Australia is a country famous for its stunning natural beauty and iconic landmarks. From kangaroos and crocodile hunters to massive reefs and monoliths, this incredible land has so much to offer visitors.
Most people have heard of places like the Great Barrier Reef, the Sydney Opera House, Uluru and the Twelve Apostles. But what about the quirkier Aussie attractions out there? The ones that haven’t made it onto your bucket-list – but probably should be?
We’ve put together a list of the top 10 unusual things to see in Australia, so, if you’re planning to holiday here for 2021, read on.
1. The Big Pineapple
Everyone knows things in Australia are big. Big spiders, big snakes, big reefs, big deserts … the list goes on. But did you know we’ve also got a Big Pineapple? Yes, you read that right.
This massive fibreglass fruit is located in Woombye, a town on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. At 16 metres tall, it’s definitely a strange sight for tourists who haven’t seen it before, which might be part of its appeal!
The Big Pineapple is surrounded by TreeTop Challenge (a high-ropes ecotourism course) and WildlifeHQ Zoo, making it an ideal destination for family day trips. Conveniently, it’s just 16 minutes’ drive from Ramada by Wyndham Marcoola Beach, and 23 minutes from Ramada Resort by Wyndham Golden Beach, so, if you’re considering a Sunshine Coast holiday, add this one to your must-see list!
2. The Pinnacles
If you’re staying in Perth, you need to see the Pinnacles. These outlandish limestone formations are the core attraction of Nambung National Park, and one of Western Australia’s most interesting natural sites.
There are hundreds of pillars scattered across the sands of the national park, ranging from the size of a tombstone to over 3.5 metres high. Scientists believe they were formed between 25,000 and 30,000 years ago, when strong desert winds began to erode deposits of limestone and calcrete.
Although the idea of driving out into the desert to see a bunch of rocks might seem a bit strange, think again! The Pinnacles can range from beautiful to eerie depending on the time of day, and they’re the kind of unique Aussie attraction that you literally can’t find anywhere else.
Nambung National Park is a two and a half hour drive from Ramada by Wyndham Perth the Outram, so we recommend allocating a full day to see the Pinnacles. It also gives you plenty of time to explore the rest of the park, which is situated on WA’s beautiful Coral Coast.
Nimbin is a town in Northern New South Wales, just east of Byron Bay. You’re probably wondering why we’ve included it here – isn’t this list supposed to be about interesting attractions?
We understand your confusion, but, trust us, Nimbin is much stranger than it sounds. This vibrant community is the Australian nexus for hippies, nature-lovers and practitioners of alternate lifestyles. It’s the home of the Nimbin Hemp Embassy (yes, it exists), and you can find many parts of the town displaying an overfondness for a certain green herb.
Everything in the town – buildings and residents alike – is bright, colourful and in-your-face. If you’ve ever wondered what the seventies would look like if you transplanted them into the modern day, this is your answer.
Nimbin is roughly an hour and ten minutes’ drive from Wyndham Vacation Clubs Kirra Beach. It’s a good idea to make it part of a day trip that encompasses Byron Bay and some of the stunning national parks in the area.
4. Sydney Fish Market
If you’re staying in Sydney, you already have a huge range of attractions right at your fingertips. Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, Bondi Beach and Taronga Zoo are just some of the city’s highlights. The historic Rocks district, Hyde Park and the Royal Botanic Gardens are also very popular.
With so much to see and do, it’s inevitable that some great little places get overlooked, and Sydney Fish Market is one of them. On the shores of Blackwattle Bay, half an hour walk from Wyndham Sydney Suites, this historic mart continues to provide visitors with a delicious culinary experience.
Fish markets have existed in Sydney since the late 1800s, but the Blackwattle Bay market only moved to its current home in 1966 (before then, it was located in Haymarket). Now, visitors can explore the lively atmosphere by themselves or via tours; restaurants, fresh seafood vendors, deli suppliers, vintners and bakers co-exist together in this fascinating space.
5. Sovereign Hill
Okay, you got us. Sovereign Hill isn’t exactly ‘strange’ or ‘unusual’. It’s Ballarat’s biggest draw, but this open-air museum is about as interesting as it gets, and it’s very uniquely Australian.
Set on an original mining site, Sovereign Hill lets visitors explore what the Australian gold rush was like, with a reconstructed 1800s town, costumed actors and craftsmen, and dozens of live horses. Watch gold being poured, pan for nuggets, meet real-life redcoats, enter a chandler’s workshop, go for coach rides and so much more – if you could do it during the 19th century, you can do it at Sovereign Hill.
With unique experiences include the century-spanning AURA, Lamplight Tours and mining shaft adventures, there really is something for everyone. Sovereign Hill is just ten minutes by car from Ramada Resort by Wyndham Ballarat.
6. Tasmania’s Lavender Fields
If you use social media platforms like Instagram or Pinterest, you might have encountered photos of Tasmania’s lavender fields before. The sweeping rows of purple bushes are so beautiful that they don’t quite seem real – lucky for you, they are, and they’re open to the public!
The fields actually serve a purpose; they produce the lavender fragrances found in household products like soaps, perfumes and essential oils. The most popular farm is Bridestowe Lavender Estate, located to the north-east of Launceston.
Keep in mind it’s a three-hour drive from Ramada Resort by Wyndham Seven Mile Beach, so you might want to consider visiting Port Arthur Lavender Farm instead. Smaller but equally beautiful, it’s just over an hour from Seven Mile Beach, and is best visited as part of a Port Arthur day trip.
Sadly, the lavender fields aren’t that stunning purple colour all year round – they only flower between December and January, so make sure you set aside some Christmas holiday time to go and visit.
7. Crystal Castle
There’s already so much to see and do in northern New South Wales, but the Crystal Castle is too unique to pass up. Popular with locals and tourists alike, this sprawling property is a haven for crystal enthusiasts and those interested in channelling their inner Zen.
The Castle’s biggest draw is its twin quartz geodes, which, at 5.5 metres each, are the tallest crystals in the world. Another spectacular sight is The Dragon Egg, a hollow Uruguayan amethyst geode which visitors can sit inside of!
With a range of other attractions like the Enchanted Cave, the Shambhala Gardens and meditative experiences, visiting means immersing yourself in a tranquil world of crystal energies and neo-Buddhist philosophies. It’s the perfect addition to a relaxing holiday break on the Gold Coast, and is less than an hour and a half drive from Wyndham Hotel Surfers Paradise.
8. Jenolan Caves
Visitors to Sydney are spoiled for choice when it comes to attractions, so it’s no surprise that many first-timers miss out on the Blue Mountains. This spectacular mountain region is home to many of Australia’s most iconic places, including the famous Three Sisters.
One attraction you definitely want to add to your itinerary are the Jenolan Caves, the largest cave system in the entire country! While they’re very well-known, it’s surprising how many wanderers haven’t explored these incredible subterranean chambers, so we thought they’d be a nice way to end this list.
Prepare yourself for stalagmites and stalactites, for veils of stone and underground rivers, for glittering spires and crystalline columns. With eight easily accessible show caves and three adventure caves (for the more adventurous travellers), it’s easy to get lost in the ancient beauty of these incredible spaces.
The Jenolan Caves are roughly three hours away from Wyndham Sydney Suites, so we recommend exploring them as part of a Blue Mountains day trip.