Aussie ABC – L is for Lookout!
Downunder, a sign pointing to a LOOKOUT isn’t a warning to LOOK OUT! – it’s a vantage or viewing point from which to better admire the surrounding landscape. Like this completely gratuitous one above – serving no other purpose in this post but to attract your attention!
It worked, didn’t it?!
In this relatively flat land, where the highest mountain is a mere 2228 metres high, finding a suitable spot from which to survey the scenery often doesn’t require too much elevation, with many lookouts accessible by vehicle or a short walking track.
And what you see when you get there is often so extensively, ecstatically panoramic that taking a tour – virtual or otherwise – of these 14 lookouts in strategic locations around the country will show you a LOT of Australia!
Finding these AWESOME landscapes is half the fun – or at least it is with TravelSIM! Let them help you take the guesswork out of getting there so you’ve got that much more time to enjoy the scenery!
Meanwhile, enjoy the virtual tour!
1 NEW Lookout, via Boroka Lookout, Grampians, Victoria:
On many visits to Victoria’s magnificent Grampians region, we thought we’d ‘done’ all the lookouts. But in October 2012, we found a new one! SO new, I can’t find its name anywhere – and tragically can’t recall the name we saw on the sign!
On the back road between Lake Wartook and Boroka Lookout – in itself a magnificent spot – this is the only lookout from which both Lake Wartook (at right) and Lake Bellfield above Grampians Town Halls Gap can be seen – along with the great stretch of wildnerness separating them.
Read more: The Grampians
2 Five Rivers Lookout, Wyndham, Western Australia:
Visitors to Wyndham start to ascend the Bastion range escarpment well before dusk to get the best vantage point from the Five Rivers lookout platform as the sun sets over the – yes, you guessed right – Five rivers that flow into impressive Cambridge Gulf.
But the view is just as impressive by day – bear in mind this photo shows only about half of it – with the saltworks below, tidal salt plains in the middle distance and the Cockburn range in the background.
Here, you’ll find the answer to that most pressing of questions: Does the picnic ground have Australia’s most Scenic Public Toilet?
Read more: Five Rivers Lookout
3 Inspiration Point, via Point Pass, South Australia:
Between Point Pass and Robertstown in South Australia’s mid-north, an unsealed road that leads high above the surrounding plain to Inspiration Point, where the colour of the landscape depends on the season! Look back, if you dare, from the lookout to the rocky retaining wall holding the road in place. South Australia’s mid north has a fascinating heritage that’s worth exploring, and Inspiration Point makes a fine starting point.
Read more: Point Pass
4 Transit Hill Lookout, Lord Howe Island, New South Wales:
Transit Hill isn’t the highest lookout on Lord Howe Island nor the one with the most extensive view. But in the late afternoon sun, the outlook over the distinctive – and impressive – twin peaks of Mounts Gower and Lidgbird forms a Bali-Hai-esque backdrop to the rest of this little gem 600 km off the New South Wales coast.
Read more: Lord Howe Island
5 Jarnem Lookout, Keep River National Park, Northern Territory:
The spectacular scenery of Keep River National Park, only a few kilometres from the Northern Territory/Western Australian border is best appreciated on the 7 km Jarnem Loop trail. Ascending to the lookout at the highest point above the surrounding plains is the best way to experience the vast magnificence of the 360° panorama, with only rock stacks and a distant mountain range for company!
But if you’re a bird watcher, a sighting of uncommon White-quilled Rock Pigeon beats the view from any lookout!!
Read more: Keep River National Park
6 Flagstaff Hill, Port Douglas, Far North Queensland:
Make sure your car is up for the vertiginous drive from sea level to ex-fishing-village-now-tourist-town Port Douglas’ best vantage point – through billions of dollars worth of prime coastal real estate. If you like the view over Four Mile Beach, there’s a block of land for sale just below the lookout platform.
Imagine waking up to that view, while directly behind your new home, throngs of tourists scale the heights to admire the sights by day and night! Anyone who gets to this idyllic spot should thank the local council who, despite pressure from the locals (yes, the ones who live in those $multi-million properties) to close the public access road to the summit, kept it open!
Read more: Port Douglas
7 Mt Wellington, via Hobart, Tasmania:
Tragically my only visit to the Apple Isle, as Tasmania is affectionately known to the rest of Australia, was for a conference. That meant I didn’t get to see anything except the inside of the conference venue. Until the last day when in the hiatus between conference end and flight departure I booked a tour to the top of Mt Wellington, 1270 m above Hobart and the Derwent river below.
This glimpse of the vast and untouched natural wilderness – for which every Australian should say ‘thank you, Bob Brown’ – has been a six year teaser for touring this often forgotten corner of Australia. BUT … at least this gets Tassie on the board for my blog!
8 Mt Warning, via Murwillumbah, Northern New South Wales:
The steep ascent to the Mt Warning (also known as Wollumbin) summit, first place the sun’s rays reach on the Australian mainland, will reward the lucky climber with a panoramic 360° view. I’ve made the 9km return hike three times – but never in the pre-dawn darkness to reach the top by sunrise!
In the Wollumbin World Heritage area, the view FROM Mt Warning’s summit lookout is one of New South Wales’ finest – but the best view OF Mt Warning is in Springbrook National Park just across the border in Queensland at the aptly named ‘Best of All’ Lookout!
9 The Horn, Mt Buffalo, via Bright, Victoria:
It’s not all red rocks, dirt and sand from Australia’s lookouts – the Victorian Alpine region’s layer upon layer of mountainous wilderness can easily be viewed from several vantage points. The Alpine National Park crosses state boundaries with Mt Kosciuszko, at 2228 metres Australia’s highest, on the other side of the state border in New South Wales.
But the 1723 metre summit of the Horn atop Mt Buffalo – my personal favourite – is on the Victorian side of the border. Who knew you could have adventures in the cold like this?!
Read more: Mt Buffalo
10 Natures Window, Kalbarri National Park, Western Australia:
Take a break from the hordes of tourists queueing for a photo shoot at well known tourist hotspot Natures Window and admire the unframed view – to which a panorama shot does not do justice. Known for its wildflowers, the park is also a bonanza of natural attractions with deep gorges, stunning rivers and red RED rock!
To the left of the photo, a walking track leads along the ridge, then drops below into the gorge for what must be one of the most scenic walks in Australia. Ask me what it’s like next visit – because I wont let it pass me by again!
11 Tylers Pass Lookout, Central Australia:
At the very Western Edge of the West MacDonnell National Park, Tylers Pass marks the descent from the range into the plain below, its endlessness broken only by the massive bulk of Gosse Bluff.
An unexpected end to a day exploring the ‘West Macs’ as the park is less formally known, the road continues into what for us is absolute virgin territory. And an absolute must for next time!
Read more: Central Australia
12 Cawnpore Lookout, via Winton, Outback Queensland
It’d be difficult to accidentally find yourself in remote Outback Queensland’s Lilleyvale Hills between Winton and Boulia, but this stunning lookout with a stupendous view over spectacular rock formations only found in one other place in the world is more than enough reason to visit.
While the lookout isn’t really that far above the plains the 360° view is a great place to experience the emptiness of the Outback with a falling down fence – and highway – the only signs of civilisation. Besides, it’s great fun watching other travellers trying to drive the steep, rocky road to the top!
Read more: Cawnpore Lookout
13 Sillers Lookout, via Arkaroola, South Australia:
I’m jealous as hell. This is the only one of these awesome lookouts I HAVEN’T visited – but as (arguably) South Australia’s finest view, I couldn’t leave it out. Luckily, Wayne’s photo showing the stupendous view over the Northern Flinders ranges whilst on the world famous 4WD ‘Ridgetop Tour’ will have to do before I get there myself. Really soon!!
STOP PRESS! I HAVE been there – read about it HERE!
14 Point Lookout, New England Ranges, New South Wales:
But there are no guarantees of a view from some lookouts – as we found at Point Lookout in the New England National Park. Only a few metres from the summit, 1500 metres above sea level, after a long and winding ascent through bright sunlight, the mist and fog blew in. Our rush for the lookout viewing platform too late for anything but a thick, soft whiteness, the otherworldly semi-darkness closed in around us and we were left with the haunting cry of the forest raven …
One day we’ll see what the view’s REALLY like!
Read More: Point Lookout
Sharing that killer view to EVERYONE when you get there is the other half of the fun – get the latest technology from TravelSIM so you can IMMEDIATELY make your mates jealous as hell! Go on … you KNOW you want to!!