Most interesting landmarks of Western Australia
Below are listed the most amazing natural and man made landmarks of Western Australia.
Natural landmarks of Western Australia
- Veevers crater – Pilbara. One of the best preserved small impact craters, 70 m wide and 7 m deep. Possible less than 4 thousand years old.
- Wolfe Creek Crater – east Kimberley region. Visually expressive meteorite impact crater, 875 meters in diameter, up to 60 meters deep. Created some 300,000 years ago.
Natural arches and bridges
- Albany Natural Bridge – Great Southern. Enormous natural bridge from granite, located at the seaside.
- Nature’s Window in Murchison Canyon – Mid West. Natural arch in gorgeous setting, with a view on the deep Murchison Canyon seen through the arch.
Gorges and canyons
There are multiple gorges in Western Australia, especially in the northern part and it is near impossible to single out the "best" ones.
- Murchison River Gorge – Mid West. Spectacular river gorge, more than 80 km long and up to 129 m deep. Valulable Ordovician fossils. Endemic species of plants.
- Perth Canyon – in the sea near Perth. Inundated river canyon, which was similar in size to Grand Canyon in Arizona, United States. Up to 1.5 km deep. Contains the largest plunge pool in the world, which once was created by gargantuan waterfall. It is 2 km long, 6 km wide and 300 m deep.
- Windjana Gorge – Kimberley region. Spectacular gorge of Lennard River, some 100 m wide, with 30 – 10 m tall walls. Freshwater crocodiles.
- Shell House – Kalbarri National Park. Beautiful and impressive coastal cliffs, Ordovician and Triassic sandstone and shale.
- Zuytdorp Cliffs – Shark Bay. Some 150 km long seaside cliffs, up to 250 m high. Rugged, spectacular area.
Other cliff formations
- Balancing rock of Castle Rock – Great Southern. Enormous, some 186 tonnes heavy stone on the mountaintop, resting on its narrow end.
- Bungle Bungle Range – Purnululu National Park. Incomparable landscape created by highly unusual rock formations. Landscape is marked by up to 250 metres high sandstone pillars and beehive structures of contrasting light orange and dark colors. Deep gorges, labyrinths. Important site for investigation of sandstone carst processes.
- The Pinnacles, Nambung – Wheatbelt. Desert, filled with amazing limestone formations – pinnacles which rise up to 3.5 m high.
- Walga Rock – Mid West. One of largest monoliths in Australia, approximately 1.8 km long. Contains Walga Rock Art.
- Wave Rock – Shire of Kondinin. Highly unusual cliff formation which resembles enormous petrified wave. Several more such formations in vicinity.
- Abracurrie Cave – Nullarbor Plain. Possibly the largest single cave chamber in the southern hemisphere. Contains Aboriginal stencils – deepest native cave art in Australia.
- Coclebiddy Cave – Nullarbor Plain. 6.1 km long and up to 90 m deep underwater cave, one of the most impressive in this part of the world.
- Old Homestead Cave – Nullarbor Plain. Some 34 km long cave system with numerous passages in four levels, rich with stalactites and other cave formations.
- Tunnel Creek – Kimberley region. Approximately 750 m long cave – tunnel with a stream running through it. Very old cave system, approximately 20 million years old. Amazing speleothems, aboriginal drawings. Freshwater crocodiles have been seen in the cave.
- King George Falls – Kimberley region. Spectacular, approximately 80 m tall falls. Stream here is divided in two branches, thus forming two waterfalls.
- Kings Cascade – Kimberley region. Some 50 m tall waterfall with many steps, falling into gorge of Prince Regent River.
- Mitchell Falls – Kimberley region. Waterfall with 4 cascades. Total height – some 60 – 80 m.
- Solea Falls – Kimberley region. Spectacular, approximately 12 m tall waterfall on Drysdale River. At high water the falls may become quite wide.
Sea tide falls
- Horizontal Falls – Kimberley region. Sea currents through two narrow chasms (12 and 20 m), caused by tides. Tides here are 10 m high thus several times during the day here is seen impressive sight.
- Montgomery Reef tidal falls – Kimberley region. Hundreds of waterfalls form around this corall reef when tide is low and huge amount of water flows out of the lagoon. Falls can be up to 4 m tall.
- Barrow Island Caves – Barrow Island. Group of partly inundated caves with unique cave fauna. Here live endemic species of fish (Milyeringa veritas), unusual shizomid Draculoides bramstokeri and possibly the only cave dwelling reptile – small, thin snake Ramphotyphlops longissimus.
- Hamelin Pool and L’haridon Bight – Shark Bay. Hypersaline shallows with unique biotope – active growth of stromatolites – oldest known form of life on Earth. Also other unique forms of life.
- Lake Clifton thrombolites – Yalgorup National Park. Colony of thrombolites in shallow areas of the lake. These colonies of microbial mats resemble round, white stones.
- Lake Thetis – Wheatbelt. Lake with living marine stromatolites which here have near unique columnar branching.
- Ludlow Tuart Forest – South West. Largest remaining tuart (Eucalyptus gomphocephala) forest in the world, consisting of giant trees of this rare species. Largest trees are up to 33 m tall, with 10 m circumference.
- Mont Lesueur – Wheatbelt and Mid West. Flat topped hills – mesas, rising above the surrounding plains. Area contains very high number of endemic and very rare species of plants.
- Tree heath south of Freycinet Estuary – Shark Bay. Unique biotope with at least 51 endemic species.
- Wooramel Seagrass Bank – Shark Bay. Largest seagrass growth in the world, covers 1,030 square kilometres.
- Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree – South West. Giant, 75 m tall karri tree (Eucalyptus diversicolor) with a lookout platform at 65 m height.
- Giant Tingle Tree ("Hollow trunk") – South West. Stoutest red tingle (Eucalyptus jacksonii), girth 22.3 m, 30 m high.
- Gloucester Tree – South West. 72 m tall karri tree (Eucalyptus diversicolor), second tallest fire lookout in the world, where visitors can climb up to 58 m high outlook cabin. Girth – 7.8 m.
- The Boab Prison Tree, Derby – Kimberley region, Derby. Unusual boab (Adansonia gregorii), circumference 14.64 m, height just 9.5 m. Used to lock up indigenous Australians in 1860s on their way to sentencing.
- King River Prison Tree – Kimberley region, Windham. Enormous boab (Adansonia gregorii), which has been used as a prison.
Rare natural materials, gemstones
- Zircons of Jack Hills – Mid West. Location where is found the oldest existing material of terrestrial origin – some 4.4 billion years old crystals of zircon. Exploration of this material provides new information about the early history of Earth.
- Mooka Station – Gascoyne. Find of mookaite – colourful jasper in warm red, yellow and brown colors. The only find of such stone.
- Central Lanthanide Deposit in Mount Weld – Goldfields-Esperance. Spectacular, unique enrichment of rare earth deposits, carbonatite rock rich with niobium/ tantalum and other rare metals, such as terbium, europium, dysprosium and others.
Other natural landmarks
- Field of Pink Lakes in Beaumont – Goldfields – Esperance. Large group (hundreds) of small lakes with water in diverse colors. Each lake is in a different shade, often – pink.
- Lake Hillier – Recherche Archipelago. Unusual lake in flamboyant rose color. Cause of color is not entirely clear, could be explained by the presence of microorganisms.
- Strelley Pool – Pilbara. Here has been found some of the oldest evidence of life on Earth – 3.43 billion years old fossils of sulphur-processing bacteria in fossil stromatolites.
Man made landmarks of Western Australia
Sites of rock art, archaeology
- Depuch Island rock art – Pilbara. Rocks and boulders on this small island are covered with rock art by Ngaluma people to whom it is important site of legends.
- Devil’s Lair – South West. Cave – grotto with a 6.6 m thick layer of sediments. Archaeological research in the cave has provided valuable knowledge about the past of Australia. Human occupation in the cave started around 48,000 years ago.
- Donkey Creek Wandjina paintings – Mid West. Rock shelter with very interesting Wandjina paintings of high artistic value.
- Gwion Gwion art along Gibb River Road – northern tip of Western Australia. Excellent samples of Gwion Gwion (Bradshaw) style – sophisticated silhouettes of humans and other beings, often mythical ones. At least 17,000 years old.
- Mulka’s Cave – Shire of Kondinin. Cave – grotto under giant granite monolith. Contains Aboriginal art from around 4500 BC and later.
- Murujuga cliff art and Murujuga stone arrangements – Burrup peninsula in Pilbara. Over one million diverse petroglyphs, often showing also extinct animals such as the Tasmanian tiger (Thylacinus cynocephalus). Largest collection of cliff art in Australia. Huge number of standing stones, including tall menhirs, circular stone settings.
- Walga Rock art – south-west from Cue. Cave with extensive cliff art galleries, including a drawing of an European sailing ship (contact art), most likely from the late 19th century. Such contact art is met in several locations of Australia.
- Wary Bay rock art – Kimberley, Bigge Island. Indigenous rock art with first contact art and Wandjina figures.
- Old Mill in Perth – Perth. Historical windmill, built in 1835.
- Old Perth Boys School – Perth. An example of colonial architecture, constructed in Neo-Gothic style in 1852.
- Perth Town Hall – Perth. Magnificent building in Victorian Free Gothic style, built in 1867 – 1870. Much of it was built by convicts.
- Round House in Fremantle – Fremantle. Oldest existing building in western Australia, constructed in 1830 – 1831. Built as a prison.
- Swan Bells – Perth. Unusual monument – 82.5 m tall tower of unusual architecture, with 18 bells.
- Tranby House (Peninsula Farm) – suburb of Perth. Farmers cottage, one of oldest buildings in the Western Australia. Constructed in 1839. Preserved authentic interiors and furniture.
Described landmarks of Western Australia
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This giant Australian state is spectacular and very rich with diverse, unusual landmarks. Highlights of Western Australia are:
- Biodiversity. Most of Western Australia is dry land, but far lands across this desert in the western part of continent serve as refuges of unique fauna and flora.
- Geology and cliff formations. The history of this land is counted in billions of years. Billions of years… Cliff formations in Western Australia often have no analogs. Some of the most amazing ones are Bungle Bungle Range and Wave Rock.
- Aboriginal art. In Kimberley and other regions are located countless examples of indigenous rock art, often of high artistic quality. Truly unique is Murujuga site in Burrup peninsula – possibly the world’s largest art gallery with more than one million drawings.
Featured: Wolfe Creek crater
Wolfe Creek crater is one of the most impressive impact craters on Earth, sometimes compared to the most impressive one – Meteor crater (Barringer crater) in Arizona, United States.
Crater is symmetrical, bowl-shaped. Rim of the crater is some 20 m wide and rises approximately 1.5 m above the surrounding plain. Diameter of crater is 70 – 80 m, depth – up to 7 m. The original meteorite was some 100 – 1000 tons heavy.
Travel into the Western Australian Deserts of Gold. Visit some of the old gold mining towns with Author Jan Hawkins, read about the Golden Trail, the Super Pit and life in Kalgoorlie, a vibrant gold town in today’s world.
When perusing the literature it became obvious to the author that although there are many published books on the flora of Western Australia these are in hard back and paper back versions (which are often very expensive) and there are very few available for use on tablets and other e-book readers. Frequently the photography in the hard copies is not good enough for easy identification of the plants in Western Australia.