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Australia's Best Kept Secrets

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Published June 7th 2012
Australia is full of weird and wonderful attractions. We all know about Uluru, platypuses, and Warwick Capper, but what about the more obscure oddities that you can only see in our fair country? From spooky lights to spooky hills, these are some of the sights of Australia that most locals haven't even seen.

Gravity Hills

Also known as magnetic hills or spooky hills, these are an optical illusion where a downhill slope appears as an uphill slope. Therefore, a car travelling along a gravity hill will appear to roll uphill.

According to Wikipedia, there are three gravity hills in Australia; in South Australia there's Magnetic Hill in Orroroo, and in New South Wales we've got the intersection of Bowen Mountain Road and Westbury Road in Bowen Mountain and Gravity Hill near the Moonbi Lookout in Moonbi. If Wikipedia says there's only three then there must be more. If you live near one, let us know in the comments below.

Extinct Animals that Aren't Really

The New Holland Mouse and the Mountain Pygmy Possum are two totally adorable animals that were considered extinct until reappearing in Australia. The New Holland Mouse disappeared back when Australia was still New Holland, and was rediscovered in Victoria in the 1970s. Their status remains endangered, but they can be found in coastal Victoria.

The Mountain Pygmy Possum has a much cooler backstory. They were discovered as Pleistocene (from 2 500 000 to 11 700 years BCE) fossils in 1896 and considered extinct until a colony appeared in a ski hut in Mount Hotham, Victoria. They can be found in rocky alpine regions of Victoria and New South Wales. Their mating period takes place during the peak skiing season so the government has implemented methods to ensure their survival, including constructing a Tunnel of Love underneath a road so that the males can get to the females safely.

If you can't get to Victoria, which seems to be where all the extinct animals hang out, try your local zoo for a glimpse of these rare creatures.

Aurora Australis

Aurora's occur when energetic charged particles collide with atoms in the thermosphere. The result is a brilliant, technicolour lights show. The aurora display in the northern hemisphere is called aurora borealis, while the show in the southern hemisphere is called aurora australis.

If you've never seen the southern lights, you're not alone. They're actually quite hard to catch in Australia. Hard, but not impossible.

The best vantage point for aurora australis is high altitudes in southern latitudes, so Tasmania is naturally the best state in Australia for viewing. Keep away from the big cities, where light pollution can hinder viewing.
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Why? To see something truly special
Where: Australia
Your Comment
Yeah this happens I've noticed that too. It's really funny
by firer (score: 0|7) 3362 days ago
We used to go to this place near Galston when we were teenagers where you could roll a ball 'up hill'. I wish I could remember where it was..great fun for the kids!
by mandy (score: 1|16) 3428 days ago
There is one graviy hill lesmurdie falls forrestfield
by (score: 0|2) 3431 days ago
There's a gravity hill in Victoria, near mt macedon. Not sure exactly where and it isn't marked but it's fun when you can find it.
by riana (score: 0|2) 3412 days ago
The Fernleigh bicycle track that runs south from Kotara in Newcastle NSW is another place where it appears the bike track is going uphill, but you don't need to peddal your bike. There are a few places on the track where this happens- mostly where there is still some rail track alongside the path, but also just south of the tunnel. Noel W.
by mrwat (score: 0|2) 3390 days ago
Near Mt Macedon, Victoria, it's at Straws Lane. I can't remember exactly which part of the road either but I remembered it's near some wooden gate.
by 2Kids Explorer (score: 1|75) 3359 days ago
Yes, Straws Lane and there is a gravel section to the side of the road so that you can test it without being on the road. Or you can use it to roll-race another car up! But shhh, I didnt say that!
by hiwid (score: 0|2) 3302 days ago
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