Drive Holiday Lookouts not to be missed.

When on a driving holiday it can be a bit confusing which Lookouts are worth the diversion and which are not.  Here is a list of 5 for each state and territory of Australia (In reality we could have 20 for each), that we think you shouldn’t miss.

We will follow this blog up with a more comprehensive list for each state.  Our driving itineraries always point our good local lookouts, so head there for more specific regions.

The lookouts below are spectacular, iconic and we have tried to vary them so they are not all coastal!  With a coastline like Australia, that’s hard to do………

Click on the links throughout the blog if you want more detailed information.

Remember to pay your respects to the traditional elders past and present.

Victoria

Arthurs Seat LookoutMornington Peninsular

To see – Port Phillip Bay and Mornington Peninsular

Closest town – Melbourne – 75km CBD

Accessibility – Easy car or foot

Surrounding walking trails – yes, easy

Traditional custodians – Boon Wurung / Bunurong people of the Kulin Nation

The Pinnacle Grampians National Park

Julian Kingma | Grampians 2017

To see – Halls Gap and the Grampians

Closest town – Halls Gap

Accessibility – Sundial car park 2 km easy walk, Wonderland Carpark – 2km medium to hard walk

Surrounding walks – This Lookout is part of a either of the above walks

Traditional custodians – Gariwerd people

 

Stony Hill LookoutCape Bridgewater

To see – Highest Coastal cliffs in Victoria and crystal blue waters of Bridgewater Bay

Closest town – 20 minutes from Portland via Otway St

Accessibility – easy

Surrounding walks – Do the 50km roundtrip drive on the Cashmore Rd. via Bridgewater Lakes

Traditional custodians – Gunditjmara people of the Koonang nation

The Horn Lookout – SUMMER ONLY

To see – Mt Buffalo National Park

Closest town – Bright

Accessibility – Hard – Steep and rocky

Surrounding walks – 1hr round trip walk from The Horn car park

Traditional custodians – Mitambuta and Tangurong people

Photo Credit: Visit Victoria

12 Apostles

Easter Destinations

To see – the famous 12 apostles rock stacks and the dramatic limestone cliffs

Closest town – 10-minute drive from Port Campbell

Accessibility – Short easy walk from the 12 Apostle visitor centre

Surrounding walks – Gibson Steps, Loch Ard Gorge

Traditional custodians – Cooriemungle people

 

 

New South Wales

Sydney Harbour Bridge and/or Sydney Tower Eye

Diplo Bridge Climb Sydney

Diplo performs on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Pic cred: @kursza @thejoelarkin

To see – Sydney Harbour and Sydney City

Closest town – Sydney

Accessibility – Harbour Bridge Climb requires reasonable fitness and you can’t be scared of heights, Sydney Tower Eye – easy

Surrounding walks – The Rocks, Circular Quay, Sydney Opera House and Botanical Gardens

Traditional custodians – Gadigal people of the Eora Nation

 

Echo Point and Sublime Point Lookouts

Three Sisters

To see – The Blue Mountains including The Three Sisters

Closest town – Katoomba, Leura

Accessibility – These are the 2 most accessible lookouts.   The Blue Mountains is really all about “lookouts” but other lookouts my require greater fitness to access.

Surrounding walks – Too many to list, see the attached link, to choose what suits you.

Traditional custodians – Darug and Gundungurra people of the Ngurra Nation

 

Bald Hill Lookout

To see – Stanwell Beach and Headland (If you’re lucky you will also see some hand gliders)

Closest town – Stanwell Tops

Accessibility – easy

Surrounding walks – (drive in this case) Grand Pacific Drive – Sea Cliff Bridge into Wollongong

Grand Pacific

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traditional custodians – Wodiwodi people of the Tharawai nation

 

Disaster Bay Lookout  

Scenic coastal aerial overlooking Disaster Bay in Ben Boyd National Park, Green Cape. #newsouthwales

 

To see – Disaster Bay and Ben Boyd National Park, Great for Bird and Whale watching

Closest town – Eden

Accessibility – Medium

Surrounding walks – Ben Boyd National Park – Boyd Tower walking track

Traditional custodians – Tadjera-Munji-Djiringanj people of the Yuiun-Monaro nation

 

 

Mundi Mundi Plains Lookout  

Scenic desert landscapes across to the horizon as seen from Mundi Mundi Plains Lookout.

 

To see – Mundi Mundi Plains

Closest town – 4 km North of Silverton

Accessibility – easy

Surrounding walks – easy self-guided walk on the Mundi Mundi Plains

Traditional custodians – Barkindjji and Wilyakali people

 

 

 

South Australia

Bunda Cliffs Lookout – Nullarbor National Park

To see – The Great Australian Bight, the longest uninterrupted sea cliff in the world – Southern Right Whale watching

Closest town – 4hrs from Ceduna

Accessibility – very easy

Surrounding walks https://www.parks.sa.gov.au/find-a-park/Browse_by_region/Eyre_Peninsula/nullarbor-national-park

Traditional custodians – Wirangu people

Photo Credit: Parks SA

 

Cape Spencer Lighthouse Lookout – Innes National Park

To see – Southern Spencer Gulf Marine Park and Kangaroo and the Althrope Islands

Closest town – 9km south of Inneston

Accessibility – Easy 600m from the car park

Surrounding walks – Stenhouse Bay, easy 2km walk to another stunning Lookout.

Traditional custodians – Kunara, Windera, Wari and Dilpa people of the Nharangga nation

Photo Credit: Parks SA

Escarpment Lookout – Kanku-Breakaways Conservation Park

(closed on catastrophic fire danger days)

To see – Dramatic arid scenery

Closest town – Coober Pedy

Accessibility – medium

Surrounding walks

Traditional custodians – Antakirinja Matuntjara Yankunytjatjara People

Photo Credit: Parks SA

Cape Lowly Lighthouse and Cape Lafontaine – Port Bonython, Eyre Peninsula

DriveNow - Eyre PeninsulaThis is a region of many easily accessible lookouts and walks.

To see – Spencers Gulf – Natural wonders, aquatic and coastal wildlife, stunning vistas

Closest town – Whyalla

Accessibility – easy

Surrounding walks – City walk 2.5km, Wetlands walk 2.5km, Fitzgerald bay Hike 4km, Fitzgerald Bay – Point Lowly 8km.

Traditional custodians – Marlkaripangala and Barngarla people

 

Mount Lofty – Cleland Conservation Park

To see – Adelaide and the Yorke Peninsula

Closest town – 17 km from Adelaide CBD

Accessibility – easy

Surrounding walks – easy walks to Waterfall Gully, Heysen Trail and the Cleland Wildlife park

Traditional custodians – Peramangk people

Photo Credit: Department of Environment SA

 

Western Australia

Z Bend Lookout – Kalbarri National Park  

To see – Murchison River, Tumblagooda Gorge

Closest town – Kalbarri, Ajana

Accessibility – Easy (some stairs) 1.2 km return walk from the car park

Surrounding walks – Z Bend River Trail – 2.6km Medium to Difficult walk

Traditional custodians -Nanda people       Photo Credit:  Tourism WA

Kings Park Lookout – Perth

Credit: Visit Perth

To see – Perth Skyline, Swan River, Darling Range

Closest town – Perth

Accessibility – easy

Surrounding walks – Include as part of a city sights walk around Perth.

Traditional custodians – Whadjuk Nyoongar people

 

 

Padre White Lookout – Mt Clarence

Ship at Albany Western AustraliaTo see – Princess Royal Harbour and King George Sound

Closest town – Albany

Accessibility – easy

Surrounding walks – Point Possession Heritage Trail – 5km loop – Easy walking – a must!

Traditional custodians – Menang people

 

 

Denham and Eagle Bluff Lookouts – Shark Bay, Francois Peron National Park

NB:  this is more of a destination – all the lookouts here are worth visiting.

Credit: Tourism WA

To see – Crystal blue waters with sharks (Shark Bay after all) Stingrays, turtles and you might even see Dugongs and Dolphins – go several times.  Sunset and sunrise are amazing,

Closest town 20 km south of Denham

Accessibility – easy – It’s a fabulous boardwalk around the cliff right from the car park.

Surrounding walks – Stomatolites Pool Board Walk, Skip Jack Point.

Traditional custodians – Malgana, Nhanda and Yingkarta people

 

Castle Rock Granite Skywalk Lookout – Porongurup National Park

Credit: Tourism WA

To see – Porongurug Range – Karri forest, Mt Manypeaks, Mt Gardner and back to Albany.

Closest town – 40km south Albany

Accessibility – Medium to lower outlook, Difficult and steep to the upper lookout, requires climbing a ladder and some rock walking – worth the effort – view video before you attempt.

Surrounding walks – The walk up to the lower lookout is about 4km round trip

Traditional custodians – Wagyl Kaip people

 

Northern Territory

Countdown to Spring: 10 Places to Visit in Australia Now the Weather is Warming Up

Talinguru Nyakunytjaku Lookout and Sunrise Dune Viewing Area

To see – Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas)

From both lookouts, you can see Uluru and Kata Tjuta, but Talinguru Nyakunytjaku is best for Uluru 16 mins from the resort and Sunrise Dunes is best for Kata Tjuta – 35 mins from the resort.  Both for sunrise and sunset.

Closest town – Yulara Resort

Accessibility – easy

Surrounding walks – Uluru base walk, Walpa Gorge and Valley of the Winds.

Traditional custodians – Anangu people

 

Kalarranga Lookout – Finke Gorge National Park 

Photo Credit: Tourism NT

To see – Finke River Gorge and Palm Valley

Closest town – 138 km from Alice Springs

Accessibility – From Kalarranga car park it’s an easy 45-minute walk

Surrounding walks – Mpaara Walk 5km, In Palm Valley – Arankaia 2km and Mpulungkinya 5km walks.

Traditional custodians – Western Arrernte people

 

Ubirr Rock Lookout – Kakadu National Park

Kakadu UbirrTo see – Alligator River, Catfish Creek, Nadab flood plains.  – Sunset is amazing over the plains.

Closest town – 43 km from Jabiru

Accessibility – Moderate – 1 km Ubirr Rock Circuit walk. Take in the rock art on the walk so it’s not normal 1km timing.

Surrounding walks – Bardedjildji River Bush and Sandstone Walk – Still takes in Ubirr Rock Lookout but a longer walk, start at the Bardedjildji entrance – it’s about 7km. – well worth the effort.

Traditional custodians – Bininj and Mungguy people

 

Gunlom Falls Lookout – Waterfall, Kakadu National Park  

Photo Credit: Tourism NT

To see – Southern Hills and Ridges and to stand at the top of a waterfall

Closest town – Jabiru

Accessibility – Hard, Steep, 1km round trip

Surrounding walks – Easy walk, Murrill Billabong Walk, 2.5km round trip

Traditional custodians – Jawoyn people

 

NB: Be crocodile wise, you should be safe at the plunge pool but crocodiles inhabit the South Alligator River which feeds into the whole area.  Don’t jump off cliffs or rocks the plunge pools vary in-depth and you can’t always tell the depth from above.

 

Wangi Falls Lookout – Litchfield National Park 

Litchfield National Park

Photo by Alex Healing on Flikr

To see – Wangi Falls, monsoon forest and plunge pool

Closest town – 150km from Darwin

Accessibility – 1.6km round trip, moderately steep, Walk up the stairs at plunge pool.

Surrounding walks – There are too many walks in Litchfield national park to list.  See attached

Traditional custodians – Warmungu people

 

 

Queensland

Rex Lookout

Photo credit: TEQ

To see – Trinity Bay and Daintree

Closest town – Port Douglas

Accessibility – Roadside Lookout

Surrounding walks – N/A

Traditional custodians – Kuku Yalangi people

 

Mossman Gorge – Cape Tribulation

Photo credit: Discover Qld

To see – The Gorge, Daintree Rainforest.

Closest town – 22 km from Port Douglas

Accessibility – easy 2km round trip from the Mossman Gorge Centre

Surrounding walks – Short walks from the Gorge Centre

Traditional custodians – Kuku Yalangi people

 

Mount Coot-tha – Brisbane 

Credit: TEQ

To see – Brisbane and Moreton Bay

Closest town – Brisbane

Accessibility – Drive to the lookout

Surrounding walks – This is a good lookout to include a picnic or restaurant lunch/dinner, maybe a taxi up and back!

Traditional custodians – Yugara people

 

Boolimba Bluff Lookout – Carnarvon Gorge

Photo credit: TEQ

To see – Carnarvon Gorge

Closest town – 95kms from Injune

Accessibility – Hard 6.5km round trip

Surrounding walks – Allow 3 hours for the walk

Traditional custodians – Karingbal and Bidjara Peoples

 

 

Duwadarri (Adels Grove) and Indarri Falls Lookout – Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park

Photo credit: Outback Queensland

To see – Lawn Hill Creek

Closest town – 100km west of Gregory Downs

Accessibility – Hard/steep 1km walk, takes in both Duwadarii and Indarri lookouts

Traditional custodians –   Waanyi people

 

 

Tasmania

Wineglass Bay in Freycinet National Park, Tasmania

Wineglass Bay Lookout – Freycinet National Park 

To see – Wineglass Bay

Closest town – 13kms from Coles Bay

Accessibility – Hard – steep uphill 3 km roundtrip from the Carpark

Surrounding walks – Rather than return to the Carpark take the trail down to the Bay and walk along the beach, if you head south you get a great view of Hazard Beach.  Allow about 3 hours so you can stop and enjoy the views along the way

Traditional custodians – Palawa people

 

Trethewies Lookout and The Nut Chair Lift – Stanley Peninsula

Photo Credit: Tourism Tasmania

To see – The Nut, Stanley Peninsula and Harbour. From The Nut, it’s a fabulous 360-degree view.

Closest town – Stanley

Accessibility – Easy – drive up car-park

 

 

 

Surrounding walks – Take the Nut Chair Lift up to the viewing platform and walk back down.

 

Photo Credit: Tourism Tasmania

Stanley Town Heritage walk – 1hr easy streetwalking

Traditional custodians – Palawa people

 

 

 

 

Dove Lake Circuit – Cradle Mountain – St Clair National Park

Lake Dove and Cradle Mountain

To see – Cradle Mountain

Closest town – 87 km from Devonport

Accessibility – This is a combined walk and sightseeing situation. It’s an easy 6km round trip around Dove Lake. View Cradle Mountain from different angles.

Surrounding walks – The circuit takes about an hour and apart from the spectacular views of Cradle Mountain and its reflection in the waters of the lake, at the base of the mountain you will also see waterfalls and an amazing cool climate rainforest.

Traditional custodians – Palawa people

 

Kunanyi (Mount Wellington) – Hobart

Photo Credit: Tourism Tasmania

To see – Hobart and Bruny Island

Closest town – Hobart

Accessibility – Easy boardwalk from the car park – even in bad weather or winter there is an observation shelter at the summit.

Surrounding walks – Moderate level walk to the summit from Fern Tree to take in the rock formation the Organ Pipes – 4 hour round trip

Traditional custodians – Palawa people

Tahune Airwalk – Hartz Mountain National Park 

Photo Credit: Tourism Tasmania

To see – Huon River Valley

Closest town – Geeveston

Accessibility – Moderate – 112 steps up to the airwalk. The airwalk ranges from 20 to 50 metres above the ground so it’s probably not for you if you are scared of heights – allow an hour.

Surrounding walks – Huon Pine Walk – as a short 20 minute round trip walk along the Huon River.

Traditional custodians – Palawa people

 

 

Australian Capital Territory

Mt Ainslie – Canberra

To see – Iconic view down the 4 km stretch of Anzac Parade from the War Memorial to Parliament house.

Closest town – Canberra

Accessibility – easy – drive up.  Moderate – walk from the bottom

Surrounding walks – Hikes from the bottom car park

 

 

 

 

 

Telstra Tower – Black Mountain

Photo Credit: Visit Canberra

To see – a 360-degree view of Canberra and surrounds

Closest town – Canberra

Accessibility – easy

 

Shelley Richardson

Shelley has been working in the travel industry for over 30 years, in aviation, for tour operators and for the last three years for DriveNow. Having travelled extensively worldwide, alone, as a couple and with her family, Shelley has experience to share about how to make the most of your holiday

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