Australia is well known for its vast stretches of crystal blue shores and soft, sandy beaches. It is also known for its outback and myriad of wild creatures, some fascinating, others dangerously so. If you are visiting–especially for the first time–you should take note of all this place has to offer because there are destinations that are unlike anything you will find anywhere else.
Glow Worm Tunnel
The tunnel is an abandoned railway tunnel that was decommissioned and sealed up long ago. After it flooded, it was opened and drained. Sometime in the process, an entire host of glow worms attached themselves to the roof of the tunnel.
Of course, worms and abandoned railways might not necessarily be the thing a family wants to visit on their vacation, but for hikers intent on seeing something new and unusual, this destination does not disappoint. In terms of hiking to reach the tunnel, you need to be prepared for a 22 km hike.
Once you arrive at the tunnel, you can then walk inside and marvel at the naturally glowing worms as they give off a fairly unnatural blue.
Note: this tunnel often floods. Consequently, you should check the travel advisories prior to setting off on your hike. If the tunnel is flooded, many adventurers bring an inflatable, which they then use to float into the tunnel.
Petrified water, yawning hippos, and humps
The Wave Rock is not actually petrified water. However, it is a striated, wave-shaped mound that reaches 50 feet in height and over 300 feet in length. Seen from below, it looks like a rusty, iron-laced tsunami eternally pitched high above you. Seen from above, it looks like a petrified waterfall that empties into the cavern below.
Note: when visiting this site, you should take into consideration that it is one of many amazing rock formations in the vicinity. As such, your day trip can also accommodate two additional rock formations.
This cave-like indentation in a massive boulder that juts from the land. The way it has shaped over the millennia gives it the appearance of a giant maw.
A collection of rocks, The Humps appear to be giant vertebrate from some long-dead behemoth.
The Cage of Death
Whatever you think of today’s era of reality-television entertainment, you will be glad it resulted in the Cage of Death.
This attraction involves visitors willingly entering a Plexiglas cage and being lowered into the attack range of a 20-foot saltwater crocodile. If this does not seem enough to get your adrenaline going, consider the fact that prior to being lowered into the confines of the crocodile, slabs of meat are hung on the bottom of the cage, which is now your temporary home for 15 minutes.
The cage is purported to be (probably) strong enough to withstand the attacks of a crocodile, which snaps and attacks the cage as it grabs at the meat. There are visible scratches in the glass from previous attacks, and although no one yet as been injured in the event, it remains an upcoming possibility.
Note: this attraction is not for the faint of heart or weak of bladder.
This is a strange family adventure of the senses in which visitors are encouraged to park their car in neutral and leave it on the slight incline of the hill. Instead of rolling downward to the level area, the car will roll up the hill.
If you are not quick enough to catch it, it will continue up over the hill and off the cliff. Just kidding–there is no cliff. There is only an enormously entertaining hill of magnetic iron deposits capable of wowing you and your children.
Note: this is not an attraction for people with pacemakers.
At Shell Beach, you can forget the sand that comprises most shorelines. Instead of sand, this beach is comprised entirely of tiny shells that crunch and grind beneath your feet. The water has nearly twice the saline solution of typical ocean water, making it highly unsafe to drink. That said, the salt keeps predators out, so tourists can swim in water thick enough to make swimming a strangely buoyant experience.
Wedding Cake Rock
This destination is a romantic destination for people wanting to marvel at the strange cubical rock formations that do, indeed, looking like bleached wedding cake. However, the location is also a perfect spot for photos as it stands 82 feet directly above the ocean.
Note: this is a destination not meant to last. The ocean water is gradually dissolving the limestone of which the cake rock is made. Currently, the underside of the rock is cut away at a sharp angle. A recent assessment of the formation caused the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) to declare the rock “precariously balanced.” Still, visitors venture out across the frosting-smooth surface for unprecedented photos in their ongoing attempt to eat their cake and have it, too.
Of course, it is sometimes best to not limit yourself to a one-day outing when you can take a four-day adventure. Kakadu tours take small groups on overnight adventures to such places as Katherine Gorge and Litchfield. Activities include swimming, eating local delicacies, and enjoying world-renowned sights over many days.
Note: bringing a camera is required.