Summer is over but that doesn’t mean that you have to say goodbye to the great outdoors. Australia is chock full of amazing feats only Mother Nature can pull off in Autumn. Put these miraculous happenings on your travel bucket list.
Horizontal Waterfall. Wait, what?!
The long journey is worth every cent when you see something as awe-inspiring as this. Mother Nature’s expansive beauty comes in the form of the Horizontal Falls. This natural wonder in the Kimberley region of Western Australia is a must-see during Autumn. The interesting fact about these falls is that it isn’t actually a waterfall. It’s a very fast moving tidal flow located between two narrow gorges. The water banks up against one side of the narrow cliff passage and it repeats again on the turning ride. This makes the waterfall four metres high.
There are two ridges running parallel approximately 300 metres apart where the first gap is about 20 metres wide followed by a second about 10 metres wide. It is possible to drive a boat into the bay between these two gaps during a slack time. Take a cruise through the area to feel the thrill of the intense tidal current cascading through the gorges. A scenic flight from the air will give you the best view of the turquoise blue water rushing between the rugged red hills.
Phantom Falls. There or not?
Another natural wonder that happens in Australia in Autumn is the Phantom Falls. Those who are have a rainforest hike on their to-do list, we’ve got you covered! This waterfall is located in the Otway National Park in Victoria, a spectacular native forest. The Phantom Falls is a magnificent 15m waterfall on the St Georges River. It has a pretty healthy flow depending on when you visit. The rain adds to the character of the falls, one with a vigorous water flow. The waterfall can be accessed from the Allenvale Road car park. A 90-minute return walk will give you the best hiking and waterfall view for this season.
Staircase to the Moon. Yep, just walk on up
To have an impeccably blissful night in Broome, make a trip to one of the best natural spectacles in Australia, the Staircase to the Moon. This phenomenon occurs when the full moon rises over the exposed mudflats of Roebuck Bay at extremely low tide. A dramatic tidal change enables pockets of water caught in the sand ripples to reflect the rising of the moon. Hence it creates an optical illusion of a golden staircase reaching to the moon. It puts on this show three nights each month from March to October. Its visibility varies depending on the weather conditions, sunset, moonrise and the tide. You can see the Staircase to the Moon from the coastline at Onslaw, Cossack, Point Samson Peninsula, Dampier, Hearson Cove and Port Hedland.
The Staircase to the Moon market at Town Beach generally plays host on the first two days of this divine manifestation. It is a perfect place to buy hand made products, sample local produce and food along with enjoying the sounds of local entertainers.
Coral Spawning = Coral Babies
Coral spawning is a rare natural wonder which needs a little bit of time and luck underwater. To get the best view of this beautiful moment, you need to position yourself at the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland or Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia. The mass coral spawning event occurs when many colonies and species of coral polyps simultaneously release egg and sperm bundles for external fertilisation. It looks like an underwater snowstorm where the gametes – usually pink, white, red or yellow – slowly drift upwards. It is difficult to predict the timing of mass coral spawning. Basically you have to be in the right place at the right time. But the spawning usually happens at night when the water temperature rises (this stimulates the maturation of the gametes). It occurs after a full moon and stays from several days to over a week. All corals in a reef don’t spawn in the same night so it will be a continuous event for few nights.
Turtle Hatchlings *squeal*
Do you want to witness the rare sight of hundreds of tiny footprints linking the sand dunes to the sea? If yes, then start planning a trip to Mon Repos Beach on the coast of Bundaberg in Queensland. This beach supports the largest concentration of nesting marine turtles on the eastern Australia mainland. The loggerhead turtle also gets to this South Pacific region for nesting. Mother turtles come ashore to nest from November to January and then tiny hatchlings take their first flips towards the shore from January through to late March. Usually these hatchlings wait until nightfall so the sand can cool down and they can make a perfect getaway from the underground hollows where they have spent the past eight weeks. They make the transit with 100 other siblings heading for the light out at sea. At Mon Repos beach, volunteers and rangers protect the breeding area and call the visitors when these hatchlings get out of their chambers. Other places to view this spectacle include the Ningaloo Coast, Pilbara Coast, Port Hedland’s Cemetery Beach, Eighty Mile Beach and Eco Beach.
So, which natural wonder would you like to see this Autumn in Australia?