Let loose those wows: The ten best views in Australia

 Take a look at Australia top 10 best views in the photo gallery above.

There's a big difference between a merely pleasant lookout and a truly great one. It's the difference between a murmured "nice" and involuntary out-loud exclamations. Luckily Australia is phenomenally greedy with its collection of the latter type – and here are 10 of the best spots around the country to let loose those "WOW!"s.

Wineglass Bay, Tasmania

Wineglass Bay might not be the best beach in Australia for swimming, surfing or sunbaking, but it is a strong contender for being the prettiest-looking. That's partly because the white sand wineglass curve from the lookout is outrageously photogenic. The bad news is that you're going to have to work to get the shot. There's no car access, and the occasionally steep walk to the lookout from the Freycinet National Park car park takes about 90 minutes return. See parks.tas.gov.au

Ubirr, Northern Territory

There are several excellent views within Kakadu National Park – the Nawurlandja lookout provides a fab scene out across the Anbangbang billabong, for example. But Ubirr is the one that feels truly special. At the lower levels are rare wallabies and thousands of years of rock art. Climb to the top, though, and you get a vast picture of the East Alligator River floodplains and the Arnhemland escarpment. See parksaustralia.gov.au/kakadu

Marion's Lookout, Tasmania

A great lookout is all about the assembled ingredients, and Marion's Lookout has a marvellous recipe. It's got the elevation, 1,200m above sea level in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. It has the position, on a glacier-cut plateau. It has the mirror-esque lake, and distinctive, jagged twin mountain tops, in the frame. And it's accessible enough with an energetic 2.5 hour return walk from the Dove Lake car park. See parks.gov.au

Tongue Point, Queensland

The white sand beaches of the Whitsundays are notoriously pretty, but for a truly great lookout ditch Whitehaven Beach and head to Hill Inlet just to the north. Here, the teals and turquoises of the sea mix with ribbons of white sandbars, waving and swirling their way through the water. Tongue Point, at the end of the mini-peninsula jutting out of the inlet, is the best place to take it all in. You'll need to moor a yacht and head over in a dinghy to get there, mind.

The Pylon Lookout, Sydney

The cheapskate's version of the BridgeClimb is, alas, currently Covid-closed. But once it opens again, prepare to lug it up 200 steps of the Sydney Harbour Bridge's south-eastern pylon for tremendo-views out over the harbour. The Opera House, yachts and CBD skyline are predictably easy to admire, but turn the other way on a clear day and you can see the Olympic Stadium in Homebush with the Blue Mountains in the background. See pylonlookout.com.au

Kings Park, Perth

If it's urban views you're after, however, Perth might just have the nudge on Sydney. That's largely because the magnificent, sprawling King's Park has a perfect high perch right next to the city. The Mt Eliza Lookout is arguably the finest of several, with the city's clean glass towers offset by the bulges of the Swan River and the boats merrily pootling about on it. See bgpa.wa.gov.au

The Boroka Lookout, Victoria

A short drive from Grampians hub town Halls Gap, and a five minute walk from the car park, the Boroka Lookout has several ingredients that make a marvellous photo. Overhanging rocks give something for the foreground, Lake Bellfield and Halls Gap give a centrepiece, and the rippling green mountain ranges at either side are a mighty fine frame. See visitgrampians.com.au


Head of Bight, South Australia

As the Great Australian Bight bends in like the top of a boomerang, there's seemingly endless ocean up ahead. But from the viewing platform, it also feels like two worlds are meeting. To the left, there are dunes and semblances of light and shade, to the right the towering, intimidating Bunda Cliffs of the Nullarbor Plain. But the real reason to come is the whales – this is where southern rights come to give birth between May and October, and you can watch them from the clifftop. See headofbight.com.au

Kim's Lookout, Lord Howe Island

The beauty of this lookout is in just how much of the island you can take in. Green fields and bird-filled forests act as an appetiser, while the elegantly curving beaches and twinkling lagoon give away that Lord Howe is something a bit special. Then you throw in the twin peaks of Mt Gower and Mt Lidgbird at the back of the frame, and you've got the perfect photo to make everyone seethe with envy.

The Kanangra-Boyd Lookout, New South Wales

Echo Point in Katoomba is generally the go-to lookout in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. But, while tremendous, it doesn't half get crowded. So try the hipster choice instead. The Kanangra-Boyd lookout, inside the Kanangra-Boyd National Park, stares out at a gloriously rumpled green valley with the jutting, overhanging Kanangra Walls escarpment seeming impossibly unreachable on the other side. The lookout's a ten minute, wheelchair-accessible walk down the track from the car park. See nationalparks.nsw.gov.au

Disclosure: David Whitley has been a guest of Tourism Australia and the state tourism authorities.

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