Most Remote Destinations in Australia
Australia itself is remote from the rest of the world. Discover just how remote these locations really are.
A glimpse of Australia on a globe reflects an isolated continent with a distance of 7,419 miles between San Francisco, United States and Sydney, Australia with the closest foreign city of Makasar, Indonesia sill 1,960 miles away from the northeastern Australian city of Cairns. The landscape and heritage provide insight into gorgeous scenery, captivating wildlife, and one of the most ancient cultures in the world that reaches some of the most isolated destinations. Aboriginal remnants stretch from Far North Queensland to an island more than 932 miles away from the southern tip of Tasmania. The wilderness offers an enchanting view of the unique natural world that has been shaped by extreme conditions and possesses historic spiritual significance and breathtaking discovery. Whether traveling by a 4x4 vehicle, hiking faded pathways that follow millennia-old Aboriginal trails, or exploring open waters to reach distinct island territories, the following places reawaken your love of adventure with Australia’s most remote destinations.
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Nature's craftsmanship never fails to impress
You can find this fascinating natural rock formation in Hyde Wildlife Park, Western Australia located approximately 184 miles east of Perth. The stunning contours of the rock wall stand 49 feet tall and 360 feet long and resemble a rising wave crafted out of granite. The destination captures the stories of Dreamtime told by the local Ballardong people who believed the Rainbow Serpent created the captivating curves and upward slope of the rock when dragging her swollen body over the landscape after drinking all the region’s water. Thrill-seekers can travel to Wave Rock along the Lurujarri Dreaming Trail that extends from the south coast near Augusta to the Great Victoria Desert. Signs around the rock provide visitors with the natural and cultural history of the Wave Rock and in spring, orchids blossom along the shaded floor of the Sheoak trees.
Stunning views are in tall supply at the tip of the Cape York Peninsula
The Cape York Peninsula protrudes from the continental mainland creating Australia’s northernmost tip. Access to the landscape is limited to good four-wheel drive vehicles and tour companies knowledgeable of the untamed wilderness which captures the unique blend of rainforest and rocky headlands and leads to white-sand beaches that edge coral reefs. Nature enthusiasts and adventurers in search of the pristine scenery will find rugged national parks and immaculate waterfalls accentuated by the charm of secluded beaches all of which showcase what many consider Australia’s last true wilderness area.
The peninsula hosts some of Australia’s oldest Aboriginal heritage as well as early European history on the continent with committed explorers following the narrow, unpaved, and craggy 745-mile road connecting the city of Cairns to the remote northern edge of the Queensland state. Find crystal-clear waters free of crocodiles. Rather, waterbirds graze in the extensive wetlands. Listen to legends formed by a mixture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities or discover the rich diversity of freshwater fish with over 48 species including sawfish, barramundi, and rainbow fish.
The mysticism of the Outback lives in the ancient communities that continue to carry out traditions here
The Kiwirrkurra Community is known as the most remote community in the country and is located in the Gibson Desert nearly 530 miles west of Alice Springs and over 745 miles west of Port headland. The indigenous community remains passionate about maintaining their cultural heritage on native land that encompasses 16,564 square miles of red desert and natural hidden oases. Traveling into unforgiving arid landscape requires a four-wheel drive vehicle and the Australian government suggests travelers join a caravan. The low-lying landscape floods during the rainy season which provides locals with waterholes and springs hidden in scattered, protected areas graced with shade. The remote settlement has shaped the way locals live, from the way they fish or hunt to how they share stories. Singing remains a customary form of sharing tradition, history, and heritage with many locals sitting in the shade of a tree teaching the children how to follow in the footsteps of their parents and grandparents.
Pre-conceived notions of the Australian region fly out the window in this distant destination
The majestic and cold landscape of Macquarie Island contrasts the initial image visitors have of Australia. The territory, considered in the region of Tasmania, is in fact located more than 958 miles southeast of Hobart, Tasmania’s capital city. The island once attracted sealers searching the sub-Antarctic waters but has since become popular with explorers eager to visit secluded areas of the world. The isolated corners of Australia host a surprisingly mild climate and a captivating penguin population. Walking trails around the uninhabited island allow you to stroll through sea mist and strong winds that whip onshore from the Arctic Sea that enhances your position in the middle of nowhere. Park rangers accompany all groups and provide information on the actual residents of the island, vast populations of wild penguins and seals. The island hosts one of the largest endemic colonies of Royal Penguins alongside boisterous herds of elephant seals that fight on the pebbled shoreline.
Earthly and alien forces combine at this giant blemish in the vast desert
This distinct and isolated meteorite impact is the second best-formed crater in the world and is located in the state of Western Australia with the city of Darwin in the Northern Territory hosting the closest airport at 832 miles away. The meteorite crashed into the landscape approximately 300,000 years ago forming a crater more than 2,952 feet wide. Currently, the crater is over 196 feet deep after thousands of years of erosion and wind affecting the landscape. The powerful remains of the impact were not discovered until 1947 which speaks to the incredible size of Australia and its many isolated areas.
However, you can learn about the meteor’s history from the local Indigenous people who knew of the crater for thousands of years and used the landmark in their Dreamtime stories. Their legend has it that two rainbow snakes emerged from the crater and crossed the desert and formed the nearby creeks. Sinkholes at the center of the crater give way to large Acacia and Eucalyptus trees that grow up to 26 feet above the darker patches of vegetation and add remarkable contours along the crater floor juxtaposing the surrounding tufted landscape.
This phenomenal natural formation carries grand cultural implications for the indigenous peoples
The iconic rock formation of Uluru is located at the heart of Australia’s Red Center in the Northern Territory approximately 208 miles away from the closest city of Alice Springs. While recent charter flights and small airlines have allowed easier access to the isolated scenery, the enchanting ambiance and feeling of seclusion remain. The remote outback area of Simpson Desert encompasses 65,637 square miles of oxidized sand and rock accounting for the rusty red color for which the region is known. The majesty of the Uluru derives from the immense size of the monolith that rises out of the surrounding flat landscape and the shifting colors of the rockface throughout the day. The sunlight causes the surface to change from a glowing purple to a rusty orange, a sizzling red to a dark silhouette.
Rabbits, emus, red kangaroo, and Woma pythons thrive in the arid region and the local Indigenous people continue to perform traditional ceremonies and rituals along the nooks and crevices of the monolith providing a touch of insight into the ancient customs of the PItjantjatjara Anangu community. Whether you travel by plane or car, enjoy one of the remote five-star accommodations or a rugged camping excursion in the protected lands of Kata Tjuta National Park. Uluru retains its remote sense of wonder even as the outside world creeps closer in.
From Outback to ocean, this vast expanse of Australia has a wide range of remote sights
The border between South Australia and Western Australia is 781 miles across at its widest point and is sure one wild ride. The wide-open space of Australia’s pristine Outback becomes the focus of your drive along the semi-arid plain wedged between the goldfields of Western Australia and the Eyre Peninsula of Southern Australia. Government authorities suggest drivers take a four-wheel drive vehicle and plenty of water, food, and gasoline as you travel through scenery flush with bluebush, mulga scrub, wildflowers, grazing emus, bouncing kangaroos, and wild camels.
One of the most popular destinations during the road trip is the Head of Bight, where a platform provides excellent whale watching between June and October when Southern Right Whales migrate from the Arctic waters to the warmer seas to give birth. The whales and their calves gather in pods of up to 100 individuals and are even visible from the coastline. Sand dunes at Eucla National Park and world-class surf at Cactus Beach provide an escape from the flat, tree-less scenery along the roadside. Sea cliffs stretch up to 300 feet above sea level and Aboriginal artwork highlights the legends of the region that emanate from the captivating remote scenery.