue of the ocean. Aerial photography is also available through scenic flights and helicopter tours, offering a different perspective of this natural wonder.
Sydney, Australia’s largest city, provides photographers with an array of opportunities, from its iconic Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge to its dynamic streets and vibrant cultural scene. Additionally, the city’s many parks, beaches, and gardens offer plenty of opportunities for nature and landscape photography. The city’s blend of modernity and nature creates a unique and captivating photographic subject matter that can be captured by skilled travel photographers.
The Blue Mountains National Park is located just a short distance from Sydney and is a vast wilderness area characterized by rugged sandstone cliffs, deep gorges, and cascading waterfalls. Photographers can capture the misty vistas, the ancient rock formations, and the rich colors of the eucalyptus forests. The vastness of the park provides photographers with the opportunity to capture a wide range of subject matter, including wildlife, landscapes, and waterfalls.
Kangaroo Island, situated off the coast of South Australia, is a wildlife photographer’s dream, with an abundance of kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, and sea lions. The island’s rugged coastline, sandy beaches, and diverse landscapes also offer plenty of opportunities for landscape and nature photography. The unique and diverse wildlife on the island provides photographers with a rare opportunity to capture images that are not easily found elsewhere.
The Daintree Rainforest in northern Queensland is one of the world’s oldest and most biodiverse rainforests, boasting a vast array of plant and animal species. Photographers can capture the lush greenery, the exotic birds and animals, and the unique ecosystem of this ancient forest. The rainforest provides a unique subject matter for photographers interested in capturing the beauty and complexity of nature.
The Great Ocean Road, a scenic coastal drive in Victoria, is renowned for its dramatic limestone cliffs, rugged beaches, and stunning ocean views. Photographers can capture the contrast between the wild ocean and the rocky coastline, as well as the many natural landmarks along the way, such as the Twelve Apostles rock formations. The Great Ocean Road offers a wide range of subject matter for photographers interested in capturing the natural beauty of Australia’s coastline.
Australia offers travel photographers unparalleled opportunities to capture its unique and diverse beauty. The vast expanse of the outback, vibrant cities, rich cultural heritage, and abundant wildlife, offer a myriad of opportunities for photographers to capture extraordinary images that can inspire and fascinate.