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A man looking at a tree in nature
Photograph: WWF-Australia/think Mammoth

Take some time out in nature at these 10 must-see spots

Join WWF-Australia by raising your voice to save our trees and save our future

By Melissa Woodley for Time Out in association with WWF-Australia

Lush bushlands, plunging waterfalls, thriving national parks, hidden rainforests: Australia sure has a lot going for it on the nature front. At the heart of these abundant and thriving green spaces is the humble tree. These multitasking plants not only provide us with shelter, sustenance and oxygen, but are also the unsung heroes of our physical and mental health. 

We all have a role to play in protecting and preserving trees across the nation, and conservation organisation WWF-Australia is leading the charge with its mission to save and grow two billion trees by 2030It’s not too late to take action and help make Australia a leader in tree protection and restoration to benefit our health, communities, climate, wildlife and planet.

So why not step outside the concrete jungle, take a breath of fresh air and embrace the natural wonders that await at these 10 beautiful nature spots.

10 must-see nature spots

  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens

There’s a very good reason why the epic vistas of the Blue Mountains are UNESCO World Heritage-listed. Several, in fact. Firstly, they have some of the most breathtaking geological formations, gorges and waterfalls anywhere in the country. Secondly, it is home to a unique diversity of vegetation, including certain species of eucalypts that are found here and nowhere else in the world. It’s almost beyond belief that such world-beating natural wonders are just an hour’s drive from Sydney’s CBD.

  • Attractions

Mount Tamborine has something for everyone – accessible waterfalls, picturesque views, great walking tracks, and plenty of activities for the whole family. Among them is Cedar Creek, a favourite swimming destination among Brisbanites, especially during the sweltering summer months. There are plenty of options for cooling down, from easy-access rock pools to natural water slides and more secluded spots the further you walk along the creek. 

Unplug from your screen and embark on an unforgettable adventure along the dusty red road of the Flinders Ranges. Marvel at the towering cliffs, deep craters and ancient canyons, then stretch your legs with outback experiences for all fitness levels. This beautiful landscape is nothing short of magical and is bound to revitalise not only your physical but mental health.

Locked away in the Australian bush is a teeny, tiny, rural town, settled within a valley lined with tall eucalypts and ferns, that holds the key to North West Queensland’s best-kept secret. Spend the day discovering the famous Millaa Millaa plunge waterfall located in the Atherton Tablelands, then enjoy a refreshing swim in the pristine waterhole. 

  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Royal National Park

This sweeping national park is less than an hour's drive from the CBD, yet so many Sydneysiders haven't stepped foot in the pristine 15,091 hectares of bushland that lines the coast south of Sydney. Whether you want to hike, picnic, swim, bike ride or swim for the day, the Royal National Park will provide an outdoors, adventure-filled day out amongst the trees.

  • Travel

Litchfield National Park is a lush and verdant corner of the Northern Territory that often gets forgotten. Located just 60 minutes from Darwin, this national park is overflowing with thundering waterfalls, crystal pools, vivid greenery and scenic walks that have to be seen to be believed. In a part of the world where pretty much all bodies of water are to be heavily avoided at all costs (read: saltwater crocs), Litchfield is a special oasis for swimmers and weary travellers alike.

Although best known as one of Australia’s most remarkable wine regions, the Margaret River boasts some of our nation’s most stunning natural landscapes. Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and get in touch with nature by exploring the region’s ancient geography and song lines of the Wadandi (saltwater) Traditional Owners. 

Sink your feet into the pristine white sands of a Bay of Fries beach, located off the coast of North East Tasmania. There’s a myriad of ways to explore the bay whether you prefer strolling on foot, cruising on a bike, or basking in the sun on a beach towel. The combination of clear azure seas, picturesque coastal walks and bright orange granite rocks make the Bay of Fires a must-see location for your nature hit list. 

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