Top 10 Sunsets in Australia
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Top 10 sunsets in Australia

by Matt Hobbs

Everyone loves a good sunset, and here in Australia we're lucky enough to see some truly great ones.

There are countless amazing locations around Australia to take in a striking evening sky; but which are the best places to do so? Here, we break down the top 10 sunsets in Australia as voted by you, the public.


10. Grampians National Park, Victoria

Victoria's Grampians National Park is a destination that offers numerous spectacular lookouts. Its various canyons, gorges, peaks and valleys all provide different views of the sun setting over the rugged bushland.

Thanks to the size of the Grampians, it's hard to recommend a single viewpoint to watch the sunset, however, the most famous spot is dubbed The Balconies, and can be reached via a relatively easy walk.

Top 10 Australian Sunsets Grampians National Park

Image: Thousand Wonders

The sandstone rocks jut out of the cliff and serve as an ideal lookout with views stretching from the vast Victorian Valley to the south and Lake Wartook to the north. It's perhaps one of the most-photographed sunset spots in Australia, as the rugged ranges mixed with the changing sunlight makes for an impressive scene.

While not as easily accessible as some of the other entries on this list, the Grampians can still be visited with a day tour from Melbourne.

Darwin, Northern Territory

The Northern Territory's capital isn't just crocodiles and red dirt, Darwin offers visitors the chance to mix the outback with the city and the coast while also taking in some impressive sunsets.

One key factor that makes Darwin's sunsets so impressive is that due to the size of the city's harbour there are many spots providing great views. Local sites such as the Dripstone Cliffs or East Point Reserve are hot spots.

Top 10 Australian Sunsets Darwin Norther Territory

Image: Racheal Christian

Sunsets are such an integral part of the Darwin culture, with entire events based around watching it. The city's popular Mindil Beach Markets are held at a time of day that coincides perfectly with the changing skies. You can do some shopping, grab a bite to eat and watch the sun go down over the water all in the one place.

Add Darwin's beautiful sunset to its many family-friendly experiences, surrounding natural attractions and rich history and you've got one incredible top-end destination.

8. Moreton Island, Queensland

An easily accessible island from Brisbane, Moreton Island offers a relaxing escape from the city. Featuring massive sand dunes, wild untamed forest and wonderful beaches, Moreton Island is a great day trip and overnight destination for locals and visitors alike, however, once the sun begins to set, the scenery improves tenfold.

Top 10 Australian Sunsets Moreton Island Queensland

Image: Globe Trotter Girls

What makes Moreton Island's sunset so special is the chance to watch it while admiring the famous Tangalooma Wrecks. Numbering 15 in total, the wrecks were purposefully sunk to create a break wall for local fishermen, however, they have since become a popular man-made reef and popular snorkelling spot.

The reflection of the sunlight off the water and the wrecks makes for one of the most distinct sunsets in Australia. The best part about Moreton Island's Sunset is you can reach it within an hour from Brisbane.

7. Lord Howe Island, New South Wales

Lord Howe Island is one of the most beautiful island destinations in the country. Located off the coast of New South Wales, the island is World Heritage Listed and is one of the best places in Australia to watch the sunset.

There are many different places all over the island that make for great vantage points to watch the sunset. During the winter months, the sun sets earlier in the afternoon so make sure you're ready to capture this beautiful sight.

Top 10 Australian Sunsets Lord Howe Island New South Wales

Image: Paul Sheringham's Nature and Landscape Photography

The island's mountainous structure, resulting from its volcanic origins, makes for some impressive effects as the sun casts its path around their outline. Spectacular 360-degree views are available at the end of a walk up the 875m-high Mount Gower that dominates the island if you're willing to put in the effort.

There are few more spectacular sites available in Australia than the view from the mountaintop, gazing down upon the pristine reef and lush rainforest below.

6. Kakadu, Northern Territory

The diversity of Australia's iconic Kakadu is an attraction in itself, but when coupled with the beautiful sunset it completely transforms. The frequent sight of migrating birds adds an authentically-Australian touch to the scene.

Perhaps the most ideal sunset lookout in Kakadu National Park is Ubirr, a large rock outcrop that offers panoramic views of the surrounding floodplains that stretch out as far as the eye can see.

Top 10 Australian Sunsets Kakadu Northern Territory

Ubirr itself is also famous for its large concentration of Aboriginal rock paintings that date back thousands of years and form an ideal way to pass the time before sunset approaches.

The site is fairly isolated and requires a fair bit of a driving to get to, a short climb is required to get up to the top of the lookout. Kakadu park rangers are typically on hand to check you're carrying your park permit, but these challenges are trivial when compared to the visual rewards on offer.

For a sunset that encompasses everything Australia is all about, you'd be hard-pressed to do better than Kakadu.

5. Uluru, Northern Territory

There are few images of Australia more iconic than the sunset casting its glow over Uluru. It is a sight that's instantly recognisable to Australians and travellers from abroad.

While the majority of famous photography of Uluru shows off the giant rock as having its typical red-brown hue, it's at sunset in particular when its colours are at their richest. The ever-changing lighting conditions play with the natural contours of the stone to form a truly remarkable image.

Top 10 Australian Sunsets Uluru Ayers Rock Northern Territory

As one of the most popular sunsets in Australia, designated sunset viewing areas have been set up to allow visitors to take in the magical views while enjoying some nibbles and a glass of bubbly. The sheer presence of the monolith makes the event one that many visitors to Australia often describe as their best.

This is just as well, as getting to Uluru can be quite the mission. Its location in the heart of the Red Centre means that you'll have to invest a significant mixture of time and money in order to soak in one of the country's greatest spectacles.

4. Glenelg, South Australia

The seaside suburb of Glenelg in South Australia is one of SA's most popular coastal escapes. With a laid-back vibe and pleasant waterfront leisure and shopping precinct, the region's sunsets are often major drawcards for visitors.

Easily reached with around a 20-minute drive from the centre of Adelaide CBD, Glenelg is rich in not only shopping and scenery but wildlife as well, with the waters teeming with marine life - including, famously, its dolphins.

Top 10 Australian Sunsets Uluru Glenelg South Australia

Image: On The Road Again

The Glenelg Pier is undoubtedly the central focus of the suburb, as it stretches into the ocean and offers outstanding views up and down the coast as well as the foreshore and many of the old homes that still line the coast, dating back to the town's foundation in the early 1800s.

There are also plenty of bars, restaurants and cafes that sit adjacent to the beach which provide a great vantage point of the sun going down. The Glenelg sunset forms a wonderful backdrop for those grabbing a bite to eat or kicking back a few drinks.

You'll likely have a battle on your hands to get a window seat at some of the restaurants at sunset, so be sure to book well in advance if it's your goal to dine and sightsee at the same time.

3. Great Ocean Road, Victoria

Australia's most scenic drive is one of Victoria's highlights, and its numerous rock formations and rugged coastal scenery are even more beautiful at sunset. As if the towering rocks of The Twelve Apostles were not amazing enough, the red hue of the sun playing on both their faces and the crashing water below makes this stretch of landscape, at just the right time of the evening, truly a sight to behold.

When admired from the ever-popular lookout at the Apostles Visitor's centre, the combination of rugged coast, evening glow and the iconic rocks is most likely one of the most photogenic scenes you'll encounter in the state.

Top 10 Australian Sunsets Great Ocean Road Victoria

Image: Bunyip Tours

If there was one word to describe the experience, majestic would probably be it. The untamed beauty of the road coupled with its length (243km in total if you're feeling especially adventurous) makes the Great Ocean Road yet another essential bucket list item.

More than simply a drive, the Great Ocean Road is a journey that blends wildlife and nature into a single stunning package and one that is easily explorable by hopping off the road itself and venturing inland.

With a little exploration you'll come across the likes of koalas, kangaroos, emus and more while towering trees in national park can be found at Otway and hundreds of fur seals can be seen at Cape Bridgewater.

2. Cable Beach, Western Australia

Perhaps more than any other destination on this list, the main attraction of the entire Cable Beach and Broome region is the sunset itself.

The unbelievable mix of colours on display coupled with views of the Indian Ocean and the unique "Staircase to the Moon" optical illusion (during its limited season) makes witnessing a sunset at Cable Beach is an unmissable experience.

Top 10 Australian Sunsets Cable Beach Western Australia

The Staircase to the Moon phenomena occurs between March and October, creating a dazzling visual effect on the land and water. This is due to the clear skies combining with low tides exposing the mud flats of the bay, allowing the reflection to form a staircase-style illusion.

It's this combination of unforgettable colour that makes Cable Beach's sunsets so beautiful.

1. Busselton, Western Australia

The small seaside town of Busselton to the south-west of Perth has long been popular with locals and upon visiting its quaint, charming foreshore it's easy to see why. The charm of the town still exists and the continued development has been wonderfully balanced with maintaining the town's beauty.

Busselton's Jetty is a key factor in providing this charming aspect; it extends an amazing 1.8km out into the waters of surrounding Geographe Bay and is the perfect place to take in the town's famed sunsets. Busselton's sunsets are special in that they often branch away from the typical red-orange glows of many other spots and often have a distinct indigo-purple tinge, making for a truly spectacular sight.

Top 10 Australian Sunsets Busselton Western Australia

But what else makes Busselton's sunsets so special? According to Sue Mountford, MFO of Busselton Jetty: "What makes Busselton's sunsets so special is the fact that because Geographe Bay faces north, the sun does not set directly out into the ocean; it sets in the west over the Cape Naturaliste area. The extensive views for miles and miles across Geographe Bay to the sunset is simply spectacular and provide an aura of calmness and serenity."

It's this unique combination of escapist atmosphere, great waterfront facilities, wonderful seaside architecture and - of course - spectacular skies that make Busselton well worthy of the title of Australia's Best Sunset.

In addition, if you're looking for more things to do all across Australia including some of the best tours, attractions and activities, be sure to check out our main region section to browse for more information online.

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