While Australia is a wonderful country for finding your own piece of heaven, there are some places that even the hardiest adventurer just is going to be able to get to.
In a piece of beautiful irony, the star of about 7,283,030 tourism marketing campaigns is one of the places in Australia no one can actually get to. Heart Reef in the Whitsundays – that island from all the promotional films that looks like a heart from above – has protected status. That means you can’t land a helicopter on it, sail up to it or snorkel by it.
A big volcano in the middle of nowhere – 1000km north of Antarctica, and more than 4000km from both South Africa and the Australian mainland – Heard Island is an Australian external territory.
Mawson Peak (2750m) is the highest Australian mountain – and it’s highly active, with the most recent eruption in April 2013.
One of only three breeding sites in the world for the vulnerable Shy Albatross, this tiny Bass Strait island is a Tasmanian state nature reserve. Public access is restricted so that the birds can breed in peace, but even if it wasn’t, the boat ride over there would put off all but the hardiest of visitors. Rough seas and lack of mooring make it tough to get at, even if the Parks and Wildlife Service gives you rare permission to go.
While it’s hardly a top secret base, none really knows exactly what goes on at the Pine Gap Joint Defence Facility.
Just 18km south-west of Alice Springs, the large antennas pouting at the heavens gives it away that this this Australian – American military base is used as a satellite tracking station, any other intelligence activities conducted at Pine Gap is kept hidden.
Unless you work there, you’re not getting in. And don’t think about a scenic flight overhead either – there’s a no fly zone.
Cartier Island is a 0.4 hectare sand cay sticking out from a reef.
It’s lumped in with the also uninhabited Ashmore Islands 70km away and administered by the Department of Transport and Regional Services – which should give an idea of just how important it is. The 172 square kilometre marine reserve surrounding the ocean speck is rather more important, however. Around 16 per cent of Australia’s fish species can be found there.
photos: out sourced from google