Travel Photography - East Australia: Queensland & New South Wales
All-Natural Queensland Wonga Beach and SurroundingsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Australia, a Very Natural Experience
Australia is one of the countries where intimate and profound contact with nature is still easy to achieve. In such a huge territory, where space is abundant and population is quite centralized in the main big metropolis, Australia´s explorers can attain, more than anywhere else in the world, the kind of natural experience that they wished for in their dreams.
Australia is the place to become one with nature again and feel the sun, the air, the water, the sky, and the natural beauty of its diverse flora and fauna thriving with fertility and abundance.
Wonga Beach is an example of a seaside spot like the ones I just described, but there are many, many such places to visit (especially in Queensland); places where one can blend with nature again, disconnect from the many stimulus we are receiving throughout our lives, and go back to a more “primitive” state in which the human being feels like a fraction of the whole lot of whole world we are living in.
Even while driving through East Australia´s roads and highways, the beauty of the landscape, the deep blue skies, the brilliantly green vegetation and the wild animals that can be seen are part of that exciting experience of coming back to a barely touched place, where most of the times we feel happy and relaxed, involved in the luxurious simplicity of nature (see images of Wonga Beach and Surroundings for reference).
Map of North Queensland, Australia
More interested in Western Australia?
- Western Australia Photo Gallery
Western Australia: pros and cons, travel recommendations, photo gallery and map (includes broome, coral bay, cape range national park, perth, esperance, etc).
Australia, Exploring Nature from a More Civilized Approach
Australia´s natural beauty can be explored either by the "all-natural-perspective" of a free-range-wanderer or, by a more civilized approach with all the comforts and lavish extravagance money can buy.
Examples of places where one can have each of these experiences follow.
Australia is a huge country, much larger than we can ever grasp by looking at a map, and it is impossible to explore in its entirety. Even when looking at a single state, distances are very big and not everything is accessible by road, especially in the northern region of Queensland. Nevertheless, what´s available is more than enough to have experiences for all kinds of travelers.
On the one hand, Queensland has very pristine and almost virgin environments (like Wonga Beach and surroundings), but, on the other, it has lots of beaches and natural environments where tourism´s infrastructure is fully developed, and where ecotourism and adventure tours are only possible through its well organized channels.
Cairns and Noosa, both located in far North Queensland´s coast, are beachside destinations with all the hospitality services one can dream of, from day-time entertainment, including tours and activities organized by travel agencies, to food and night life. Both of them have a considerable touristic affluence and are examples of the more civilized approach to the Australian experience.
A brief description of both towns follows.
Cairns Jockey ClubClick thumbnail to view full-size
The great advantage of Cairns is that it is the gateway to two of Queensland´s most attractive natural gems:
- The Great Barrier Reef, which is the largest coral reef system in the world, composed of individual reefs and islands that stretch over an area of approximately 344,400 Km2 (133,000 mi2).
- Daintree National Park, a sample of the fertile, green, fresh, clean and tranquil rainforest experience, with unbelievable lush vegetation and perfect weather, home to exceptional biodiversity, especially prolific birdlife, and habitat for rare tree species. The Daintree National Park is located 100 Km (62 mi) from Cairns.
Cairns is also famous for its myriad bars and buoyant nightlife as well as for its Horse Racing, one of Australian´s favorite entertainments, which takes place at the Cairns Jockey Club.
Beautiful Sea Front Sceneries of Noosa Heads in QueenslandClick thumbnail to view full-size
Location: Noosa is 136 Km (85 mi) north of Brisbane.
Noosa Heads is one of the three main focal points of the Noosa region on Queensland´s famous Sunshine Coast, which include the urban areas of Noosaville and Noosa Junction.
The touristic beach front of Noosa is located between the Noosa River and the Noosa National Park (all though Noosa National Park is known for its Koala population, don´t get your hopes of seeing one too high, their numbers are in decline and they are rarely seen today).
Noosa has somewhat the same characteristics as Cairns except that its beaches are much prettier and enjoyable, both for the regular beach enthusiast as for the surfer.
The Official Noosa Tourism Website has a complete guide full of information regarding the weather, accommodation, tours, activities and current events in Noosa with its “This week in Noosa” post. If you are interested in travelling to Noosa, you should definitely check it out.
Brisbane: Capital & Most Populous City of Queensland, Australia
Nightcap National Park
New South Wales (NSW)
New South Wales is a more homogenously developed state and has less untouched wilderness than Queensland. Nevertheless, it has big natural parks with extensive green areas, which are very well preserved and cared for.
It is difficult to go off the beaten track in NSW but it is still a region with abundant natural beauty and interesting sights.
NSW has well known surf beaches and green mountainous areas that are great for trekkers and nature´s admirers, backpackers and water-sport lovers.
Besides the natural beauty and coastline enjoyment, NSW is home to one of the most visited and biggest cosmopolitan cities of Australia: Sydney.
A complete guide to New South Wales food & wine, beaches & surf, nature & parks, adventure & tours is available in the Official New South Wales Website.
Byron Bay & Surrounding Area
Byron Bay is a beachside town located in the north-eastern corner of the state of New South Wales, 772 Km (480 mi) north of Sydney and 165 Km (103 mi) south of Brisbane.
Byron Bay is well renowned as a surfing hot spot, but it is also good for whale watching, scuba diving and snorkeling. Even though it has a considerable touristic affluence, Byron Bay still retains a more laid back and relaxed feeling to it than Cairns and Noosa.
East Australia has the characteristic of being very green and of having a much more accidental territory than Western Australia, which means that you´ll find irregular landscapes: emerald hills and mountains covered in beautifully green vegetation that just exudes life.
An example of that lush vegetation I´m talking about is the area surrounding Byron Bay, which embraces the Nightcap National Park, a subtropical rainforest area with huge, tall trees, easily reachable from Byron Bay. The Minyan Falls and Macadamia nuts plantations are some of the interesting sights to see around this region.
Kitesurfing in NewcastleClick thumbnail to view full-size
Newcastle hasn´t got as many tourists as Byron Bay in northeast New South Wales, nor as much hustle and bustle as Cairns and Noosa in Queensland.
Located 162 Km (101 mi) of Sydney, Newcastle is a relaxed city with much more quiet beaches. It is a great location for someone who does kitesurfing and wants a spot to practice and have a relaxed time while getting ready for the next session.
Newcastle has a nice dining offer with stylish restaurants and world cuisine that can complement the daytime beach activities. Otherwise, there is not much more to see in this area.
Sydney Opera House
Australia´s Best Travel Guides
Sydney & Surrounding Area
Sydney is a complete packaged holiday by itself. It is the city that has it all, from architectural beauty within its clean and orderly streets, to the complete abacus of performing arts; dance, theater, music, opera, fashion and design are all in offer and add up to the contemplative art scene that is showcased in museums, galleries and open spaces.
Besides its cultural richness, Sydney has its beautiful harbor, which gives the city a very unique quality, and several enjoyable beaches that are famous among surfers, and pleasurable for the general public; such is the case of Bondi Beach (see picture below) and Manly Beach, which is known as the birth place of surfing, and hosts the Surfing Australian Open every year.
Sydney deserves a photo gallery just on its own, which is why I created a separate article called “Sydney Australia Street Photography” that has pictures of this very pleasant cosmopolitan city, with an emphasis in architecture and urban design.
Blue Mountains National Park
The Blue Mountains
Just outside Sydney is the Blue Mountains National Park, which can be easily visited as a daytrip from the city.
This is a very well guarded natural preserve to which access is not completely free. Everything here is organized, and that is what keeps the park clean and unharmed by the sometimes destructive human activity.
So, even if this is an all-natural-environment, one can´t roam around it as the free-range-wanderer I was talking about before, paths and routes must be followed. Still, visitors can admire the beauty of its green, fertile, fresh environment and appreciate the characteristic rock formations of the region.