Aussie ABC – D is for Dune!

Last Updated on October 2, 2016 by Red Nomad OZ

Sand Dune Survivor, Windorah QLD
Sand Dune Survivor, Windorah QLD

It’ll take massive advances in virtual reality to develop a lounge-room based version of ‘sand dune sports’ – if it ever can be!

BUT for the moment, pretty much the only way to slide down, climb up, frolic in, pose on, admire, photograph or otherwise enjoy the dunes of Australia in their many guises, is to actually visit them.

Coastal Dune Vegetation, Sultana Point, SA
Coastal Dune Vegetation, Sultana Point, SA

Luckily, they’re nearly everywhere!


Looking up - Coastal Dune, Port Rickaby, SA
Looking up – Coastal Dune, Port Rickaby, SA
AND ... looking down!  Pt Rickaby, SA
AND … looking down!  Pt Rickaby, SA

Yes, I get that Australia’s not the only country in the world with dunes, but they’re spectacular wherever and in whichever variety they come – as well as providing unparalleled recreation opportunities AND a habitat for local flora and fauna.


Outback Dune, Cunnamulla, QLD
Outback Dune, Cunnamulla, QLD

My self-drive, self-titled OZ Dune Discovery Tour has already taken a few years – and I’ve still got a lot of the country to go! But take the tour with me and see what I’ve discovered so far …


Little Sahara, Kangaroo Island, SA
Little Sahara, Kangaroo Island, SA

Not all of Australia’s dunes are on the coast.  In fact, it’s quite likely that the majority of them are in the vast, dry, RED inland arid zones and desert areas.


Red and Redder, Outback Dune, Windorah, QLD
Red and Redder, Outback Dune, Windorah, QLD

I’m quite happy to be proven wrong – although I’ve visited both regions, I haven’t (yet) seen (or done!) a count that’d prove it one way or another!


Perry Sandhills, Mildura, VIC
Perry Sandhills, Mildura, VIC

Some of the inland dunes aren’t actually RED … but whatever colour they are, the lure of making fresh tracks across the sand remains the same!


Still Life with Pilchard, Perry Sandhills, Mildura, VIC
Still Life with Pilchard, Perry Sandhills, Mildura, VIC

It’s right up there with sliding, jumping, sledding, rolling, drawing, tracking, photographing, crawling, trekking, wandering and walking them.

Or just lying down 😀


Carlo Sandblow, Rainbow Beach, QLD
Carlo Sandblow, Rainbow Beach, QLD

Expect stunning views, panoramic vistas.  Patterns, shadows and swirls.  Colours and contrasts.  Plants and animals.  And a vision of unspoilt Australia from top to bottom.


Ballina South Beach, Ballina, NSW
Ballina South Beach, Ballina, NSW

With not too many other people!


Southern Yorke Peninsula Coast, SA
Southern Yorke Peninsula Coast, SA

Spectacular? Of course! But there’s a notable and shameful omission – I’m yet to visit the biggest and most spectacular OZ dune of all – Big Red*!

It’s a scary thought, Red Nomad OZ visiting Big Red. Who knows what intergalactic seismic shifts the combination of these two powerful RED forces will unleash on the universe?

Watch this space!!

*Take the link for Carl & Heidi’s take on Big Red at ‘Australia Daily Photo’

Want MORE?

Visit some of the locations in the photos above:

Like it? SHARE it!


  1. @Joe – It’s impossible to take a bad shot of – well, almost!! I’m an exception, I can take a bad shot of almost anything!!
    @Eccentricess – Yeah, the only thing better than the pix for a winter antidote is actually being there during winter!!

  2. Gorgeous pictures, I can imagine the warmth of the sand as I look at them. Might bookmark the page for those upcoming winter days. 😉

  3. @SFlaGuy – HHHMMMmmm… there’s a bit of sand-flattening/condo building going on in the more settled areas – that’s what’s so good about the outback and coastal areas with fewer people!
    @Glen – Well, given that OZ is bigger than Europe (well, kinda …) I guess that’s hardly surprising! And here was I thinking I wasn’t one of your main reads …

  4. I live surrounded in sand and it never heaps up like that. Probably it used to but we flatten it all out and build condo’s on it. I like your sand much better.

  5. Oh my God!! These are just fabulous pics, loved each one of them…
    There are dunes in Rajasthan but I have not yet visited them here in India!!
    Would love to visit them one day…
    Have a great week ahead:)

  6. @Michelle – Photos guaranteed non-photo-shopped! And thanx – I’m still working on it …

  7. wow I can’t believe how red those sand dunes are! that’s an incredible colour! also i noticed you’ve redesigned your blog layout…it looks great! 🙂

  8. @Joan Elizabeth – Hope these have inspired you!
    @Dianne – just between you and I, that’s STILL the best way to enjoy them. Although adults rolling down sand dunes can look a little sad …!

  9. This brings back many happy memories of rolling down sand-dunes with my 3 sisters – it was always- who could reach the bottom first!
    Great fun!

  10. @Marie – There’s still a few dunes at Semaphore, but they’re a pale shadow of their former selves … and sand in the house is a small price to pay for glorious beaches, isn’t it?!

  11. I love sand dunes and can remember as a child running up and down the dunes at Semaphore (now all housing I believe) and at our shack near Silver Sands at Aldinga. We don’t have sandy beches here (it’s all rock, sadly) and I miss both the sand and the dunes. I still remember mum screaming at us for traipsing sand into the house 🙂

  12. @diane b – They nearly all look red at sunset!
    @Lily – PEI? Is that Anne of Green Gables country?? Would LOVE to see some shots of the red dunes there – for some reason, I thought that’d be too far north? Just showing my ignorance, I guess!!! Don’t you DARE agree!!

    And thanx for the info about the head, just wondered how the head was signposted as a hazard! Check out Lily’s site if you want to know what we’re talking about!!
    @Aleah – Yes, but even better to slide down on a piece of cardboard or wood!!
    @Windsmoke – And here was I thinking I’d reached saturation point with the SYP photos!! And my only other Carlo Sandblow ones have either Pilchard or I posing!!!
    @Mags118 – my heart tells me to agree, but I’ll keep an open mind until I’ve seen more from elsewhere!!!

  13. @Andrew – plenty of bare sand dunes in the outback!! And coastal dunes staticness (is that a word?) is a function of prime coastal real estate values!!
    @Alessandra – as you can see, you don’t need to be a child to enjoy!! But I never heard kids complaining about nothing to do while playing on the dunes!
    @River – Sure is, once you’ve walked through the ‘snake-pit’!!
    @Mary – while I love all the colours, naturally ‘Red’ is my favourite!!

  14. I especially like the photos of the Carlo Sandblow and Southern Yorke Peninsula Coast simply breath taking, more please :-).

  15. Wow, you got a lot of beautiful sand dunes over there! I only ever saw one, the Tianmo Desert in China. It would be fun to lie down on it, isn’t it?

  16. Now, to reply about your dune photos. Especially the red one, truly reminds me of the red sand which Prince Edward Island is made up of here in Canada, also in the Maritimes. To get over to PEI, one used to Ferry, now we have a bridge, longest bridge in the world over ice covered waters – “Confederation Bridge”. I have been across several times and wonderful sight. Check Confederation Bridge out on Google Images or youtube – really nice.
    have a great day. Lilly

  17. OZ – just found out that Head In The Ocean is over by the “Caves” and too shallow for boats to go there, so no danger for any boaters. I had understood the head was more in the harbour, but it is to far side of harbour. Any time we have been there it has been high tide, so we did not see it. We will be there this summer, so I will capture photos. Cheers Lilly
    p.s. I am going to blog about St. Martins and the caves soon, all here in New Brunswick 🙂

  18. Morning Oz – haven’t quite mastered the reply thing yet, but to answer your question, NO, boats do not run into the “Head In The Ocean”. We have the highest tides in the world 48 – 56 feet and you can only see this at low tide, so boats would see it and route around it, and besides everyone knows it is there – not too many strangers out on these waters after dark and it is in the harbour, which is quite close to shore. Cheers

  19. Amazing. I never thought dunes could be red. We live within a day’s trip distance of some magnificent dunes but they can’t compare to the ones you’ve shown us today. Have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  20. I prefer the coastal dunes, at least there’s water to cool your feet after trudging up and down them.

  21. Of dunes you’ve seen a few. I miss bare sand dunes now that they so many are being re-vegetated. It is a good thing of course, but dunes were rarely the static objects they seem to have become, locally at least.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I accept the Privacy Policy

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.