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Australia's Top 10 Coastal Cliffs

1. Shipwreck Coast, Vic

Location: Port Campbell NP, Port Campbell, Vic
The south west coast of Victoria on the Great Ocean Road between Cape Otway and the town of Warrnambool is one of the most rugged and scenic stretches of coastline in Australia. Feared by sailors of old, many of whom lost their lives and their ships on its rocky shores, it is today a magnet for tourists and sightseers. The cliffs, bluffs, islands and beaches that we see today are the result of a retreating sandstone coastline under constant attack from the sea. Each year the cliff faces are being eroded at the rate of around two centimetres a year. Over the years, harder layers and columns of rock have resisted the erosion process, which have led to the stunning features found along this stretch of coastline.

2. Bunda Cliffs, SA

Location: Nullarbor Plain, SA
It is wrong to believe that a drive across the Nullarbor is boring with nothing to see. From Ceduna to the Border Village the Eyre Highway the road follows the coastal cliffs of the Great Australian Bight. There are five lookouts between Nullabor and Border Village providing wonderful ocean panoramas of this dramatic stretch of coastline. Between June and October the waters along the coast have again become a safe haven for Southern Right whales to breed and train their young for the long journey back to the Antarctic waters during the summer and the lookout, built to view the cliffs, fulfil another purpose, whale watching

3. Tasman Peninsula, Tas

Location: Tasman Peninsula, Tas
The Tasman and Forestier peninsulas, to the south east of Hobart, contain some of Australia's most interesting, rugged coastline as well as some unique and amazing rock formations. Eaglehawk Neck, which connects the two peninsulas, is a good place from which too see the beautiful coastal rock formations of the Blowhole, Devils Kitchen, Tasman's Arch, Tessellated Pavement and Waterfall Bay. It is situated at the entrance point to the Tasman Peninsula. Just east of Eaglehawk Nest is Taranna and the popular Tasmanian Devil Park. East again are Koonya, Premaydena and Saltwater River which home the remains of the penal outstations and the Coal Mines Station. To the south of the Tasman Peninsula is Remarkable Cave and the pretty Tasman National Park.

4. Red Bluff, WA

Location: Kalbarri NP, Kalbarri, WA
The coastal cliffs that surround Red Bluff extend 13 kilometres to the Kalbarri National Park's southern boundary and panoramic views are offered as well as whale watching sites and secluded beaches. As the coastline slowly yields to the force of the ocean, the fracturing and decaying of the cliffs sculpt some rather precarious rock formations such as the Natural Arch, Island Rock, Shell House and The Grandstand. An interesting chapter in Australia's history occurred there in 1629 when two mutineers from the Batavia shipwreck - Wouter loos and Jan Pelgromm - were marooned here for their part in the mutiny. This is believed to be the first permanent landing of white men in Australia. What became of them is not known.

5. Sydney Coastal Cliffs, NSW

Location: Sydney, WA
Vertical cliffs and headlands feature prominently on the coast around Sydney NSW, they having been created by centuries of pounding seas eroding their soft Hawkesbury Sandstone which extends from Broken Bay in the north and almost to Wollongong in the south. These cliffs, which compliment the harbour in making Sydney one of the most picturesque cities in the world, provide stunning vistas for those who have been fortunate (or rich) enough to have been able build their homes close to the cliff face.

6. Cape Leveque, WA

Location: Dampier Peninsula near Broome, WA
A beautiful hidden pocket of the Kimberley, Cape Leveque is quite unlike anything see elsewhere in Australia, bordering on desolate yet with an undeniable rugged charm. It is one of the only places in Australia where the desert meets the sea. You have to endure the 200 odd kilometres along an unsealed, corrugated, bumpy old track to get there, but it is worth every bump and jolt. Red-brick coloured, jagged rock formations dot the coastline, orange sand dunes, pure white beaches and more shades of blue water than you ever imagined possible. Cape Leveque is a true visual feast.

7. Yampi Sound, WA

Location: Yampi Sound, Kimberley Region, WA
The Kimberley coastline is one of the most startling of any in Australia and Yampi Sound is a favourite destination for the cruise boats which ply these waters. Many creeks discharge directly into the sound including Coppermine Creek, Crocodile Creek, Silvergull Creek and Dogleg Creek.
Yampi Sound is located between King Sound and Collier Bay. The islands of the Buccaneer Archipelago, located in the sound, contain rich silver and iron ore deposits. The high grade iron ore deposits has been mined in the sound on Cockatoo and Koolan Islands since the 1950s. A copper mine also operated at Coppermine Creek on the mainland side of the sound.

8. Painted Cliffs, Tas

Location: Maria Island, Tas
Maria Island, on Tasmania's east coast, has sparkling white sandy beaches and a coastal mountain range with lush gullies, but it is most known for its spectacular limestone and sandstone cliffs. The Painted Cliffs are one of nature's masterpieces. Beautifully coloured and patterned sandstone, carved and moulded by the sea, and bordered by rock pools teeming with marine life. Although this sort of rock formation is not uncommon, it is rare in a natural situation for it to be so extensively and beautifully exposed. The wonderful patterns are caused by ground water percolating down through the already formed sandstone and leaving traces of iron oxides, which have stained the rock formation.

9. Pt. Perpendicular, NSW

Location: Jervis Bay, Vic
A dramatic feature of the Jervis Bay area of N SW is Beecroft Headland. Point Perpendicular, a sheer cliff-face, offers stunning views of the Bay and a challenge to abseilers. The Point Perpendicular lighthouse is perched above. Cape St George Lighthouse was constructed in 1860. However it was erected at the wrong spot, several kilometres north of Cape St George. As a result it was imperceptible to ships coming from the south and, ironically, proved a navigational hazard by day. Consequently, Point Perpendicular Lighthouse was built at the southern tip of the northern peninsula in 1899 and the earlier structure was used as target practice by the Navy. The ruins of the base, part of the tower and the outbuildings remain .

10. Venus Bay, SA

Location: Eyre Peninsula, SA
The east coast of Eyre Peninsula offers spectacular vistas of natural rock formations and rugged cliffs which change in size, shape and texture the further south you go. Venus Bay is a small to wnship midway along this coast. The town Lookout offers breathtaking views of towering cliffs and booming surf rolling in from the Great Australian Bight. The cliffs contain 100,000 year old fossil cocoons locally known as clogs. The weevils that lived in the cocoons (Leptoptus duponti) once inhabited this area.
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