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Nature Views in Honiara

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Mataniko Falls
Among the many waterfall walks are the popular and magnificent Mataniko Falls. They cascade over boulders and into pools before thundering down into a hidden cave. Take a guide, explore the incredible WWII history and float all the way back to the village.
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Port Moresby Nature Park
The Port Moresby Nature Park is a haven of greenery and lawns spread over 30 acres, boasting two kilometres of boardwalk threading beneath a jungle canopy, plus excellent wildlife exhibits, plant collections, and cultural demonstrations. You may find yourself passing by a wedding, a friendly soccer match and a class trip all in one single visit to the park. Bring a picnic to enjoy in the large grounds, under a 'haus-win' with a barbecue area. Or rest a while in the Park’s well-appointed and popular café before browsing the souvenir shop as you leave. Port Moresby Nature Park is open 365 days a year!
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Anse Vata Bay
Formerly named the Duck Bay (like the island located just opposite) because of its swampy side, the Anse Vata neighbourhood now has the same name as the adjoining bay and the 2-kilometer long sandy beach bordering it. Located between the Lemon Bay (Baie des Citrons) and Val Plaisance, it is bounded by the “Rocher à la Voile” on the one hand and the Pointe Magnin on the other side. This South neighbourhood of Noumea, part of the living heart of the city, really looks like a real see side resort. There is a holiday atmosphere and this area is popular with tourists who find here all activities and infrastructure they need: shops, restaurants, water sports, most major resorts and two casinos ... all in one holiday setting at the edge of a wooded beach. Sea activities such as windsurfing are highly successful thanks to the exposure of the bay to the prevailing wind. Many sporting events also start from this place.
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The Amedee Lighthouse
The Amedee Lighthouse was France’s first metal lighthouse and it boasts a unique history. In 1861, due to the many shipwrecks of boats entering the lagoon, Paris ordered a lighthouse to be built for Noumea. Mr. Rigolet, a French engineer from the Eiffel Tower workshops in Paris, started to work on this outstanding monument in 1862. According to one of the clauses in Mr. Rigolet’s contract, the lighthouse had to be assembled outside his workshop in France. For two years, the lighthouse towered above Paris, standing 56 meters tall. After that it was dismantled and divided into 1,265 pieces, weighing 387,953 kilos in total. It was then transported along the Seine River to the port of Le Havre for the final stage of its long voyage to New Caledonia. The Amedee lighthouse is indeed a unique attraction and one of the tallest lighthouses in the world in the world’s largest lagoon.
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Hill Inlet
Hill Inlet in the Whitsundays is a stunning inlet located at the northern end of Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island, the largest of the 74 islands in the Whitsundays. As the tide shifts, the white sand and blue hues of the inlet blend seamlessly to create a breathtaking mosaic. Hill Inlet is best viewed from the lookout at Tongue Point on Whitsunday Island. Most people moor their boats in Tongue Bay, take a dingy ashore and make the short uphill walk to the lookout for breathtaking views. If possible, try to reach the lookout when the tide is low to fully experience the beautiful fusion of colours that emerge. Not all operators visit Hill Inlet and the Tongue Point lookout on a Whitehaven Beach visit, so be sure to check before you book if you'd like to go to the lookout. There are several ways to experience the beauty of Hill Inlet. Many companies offer day trips to Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet by ferry, power boat or luxury yacht. Most overnight sailing trips also stop here.
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Catseye Beach
One of the main beaches on Hamilton Island, beautiful Catseye Beach is a perfect spot for relaxing, swimming, and enjoying a whole range of fun watersports. Hamilton Island Beach Sports is located right on the beach, and has catamarans, paddleboards, windsurfers, kayaks and snorkelling equipment available for hire. The long and curved Catseye Beach is a beautiful place to while away the hours - soaking up some sun, enjoying a good book, or swimming in the turquoise water. At low tide, take a leisurely stroll out on the sand flats and see the island from a different perspective.
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Bushwalking in the Hamilton Island
Exploring Hamilton Island on foot can be a great way to explore its natural beauty, at your own pace. Discover secluded, sandy coves, climb to the top of the island for stunning views, or enjoy a picnic in one of the island’s many picnic spots.
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Hardy Reef
Hardy Reef, part of the Great Barrier Reef near the Whitsundays, is home to thousands of spectacular reef fish including coral trout, travelly, snapper and smaller tropical species. Hardy Reef is also the location for the Reefworld pontoon, a permanent structure which has been in place for over twenty years. Visitors can experience excellent snorkelling and diving on Hardy Reef, and will see a myriad of interesting marine animals such as turtles, reef sharks, giant Maori Wrasse and even the two metre long Giant Queensland Gropers, which hang around the pontoon. Visitors can also view the stunning Hardy Reef from the air by seaplane or helicopter, including world-famous Heart Reef. The aerial view of the Great Barrier Reef and natural heart-shaped formation is a must-see experience for the Whitsundays.
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Airlie Beach Lagoon
The Airlie Beach Lagoon is situated right in the centre of Airlie Beach and has become the focal point of the area. When you want to meet someone you meet "at the Lagoon". If you want a great day of relaxation with no admission fee, "spend a day at the Lagoon". And the most rewarding thing of all is that the people of the Whitsundays have taken the Lagoon to their heart as much as tourists and visitors. The Airlie Beach Lagoon was officially opened by the Premier of Queensland on 8 January 2001. The experiences on offer are not just a result of the physical facilities but rather a combination of natural and man-made attributes that allow a visitor to enjoy Airlie Beach's "Beach", with all its security and support. The lagoon is surrounded by grassy knolls, perfect for a spot of sunbathing, or finding a quiet spot in the shade to read a book. The sandy beach area at one end provides a safe stinger free environment for the children to play in the shallows and the lagoon is surrounded by landscaped gardens for added aesthetic appeal. A children's pool is situated at one end.
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Connie Bay on Keswick Island
At the far north end of Keswick Island, Connie Bay is a secluded beach of sweeping white sand, turquoise water and fringing coral. The beach is quite secluded, which has made it a favourable area for nesting turtles. And nearby the majestic melaleuca wood is a point of interest for many visitors, especially when the swarms of vibrant blue butterflies are in residence.
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Fitzroy Island
Fitzroy Island is one of the most unspoilt islands adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef. Fitzroy Island National Park is a mountainous rainforest oasis surrounded by fringing reef formations. Enjoy the resort facilities and rainforest walks to white coral beaches and spectacular lookouts. Fitzroy Island also offers a wide range of water sport activities as well as snorkelling, introductory and certified diving and a learn-to-dive school. The island is 339 hectares in size, 324 of which is protected as Fitzroy Island National Park. The island is on the continental shelf and is within sight of the mainland; in fact, it’s a peak in a mountain chain which lies south of Cairns. The reef surrounding Fitzroy Island is a “Fringing Reef”. Fitzroy Island is located on the Inner Barrier of the Central Region of the Great Barrier Reef. It is part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
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Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens
Located just five kilometres from the Mackay city centre, the Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens showcases the beautiful tropical flora from Mackay and the Whitsundays, along with other beautiful Australian native and exotic plants from similar climates around the world. This young botanic garden opened in 2003 and provides many resources to visitors - from over three kilometres of walking and cycling trails, wetland boardwalks, a unique cafe and gallery perched high above the wildlife filled lagoons, to excellent bird watching opportunities. Feature gardens include the luxuriant Fernery, the Regional Forest, rare and threatened flora of the tropical Shade Garden and the unique Coal Garden - tracing the evolution of plants and the importance of coal.
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Kuranda Scenic Railway
The Kuranda Scenic Railway is an unforgettable 1 hour and 45 minute journey up the tropically clad mountainous range from Cairns City to the eclectic Rainforest Village of Kuranda. The scenic railway journey winds its way through the spectacular World Heritage listed tropical rainforest and Barron Gorge. This memorable scenic train journey showcases the very best that Cairns and Tropical North Queensland has to offer, such as magnificent scenery, lush tropical rainforest, steep ravines and cascading waterfalls and rivers. The Kuranda Scenic Railway is one of Cairns' most popular attractions, and most visitors would not make the journey to visit Cairns and Tropical North Queensland without experiencing this enchanting unforgettable train ride.
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Australian Butterfly Sanctuary
The Australian Butterfly Sanctuary has been in operation for over 20 years and is the largest butterfly flight aviary in Australia. More than one million guests have enjoyed the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary since its inception. Come experience why the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary has been such a long lasting success. The aviary at the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary has been designed to recreate the butterfly's natural tropical habitat. Enjoy the tranquility of the flowing fresh water streams, complete with waterfalls and surrounded by exotic tropical plants and flowers. This is the perfect natural haven for the spectacular butterflies. As you wander along the large paths that snake through the aviary take time to appreciate the vast variety of Lepidoptera (species of butterflies and moths). The Australian Butterfly Sanctuary is also home to the world’s largest moth – the Hercules Moth. The Hercules Moth is endemic to Tropical North Queensland Australia and is a majestic creature of the jungle that really has to be seen to be believed! The Australian Butterfly Sanctuary is an all weather activity, perfect for rainy days typical of the tropics. For guests that want to gain a greater appreciation for butterflies 30 minute complimentary tours are conducted every 15 minutes, providing visitors with a greater understanding of the butterflies life cycle and behaviour.
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Crystal Cascades
Crystal Cascades is one of the secrets of Tropical North Queensland that locals wish they could hide from visitors, accessible only by self drive. It is a secluded freshwater swimming hole, hidden in a tropical rainforest. A series of small waterfalls flow into large pools surrounded by large impressive granite boulders.
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Josephine Falls
The Josephine waterfalls and swimming hole are ranked amongst some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Tropical North Queensland Australia, and as such have been used in many television commercials. Visitors can swim in the crystal clear waters, and relax on the sandy beach as the gentle breeze rustles leaves high in the overhead rainforest canopy. Josephine Falls is a great place to spend a full day, half-day or just a visit and quick swim with a day tour operator. The public facilities here allow you to set up a barbeque and picnic in the purpose-built facilities and relax in this beautiful rainforest environment with your family and friends for a day. If you are an adventurer and love bushwalking or you are a dedicated a hiker then you may like to choose from a 1.2 km walk to the top waterfalls, a 10 km Bartle Frere hike to Broken Nose (return) or a 15 klm (one way) walk Bartle Frere up to the Atherton Tablelands over the back of the mountain. Josephine Falls is loved by Cairns locals all year round and a definite destination for nature lovers and backpackers alike. When you mingle in the clubs and bars around Cairns city you will hear the backpackers talking about their day’s adventure on the granite rock slides, the deep crystal clear rock pools and the absolute beauty of the place.
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Paronella Park
Today Paronella Park remains a unique eco-friendly experience where history and romance are seamlessly fused together. Paronella Park is a magical, unforgettable place nestled amongst heritage gardens and 13 acres of lush Australian rainforest situated on the banks of the crystal clear waters of Mena Creek, south of Innisfail. The ruins of the Spanish Castillo feature prominently on the grounds of Paronella Park, as do several other distinctive structures that were designed and built by the original owner of Paronella Park – Jose Paronella. Visitors can explore the architecturally unique ruins of the Castle and buildings of yesteryear, or wander through the lush gardens and Australian rainforest while being transported to another time and place altogether.
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Finch Hatton Gorge
A wonderful landscape of waterfalls, lush flora and volcanic boulder formations make Finch Hatton Gorge a must-see attraction. There are many walking tracks which weave through sub-tropical rainforest. One of the most popular trails starts at the Finch Hatton picnic area and takes you on a 1.6 kilometre journey to the beautiful Araluen waterfall. The granite boulders and surrounding vegetation make this an ideal place to take in the scenery. Take a refreshing dip in one of the nearby rock pools, a cooling haven favoured by locals in summer. Keep an eye out among the rainforest for rare and unusual flora and fauna, such as the rare gastric brooding frog, the orange-sided skink, Mackay tulip oak, Eungella spiny cray and Eungella honeyeater. Adventure opportunities are plentiful, with the opportunity to scuba dive in the rainforest waters with platypus, or to zip-line through the tree-top canopy.
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Crater Lakes National Park
This popular park features a deep crater lake surrounded by cool lush rainforest. Lake Barrine, part of Crater Lakes National Park, is a maar—a crater lake formed by two massive volcanic explosions. Take the short stroll to the giant bull kauri trees or stretch your legs on the longer 5km track around the lake. Look for rainforest animals, such as the colourful but cryptic Boyd's forest dragon, along the way. Paddle your canoe onto the smooth lake and look for fish, turtles, eels and waterbirds along the shallow, reedy edges.
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Castle Hill
Just metres short of a mountain, Castle Hill is the giant pink granite monolith that stands proud in the centre of Townsville - a perfect place for visitors to orientate themselves. As well as offering vehicle access, Castle Hill provides a number of popular walking tracks, which are frequented by more than 2,500 locals a day! The 360-degree views of Townsville at the top are well worth the journey. Be sure to have a camera on hand, particularly for sunrise or sunset as these are photo opportunities which shouldn't be missed. Apart from being an iconic centrepiece for the city and a lookout for spectacular scenic views, Castle Hill has a significant history. The Hill's vantage was used by visiting American soldiers during World War II. According to local legend, the visitors famously offered to demolish the hill and use the rock to build a bridge to Magnetic Island. A World War II observation bunker sits on one corner of the Hill reminding visitors of Castle Hill's military history.
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The Pioneer Valley and Eungella National Park
A wonderland of waterfalls, refreshingly cool rainforest and the chance to see a platypus in the wild awaits in Eungella National Park. Australia's longest stretch of sub-tropical rainforest, Eungella, is a must-see attraction. Travel through the lush lowlands of the Pioneer Valley, surrounded by sugar cane, stop in at Platypus Beach just after Mirani or visit the beautiful Finch Hatton Gorge. Scuba dive with the platypus, fly among rainforest canopy on a zipwire or take a stroll to one of Finch Hatton's waterfalls, before driving up the range to Eungella. See a diverse range of flora and fauna on a rainforest walk and experience breathtaking views of the Pioneer Valley, truly spectacular at sunrise and sunset. Travel to Broken River for the chance to see a platypus in the wild. Eungella National Park can be experienced as a day trip, or extend your visit to enjoy warm hospitality from one of the rainforest's many accommodation and dining establishments.
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The Crystal Caves
The Crystal Caves will rock your world! One hour from Cairns on the Atherton Tablelands, share one man’s passion for crystals and fossils at the Crystal Caves. Journey through 300m2 of tunnels and grottos that Rene built to feature his million year old natural crystals and prehistoric fossils. Take a self-guided tour and marvel at the interactive displays which allow you to touch and photograph the crystals, you can even crack your own!
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Anderson Park Botanic Gardens
Anderson Gardens is the largest of Townsville's botanic gardens, offering 25 hectares of fauna and flora to explore. Wander through the collection of garden displays or find a shady spot to sit back and relax. Centrally located in Mundingburra, the Garden contains fine specimens of tropical trees, palms and Pandanus. The World Cycad Garden, Grand Avenues and Tropical Orchard are of particular note. A representative collection of Cape York Peninsula rainforest specimens is displayed along with native plants and flora of the dry tropical regions of the world. Anderson Gardens were named in appreciation of the work of William Anderson, City of Townsville's first Curator of Parks from 1878 to 1934. Anderson Gardens is a quiescent beauty amongst Townsville's abundant natural attractions.
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Atherton Forest Mountain Bike Park
Atherton Forest Mountain Bike Park is a network of purpose-built, single-track mountain bike trails located in the Herberton Range State Forest. Trails meander through an open forest of gums, bloodwoods, mahoganys, she-oaks, grasstrees and cycads and some of the trails pass former forestry experimental plots of teak, blackbutt and tallowwood trees.
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Balgal Beach
Balgal Beach forms part of the popular Northern Beaches district of Townsville North Queensland. Offering a superb sand beach and secure swimming in the stinger net from November to May, Balgal is ideal for a relaxing day by the ocean or a fun way to spend time with the whole family. The area is also a renowned river fishing location. For those wishing to explore deeper and head out to the Great Barrier Reef, Balgal Beach provides excellent boat ramp facilities and easy access to the spectacular Palm Island group. There are a number of licensed cafés and accommodation available in the area including holiday units and designated tent camping and vehicle camping areas.
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Spinnaker Park
Award winning Spinnaker Park was officially opened in 2001 by the Gladstone Ports Corporation, the park has become the premier recreation area of Gladstone City. Two and a half kilometres of educational walking tracks along the ocean wall, through native wetlands and ponds makes the park excellent for walking, riding or rollerblading. The beached cove is wonderful for a dip on a warm day while the barbecue and picnic areas make it a great place to entertain.
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Fraser Island
Say hello to Fraser Island - also known as the largest sand island in the world. You can gaze up at towering ancient trees in astonishing rainforests growing out of sand on this World Heritage-listed wonder, be amazed by the incredible sapphire blues and emeraldene greens in the stunning freshwater lakes and float down Eli Creek
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Garden of The Sleeping Giant
The Garden of Sleeping Giant is a beautiful orchid garden started in 1977 by the late Raymond Burr, star of Perry Mason and Ironside TV shows. Originally designed to house Burr’s private collection of tropical orchids, the gardens have developed into a popular attraction after years of flourishing. Raymond Burr loved these orchids just as much as he loved Fiji. The garden contains a vast collection of 30 to 40 varieties of magnificent Asian orchids and Cattleya hybrids.
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Mud Pool
Hot spring water combines with volcanic ash to form a mud bath pool. Mud baths have existed for thousands of years and found in spas around the world including Fiji. The mud bath treatment is used as a way to relieve arthritis. To take full advantage of the therapeutic value of the mud pools you first coat yourself in mud then stand in the sun until it drys. Wash off in the first natural hot spring pool then walk over to the next clear water pool for another cleansing. Both places offer cheap and very good massage. Pool temperatures are warm to hot.
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Frenchmans Beach
In the late 19th Century, four men sailed west from the French-speaking South Pacific islands. They landed on this beach, which was named after them. The four men, Jack Newfong, John Lifu, George Fenoch and Richard Martin, were taken to the Myora/Moongalba Mission, where they ended up settling. Descendants of these four men still live on North Stradbroke Island. Frenchman’s Beach faces due east, receiving little protection from the prevailing south-east waves. The beach is 500m long and is backed by steep, densely vegetated bluffs, access to the beach is either around Dune Rocks from Deadmans Beach, or down a signed steep walking track from the main road. The beach receives waves averaging between 1 and 1.5m, which maintain an inner bar usually cut by two rips, including a permanent rip against Dune Rocks.
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Cylinder Beach
Cylinder Beach is a picturesque cove between Cylinder and Home Beach Headlands. It is popular with families because it is easily accessible with a carpark situated only metres from the beach. The waves at Cylinder are often smaller and therefore it is perfect for sunbathing and swimming during good weather conditions. However, during strong southerly winds, there is a side sweep which may carry you parallel to the beach. Cylinder Beach is also a favourite with surfers when the conditions are right. Lifeguards and lifesavers patrol this beach.
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City Botanic Gardens
The Brisbane City Botanic Gardens are located at Gardens Point and are bordered by the Brisbane CBD and the Brisbane River. Originally the gardens were planted by convicts in 1825 with food crops to feed the prison colony. Then in 1828 the botanist, Charles Fraser, selected the site to become a public garden and by 1855 the garden was established. The gardens are now Brisbane’s oldest and most mature with many rare and unusual botanic species. There are many areas in the gardens ranging from large open grassed areas perfect for picnicking on, rainforest, beautiful lilly ponds and a fascinating mangrove boardwalk with an avenue of bunya pines. You’ll also find the Gardens Cycle Hire at the Alice Street Main Entrance so you can explore the gardens by bicycle, follow the trail along the Brisbane River and then hop on board a CityCat and visit further suburbs. There’s over 500 kilometres of bike paths in Brisbane so you can explore it all. There are bikes for everyone including kiddie carriers, baby seats and tandems.
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Mount Coot-tha Lookout
Brisbane will come at you with riverside vistas around almost every corner, but it takes a short drive from the city centre and a few twists and turns up Sir Samuel Griffith Scenic Drive to find the city's best angle.
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Main Beach
While other suburbs snatch their names from exotic Aboriginal meanings or English seaside villages, Main Beach is far more literal. Situated at the northern end of the Gold Coast, Main Beach was so named as it was the main surf beach to the town of Southport. But while its name may be obvious, its hidden gems are far more exciting for this is one of the coast’s areas which celebrates something old and something new in style. A highlight of a visit here is to the beach itself, where the old bathing pavilion, Pavilion 34 to be precise, has been reincarnated as a casual beach café complete with chiko rolls, potato scallops, pineapple fritters and fish and chips. The old male and female change pavilions are still here and there’s loads of retro photos to remind you of the Main Beach of old. This bathing pavilion sits next to the Southport Surf Club, the first to make its mark on the Gold Coast in 1936 and right next to a sprawling shady park which is perfect for oceanfront picnics. Away from the beach - popular with surfers due to its open shore break - toddle down to Tedder Avenue. Sassy socialites and salty surfies rub shoulders here in this strip of modern cafes, exclusive restaurants, bars and boutiques. For more shopping and style, take a wander towards the Southport Spit – or simply The Spit - to locals.