Mountains and Beaches and Desert, Oh My!

When I used to hear ‘Australia,’ I used to think of a land comprised of desert and beaches. I’ve lived here for nearly two months and I’ve learned that not only is Australia diverse in its fauna, but also in its landscapes.

I’d like to share some pictures that capture a bit of the beautiful ecosystems that the land down under has to offer.

Let’s start with the beautiful beaches.

Soft sand, blue water, and awesome waves. Add in a clear, blue sky and a beach day can’t get anymore perfect. But wait! It can. Unlike the Jersey Shore, you don’t  have to pay to go on beaches in Australia. Each beautiful beach is open to public for free.


Noosa Heads Beach on the Sunshine Coast


A view of Noosa Heads Beach framed by lush plants

It’s not rare to see mini forests–full of trees, bushes, and palms–right up against the sand.


A beach at Coolangatta

Down the beaches into the water, there is a wonderful world waiting to be explored. The Great Barrier Reef up near North Queensland near Cairns is incredible. There are many different kinds of coral and fish that peacefully exist under the sea. I love how the sunlight dances underwater on the coral.


Coral in the Great Barrier Reef


A fish cruising amongst the coral in the Great Barrier Reef

Near the coast in Cairns are mountains covered in rainforests.


My parents beautifully posing underneath the canopy


A view of a river flowing in the gorge between green mountains


The rainforest extends to the horizon and beyond

Because water is such an important resource–supporting both animals and humans, many cities are built along their banks. Here, I’m posing with the Sydney Opera House behind me, the Harbor Bridge behind that, and the river to my left.


Getting that must-have picture with the famous Sydney Opera House


“Brisbane” set up right in front of the Brisbane River


Posing on the promenade adjacent to the winding Brisbane River

Traveling further inland to the center of Australia is the Outback — the red desert.


It looks like a completely different planet


The famous and sacred Uluru, glowing from the setting sun

While you may think that the Outback is a barren wasteland, it is actually full of low-lying bushes and grasses, as well as the occasional tree here and there.

Camels, initially introduced to Australia, have increased in numbers.


Surprise! Australia has camels!

Australia is home to many endemic species, some being the most deadly of their species in the world. Here are some pictures with the most well known Australian animals.

A white dingo visited us at a dinner BBQ near Uluru:


Begging for food


Gotta get the classic koala picture


Emus are so happy


If you don’t get a picture with a kangaroo, did you even go to Australia?

I hope you enjoyed looking at some of my pictures–there are more to come in another post. Perhaps they even inspired you to think about traveling to this amazing island on the other side of the world!



One thought on “Mountains and Beaches and Desert, Oh My!

  1. Pingback: On an Island in the Sun | The SAS Honors Program Blog

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