Aerial photos highlight Australia’s stunning landscapes

CNN  — 

Warning. The aerial photos featured in the above gallery will instill you with a burning desire to book a flight to Australia.

Or at the very least tempt you to invest in a drone.

Which is exactly what organizers of the just wrapped “Australia from Above” contest were likely aiming for when they launched the competition in March.

Nearly 6,500 images were submitted as part of the contest, put on by aerial photography community SkyPixel and co-sponsored by Tourism Australia and drone manufacturer DJI.

Three winners, selected from 12 shortlisted entries, were announced on May 19.

An incredible photo of Western Australia taken in the Margaret River area titled “Wyadup Spa” won the grand prize – a selection of DJI drone equipment and Australia travel packages worth nearly AUS$30,000 ($22,273).

The second-prize winner – also taken in Western Australia – featured a surfer on the waves in Secret Harbour, just outside of Perth.

Coming in third was a photograph of Rigby Island, Victoria. Check out the above gallery to see all three, as well as the nine additional finalists.

Tourism Australia’s chief marketing officer Lisa Ronson, who was also one of the competition judges, said in a statement she was blown away by the quantity and the quality of entries.

“There are some amazingly talented photographers out there who are using drone technology to capture some breath-taking images of Australia,” she said.

Australia revised its drone safety laws in 2016, making it easier for amateur photographers shooting for non-commercial purposes to send their cameras into the skies.

Full details are available on the Civil Aviation Safety Authority website.