Awesome Australia! Stunning photos capture a country with some of earth’s most amazing landscapes

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It was comedian Al Murray playing his Pub Landlord character who said: ‘Australia, great place but they’ve just done around the edges. They need to work towards the middle.’

But as these pictures show, the middle really is terrifically dramatic. 

And the edges, too, can be jaw-dropping.

The images we’ve gathered for your viewing pleasure include bizarre pink lakes, 800-million-year-old Land That Time Forgot-style mountain bowls and beaches that truly are heaven on earth.

There are also eye-catching snaps of the Aurora Australis, the extraordinary Bungle Bungles limestone formations and one of the world’s most impressive waterfalls.

Scroll down to discover Australia’s sensational scenery and the extraordinary stories behind it…

The breakers: What looks like the tide crashing on the shore is, in fact, the appropriately named Wave Rock near the small town of Hyden, in the southwest of Western Australia. It's shown here at sunset. The local Ballardong people thought its configuration was no accident and believed that it had been created by the rainbow serpent when she dragged her swollen body over the land after she had drunk all the water. For this transgression she was turned to stone

The breakers: What looks like the tide crashing on the shore is, in fact, the appropriately named Wave Rock near the small town of Hyden, in the southwest of Western Australia. It’s shown here at sunset. The local Ballardong people thought its configuration was no accident and believed that it had been created by the rainbow serpent when she dragged her swollen body over the land after she had drunk all the water. For this transgression she was turned to stone

An aerial view of the amazing Lake Hillier on the Recherche Archipelago in the Goldfields-Esperance region in Western Australia. The reason for the pink hue of the 2,000ft-long body of water is not fully understood by scientists. But the presence of red halophilic bacteria may be part of the explanation

An aerial view of the amazing Lake Hillier on the Recherche Archipelago in the Goldfields-Esperance region in Western Australia. The reason for the pink hue of the 2,000ft-long body of water is not fully understood by scientists. But the presence of red halophilic bacteria may be part of the explanation

Commanding an audience: Wilpena Pound is a natural amphitheatre of mountains located 429 kilometres (266 miles) north of Adelaide in South Australia. The jaw-dropping formation dates back 800 million years and the area has been home to Adnyamathanha people for tens of thousands of years. The highest point is St Mary Peak on the north-eastern side, which has a 3,800ft summit

Commanding an audience: Wilpena Pound is a natural amphitheatre of mountains located 429 kilometres (266 miles) north of Adelaide in South Australia. The jaw-dropping formation dates back 800 million years and the area has been home to Adnyamathanha people for tens of thousands of years. The highest point is St Mary Peak on the north-eastern side, which has a 3,800ft summit

Getting away from it all: The cliffs at the Kooljaman at Cape Leveque wilderness camp in Western Australia, which is owned and run by the Indigenous Bardi Jawi Communities

Getting away from it all: The cliffs at the Kooljaman at Cape Leveque wilderness camp in Western Australia, which is owned and run by the Indigenous Bardi Jawi Communities

Divine backdrop: The Cathedral Gorge is a natural amphitheatre of red rock in the Bungle Bungle Range at Purnululu National Park (above), which is a series of bee-hive shaped sandstone towers that were formed around 375 million years ago

Divine backdrop: The Cathedral Gorge is a natural amphitheatre of red rock in the Bungle Bungle Range at Purnululu National Park (above), which is a series of bee-hive shaped sandstone towers that were formed around 375 million years ago

The sandstone formations known as the Bungle Bungles (from above) in Western Australia's Purnululu National Park

The sandstone formations known as the Bungle Bungles (from above) in Western Australia’s Purnululu National Park

A natural spa pool at the remote Hamersley Gorge, which has historically been home to the Banyjima, Kurrama and Innawonga Aboriginal people for at least 20,000 years. The canyon is set within Karijini National Park, with the word Karijini meaning 'hilly place' in the Banyjima tongue

A natural spa pool at the remote Hamersley Gorge, which has historically been home to the Banyjima, Kurrama and Innawonga Aboriginal people for at least 20,000 years. The canyon is set within Karijini National Park, with the word Karijini meaning ‘hilly place’ in the Banyjima tongue

Those keen on observing the heavens should note that Australia can give you the Milky Way in all its majesty and the Aurora Australis, the southern counterpart to the Northern Lights. This image was taken in Tasmania

Those keen on observing the heavens should note that Australia can give you the Milky Way in all its majesty and the Aurora Australis, the southern counterpart to the Northern Lights. This image was taken in Tasmania

Looking out towards the Hazards mountain range, which is located in the Freycinet National Park on the east coast of Tasmania. The range, which consists of five mountains, is said to be named after local African-American whaler Captain Richard Hazard

Looking out towards the Hazards mountain range, which is located in the Freycinet National Park on the east coast of Tasmania. The range, which consists of five mountains, is said to be named after local African-American whaler Captain Richard Hazard

Thrills and spills: A waterfall on the Jatbula Trail in the Northern Territory's Katherine region. The Jatbula trail is a six-day hike from the Nitmiluk Visitor Centre to Edith Falls along the edge of the Arnhem Land escarpment. The trek follows in the footsteps of generations of Jawoyn people who traditionally travelled through these parts. The trail is named after Peter Jatbula, who was instrumental in securing land rights for the Jawoyn people

Thrills and spills: A waterfall on the Jatbula Trail in the Northern Territory’s Katherine region. The Jatbula trail is a six-day hike from the Nitmiluk Visitor Centre to Edith Falls along the edge of the Arnhem Land escarpment. The trek follows in the footsteps of generations of Jawoyn people who traditionally travelled through these parts. The trail is named after Peter Jatbula, who was instrumental in securing land rights for the Jawoyn people

The Tasman Arch is just one of many unusual geological formations found in the Tasman National Park. The arch lies in the southeast of Australia's island state, about 75 kilometres (46 miles) southeast of Hobart, the state capital. The park offers some of the best coastal walks in the country and is home to some of the highest and most spectacular sea cliffs in the world

The Tasman Arch is just one of many unusual geological formations found in the Tasman National Park. The arch lies in the southeast of Australia’s island state, about 75 kilometres (46 miles) southeast of Hobart, the state capital. The park offers some of the best coastal walks in the country and is home to some of the highest and most spectacular sea cliffs in the world

The 328-foot-high twin waterfalls of King George Falls are one of Western Australia’s most astounding spectacles. Due to its remote location, a cruise to the King George River gorge or a scenic flight over the north Kimberley coast are the only ways to access the falls. April and May are good times to visit, as rainfall adds extra power

Pools of ambition: Lake Argyle, near Kununurra in East Kimberley, is Western Australia's largest and the country's second largest freshwater man-made reservoir, one of a limited number of structures that can be detected from outer space. The immense lake was formed by the damning of the mighty Ord River in 1971

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Pools of ambition: Lake Argyle, near Kununurra in East Kimberley, is Western Australia’s largest and the country’s second largest freshwater man-made reservoir, one of a limited number of structures that can be detected from outer space. The immense lake was formed by the damning of the mighty Ord River in 1971

Bruny Island Neck is a narrow strip of land connecting the North Bruny and South Bruny. The isles are located off the coast of southern Tasmania. The Neck is an important habitat for Bruny's native wildlife, and viewing platforms enable visitors to observe short-tailed shearwaters and little penguins

Bruny Island Neck is a narrow strip of land connecting the North Bruny and South Bruny. The isles are located off the coast of southern Tasmania. The Neck is an important habitat for Bruny’s native wildlife, and viewing platforms enable visitors to observe short-tailed shearwaters and little penguins

Back to bacteria: The Hamelin Pool Marine Nature Reserve is located in Shark Bay in Western Australia. This Unesco World Heritage Site, which is comprised of 310,000 acres, is renowned as one of only two locations in the world in which a diverse array of naturally occurring living marine stromatolites can be found. The amorphous coastal formations (seen above) are rocks created through the gradual layering of cyanobacteria, a blue-coloured microbe that lives in lakes, rivers and soils

Back to bacteria: The Hamelin Pool Marine Nature Reserve is located in Shark Bay in Western Australia. This Unesco World Heritage Site, which is comprised of 310,000 acres, is renowned as one of only two locations in the world in which a diverse array of naturally occurring living marine stromatolites can be found. The amorphous coastal formations (seen above) are rocks created through the gradual layering of cyanobacteria, a blue-coloured microbe that lives in lakes, rivers and soils

Stone Age: A view of a beach on the Captain Cook Highway between Cairns and Port Douglas, Queensland, where visitors can see curious piles of standing stones. Although they are constructed by passers-by, the formations project an other-worldly quality and they have become a popular tourist spot

Stone Age: A view of a beach on the Captain Cook Highway between Cairns and Port Douglas, Queensland, where visitors can see curious piles of standing stones. Although they are constructed by passers-by, the formations project an other-worldly quality and they have become a popular tourist spot 

Sunset at Pinnacle Desert: The eerie limestone pillars within Nambung National Park in Western Australia create an imposing image. Thousands of them - some more than 11 feet high - rise from the yellow desert sands. Some are jagged, sharp-edged columns, rising to a point, while others resemble tombstones

Sunset at Pinnacle Desert: The eerie limestone pillars within Nambung National Park in Western Australia create an imposing image. Thousands of them – some more than 11 feet high – rise from the yellow desert sands. Some are jagged, sharp-edged columns, rising to a point, while others resemble tombstones

Environmental evangelists: The crumbling Twelve Apostles, which are dotted along the Great Ocean Road, form part of a marine national park that runs along 17 kilometres (10 miles), beside a ridge of golden cliffs. Plants and animals that thrive in the shade of the towering rock formations include kelp, sponges, seabirds, seals, lobsters, reef fish and sea spiders. Early in the morning, or late a night, penguins have been known to huddle in the caves below the aquatic stone structures

Environmental evangelists: The crumbling Twelve Apostles, which are dotted along the Great Ocean Road, form part of a marine national park that runs along 17 kilometres (10 miles), beside a ridge of golden cliffs. Plants and animals that thrive in the shade of the towering rock formations include kelp, sponges, seabirds, seals, lobsters, reef fish and sea spiders. Early in the morning, or late a night, penguins have been known to huddle in the caves below the aquatic stone structures

Remote control: The Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park in South Australia covers about 95,000 hectares. Here, the view of  the mountains and valley with its winding dirt road is taken from Razorback Lookout. A trip here is all about enjoying the outdoors, with options including camping, bush walking, four-wheel driving, bird watching, photography or mountain biking

Remote control: The Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park in South Australia covers about 95,000 hectares. Here, the view of  the mountains and valley with its winding dirt road is taken from Razorback Lookout. A trip here is all about enjoying the outdoors, with options including camping, bush walking, four-wheel driving, bird watching, photography or mountain biking

The last resort: Located 350 miles from Alice Springs, Ayers Rock, the world's largest monolith - or single stone structure - is the unlikely location for a network of hotels - a ten-minute drive from the ascent. The Ayers Rock Resort, pictured above, invites guests to 'touch the silence' of the Northern Territory. The complex includes 15 dining options, a spa, information centre and supermarket

The last resort: Located 350 miles from Alice Springs, Ayers Rock, the world’s largest monolith – or single stone structure – is the unlikely location for a network of hotels – a ten-minute drive from the ascent. The Ayers Rock Resort, pictured above, invites guests to ‘touch the silence’ of the Northern Territory. The complex includes 15 dining options, a spa, information centre and supermarket

The ride of your life: The Sea Cliff Bridge (above) is one of Australia's more modern wonders, having opened in only 2005. It replaced an earlier road which was closed in 2003 due, perhaps unsurprisingly, to regular rock falls. But the closure left parts of New South Wales - Coalcliff and Clifton - unconnected and its replacement was soon under construction. The bridge's name - a classic example of 'say what you see' - was the brainchild of an 11-year-old schoolgirl in a naming competition

The ride of your life: The Sea Cliff Bridge (above) is one of Australia’s more modern wonders, having opened in only 2005. It replaced an earlier road which was closed in 2003 due, perhaps unsurprisingly, to regular rock falls. But the closure left parts of New South Wales – Coalcliff and Clifton – unconnected and its replacement was soon under construction. The bridge’s name – a classic example of ‘say what you see’ – was the brainchild of an 11-year-old schoolgirl in a naming competition

The Three Sisters: The unusual rock formation within the Blue Mountains of New South Wales (above) is the result of years of wind and rain erosion on sandstone. As you'd expect, the siblings - who've been through thick and thin together - have names. Befittingly, their monikers are Aboriginal - Meehni, Wimlah and Gunnedoo - in descending order of height

The Three Sisters: The unusual rock formation within the Blue Mountains of New South Wales (above) is the result of years of wind and rain erosion on sandstone. As you’d expect, the siblings – who’ve been through thick and thin together – have names. Befittingly, their monikers are Aboriginal – Meehni, Wimlah and Gunnedoo – in descending order of height

Exoskeleton: An aerial photo of the Great Barrier Reef. It is the world's largest and most complex coral reef ecosystem attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors annually. It consists of 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands and coral cays that are an aquatic playground and home for a variety of marine life

Exoskeleton: An aerial photo of the Great Barrier Reef. It is the world’s largest and most complex coral reef ecosystem attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors annually. It consists of 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands and coral cays that are an aquatic playground and home for a variety of marine life

Emerald isle: Green Island in Queensland is a tropical cay and part of the Great Barrier Reef. It is a 45-minute boat ride from the city of Cairns. Where once there was only a jetty, a marine viewing station and handful of huts, there is now a resort, which covers 12 per cent of the land. It is most popular with day trippers, who can cover the 15 hectares by foot in as little as 20 minutes for a view of the 126 native plants, birds and surrounding coral gardens

Emerald isle: Green Island in Queensland is a tropical cay and part of the Great Barrier Reef. It is a 45-minute boat ride from the city of Cairns. Where once there was only a jetty, a marine viewing station and handful of huts, there is now a resort, which covers 12 per cent of the land. It is most popular with day trippers, who can cover the 15 hectares by foot in as little as 20 minutes for a view of the 126 native plants, birds and surrounding coral gardens

Taking in the view: From Mount Alexandra Lookout in Kimberley, Queensland, visitors can see the lush Daintree Rainforest, one of the oldest of its kind in the world. The Daintree river is also visible, with the waterway snaking its way towards the Coral Sea. On a clear day, one might be able to see Port Douglas, Shipwreck Bay, Snapper Island, Cape Kimberley, and Black Rock or, even, Double Island near Palm Cove

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Taking in the view: From Mount Alexandra Lookout in Kimberley, Queensland, visitors can see the lush Daintree Rainforest, one of the oldest of its kind in the world. The Daintree river is also visible, with the waterway snaking its way towards the Coral Sea. On a clear day, one might be able to see Port Douglas, Shipwreck Bay, Snapper Island, Cape Kimberley, and Black Rock or, even, Double Island near Palm Cove

Precious treasures: An aerial view of Mission Bay near the Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm. The pearl farm has been operated by four generations of the Brown Family for more than 70 years and, until recently, access was granted only to the operator's team and the local Bardi people. Tourists are now welcome to join them. It is described as 'one of the most unique destinations in Australia'

Precious treasures: An aerial view of Mission Bay near the Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm. The pearl farm has been operated by four generations of the Brown Family for more than 70 years and, until recently, access was granted only to the operator’s team and the local Bardi people. Tourists are now welcome to join them. It is described as ‘one of the most unique destinations in Australia’

Happy 90th birthday: The Icebergs Pool Bondi, which lies at the southern end of its namesake beach in Sydney, has a big anniversary this year having been the home of winter swimming in the city since 1929. The swimming club owes its origin to the desire of a band of local life savers trying to maintain their fitness during the winter months. The pool is now open to visitors all year round

Happy 90th birthday: The Icebergs Pool Bondi, which lies at the southern end of its namesake beach in Sydney, has a big anniversary this year having been the home of winter swimming in the city since 1929. The swimming club owes its origin to the desire of a band of local life savers trying to maintain their fitness during the winter months. The pool is now open to visitors all year round

Tree of knowledge: The Cockburn Range in Western Australia is another of the country's dramatic sandstone escarpments, rising to more than 1,900 feet above the plains with an orderly form that makes it reminiscent of a fortress. It dominates the landscape along this stretch of the Gibb River Road and is resplendent at sunset when the rocks give off a red glow. A word of warning to those attempting to cross the nearby Pentecost River - saltwater crocodiles lurk there in abundance

Tree of knowledge: The Cockburn Range in Western Australia is another of the country’s dramatic sandstone escarpments, rising to more than 1,900 feet above the plains with an orderly form that makes it reminiscent of a fortress. It dominates the landscape along this stretch of the Gibb River Road and is resplendent at sunset when the rocks give off a red glow. A word of warning to those attempting to cross the nearby Pentecost River – saltwater crocodiles lurk there in abundance

Hotting up: The result of scorching heat and scrubby plantation or forest is, of course, bush fire and, as a result, the Australian government sets about starting controlled fires. Here, smoke from one of the blazes darkens the sun at Ubirr Rock in the Northern Territory. When the wet season is over, controlled burning starts, as there is still some dew in the morning

Hotting up: The result of scorching heat and scrubby plantation or forest is, of course, bush fire and, as a result, the Australian government sets about starting controlled fires. Here, smoke from one of the blazes darkens the sun at Ubirr Rock in the Northern Territory. When the wet season is over, controlled burning starts, as there is still some dew in the morning  

Go West: A boat speeds along the Ord River, near Kununurra in Western Australia. The river is 320 kilometres (198 miles) long. It was named after a late governor of the state, Sir Harry St George Ord

Go West: A boat speeds along the Ord River, near Kununurra in Western Australia. The river is 320 kilometres (198 miles) long. It was named after a late governor of the state, Sir Harry St George Ord

On the road to nowhere: An isolated car on a dusty track near the Kennedy Range National Park in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia. The park is home to sheer sandstone cliffs and a vast elevated plateau that's about 75 kilometres (46 miles) long and 12 to 15 kilometres wide

On the road to nowhere: An isolated car on a dusty track near the Kennedy Range National Park in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia. The park is home to sheer sandstone cliffs and a vast elevated plateau that’s about 75 kilometres (46 miles) long and 12 to 15 kilometres wide

Spikes and peaks: Prickly shrubbery graces the valleys with a rugged mountain range behind in the Grampians region of Australia. The area is perfect for outdoors enthusiasts, with rock climbing, mountain biking and bushwalking available. Several important Aboriginal rock art sites in the region are also a draw

Spikes and peaks: Prickly shrubbery graces the valleys with a rugged mountain range behind in the Grampians region of Australia. The area is perfect for outdoors enthusiasts, with rock climbing, mountain biking and bushwalking available. Several important Aboriginal rock art sites in the region are also a draw

Light and shade: A view north across the mangroves and sand towards Port Douglas. The tropical town is just a one-hour drive north from Cairns via the Great Barrier Reef Drive, a coastal road flanked by forest on one side and beach on the other. It is the only place in the world where two World Heritage-listed sites meet - the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest

Light and shade: A view north across the mangroves and sand towards Port Douglas. The tropical town is just a one-hour drive north from Cairns via the Great Barrier Reef Drive, a coastal road flanked by forest on one side and beach on the other. It is the only place in the world where two World Heritage-listed sites meet – the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest

Torpedoes: Six bottlenose dolphins surf in the aquamarine waters off the coast of Sugarloaf Rock in Western Australia's Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park

Torpedoes: Six bottlenose dolphins surf in the aquamarine waters off the coast of Sugarloaf Rock in Western Australia’s Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park

Reaching great heights: The Glass House Mountains, seen from Wild Horse Mountain Lookout, are found in the hinterland of Queensland's Sunshine Coast. The area is home to walking tracks, horse trails, abseiling locations and six small townships. The Australia Zoo, founded by the famed Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin and his family, is another local attraction

Reaching great heights: The Glass House Mountains, seen from Wild Horse Mountain Lookout, are found in the hinterland of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. The area is home to walking tracks, horse trails, abseiling locations and six small townships. The Australia Zoo, founded by the famed Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin and his family, is another local attraction

Ready for its close-up: The Sydney skyline starts to twinkle at sunset. The famed Sydney Harbour Bridge, which opened in 1932 and carries rail passengers, motorists, cyclists and pedestrian traffic, can also be seen

Ready for its close-up: The Sydney skyline starts to twinkle at sunset. The famed Sydney Harbour Bridge, which opened in 1932 and carries rail passengers, motorists, cyclists and pedestrian traffic, can also be seen

Now you see me, now you don't: This aerial view of Lake Austin in the Yilgarn region of Western Australia may lead the eagle-eyed viewer to query where the water is. This is for good reason as it is an ephemeral salt lake and, therefore, one of nature's evaporation basins. If the lake were to fill, it would require heavy rainfall in the summer and autumn. This is the theory. In reality, this happens about every two years in ten. It is named after Robert Austin, who explored the area in 1854

Now you see me, now you don’t: This aerial view of Lake Austin in the Yilgarn region of Western Australia may lead the eagle-eyed viewer to query where the water is. This is for good reason as it is an ephemeral salt lake and, therefore, one of nature’s evaporation basins. If the lake were to fill, it would require heavy rainfall in the summer and autumn. This is the theory. In reality, this happens about every two years in ten. It is named after Robert Austin, who explored the area in 1854

Tear-shaped: An aerial shot of the tiny World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island in the Tasman Sea, off New South Wales. The island lies about 600 miles east of Port Macquarie and is about 10 kilometres long (six miles) and up to two kilometres (1.2 miles) wide. Only 400 visitors are allowed on the treasured island at any one time to experience the unique natural attractions, from the vivid coral reef to the famous twin peaks

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Tear-shaped: An aerial shot of the tiny World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island in the Tasman Sea, off New South Wales. The island lies about 600 miles east of Port Macquarie and is about 10 kilometres long (six miles) and up to two kilometres (1.2 miles) wide. Only 400 visitors are allowed on the treasured island at any one time to experience the unique natural attractions, from the vivid coral reef to the famous twin peaks

All at sea: The beach at Cape Tribulation in the tropical north of Queensland is a more inviting sight now than it might have been to seafarers almost 250 years ago. In 1770, Captain Cook's ship scraped a reef here in the shallow water, the ship's log book tells, which led to him christening it after his experience. Alas, his travails were not over. After venturing into deeper water, the ship ran aground later the same day on what is now known as Endeavour Reef - another Cook coinage

All at sea: The beach at Cape Tribulation in the tropical north of Queensland is a more inviting sight now than it might have been to seafarers almost 250 years ago. In 1770, Captain Cook’s ship scraped a reef here in the shallow water, the ship’s log book tells, which led to him christening it after his experience. Alas, his travails were not over. After venturing into deeper water, the ship ran aground later the same day on what is now known as Endeavour Reef – another Cook coinage

Jaw-dropping Whitehaven Beach is a seven-kilometre (4.3-mile) stretch of sand along Whitsunday Island in Queensland. It often wins clean beach awards and is accessible only by boat, seaplane and helicopter from Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island

A town like Alice: A female hiker reaches the summit on the adventurous Mount Gillen and the Heavitree Range path, near Alice Springs, which proves a challenging trek as there are no signs. Walkers who reach the top are rewarded with wonderful panoramic views of the surrounding ranges, valleys and charming towns

A town like Alice: A female hiker reaches the summit on the adventurous Mount Gillen and the Heavitree Range path, near Alice Springs, which proves a challenging trek as there are no signs. Walkers who reach the top are rewarded with wonderful panoramic views of the surrounding ranges, valleys and charming towns

A hiker takes a stroll through the Valley of the Giants between Denmark and Walpole in Western Australia. The area is famous for its tree top walk (shown), which is suspended more than 130 feet high in the canopy of the ancient Tingle tree forest. Denmark is a coastal town on Wilson Inlet, 423 kilometres (262 miles) southeast of the state capital, Perth

A hiker takes a stroll through the Valley of the Giants between Denmark and Walpole in Western Australia. The area is famous for its tree top walk (shown), which is suspended more than 130 feet high in the canopy of the ancient Tingle tree forest. Denmark is a coastal town on Wilson Inlet, 423 kilometres (262 miles) southeast of the state capital, Perth

Rock-a-bye baby: Cradle Mountain is shown reflected in Dove Lake in Tasmania. The tranquil body of water is located in Lake St Clair National Park and it is circled by a six-kilometre (3.7 miles) walking track

Raise a glass: A view looking out over one of the vineyards in McClaren Vale, which has 65 wineries, near Adelaide, South Australia. It is the heart of the Fleurieu Peninsula's wine-growing area, between the Gulf St. Vincent inlet and Mount Lofty Ranges, and marks the start of the Shiraz Trail

Raise a glass: A view looking out over one of the vineyards in McClaren Vale, which has 65 wineries, near Adelaide, South Australia. It is the heart of the Fleurieu Peninsula’s wine-growing area, between the Gulf St. Vincent inlet and Mount Lofty Ranges, and marks the start of the Shiraz Trail

A huge rock pool at the Barramundi falls in Kakadu National Park in Australia's Northern Territory. It is the largest national park in the country, covering an area almost half the size of Switzerland

A huge rock pool at the Barramundi falls in Kakadu National Park in Australia’s Northern Territory. It is the largest national park in the country, covering an area almost half the size of Switzerland

An aerial view of the Great Barrier Reef, which is larger than the Great Wall of China and the only living thing on earth visible from space

An aerial view of the Great Barrier Reef, which is larger than the Great Wall of China and the only living thing on earth visible from space

An aerial view of the three-kilometre-long (1.8 miles) Surfers Paradise beach on Gold Coast, Australia's sixth-largest city. The first high-rise was built here in 1959

An aerial view of the three-kilometre-long (1.8 miles) Surfers Paradise beach on Gold Coast, Australia’s sixth-largest city. The first high-rise was built here in 1959

Kangaroos and wallabies search for food at sunrise at the Cape Hillsborough National Park just north of Mackay, Queensland. The surrounding waters are part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

Kangaroos and wallabies search for food at sunrise at the Cape Hillsborough National Park just north of Mackay, Queensland. The surrounding waters are part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

Australia isn't all sunsets glinting through strange rock formations, as this image of the Port of Melbourne shows

Australia isn’t all sunsets glinting through strange rock formations, as this image of the Port of Melbourne shows

An aerial view of stunning Green Island in the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Cairns in Tropical North Queensland

An aerial view of stunning Green Island in the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Cairns in Tropical North Queensland

As peninsulas go, Mornington Peninsula is up there among the best of them. It's a great area for marine activities, such as diving, snorkelling, sailing, kayaking, surfing and paddle boarding

As peninsulas go, Mornington Peninsula is up there among the best of them. It’s a great area for marine activities, such as diving, snorkelling, sailing, kayaking, surfing and paddle boarding

Hue goes there: When Australia does rainbows, it does them in spectacular style

Hue goes there: When Australia does rainbows, it does them in spectacular style

Let's take a moment to appreciate Australia's bridge engineering. This is the 334ft-high West Gate Bridge in Melbourne

Let’s take a moment to appreciate Australia’s bridge engineering. This is the 334ft-high West Gate Bridge in Melbourne

Beautiful, coast to coast: Perth has its fair share of beautiful beaches. This is an aerial photo looking north from Hillarys Beach

Beautiful, coast to coast: Perth has its fair share of beautiful beaches. This is an aerial photo looking north from Hillarys Beach

The Hopetoun Falls in the Great Otway National Park in Victoria. This beautiful waterfall can be gazed at from an easy-access viewing platform

The Hopetoun Falls in the Great Otway National Park in Victoria. This beautiful waterfall can be gazed at from an easy-access viewing platform



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