Located in South Australia lies the Lake Eyre Basin. A large majority of the time it's actually dry and so its classification as a lake can sometimes be a stretch. However, once in a generation or so water will travel some 1500km from Australia's north-east, flooding the lake and bringing with it birds, fish and flora. Looking out across the lake in to the vast flatness that characterises central Australia, you could be forgiven for thinking you've reached the coast and aren't still in the centre of one of the driest continents on earth. Camping alongside is the best way to absorb the amazing scenery.
A crazy landscape of thousands of limestone pillars that rise abrupt from the yellow sand. Some are only a few centimetres tall while other have grown into several meters high towers. The strange pinnacles are part of a process where they get build up beneath the sand and then get exposed, for then many years later getting covered again by moving sand dunes. Apparently the best time to visit is from August to October, when the desert vegetation bursts into bloom.
Off the South Australian coast lays Kangaroo Island. The isolation from the mainland has left it with a diverse wildlife due to the absent of dingos, rabbits and foxes. A quarter of the island is declared some kind of Conservation Park and about half of the island has never been cleared of vegetation. The varied coastline offers beaches, sea lion colony, and picturesque white light houses above towering cliffs. In the South-West corner stands the twisted weather-shaped granite boulders famous as the Remarkable Rocks. It's pure rough beauty.
These are the less-known sisters to Uluru (Ayers Rock), 25km further west. A collection of monoliths, like Uluru, shaped by the wind and water into smooth domes. The tallest is Mt. Olga that stands 546m above the plain, more than 200m higher than Uluru. Tracks wind through the ravines and gorges and make a fantastic hike into the maze of red cliffs. You might even think they are more impressive than Uluru, due to the serenity of place and lack of everything except natural beauty.
Less developed than the west side with more vegetation and a rough shore that is not protected by an outer reef. The coast has some of the best surf around (and that says something), though not as terrifying big as the Teahupoo wave on the west side of Tahiti Iti. Hidden black-sand beaches can be found here and there, and the lush mountainous inland, which rise steep from the shore, offers excursions to tall waterfalls and lava tunnels among other attractions. So nothing mind blowing, just something to see one those days where you need to heal your sunburns.
To grasp the charm of Tahiti you need to see the island as a whole, rather than a string of single sights. The west coast is the most groomed and have a handful of sights that cater to the few tourists that actually venture out of their resorts. This include the fine lighthouse at Point Venus, the pretty garden of Maraa cave and the lovely located Gauguin museum (yes, the French painter) that actually does not have a single original painting of the guy (understandable though, consider their values). The road from Papeete to Tahiti Iti (the sizable lump attached to Tahiti's southeast end) wind along the coast passing a range of small patches of beaches, where none are of the white-sand-palm-fringed-postcard-worthy quality that the French Polynesia is otherwise known for, and ending in Tahiti Iti, where the famous Teahupoo wave is breaking.
Wow! Standing on the rim of an active volcano when it suddenly erupts aggressively is a not-to-be-missed experience in life - that is, if you survive the flying lava. Mt. Yasur on Tanna island is the perfect volcano for that. It is active big time and the crater can easily be reached by foot or even 4WD. At daytime, it is a rather impressive sight with smoke, bangs and flying rocks heading for the sky, but it is nothing compared to the real show at night time. Red hot lava is thrown into the air, changing shape, and landing (hopefully) on the inner side of the crater. If the activity is not too intense, you can even climb the higher rim on both sides of the greater crater and look straight down into the flaming center (there are four crates within the one volcano). Tourists have been killed by venturing too close, so listen to any advice from the locals.