A bird's eye view

"I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains. Of ragged mountain ranges, of droughts and flooding rains."

Such are the words of Australian poet Dorothea MacKellar and no truer words have been spoken of the vast and richly diverse landscape that is the land down under.

The enormity and beauty of Australia’s spectacular terrain can be explored in many ways. However,  visitors seeking a truly unique perspective of our complex, drama-filled terrain should be looking to the skies, with plenty of tour operators offering scenic flights above and beyond Australia's natural and man-made wonders.

Begin your aerial journey across Australia at one of these iconic destinations.

The Great Barrier Reef, North Queensland

Appreciate the stunning beauty of the world’s largest coral reef with a scenic helicopter or light-plane flight. Listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Great Barrier Reef stretches over 2,600 kilometres along the expansive North Queensland coast line; fly low across the water and see some of the 900 or  more tiny islands, 2,300 individual reefs and dazzling array of colours that make up the Reef, which is home to more than 1,500 species of fish, 134 species of sharks and 6 of the 7 species of marine turtles in the world.  Beautiful North Queensland offers many options for scenic flights, with departure points from Cairns and the Whitsundays being the most popular with holiday makers.

Sydney Harbour, New South Wales

Sydney Harbour is filled to the brim with world-famous landmarks; the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House and Circular Key to name a few. Experience these Aussie icons from a unique perspective with a scenic helicopter ride across  Sydney Harbour. Breathtaking views of the CBD and the outer reaches of greater Sydney await as you fly across the Harbour and out to Sydney’s iconic coastline with its jagged cliff faces, rockpools and iconic beaches.

The Kimberley, Western Australia

Australia’s rugged landscape is on display to full effect in the Kimberley region. Located in the country's north-western reaches,  the land boasts breathtaking waterfalls and gorge systems, unique rock formations and a twisting coastline some of which remains inaccessible only by boat or helicopter. Visitors can experience some of the region's iconic sites like the Bungle Bungles, Lake Argle and Horizontal Falls by air or light plane, with several operators conveniently located in Broome or Kununurra.

Uluru, the Northern Territory

Uluru or Ayres Rock is arguably Australia’s most easily recognisable natural landmark and lies amongst the vastness of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Often referred to as the Red Centre due to its central position in the country and the dusty red desert where it lays, Uluru is a place of significant historical importance to Australia’s indigenous people, with measures  now put in place to ensure that visitors to the area respect  the traditions and wishes of the  area’s traditional landowners. Scenic flights are still permitted over the region; book in a sunrise or sunset tour for a truly breathtaking experience of desert colour and  serenity.

Tasmanian World Heritage Wilderness Area, Tasmania

The best way to experience Australia's most mountainous and mysterious state by air is to head for the Tasmanian World Heritage Wilderness Area.  Take a ride over Cradle Mountain or head deep into the rugged Southwestern Wilderness, with flights passing over some of the world's most remote landscape, including Huon Valley,  Bathurst Harbour, Port Davey, Melaleuca and South Cape and South East Cape.

 

 

 

 

Words by Rebecca Walker. Image courtesy of Lauren Bath (Western Australia Tourism) - Published 14 March 2019
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