There is off the beaten path, and then there is so far off the beaten path that it is inaccessible.
While Australia is a wonderful place to find your own slice of heaven, there are some locations that even the most intrepid explorers cannot reach. Whether it’s for wildlife protection, military exercises, or sheer inaccessibility, we’ve compiled a list of 10 regions of Australia that are inaccessible, as well as 10 much more agreeable alternatives.
Even though the Pine Gap Joint Defence Facility is hardly a top-secret facility, there is a remarkable reluctance to discuss its operations.
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that this Australian-American military base, located 18 kilometers south-west of Alice Springs, serves as a satellite tracking station. Large antennas pointing to the sky reveal this fact. However, information regarding other intelligence operations conducted at Pine Gap is deliberately kept secret.
If you do not work there, you cannot enter. nearby road signs make this very clear. And don’t even consider a scenic flight above – there is a no-fly zone.
Heard Island is an Australian external territory despite being a large volcano in the middle of nowhere, approximately 1000 kilometers north of Antarctica and more than 4000 kilometers from both South Africa and the Australian mainland.
Mawson Peak, at 2750m, is the highest mountain in Australia, and it is highly active. The last eruption occurred in April 2013.
If you want to see penguins, glaciers, seabirds, and lava flows, it is a complicated process to get there. First, permission must be obtained from the Australian Antarctic Division (www.antarctica.gov.au). Then you must convince the crew of a properly equipped expedition boat to sail for up to two weeks across some of the world’s roughest seas. Let us assume it is unlikely.
The Ranger Retention Pond
This large billabong on the outskirts of Kakadu National Park is a shoo-in for the title of Australia’s least appealing swimming hole, but you can’t even dip your toes in. Even though the local wildlife appears to be using it as an idyllic wetland refuge, this is likely a good thing.
All water that falls on the Ranger Uranium Mine site must be retained by law in order to prevent potential contamination. During the rainy season, that is a tremendous amount of water.
In addition to potential radiation, saltwater crocodiles have taken up residence in the pond, as evidenced by the presence of traps on its edge. It is not prime snorkeling territory.
Accessible alternative: To swim safely in Kakadu, head to the top of Gunlom Falls, where the natural infinity pool is too high for crocodiles to reach.
The focus of approximately 7,283,030 tourism marketing campaigns is one of the locations in Australia that no one can actually visit. Heart Reef in the Whitsundays, the island depicted in countless advertisements as a heart from above, is protected. Therefore, you cannot land a helicopter on it, sail up to it, or snorkel around it.
Obviously, this would be largely pointless – it does not appear particularly romantic from the ground. Air Whitsunday offers a variety of scenic flights that provide brochure photographers with a bird’s-eye view of Heart Reef.
Multiple-day sailing excursions typically extend beyond the most populated of the 74 islands that make up the Whitsundays. Due to its distance from Airlie Beach, Shaw Island is typically omitted from shorter itineraries, making it ideal for a romantic proposal away from the crowds of day-trippers.
South Coast, Point Nepean National Park
Point Nepean, the easternmost tip of the Mornington Peninsula, was not always a national park. Large swaths of the area are still off-limits to visitors, and these sections correspond to those that were used as a military firing range for decades. Both conservation and unexploded ordnance necessitate the fencing off of these vast areas. There is an alarmingly high probability of losing a limb or two if you walk where you should not.
Additionally, boat access along the south coast of this region is prohibited for safety reasons; rough seas and high cliffs make landing anywhere too hazardous.
The national park is not completely inaccessible. The old military forts, tunnels, and quarantine station are available for exploration. Also accessible is Cheviot Beach, where former prime minister Harold Holt disappeared in 1967.
Carnac Island is just off the coast of Fremantle, but you need special permission from the Department of Conservation and Land Management to go beyond the beach. Those who arrive by boat and plan to sneak inland when no one is looking could be in for a very unpleasant surprise. The island is densely populated by tiger snakes. This is useful for collecting venom for use in medical research by researchers wearing protective clothing. Good luck to a wayward day-tripper sauntering along in flip-flops.
Rockingham provides ferry service to nearby Penguin Island on a regular basis. The wildlife here, including sea lions, penguins, and pelicans, is significantly less dangerous.
Cartier Island is a 0.4-hectare sand cay that protrudes from a reef nearer to Indonesia than to Australia, where the Indian Ocean meets the Timor Sea.
It is grouped with the uninhabited Ashmore Islands 70 kilometers away and administered by the Department of Transport and Regional Services, which should give you some idea of its significance. However, the 172-square-kilometer marine reserve surrounding the ocean speck is considerably more significant. There are approximately 16% of Australia’s fish species there.
You can only enter the reserve if you are either an Indonesian fisherman with a special license or an Australian government official monitoring Indonesian fishermen from a patrol boat.
Want to observe wildlife in a remote region of the Indian Ocean? Then, travel to Christmas Island. The annual red crab migration is one of nature’s greatest spectacles. Diving and bird-watching are also popular activities.
Elliot Price Conservation Park
Elsewhere, the 63,645-acre Elliott Price Conservation Park would be considered enormous. However, it is a relatively small portion of Lake Eyre. The conservation park encompasses the Hunt Peninsula and Brooks Island, which have been designated as an area for wildlife and wilderness (i.e., lots and lots of salt) to do their thing in peace.
Given that there are no roads within miles, it would require an extraordinary effort to get a vehicle there in the first place.
William Creek and Marree offer 4WD access to sections of Lake Eyre National Park, and Halligan Point provides a lakeside campsite. If not, transport it by air. From Marree, GSL Aviation offers scenic flights over the lake.
The Woomera Prohibited Area
In the South Australian outback, an area the size of England is cordoned off from the public so that the Australian military and various arms manufacturers can practice detonating explosives.
The Woomera Prohibited Area is separated into distinct zones. Some are only closed for a portion of the year. But the red zone just north of the Stuart Highway between Woomera and Glendambo is an absolute no-no, as it is full of old metal scraps that you should never pick up.
The Stuart Highway passes through the restricted area, but you are not permitted to leave the highway without a permit from the Department of Defence. However, it is possible to get a heavily abridged version of what’s happening inside Woomera’s Heritage and Visitor Centre. Curiously, the displays are more interested in explaining the region’s history of space research than its weapons testing.
This tiny Bass Strait island is a Tasmanian state nature reserve and one of only three known breeding locations for the endangered Shy Albatross. So that the birds can breed in peace, public access is restricted, but even if it weren’t, the boat ride would discourage all but the most determined visitors. Even if the Parks and Wildlife Service grants you rare permission to visit, rough seas and a lack of mooring make access difficult.
Stay at the homestead on nearby Three Hummock Island and observe an abundance of seabirds between kayaking, fishing, and snorkeling excursions.
Topic: Off limits: 10 places you will never go in Australia
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