Wondermondo 🢖 World 🢖 Wonders of Australia and Oceania


Wonders of Australia and Oceania

King George Falls, Western Australia
King George Falls, Western Australia. / Roderick Eime, Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

WorldBlue  Countries, territories

Australia and Oceania here are divided into 41 territories that are listed by sub-regions – Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia:



List of all countries / territories


List of all countries / territories


List of all countries / territories

Map with the described wonders

Travelers' Map is loading...
If you see this after your page is loaded completely, leafletJS files are missing.

WorldYellow Highlights of Australia and Oceania

The smallest continent of the world and the countless islands in the largest ocean of the world have been pooled together in this part of the world, which, if counted together with a water area, is the largest in the world, but, if counted only the land area – the smallest one.

Ubirr in Northern Australia, turtle in X-ray style
Ubirr, turtle in X-ray style / , Flickr / CC BY 2.0

The word “exotic” definitely refers to Australia and Oceania. Here are located many unique and mysterious landmarks, many places here deserve to be called – “One of the most beautiful places in the world”. Many places in Oceania and Australia are the most desired destinations for lazy vacationers, newlywed romantics, and adventurers and even more are undeservedly unknown.

The highlights of Australia and Oceania are:

  • Unique ecosystems. Both Australia and the islands of Oceania (as well as the depths of the Pacific ocean) are rich with unusual ecosystems. Region for the most part is located in tropics, the islands are remote – this leads to the development of numerous species of plants and animals met only on one small island, mountaintop, or oasis (in Australia). There exist small patches of rainforest (e.g. Mount Purau rainforest in Rapa Iti, French Polynesia), which may contain hundreds of species not met anywhere else in the world.
  • Megalithic monuments. Few specialists realize how rich is the megalithic heritage in Oceania. Here are located the outstanding moai of Easter Island, the largest money in the world – Rai of Yap and – the little known, mysterious megaliths of Melanesian islands (see Nusa Roviana hillfort and shrines in the Solomon Islands), the megalithic navigational systems, megalithic observatories, megalithic tattoo workshops… and many more amazing monuments in almost any place of Oceania.
  • Prehistoric rock art. Australia has the world’s richest collection of prehistoric rock art. The native people of this continent developed numerous distinct artistic styles and their artwork might be listed among the highest achievements in the history of art. Outstanding cliff paintings are found also in Papua New Guinea and some more island countries.

WorldViolet Top 25 wonders of Australia and Oceania

Geological wonders

Uluru (Ayers Rock)


One of the Australian symbols, an enormous and visually very impressive sandstone inselberg, 348 meters high, and 9.4 km in circumference. A sacred place to local Aborigine peoples. Here are many springs, waterholes, caves, and rock art sites. Endemic plants.

Milford Sound

New Zealand

One of the most grandiose fiords in the world. The walls of the fiord are more than 2 km tall and while at the water grows rainforest, on the top is snow. Here are countless waterfalls and the strong winds catch and often bring them up in the air.


Nez Zealand

One of the most beautiful geothermal areas worldwide. Besides the Lady Knox geyser, mud pools, numerous hot springs, and sinter terraces it contains a highly unusual hot spring – Champagne Pool, constantly filled with carbon dioxide bubbles. Along the rim of this spring are deposited bright orange arsenic and antimony salts.

Kata Tjuta (Mount Olga)


Unusual, impressive monolithic rock formation, consists of 36 steep-sided domes up to 546 meters high. A sacred place to local Aboriginal people. Endemic plants.

Kata Tjuta
Kata Tjuta./ Rajeev Rajagopalan, Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Wave Rock


Highly unusual cliff formation that resembles an enormous petrified wave. Several more such formations in the vicinity.

Fraser Island


The largest sand island in the world, 1,840 km². Contains dunes that are up to 24 meters high, tall rainforests growing at elevations up to 200 meters, unique ‘vallum’ heaths, and more than 100 unique, crystal clear dune lakes retained in the sand by organic matter deposits.

Champagne Pools in Fraser island
Champagne Pools in Fraser island. / Eduardo M. C., Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Champagne Pool

New Zealand

One of the most impressive and unusual hot springs in the world, 65 meters in diameter, and up to 62 meters deep. Spring is filled with 73 °C hot water oversaturated with metalloids and gases, sedimenting bright orange sediments.

Champagne Pool, New Zealand
Champagne Pool / Photo by Mehlführer C, Wikimedia Commons. CC-BY-2.5
Morning Glory clouds of Carpentaria Gulf


A unique phenomenon, characteristic of the region at the southern part of Carpentaria Gulf. Here in the springs early in the morning special conditions form up to 1000 km long roll clouds, providing unique sight.

Morning Glory clouds, Queensland
Morning Glory clouds, Queensland / Mick Petroff, Wikimedia Commons, 11 August 2009, CC-BY-SA-3.0
White Island

New Zealand

Active volcano rising 321 m high from the sea as an island. One of the most accessible active marine volcanoes in the world. Fumaroles and boiling mud pools. The crater contains a light blue lake.

Ball‘s Pyramid


An unusual remnant of a volcano – 562 meters high and just 200 meters wide cliff rising directly from the sea. Tallest volcanic stack in the world. Up to the recent time, this was the only place in the world where the up to 15 cm long Lord Howe Island stick insect (Dryococelus australis) was living.

Ball's Pyramid
Ball’s Pyramid. / JillBBruce, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0
Orakei Korako

New Zealand

A geothermal area with unique, colorful sinter terraces and geysers. The largest geyser field in New Zealand with some 35 active geysers. The lower terrace – Emerald Terrace – is the largest sinter terrace in New Zealand. Part of it is flooded by a hydropower station, submerging some 200 hot springs and 70 geysers.

Orakei Korako, New Zealand
Orakei Korako, New Zealand / Pavils G., CC-BY-SA-3.0
Lake Hillier


Unusual lake in flamboyant rose color, surrounded by lush green forest and the ocean nearby. The unusual color, most likely, is caused by algae Dunaliella salina but the search for the cause continues.

Lake Hillier
Lake Hillier. / Kurioziteti123, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0
Doubtful Sound

New Zealand

One of the most grandiose fiords in the world.

Shell Beach, L’Haridon Bight


One of the few beaches in the world that consists exclusively of shells. Here shells extend for 60 kilometers with a 7 -10 m thick layer.

Shell Beach, Western Australia
Shell Beach, Western Australia./ Halooch, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

Biological wonders

Lord Howe Island


This remote, 56 km² large Australian island has its own ecoregion where half of the plants and some birds, and other animals are endemic. Unique characteristics are diverse glowing mushrooms in the forest, some bright enough to be used for reading at night. Endemic kentia palms are popular, beautiful houseplants.

Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island / David Stanley, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0
Jellyfish Lake (Ongeim’l Tketau)


A unique marine lake with an area of 5.0 ha and an underground connection to the sea. It is isolated from the sea for 12,000 years and contains a distinct population of two species of jellyfish – endemic Mastigias cf. papua etpisoni and most likely endemic Aurelia sp. Millions of these jellyfishes make strict daily migration around the lake. The number of jellyfish has reached up to 31 million (January 2005).

Jellyfish Lake from the air with swarms of jellyfish visible, Palau
Jellyfish Lake from the air with swarms of jellyfish visible / , Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Christmas Island crab forest

Christmas Island (Australia)

The forest of Christmas Island is unique in the world due to the dominant species – some 50 – 100 million red crabs (Gecarcoidea natalis) – clearing the forest floor of leaves and other organic matter. These crabs are endemic to Christmas Island. Once per year, they migrate to the sea to lay their eggs, on the way blocking the roads and paths.

Strangler fig in Christmas Island, red crabs seen
Strangler fig in Christmas Island, red crabs seen. / John Tann, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0
Ecosystem of Henderson Island

Pitcairn Islands (United Kingdom)

The only forested atoll with an intact ecosystem in the world. Endemic species – 9 species of plants and all 4 species of land birds. Numerous invertebrates are endemic, although they are poorly researched. The island is not walkable – it is covered with thicket and rugged limestone peaks.

Shore of Henderson Island
Shore of Henderson Island / A.K.Kepler, Pacific Biodiversity Information Forum. Public domain
The Daintree Rainforest


Scenically beautiful rainforest in Australia with very high biological diversity. This forest contains unique, primitive flowering plants that survived the dry climatic periods in smaller areas of climatic refuge.

Daintree Rainforest
Daintree Rainforest. / Cory Doctorow, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Archaeological wonders

Ahu Tongariki

Rapa Nui (Chile)

The largest ahu with an unusual history: its moai possibly were toppled during the civil wars and swept inland some 100 meters by a tidal wave in 1960. It is restored and all 15 moai again face the sunset during the summer solstice. Here is the largest standing moai of Rapa Nui – it weighs 86 tons.

Ahu Tongariki - megaliths in Rapa Nui
Ahu Tongariki – megaliths in Rapa Nui / Rivi, Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0
Rano Raraku quarry

Rapa Nui (Chile)

One of the visually most impressive megalithic monuments in the world. Rano Raraku in 1200 – 1700 AD served as a mine of moai. 397 sculptures are still located in situ, half-made, or left on the way to their destinations. Here is located the largest moai weighing 270 tons and 21.6 m tall, many times larger than any transported moai.

Slopes of Rano Raraku with abandoned moai, Rapa Nui
Slopes of Rano Raraku with abandoned moai / Vera & Jean-Christophe, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0.
Rai of Yap

Federated States of Micronesia

Limestone discs with a hole in the middle. Their diameter reaches 3 meters and these discs were used as money over the last 500 years. In 1929 there were registered 13,281 stone discs all over the island, now many have been looted and some thousands remain. The largest “coins” are on Rumung Island – one coin here has a diameter of 3.6 m.

Stone money of Yap in Gachpar village, Micronesia
Stone money of Yap in Gachpar village / E.Guinther, Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0
Nan Madol

Federated States of Micronesia

Unique archaeological monument in this part of the world – ruins of a prehistoric city. Consists of nearly 100 artificial islets with massive stone walls, with the largest stones weighing up to 50 tons. The capital of the Saudeleur dynasty. The megalithic structures were built in the 12th – 13th century and inhabited until the early 14th century.

Nan Madol, Pohnpei
Nan Madol, Pohnpei / CT Snow, / CC BY 2.0

Architecture wonders

Sydney Opera House


One of the iconic buildings representing not only Australia but 20th-century architecture in general. Constructed in 1973.

Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House / , Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Sydney Harbour Bridge


Iconic 139 meters high arch bridge, built in 1932.

Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney Harbour Bridge./ Ross Fowler, Flickr / CC BY 2.0

WorldYellow Recommended books

The Happy Isles of Oceania: Paddling the Pacific

In one of his most exotic and breathtaking journeys, the intrepid traveler Paul Theroux ventures to the South Pacific, exploring fifty-one islands by collapsible kayak. Beginning in New Zealand’s rain forest and ultimately coming to shore thousands of miles away in Hawaii, Theroux paddles alone over isolated atolls, through dirty harbors and shark-filled waters, and along treacherous coastlines. This exhilarating tropical epic is full of disarming observations and high adventure.

Art in Oceania: A New History

Masks and figural sculptures are the most familiar examples of the visual culture of Oceania, yet they provide only a glimpse of the fascinating art of this diverse region. Artisans of the Pacific Islands and Australia have produced objects ranging from stained and beaten fabric, rock engravings, and woven containers to tattooed and painted bodies, drawings on sand and paper, and contemporary installation art. This survey looks at the full range of objects created over several millennia, spanning the settlement of Oceania in the prehistoric period to the present day.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments