In this ancient country we're blessed with some of the oldest and most unique natural landmarks in the world. On our Ramblin' Man trip last year, we were lucky enough to experience some of them first-hand and wander this marvellous place we call home, from a wide gamut of meteorite impact craters to pre-historic plant life in ancient gorges.
It's a stunning place, completely unreplicable and endlessly explorable. Since we're unable to leave the country, when it's possible to travel state to state we should relish every opportunity to traverse and discover our own backyard - and what better way to do that than taking a bottle of gin with you.
We've come up with a list of beautiful natural landmarks we should all experience as Australians - these are a bit left of centre, it would be a bit same old, same old if we just said Uluru or the Great Barrier Reef. Each landmark we've paired to a bottle of gin you can purchase on our Applewood Store right this second - so it's time to plan your next adventure.
Applewood Gin - Kings Canyon
When we visited Kings Canyon, a 400 million year old wind carved chasm, we were left speechless. As we watched the sun set over this miraculous natural structure, we wondered why this had not been on our lists earlier - it felt spiritual. There's not enough words to describe this awe inspiring place, bouncing with fairy-wrens cuckoo-ing in the bushes - goliath is probably the only word that comes close. Bring a bottle of Applewood Gin to treat yourself after a reasonable hike - transcendental experiences are made of this.
Applewood Navy - The Grampians / Gariwerd
While the Grampians are a well known place and is nationally heritage listed, what we find is the most fascinating part about it is it contains 90% of Victoria's indigenous rock art. Named Gariwerd by the local Jardwadjali people, colloquially nicknamed 'the Garden of Victoria', there is almost 1000 native species of flora, perfect for day trips for Victorians or road trippers across the country. There are plenty of day hikes and campgrounds where you can enjoy the fruits of your labour with a Navy G&T after a long day of walking and proverbially smelling the roses.
Applewood Coral - Ningaloo Reef
Ryan McMinds / Joe Pollock, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Whilst this gin was inspired by the Great Barrier Reef and its tropical surrounds as stated on the back label, we thought the glorious reefs of Western Australia were in need of a mention, particularly Ningaloo Reef. What doesn't this wonderland have? Shipwrecks, coral reefs, manta rays, dolphins, dugongs, whale sharks and a menagerie of turtles - a divers delight! It's extremely protected because of its long list of endangered species that inhabit it, but it's worth the 13 hour trip from Perth - or 14 hours from Broome. After a trek like that, you'll be craving some Coral Gin.
Lemon Aspen Gin - Atherton Tablelands
We were stunned by the Atherton Tablelands and its incredible wealth of edible native flora - it's almost the backbone of our native ingredients industry. Whilst there is a huge amount of Davidson Plums and Finger Limes, there are plenty of the lesser known edibles such as Lemon Aspen, a delicious little berry treat, bursting with citrus joy. Aside from the flora, it's a hop, skip and a jump away from the gorgeous beaches of Cairns - watch the swimming as Crocs are a plenty - and the Tablelands themselves are full of natural wonders: Millaa Millaa waterfalls, Mount Baldy and a vast array of conservation parks to explore full of native flora. What better way to experience such a remarkable place than drinking a gin inspired by it.
Kakadu Plum Gin - Leilyn / Edith Falls
Lance Vanlewen, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
The Northern Territory's wild climate of humid heat and wet summers has created a perfect place to go fresh water swimming - and there is a plethora of swimming holes to explore. One of our favourites from the trip was Edith Falls or Leilyn to the Jawoyn peoples - a rocky hike to some breathtaking pools connected to the great Katherine Gorge a massive 66kms north of it. There is plenty of places like it to explore in the Nitmiluk National park, which is home to Kakadu Plums when in season - best to take a bottle of Kakadu Plum with you, but be respectful of the dry zones in the area.
Bush Apple - Larapinta
The Larapinta trail is one of the more iconic walking tracks in our country - known for its gruelling length of 223 kilometers, but filled with some of the most stunning scenery formed by the glorious West MacDonnell Ranges. Along the way there is a host of iconic landmarks; the Ochre Pits, Redbank Gorge for a swim along the way, Simpson Gap, Palm Valley - full of rare flora and fauna. It's a big commitment, but there is a feast to enjoy for those brave enough to make the trip. If you are willing to sacrifice a kilo of carry weight for a bottle of Bush Apple Gin, you may enjoy one of the worlds most well earned gin and tonics.