After almost two years of not being able to travel, most of the world is opening up, Australia included. If you've never been Down Under (or are planning to explore the country more) and are looking for some interesting locales to photograph, we've put together 10 of our favorites.
While Australia is widely known for its iconic beaches and the Great Barrier Reef, there's a lot more going on in this vast continent that's girt by the sea. Everyone is familiar with the iconic Sydney Opera House, which is one of the most Instagrammed locations in Australia, but did you know there are other out-of-the-way places that are just as interesting and iconic?
From rainforests to the desert, mountains and offshore islands, here are 10 of our favorite Instagrammable locations in Australia.
1. Cradle Mountain, Lake St Claire National Park, Tasmania
Practically every location in Tasmania offers a great photo opportunity, so it's hard to pick just one. But if you're really after some of the best landscapes Australia has to offer, you've got to get to Cradle Mountain. There are several spots around Cradle Mountain that offer panoramic views, but perhaps one of the best is from the shores of Dove Lake. Another spot to capture Cradle Mountain is from Hanson's Peak, but be sure to get there for the golden hour, or try capturing a long-exposure shot for gorgeous star trails.
2. Uluru, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory
Located in the heart of Australia – commonly called the country's Red Centre – Uluru (or Ayers Rock) sticks out of the desert landscape like a beacon. It's the most iconic view in the Australian outback and is also considered one of the most sacred spots on the continent. The monolith is 3.6km long and 348m high, and the flat landscape around it gives it an awe-inspiring aspect. Uluru offers numerous photo opportunities, but the best time to shoot it is at sunrise or sunset, when the monolith seems to glow in the dim light.
3. The Pink Lakes of Western Australia
Yep, you read that right: there isn't just a single pink lake in Australia. There are a few scattered around the country, but perhaps the most iconic are the salt lakes located along the coast of Western Australia. There's Hutt Lagoon near Port Gregory and the Bubblegum Pink Lake at Esperance, both which look remarkable from above. While a drone is a great way to capture an aerial view of the myriad colors of the landscape, you don't necessarily need to see the lakes from above. You'll get just as great a view from ground level.
4. Great Barrier Reef, Queensland
OK, we're cheating a little here as the Great Barrier Reef isn't exactly a 'spot'. It extends practically the entire length of the Queensland coast, with numerous Instagrammable places within it, both on land and underwater. Perhaps the most iconic locale is the Whitsundays – this gets you access to both the gorgeous beaches as well as the reef itself. So if you're keen on photography, you should come prepared with a camera equipped to take underwater pictures. Take a seaplane trip and you'll even get some gorgeous aerial pictures, like the famous Heart Reef.
5. Sydney Opera House, Sydney
The Sydney Opera House is one of the most recognizable locations in Australia. It's arguably one of the most photographed buildings, none more so than during the Vivid Sydney light show. It's an interesting building to photograph at any time of day – both inside and out – with a few different angles of view to enjoy. You can even capture the Harbour Bridge in the same shot!
6. Princes Pier, Melbourne
There's no dearth of beautiful piers and jetties in Australia, but one of the most photographed ones is Princes Pier at Port Melbourne. If you visit during the daytime, chances are you'll find a whole bunch of photographers already set up with tripods and their kit, as this is a great spot for long-exposure photography. All that remains at Princes Pier to photograph are the original wooden pillars used to construct it in the early 1900s. Princes Pier was in use until the '90s, but deteriorating timber and a fire finally shut the place down.
7. Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Victoria
There was a time when there were 12 limestone monoliths to warrant the name, but erosion has taken its toll and now only seven remain. The Twelve Apostles are still called that, however, and are a popular destination to anyone traveling to Melbourne and along the Great Ocean Road. You'll find photos of it plastered across many Aussie tourism pamphlets, specifically those for the state of Victoria – a mist-drenched seaside landscape with a sheer cliff on one side and stone stacks rising above the waves on the beach below. While the most common viewpoint is very touristy and crowded, you can get down to the beach if you wish and sunrise here is absolutely magical.
8. The Pinnacles, Cervantes, Western Australia
Anyone traveling through the state of Western Australia will have the Pinnacles Desert on their to-visit list. There's an alien feel to the place, with the limestone pinnacles – that give the place its name – rising from the desert sand. Eons of erosion have resulted in a landscape pockmarked with several conical limestone rocks that photograph really well at any time of day.
9. Mackenzie Falls, Grampians National Park, Victoria
There are so many beautiful waterfalls in Australia that it's really hard to choose a favorite, but picking Mackenzie Falls in Victoria is a great introduction to the Grampians National Park. Located just three hours from Melbourne, there are several viewpoints to take in the grand scale of the landscape and, hence, plenty of Instagrammable spots. If you carry a neutral density filter for your camera, Mackenzie Falls makes for an epic Instagram shot. It's the largest waterfall in Victoria, with a deep pool and plenty of boulders splashing the water to create a rainbow mist above.
10. Mossman Gorge, Daintree National Park, Queensland
Australia's Daintree is the world's oldest rainforest and within it lies the Mossman Gorge. It's a 56,000 hectare tree-clad area that's about 135 million years old. This is where clear waters flow over granite boulders, with plenty of lush spots to rest and take a picture or two. If you truly want to break away from civilization and feel the power of nature, this may the place to do it.
Honorable mention: Waverley Cemetery, Sydney
If you're a Sydneysider, you've probably walked past Waverley Cemetery on the Coogee-Bondi Walk. Located on the seaside cliffs of the suburb of Bronte, this cemetery is a treasure trove of Victorian and Edwardian gravestones and mausoleums. It's a heritage-listed site and is still a functioning cemetery; despite its sombre atmosphere, there's a lot to photograph here – you just need to be respectful of the stories that the graves tell. The carved headstones, set against the blue backdrop of the Tasman Sea, make for some stunning shots. In fact, opting to take black-and-whites here is a great idea.
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