We all know our country punches above its weight when it comes to iconic landscapes and tourism attractions, but what you might not know is that Australia’s also home to some truly bizarre experiences.


An alien capital, giant inanimate objects, and people living underground – yes, you can find all of these wacky tourist attractions, and more, in Australia. Some are a little spooky, some are just strange, and some are actually pretty cool in their own weird way. In fact, I’ve ranked them on my own strangeness scale.

Strangeness Scale:

  1. Yeah that’s normal
  2. A little quirky
  3. Definitely kooky
  4. WTF
  5. Totally cooked

So if you’re planning a trip around Australia anytime soon and are looking for some inspiration to make your trip that little bit unique, consider stopping in at one of these wacky attractions

1. Cane Toad World

Location: Gordonvale, QLD
Rating: WTF

Please excuse me while I vomit in my mouth a little. OK, so ‘cane toad world’ is really just a playground and some cane toad themed artwork, but the name and concept alone are pretty much the stuff of nightmares. I can’t quite rank it as ‘totally cooked’ since it has the potential to be a LOT worse (I was picturing cane toad themed rides, food, and people running around in giant toad outfits), but it definitely gets a ‘WTF’.


2. Monte Cristo Homestead

Location: Junee, NSW
Rating: Absolutely cooked

An isolated house with reported ~paranormal activities~ and tragic violent history? What could be more fun?! At first glance, a visit to the (allegedly) haunted Monte Cristo Homestead might sound like a bit of harmless fun, but the more you read about it the more morbid it gets. 

A brief list of some of the gnarly events at the house include the death of the original owner, his wife becoming a recluse, a maid plummeting to her death from a balcony, a stable boy burning to death, the disabled son of a caretaker being chained up for years, and a caretaker being shot. 

Visitors often report feeling sick or dizzy, hearing strange noises and even seeing people standing at the foot of their bed at night. It gets a strong NO THANKS from me, but if that sounds like fun to you, you can opt for a self-guided tour, an immersive ghost tour with dinner, or even an overnight stay. Seems like a horror movie waiting to happen if you ask me.


Photo by Denis Bin

3. Coober Pedy’s Underground Houses

Location: Coober Pedy, SA
Rating: A little quirky

Dusty? Hot? Remote? Check, check, check. Don’t let the Hollywood-style sign fool you, this small town a long way away from bright lights and big city (although a couple of movies have been filmed there). In fact, Coober Pedy‘s pretty much smack-bang in the middle of nowhere, with a large portion of accommodation located underground due to intense heat. 

There’s an underground campsite and underground hotel, and while you’re there you can entertain yourself with a variety of unusual activities including joining the local postie run, checking out the world’s longest fence, night-time golf, and learning about the town’s rich opal history. It’s known as the opal capital of Australia, which is pretty cool!


4. Windorah Yabby Races

Location: Windorah, QLD
Rating: Definitely kooky

Held in the leadup to the iconic Birdsville Country Races, the Windorah Yabby Races must be seen to be believed. People come from far and wide to watch a bunch of crustaceans dash around a ring, with the action even broadcast onto a projector screen.

It’s so bizarre and quintessentially Australian, yet also kind of heart-warming as they raise money for charity. With that in mind I can’t rank it ‘totally cooked’, but it very much gets a nod in the ‘definitely kooky’ category.

Curious what yabby racing looks like? Here’s a sneak peek:


5. Crocosaurus Cove

Location: Darwin, NT
Rating: WTF

When you think of Darwin, one of the first things that comes to mind is the crocodiles, and this attraction has well and truly embraced that.

Crocosaurus Cove celebrates and offers insight into our toothy friends, which sounds all fine and dandy until you realise the main attraction is literally called the CAGE OF DEATH and involves a face-to-face encounter IN THE WATER with a Saltwater crocodile for 15 minutes, which sounds exactly 15 minutes too long to me.

It’s a controlled environment, and I’m sure it’s done safely and with the utmost care, but it still gets a strong WTF ranking.


6. Museum of Old and New Art

Location: Hobart, TAS
Rating: A little quirky

Look, art isn’t everybody’s thing, but trust me when I say that this is not your typical gallery. Rather than traditional sculptures and paintings, MONA has been described as a ‘subversive adult Disneyland’, and prominently features themes of sex and death. Some of its most notable exhibits include the famous vagina wall and poo machine – delightful!

If you really want to make the most of it, I suggest visiting during the winter festival Dark Mofo, which is when they really take things to the next level.

7. ALL the big things

Locations: Various
Rating: Definitely kooky

You can’t have an Australian tourism listicle without mentioning the bizarre and iconic ‘big things’ scattered around the country. Australia LOVES an obscure big structure: the banana in Coffs Harbour, the prawn in Ballina, the merino in Goulburn, the (terrifying) giant koala at Dadswell Bridge… the list goes on and on. 

They’re a well-loved quintessential aspect of tourism around the country, but it’s not entirely clear just why we have so many of them – another one of those things that gets weirder the more I think about it!

8. Questa Casa Brothel

Location: Kalgoorlie, WA
Rating: A little quirky

What’s a wholesome country holiday without a trip to the brothel, right? The famous ‘pink house’ (the outside actually looks more like a shed) was built in the 1890s and is the final operating brothel from Kalgoorlie’s ‘red light district’. 

You can take a tour through the premises, hear stories about its heyday, and get some insight into a unique piece of history. It’s worth mentioning that the tour is strictly 18+ as it’s still an operating brothel (just in case you were thinking of bringing the kids). You’ve got to admire their entrepreneurial spirit!

9. UFO Capital of Australia

Location: Wycliffe Well, NT
Rating: A little quirky

The dusty red centre might not seem like an obvious hub for extra-terrestrial activity, but apparently, that’s exactly what it is. This tiny roadhouse community is the self-proclaimed ‘UFO capital of Australia’ and people have come from far and wide for the chance of an alien encounter. 

As soon as you drive up you’re met with a space mural, UFO info, and even some alien statues – so even if you don’t happen to spot a UFO, the roadhouse itself is worth checking out. Located 130km south of Tennant Creek and 380km north of Alice Springs, it’s a little out of the way, but then again, the alien visitors probably travel a lot further to get there…

10. Beechworth Asylum

Location: Beechworth, VIC
Rating: Definitely kooky

Another supposedly haunted attraction with a gory history – why are these so popular?! The Beechworth Asylum is, as the name suggests, a former psychiatric hospital which was once one of the largest in Australia. A lot of patients and even some staff died horrible deaths there, and if you believe the tales of mysterious sights and sounds, have never left. 

The building itself has some strong spooky vibes, and pretty much looks like it’s been plucked straight out of a horror movie. Similarly to Monte Cristo Homestead, visitors can choose from a historic tour, ghost tour, overnight stay (no thanks), and even an asylum-themed escape room. While it’s an interesting insight into history, it’s not something I’m going to be lining up for!

Honorary Mention

The Puffing Billy in Victoria. This heritage railway in the Dandenong isn’t particularly wacky (it’s really just a standard old railway), but I couldn’t go past it completely as the name always gives me a giggle.


Feature photo thanks to Travelution360