For anyone searching for jaw-dropping landscapes untouched by human beings, all roads lead to Australia. Not only is Australia the sixth largest country on earth, it contains vast stretches of pristine wilderness – from ancient mountain ranges to tropical rainforest and spectacular deserts – which have never been touched by agriculture, mining or industrial development. In fact, Australia is officially one of last five remaining wilderness zones on the planet, alongside Antarctica, the Amazon, Sahara Desert and Canada’s northern Boreal.
Apart from its impressive size, Australia also offers a huge diversity of landscapes, climates and wildlife – everything from the temperate forests of Tasmania to the immensity of the Gibson Desert; not to mention 19,000kms of coastline, much of it protected by marine parks and conservation areas.
Australia, the world’s oldest and driest continent, also contains one of the planet’s most important populations of native mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians and endemic plants.
Twenty years ago exploring these remote parts of Australia meant lengthy (and often hot) road travel, basic accommodation and some pretty unexciting cuisine. The visitor experience today is vastly different. Guests can choose from architect-designed luxury lodges, African-style safari camps and high-end cruise ships. While the first European explorers to reach Australia regarded the wilderness as something to be conquered, the modern day traveller understands that these precious places offer a rare opportunity to leave the 21st Century behind and commune with nature in its rawest and most pristine form.
The wild places of Australia also offer plenty of scope for all sorts of outdoor adventure – whether swimming with whale sharks on WA’s Ningaloo Reef, crocodile spotting in Kakadu National Park or heli-fishing in far north Queensland.
These are some of our favourite wilderness experiences – and ones which we are confident will change the way you view Australia’s remote, untouched and beautiful places.