Australia is an extraordinarily diverse country. From deserts to beaches and from modern architecture to haunted ruins, this country has plenty to offer for avid photographers.
Whether it's simply to visit these places to photograph yourself or simply to appreciate their beauty by displaying professional shots on your walls, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most photographed landmarks in this boundless country for you.
Set in an iron-flat desert landscape of the Northern Territory, Uluru (formerly Ayer’s Rock) is a strange and mystifying anomaly. Hovering territorially over its surroundings, the iconic rust-red rock of Uluru is millions of years old. At 348 metres high and 9.4 kilometres in circumference, its bulky size is what attracts 250,000 visitors yearly.
Yet it is not precisely the rock itself that draws visitors in; it is its colour. Or rather, its colours. Depending on the weather and the time of day, Uluru can take on an astonishing array of colours, from almost neon red to dulled orange to violet. For this reason, it is most popularly photographed at sunrise and sunset, when visitors can witness its colourful transformation according to the sun’s declining position in the sky.
Ken Duncan and Jorg Heumuller are among the many professional photographers who have sought to take photographs of the big rock.
CAPE BYRON BAY LIGHTHOUSE
A beacon of light on the tip of Australia’s easternmost point, Byron Bay’s lighthouse in New South Wales draws in the tourists like moths to a flame. Built at the turn of the 20th century, the lighthouse offers 180 degree views of ocean and bay, with the pointy Mount Warning in the distance to the west.
Visitors usually hike to the lighthouse from the township of Byron Bay, passing through rainforests and along cliffs to reach the landmark. Dolphins, surfers, and even migrating humpback whales can be seen from the cape.
However, the some of the best photographs of the lighthouse are not always up close. Photographs taken from Tallow Beach on the east shores of Byron Bay provide fantastic scope to incorporate the ocean, the rugged headland on which the building is perched, and the white monument itself.
GREAT BARRIER REEF
The world’s largest coral reef and one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Great Barrier Reef is one of Australia’s truly remarkable locations. With an incredible abundance of marine life and over 3,000 individual reef systems, there is ample opportunity for photographs just off Queensland’s coast.
Underwater opportunities to snap neon-bright coral, clown fish, and turtles are rife on location, although some of the most popular images of the reef are aerial shots, demonstrating the incredible scope of the reef.
It is Heart Reef that has arguably received most attention overseas. Located in the Whitsundays, this reef is a composition of coral naturally formed in the shape of – you guessed it – a love heart. Today, tour companies offer scenic flights over the reef to offer bird’s eye views of this endearing formation.
Nature photographer Steve Parish has taken some tremendous images of Queensland's coastline and the reef. Today, they have become internationally renowned photographs of Australia's northeastern waters. Ken Duncan and Phil Gray have likewise travelled to the reef to capture images of its rare beauty.
A bridge and an opera house built upon a stunning harbour. Blue water hemmed in by picturesque hills. For many visitors from overseas, Sydney Harbour is what the Eiffel Tower is to France or the Great Wall is to China.
Complete with the egg-shell curves of the Opera House and the steel, arched boldness of the Harbour Bridge, Sydney’s Harbour is perhaps the most recognisable and most popularly photographed landmark in Australia.
Jack Atley, one of Australia’s most awarded professional photographers, was tasked with photographing a unique series of images of the Opera House as it undergoes the largest architectural changes to the site since it was first built.
Robert Billington, another award-winning photographer, has taken some incredible retro images of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
GREAT OCEAN ROAD
Windswept and rough, the Great Ocean Road in Victoria is a 243 kilometre stretch of winding road through some of the state’s most stunning coastal scenery. It is listed as an Australian National Heritage item and has been captured in print by numerous professional photographers.
Few people know that the road was built by returned soldiers between 1919 and 1932 and was dedicated to soldiers killed in World War I, making it the world’s largest war memorial.
The most popular landmark on the road is the 12 Apostles, a collection of limestone stacks in the ocean off Port Campbell National Park. Today, eight pillars are remaining, which are commonly photographed either on clear days or during the sunset, as the sun dips below the ocean in the background.
You can find photographs of the Great Ocean Road and the 12 Apostles
Located in south Tasmania, the dreary ruins of the former Port Arthur convict settlement capture the imaginations of visitors today. A World Heritage property, Port Arthur contains eleven remaining buildings, built during the 1800s as a penal colony.
The Penitentiary is the most imposing and therefore the most iconic image of the Port Arthur settlement. Built as a flour mill and granary in 1843, it was transformed into dormitory accommodation for 480 convicts in 1857.
Built beside Mason Cove, the Penitentiary and accompanying buildings are best photographed from across the bay. There, the crumbling beige ruins are reflected hauntingly in the navy blue water.
THE THREE SISTERS
Like solid, reassuring knuckles, the Three Sisters is a rock formation in the Blue Mountains in New South Wales. The landmark got its name from an Aboriginal legend that tells the tale of three sisters turned to stone.
Between 906 and 922 metres tall, the rock, which can be viewed from Echo Point in Katoomba, overlooks a beautiful vista across a forested valley. Like Uluru, the Three Sisters changes its colours throughout the day, according to weather and the position of the sun. At night, it is floodlit for tourists.
Tall and chimney-like, the Pinnacles are limestone formations inside Nambung National Park near Cervantes in Western Australia. Rising up from sandy ground, the huge mounds spread across an incredible expanse of desert.
The best photographs of the Pinnacles have been taken in the early or late hours of the day, when the sun’s proximity to the horizon creates vast shadows across the desert sands. A high vantage point demonstrates the vastness of the pinnacle desert with the turquoise Indian Ocean beyond.
Australia has an incredible amount of beauty on offer just waiting to be admired. From the Heart Reef in Queensland to the poignant ruins of the Port Arthur Historic Site in Tasmania, these landscapes and landmarks touch our heart and evoke the adventurer within us.
Richard Tarrant - Bio
Richard is founder and CEO of PictureStore and has worked since October 2000 to make wall art accessible to all Australians. Google+