Viewpoints give me a MASSIVE rush!
It’s not because you have to get high to see them but because they are probably my favorite thing to do when I arrive somewhere new.
I think it’s the best intro to a new place.
Here you are, looking down upon everything you’re about to explore for the first time… How exciting!
While there are probably a million more places that could be on this list, I think this is a pretty darn good start to some of Oceania’s most EPIC viewpoints!
What would you add?
Oceania’s Most Epic Viewpoints
Taveuni Hill Fort in Fiji
If you are planning a holiday in beautiful Fiji and you have a bit of an adventurous spirit do find a driver and ask to be taken to Taveuni Hill Fort. Just a couple of kilometers from the luxury resorts on the Coral Coast, yet a whole different world altogether. This fort overlooks Sigatoka River and is not a tourist attraction per so… expect to have to call a number to get one of the ladies from the village to open the gates for you.
What you get though is not just amazing views of the lush landscape but also a quirky history lesson about the site and some interesting details about times gone by. The guide will point out shell middens and the “killing stone”, the foundations of the chief’s hut and various indigenous plants that are still used in today’s cooking. The hill fort is in the trust of the local people, so there have never been any serious archeological work and you will find it in pristine condition.
Mt. Wilhelm, Papua New Guinea
After a month of campervanning East Coast, Australia, my partner and I decided to travel the mysterious Papua New Guinea without doing any decent research. All we knew was that it is not a popular pick and it is a two-hour flight from Cairns. We did not even know that Port Moresby is a landlocked capital. That being said, we had to fly in and out of the city. Despite being an expensive country, we were more than glad to check out this country that many travelers feared of venturing. The highlight of our two-week trip was our trek to Mt. Wilhelm, 4600MASL. This was the view that greeted us after trekking for six hours to the top. It was a strenuous hike for me who had not prepared for this kind of adventure at all.
Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary in American Samoa
Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary in American Samoa is a great place to see turtles, whales, sharks and giant clams, as well as corals and fish of all types. This is also the US most remote parks as American Samoa is technically part of the US”
Mount ‘Alava, American Samoa
This viewpoint is from the summit of Mount ‘Alava on the island of Tutuila. It looks out over the entrance of the Pago Pago harbor. Tutuila is part of the American Samoa islands. American Samo is a chain of five islands south of the equator and about halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand. These islands are owned by the United States but operate independently. There are two trails to the summit of Mount ‘Alava. The first is 7 miles and follows an old jeep trail up to the mountain. The other option is the adventure trail which is 5.6 miles. Or there is my method which is to make a lollipop loop and combine the two trails. The jeep trail is a steady climb up to the 1,611′ summit. The adventure trail has 59 ladders and 783 stairs. I summited Mount ‘Alava twice and enjoyed the view each time.
Bora Bora, French Polynesia
I spent just over two weeks in French Polynesia for my honeymoon a few years ago. Wanting to leave the resort as often as we could to see the real Bora Bora and get a feel for local life, my hubby and I decided to take a private quad bike tour of the island. Our local guide was great, stopping at several vantage points along the way and giving us a brief history of life on the island. We followed him up many winding, rocky tracks (that you’d be surprised to even take a quad bike on) to this amazing viewpoint to which he described as “the best view in the world” – and I’d almost have to agree! I was in awe of the crystal blue waters as far as my eyes could see, sparkling like diamonds in the sun. A real slice of paradise!
Two Lovers Point in Guam
This is the view from Two Lovers Point, Guam’s most famous spot. The legend of Two Lovers Point is that of a forbidden love so this is a place where lovers come to lock their love forever. It is also a great lookout point to the Tumon Bay below.
The Blue Mountains in Australia
The viewpoint is of the Blue Mountains in Australia. The hike to the Hanging Rock provides amazing viewpoints of these massive mountains. They offer great photographic opportunities. Any Sydney-sider (residents of Sydney) love the Blue Mountains as the nature is so pure.
Hanging Rock is a sandstone rock that is hanging from the main cliff. The nearest train station to the starting point of the hike is Blackheath station. Blackheath station adds another 3 kilometres to the 10 kilometres track. Trains run frequently to and fro from Sydney to Blackheath.
A Bird’s Eye View of the Red Centre of Australia
You can’t deny that the Red Centre of Australia, is well …red. I was even shocked at how vast, and how very red the Outback is, when we flew from Adelaide to Bali, on a low flying plane. Most Australian’s live around the coastline of the country and that is because 70% of Australia is classified as semi-arid, arid or desert. That’s a lot of deserts, and a lot of red soil, and is known as Outback Australia.
The Red Centre is red because there are large deposits of iron ore, which is red, on the ground. Outback Australia and the Red Centre are of great cultural significance to the indigenous Australians, the Aboriginals. Many visitors come to see Uluru and Kata Tjuṯa, also known as the Olgas, in the Red Centre.
While this is a vast area, if you are on the ground you will see watering holes and Australian animals like kangaroos. You are also likely to see the feral camels because Australia has the has the largest population of wild camels in the world? True story, check the Guinness Book of Records.
Abel Tasman National Park in New Zealand
There are heaps of stunning viewpoints along the Abel Tasman Coastal Track, but Skinner Point is one of the most impressive and easy to access. The entire track takes a few days to complete, so if you’re short on time you should drive to Totaranui. From there you’re only an hour or so away from pristine beaches, including Anapai Bay and Goat Bay. Skinner Point is on the way to Goat Bay (around a 25 minute walk from the Totaranui car park). You can see right over Totaranui Beach and the native forests of Abel Tasman National Park – you won’t see many better coastal views in New Zealand! Abel Tasman National Park is located at the top of the South Island. This region has some of the best weather in the country and there are lots of other places to go, including Golden Bay and the Marlborough Sounds.
12 Apostles Lookout on the Great Ocean Road in Australia
The 12 Apostles, located along Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, are one of Australia’s most famous natural attractions. To support the number of annual visitors, and help them get the best view of these rock formations rising out of the ocean, a visitors center has been built into the cliff side which takes you out parallel to capture epic views like this one! The visitors center is free to enter so there is absolutely no reason not to make a pit stop here when driving along the Great Ocean Road.
Sydney Harbour Bridge Pylon Lookout in Australia
From Sydney Expert
The Sydney Harbour Pylon lookout is a budget traveller dream. Only $15 and 200 stairs separate you from a 360-degree bird’s eye view of Sydney Harbour.
On opening in 1934, the Pylon lookout provided the best view of Sydney Harbour locals had ever seen, and while almost everyone planning a trip to Sydney has heard of Sydney Harbour BridgeClimb, the Pylon Lookout rarely gets a mention. In fact, many locals don’t even know about this hidden gem.
On the way to the top, you pass through a small museum collection set out over three floors that tell the story of the building of this world famous icon and offers some insight into its design and construction.
The view is almost the same as the one you would get from the top of the Bridgeclimb with the extra benefit of being able to take your camera and stay as long as you like.
I like to start my visit to the lookout by catching the train from the city to Milson’s Point on the northern side on the Harbour. Follow the signed to the pedestrian walkway and walk across the bridge so that you get to admire the Harbour and see the bridge close up before heading up to the lookout for a view over the city.
Nugget Point in New Zealand
Nugget Point is tucked away on New Zealands south east coast. It is along a stretch of road called the southern scenic route and for me was a major stopping point on this road trip. When you first arrive and are walking towards the light house you notice a towering cliff to the southern side and if you are feeling adventurous like I was you can make the walk up. The track is narrow, steep and can be slippery in parts but the view looking down on the light house from above is absolutely spectacular.
Sillers Lookout, Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary, Australia
Sillers Lookout (that’s Australian for ‘Viewpoint’) is at the end of a two-hour rock-and-rolling return trip in a purpose-built 4WD open sided truck. The 4+ hour return drive over tortuous tyre-shredding tracks (aka ‘roads’) so rugged I found myself levitating over the roughest parts is as good as spending four gruelling hours in the gym.
But to do the Sillers Lookout Ridge-Top Tour, you first have to get to Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary, set amidst the unspoiled wilderness of South Australia’s northern Flinders Ranges. And on the 725 km (450 miles) road trip heading north from Adelaide, this awesome experience REALLY starts – the drive takes at least 8 hours, with the final 125 km (77 miles) on an all-weather dirt road.
The superb outback landscape en route to Arkaroola is enough to make the trip worthwhile. But the panoramic 360° view over this wild and dramatic Outback landscape at the end of a rocky ride is one of the best experiences in Australia.
Tairua in Coromandel, New Zealand
One of my favorite quotes from another traveler, while I was crossing New Zealand by Motorbike, was “I love New Zealand, no matter where you are, you are always 15 minutes from something amazing”. After hearing this, I started noticing how true it really was. New Zealand will always be somewhere I return over and over again. This is just outside Tairua on the way to Hot Water Beach in Coromandel. I made a pit stop here while meandering the North Island by motorcycle.
Brinkley Bluff, Northern Territory, Australia
The best viewpoint I’ve ever witnessed a sunset from was while trekking the Larapinta Trail in Central Australia. Even now, I get somewhat whimsical thinking back on it. But with all beauty comes a price. These amazing 360° views of the Australian desert can only be accessed by eight hours of uphill hiking with little shade. It’s all worth it in the end though, once you start to see all the beautiful colours dancing across the mountains and sky. And at night, expect the stars and the Milky Way to be just as magical! This viewpoint is located at Brinkley Bluff campsite in Section 4 of the multi-day Larapinta Trail hike. When putting up your tent at the campsite, position it so you face the sunrise. When the beautiful pinks and oranges start to pierce through your tent, you’ll know it’s time to get up!
Mt Wellington, Hobart, Tasmania
It’s hard to miss Mt Wellington in Tasmania’s capital city of Hobart. The mountain dominates the city skyline, providing a stunning backdrop for sunsets and a popular place for view-seekers.
Only a 20-minute drive from the Hobart CBD by personal car, the summit of Mt Wellington provides 1271 metres of elevation overlooking the Derwent River, the city of Hobart, and much of the Tasmanian wilderness. This view point is totally free but don’t forget to pack for all weather (Tasmanian has mood swings at any time of year)!
There are plenty of hikes on Mt Wellington itself and various places to take in the view; but the “Pinnacle” has to be the best. In the summer the clear skies provide epic vistas, and in the winter, the dusting of snow causes the mountain to be buzzing with excited locals.
Soooo… Have you bought your plane ticket yet? 🙂
Tell me, what’s been your favorite viewpoint? What would you add to this list?
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