Top 10 spectacular phenomena to experience in Australia

By AG Staff May 24, 2017
Reading Time: 3 Minutes Print this page
From the bizarre and surreal to the stunningly beautiful, here are 10 amazing natural phenomena picked from around Australia.

1. Horizontal Falls

Talbot Bay, Western Australia

The Kimberley marine ‘waterfalls’ are caused by huge tidal movements pushing through water through two narrow cliff passages – the first and most seaward about 20m wide, the second about 10m wide.

horizontal falls

Image: Getty

2. Red crab migration

Christmas Island

Travel to Christmas Island during October and November to see the spectacular migration of red crabs from the forest to the sea.

Christmas Island red crab migration

On Christmas Island, barriers divvy the road between traffic types: cars and red crabs. (Image credit: Parks Australia)

3. Aurora Australis

Southern Australia

Timing is everything if you want to catch a glimpse of the southern lights, best seen from southern Tasmania (or Antarctica).

aurora australis southern lights

An aurora, coupled with a rising full moon, made for some dramatic backlighting of Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain. (Image: Rodney Trenchard)

4. Morning Glory clouds

Northern Australia

These unusual long, rolling cloud formations occur in northern Australia during the spring and summer months.

morning glory clouds australia

Morning Glory cloud formation photographed from a plane near Burketown, QLD. (Image: Mick Petroff/Wikimedia/CC BY-SA 3.0)

5. Coral spawning

Great Barrier Reef, Queensland

Witness the annual mass coral spawning event that takes place in the waters of the Great Barrier Reef at night during late spring and early summer.

coral spawning great barrier reef

A scuba diver is perfectly positioned to witness a spawning event. The eggs and sperm will rise to the surface where they will begin breaking up. The sperm will seek eggs of the same species but from different colonies. (Image: Kevin Deacon

6. Wolfe Creek Crater

Tanami Road, Western Australia

The 880m-wide Wolfe Creek Crater was created by a meteorite impact about 300,000 years ago.

wolfe creek crater

The meteorite that caused Wolfe Creek crater would have weighed more than 50,000 tonnes and is thought to have been travelling at 15km/second. (Image: Dick and Pip Smith)

7. Stomatolites

Hamelin Pool, Western Australia

See what the Earth looked like 3.5 billion years ago, with these ‘living fossils’ – some of the oldest life forms.


Stromatolites on Hamelin Pool at dusk. (Image: Annette Ruzicka)

8. Pink Lakes

Western Australia

If you’ve never seen a bubble-gum pink lake before, head to Lake Hillier on Middle Island off the coast of Esperance in Western Australia.

pink lake hillier

Lake Hillier is one of Australia’s most famous pink lakes, located off the southern coast of WA. (Image courtesy Ken McGrath / XMP)

8. Filling of Kati Thanda/Lake Eyre

South Australia

Frogs that have buried themselves and hibernated underground for years, insects, fish and millions of birds bring the inland alive whenever Lake Eyre fills.

Aerial footage of Lake Eyre taken in August 2016, after South Australia received record rain. (Video credit: Julie Fletcher Photography/The Lead)

9. Wildflowers of WA

South-western Western Australia

Known as one of the botanical hotspots of the world, south-western WA has some 10,000 flowering plant species, 75 per cent of which are endemic. Most flower from July to November.

donkey orchid

The donkey orchid (Orchidaceae diuris) is a perennial flower native to Australia, with the exception of one species found in Timor. (Image: Carolyn Barry/Australian Geographic)