The 10 Best Australian Landscape Photography Spots

20/05/2019 8:33 AM

We maybe biased, but Australia is one of the most photogenic countries in the world. From the craggy coastline to the beautiful bush, the land Down Under is a photographer’s dream. If you have an open mind and a good digital camera, you may never stop exploring. These are some of our favourite photography spots:


#1 Mrs Macquarie’s Point, NSW

To photograph the Harbour City in all its glittery glory, make your way to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair. It was a gorgeous spot for the fourth Governor General’s wife to soothe her soul and cure her homesickness, and now, it offers the best view of the Opera House. The arts venue is known around the world for its pearly shell-shaped sails – the highest of which is 68 metres above sea level. It’s intricate and beautiful, and well worth documenting!

Head up to Mrs Macquarie’s Point at sunrise or sunset, and pack the best lenses for landscape photography: A wide-angle lens and a telephoto lens. That way, you’ll be able to play around with composition and convey the size and significance of the structure. All the large ships that come into Sydney Harbour pass Mrs Macquarie’s Point, so it’s also a great spot for long exposures.

10 of the Best Landscape Photography Spots Across Australia

#2 Whitsundays, QLD

The Whitsundays is a group of 70+ tropical islands surrounded by the Great Barrier Reef. While you could snap the palm trees and sapphire waters all day, no trip to the Whitsundays is complete without a trip to Whitsunday Island – singular, not plural –which is home to Whitehaven Beach. The beach is famous for having some of the whitest sand in the world, and it stretches for seven pristine kilometres.

To get there, fly or drive to Airlie Beach (near Townsville) or Hamilton Island, and hop on a boat to the island. Spend some time photographing the white-sand beach, and then make your way up to the Hill Inlet Lookout for incredible views over the blue-green water below.

Top Tip: If you have the means, splurge on a helicopter flight over Whitehaven Beach and the Great Barrier Reef. This part of the world is stunning at ‘street level’, but it’s awe-inspiring from the air.

10 of the Best Landscape Photography Spots Across Australia

Photo of Hill Inlet Lookout - Whitehave Beach. Image Copyright Tourism Whitsundays.


#3 The Twelve Apostles, VIC

Stretching 243km along the southern coast of Victoria, the Great Ocean Road is one of the most scenic drives in Australia. Its star attraction is Port Campbell National Park, which is home to the Twelve Apostles (though only eight remain). The ancient limestone pillars jut out of the Southern Ocean, and they’re stunning.

The area is tourist-trodden, so aim to get there at least an hour before sunrise, and one to two hours before sunset. Once you arrive, the challenge is finding a fresh perspective. We suggest going to the end of the viewpoint, or walking down Gibson’s Steps to reach the beaches at the foot of the hills. There, you’ll be able to capture the dramatic limestone stacks, and then turn around to snap Og and Magog, two pillars on the other side. The beach is an ideal spot to explore long exposures, too.

10 of the Best Landscape Photography Spots Across Australia

Top Tip: If you go to the Twelve Apostles at dusk, don’t leave right away. Hundreds of Fairy Penguins come out to play around 20 minutes after sunset.


#4 Kangaroo Island, SA

Fun Fact: Australia has 8,222 islands within its borders.

One of the biggest of these tropical islands is Kangaroo Island, which is a ferry ride away from Adelaide. It’s famous for its wildlife. On any given day, you’ll see koalas, dolphins, sea lions, dolphins, echidnas and kangaroos around the island. The landscapes are beautiful, too. As a landscape photographer, you could have a lot of fun capturing the many caves, cliffs and sand dunes, as well as Vivionne Bay and the wilderness of Flinders Chase National Park.

There are several lighthouses on the island, too, including Cape du Couedic (a photographer’s favourite), Cape Willoughby and Cape Borda. If you shoot one thing, make it the Remarkable Rocks. Best at sunrise, these granite boulders were shaped by the wind, sea spray and rain over the course of 500 million years. Otherwise, set up near Admirals Arch at sunset, and photograph the sun setting in between the natural bridge.


#5 Bermagui, NSW

With white-sand beaches, rugged rainforests and lush national parks, the South Coast is the definition of untamed beauty. Bermagui is among its best photography spots.

The first stop: Camel Rock.

The striking rock formation is around 450 million years old, and juts out of the crystal-clear sea. It was named by navigators George Bass and Matthew Flinders when they first mapped out the NSW colony, so it’s historically significant, too. Go during the golden hours, and pack a wide-angle lens. If you have a sturdy tripod that can withstand the elements, try setting it up in the water and experimenting with close-up shots. When you’re done with Camel Rock, swing by the Blue Pool. Located at the base of a rocky cliff face, the natural rock pool fills up with brilliantly blue ocean water. When the sun dips, you may get a stunning purple hue in your photos.


#6 Namadgi National Park, ACT

Just under an hour’s drive from Canberra, Namadgi National Park is part of the Australian Alps. The best way to explore it is by foot, so if you want to capture the scenes many photographers miss, you’ll want to carry a camera bag and a lightweight tripod.

Start by following the Yerrabi Track. As it works its way through the rugged wilderness, you’ll see drawings and fragments left by the Ngunnawal people as well as pastoralists and gold hunters. Depending on how far you walk, you may come across ancient campsites and quarry sites where the Aborigines made stone tools. For more Aboriginal history, take the Yankee Hat Walking Track. It ends at the Yankee Hat Shelter, which is lined with Aboriginal rock art. If you’re a landscape photographer, you have to go to ‘Legoland.’ The area is filled with granite rock formations that look like boulder building blocks. They’re unique, and begging to be caught on camera!


#7 Great Barrier Reef, QLD

Did you know the reef is the largest living thing that can be seen from space?

Home to nearly 3,000 coral reefs and a huge array of marine line, the Great Barrier Reef offers endless photo opportunities. With the reef, the beauty lies beneath the surface, so this is your chance to break out the underwater camera.

Before you dive in, memorise the buttons on your camera so you’re not fumbling around underwater. Once you’re in, swim as close to your subject as possible, and switch to macro mode to capture the smallest of critters. The reef is photogenic from above, too. Under the local laws, you’re allowed to fly a drone over the Great Barrier Reef – as long as you’re respectful and don’t do anything to damage the Marine Park.

10 of the Best Landscape Photography Spots Across Australia

#8 Cape Byron Headland, NSW

Six hours north in Byron Bay, Cape Byron Headland is the easternmost point of the Australian mainland. Once you reach the top of the headland, the ocean stretches as far as the eye can see – which adds a sense of both awe and peace to your photos. You can photograph Cape Byron Marine Park and the Pacific Ocean, or turn around to capture the lighthouse and lush hinterland. The 19th-century lighthouse stands almost 100 metres above sea level, and it’s beautifully weathered.

If you’re interested in wildlife photography, you can expect to spot native birds as well as dolphins, turtles and humpback whales between May and October. Thanks to its many vantage points, the headland is ideal for shooting at any time of the day. To maximise your time and end up with clear, crisp images, go on a good-weather day.

Top Tip: Don’t forget to bring a tripod! It’ll level out the horizon and reduce camera shake.


#9 Glasshouse Mountains, QLD

Rising up from the Sunshine Coast, the Glasshouse Mountains caught Captain Cook’s eye when he sailed past in 1770, and the peaks are just as impressive today. Perfect for landscape photography, the plain is made up of eleven mountains that were formed by volcanic activity around 26 million years ago.

Today, the protected area is a sacred ceremonial site for the Aboriginal people, and an outdoor adventurer’s playground, complete with rock-climbing, abseiling, and bushwalking. To get the money shot, head to the Glasshouse Mountains Lookout Circuit, which is also a popular picnic spot. From there, you’ll have panoramic views across to Maroochydoore, Brisbane and Moreton Island.


#10 Bondi Beach, NSW

10 of the Best Landscape Photography Spots Across Australia

Bondi Icebergs is the most iconic – and definitely the most Instagrammed – pool in the country. The saltwater pool juxtaposes beautifully with the waves below, and the beach itself is Australia’s most famous stretch of sand. To capture the mix of Mother Nature and manmade beauty, set up a tripod on the south side of the beach just before sunrise. You’ll catch the sun rising on the horizon, and depending on the day, watch it streak the sky in shades of yellow, orange, pink and purple.

When you’ve gotten ‘the shot,’ work your way up the coastal walk – a rugged trail that runs from Bondi to Coogee Beach. Pause at Mark’s Park, and keep an eye on the sea. During the migrating season, you may spot dolphins.


You need a good digital camera on your side

Before you set off on your adventure, invest in a good digital camera. The team at your local Ted’s Cameras store will help you to find a camera that suits your shooting style and budget.

 


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