Unique Rock Formations FromAround the World
21 July 2016 | Mri Grout
Anyone that's followed our adventures over the years will know that I have a fairly big passion for unique rocks. I'm not much of a gems and jewels kind of girl, but bring me a cool looking rock from your backyard and we're going to be really fast friends. :D Unfortunately, though I can't currently accept them at the moment due to Rob making me leave most of my own collection behind on our travels...which I guess is kinda fair given their weight for size and lack of usefullness. lols. Anyway, so speaking from this love of unique rocks, here are our most favourite rock formations from around the world. (:
Natural Bridge - Kentucky, USA
This breathtaking, millenniums-old rock formation can be seen from a variety of different trails at Natural Bridge Resort in Kentucky, USA. Though there are other rock arches and bridges scattered throughout the park, this one easily tops the list as it stands at 65 feet high, nearly 80 feet long, and more than 10 feet thick. Its 20 feet width allows visitors to hike across the top of it, but the best view of this cool rock formation in our opinion, is standing at its bottom as seen here.
Great Ocean Road - Victoria, Australia
The 12 Apostles situated on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia is easily one of the most recognized rock formations in the world. However, it is far from being the only group of rock stacks emerging from the ocean to be worth stopping to see. For tens of millions of years ago, the harsh wind carved many caves all along the limestone cliffs - caves that eventually collapsed into the arches and pillars you see today. Our personal favourite, even more so than the 12 Apostles, is the Bay of Islands located at the western end of the Great Ocean Road. Unfortunately though, that picture didn't come out as well as this one, which is the (now collapsed) London Bridge.
Sawn Rocks - New South Wales, Australia
This unique rock structure is better known as organ pipes (can you guess why? :P) and is created when a basalt lava flow is allowed to cool slowly and evenly. The shrinkage that follows is what is responsible for the 'separation cracks' of these hexagonal pipes, but in reality, they are actually fairly well stuck together. However, that doesn't mean columns never fall off and if you hike the trail at Kaputar National Park, you'll see clear evidence of this in the massive broken off columns littered below.
Mt. Scoria - Queensland, Australia
The striking geology found on this mountain is of the same structure as the Giant's Causeway in Ireland. These basalt columns were made millions of years ago when lava cooled, much like the above Sawn Rocks. What makes these volcanic columns more special, however, is that due to the different levels of gas trapped inside of them, when you strike one of these rocks, it'll create a musical note. When you strike another, you'll hear something differnt. So anyone up for some rock music? Hahahaha.
Castle Hill - South Island, New Zealand
These awesome looking limestone boulders starred in 'The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' as the location for the final, epic battle scene. In addition to this stardom, Castle Hill is also a rock climbing (sport) and bouldering hotspot for locals and travelers alike. We, however, couldn't figure out how this could ever be possible (despite watching some strangers...) given how smooth everything was! Like, what can you possible grab on to!??? lols. Anyway, as you can probably guess, Castle Hill got its unique shape due to being carved by an ocean that covered this part of New Zealand 35 million years ago.
Petrified Forest - Victoria, Australia
Despite its name, the Petrified Forest in Victoria isn't actually made up of petrified wood, but rather from water having seeped through sandstone over the course of thousands of years. As the rain water sank into the pores of this rock, it cleaned out all of the organic and softer minerals, leaving behind these unique rock structures or hollow 'trees' if you will.
Grand Canyon Gorge - Victoria, Australia
The Grand Canyon Gorge in the heart of the Grampians was created over millions of years as different beds of minerals became stacked on top of one another to form sides of different steepness. There's a section that feels like a narrow alleyway that can only fit a single person across in some places, but the highlights of this area are the odd-shaped pillars scattered along its trail. The harsh weather eventually whipped them into unique shapes like the one shown here and the make for an absolutely gorgeous day out, especially when combined with the views of the stretching countryside.
Els Arcs - Alicante, Spain
Despite the rickity appearance of this rock structure, these two arches remaining are actually quite sturdy. When water and wind erodes the earth to get these unique shapes, it only carves out the weaker rock and leaves behind the stronger minerals. Despite this knowledge, however, I still wouldn't chance climbing up it and definitely not using it for a bridgeswing!
Glyder Fawr - Northern Wales
Hiking up Glyder Fawr (a wonderful, way less crowded alternative hike to Snowdown by the way) will introduce you to some unique rock structures like what's shown in the photo. When two giant landmasses collided, they left behind the mountain ranges seen today and when the glaciers that once covered them receeded due to climate change, they left behind many massive bolders in all different shapes, sizes, and cool looking positions. To see more photos of this breathtaking piece of earth and read about our hike to the top, check out Mountaineering Glyder Fawr.
Travel Tip #4
Do you know of any other awesome and unique rock formations around the world? Or just want to write a review on one of the above places you've been? Then we'd love to hear all about them in the comments below!