Rapid global environmental change compels us to better understand what makes our planet habitable in the long run. Fundamental questions are: What can we learn from the geological record about the Earth’s future? How do processes in the Earth’s hot interior affect surface topography, coastlines and environments? The EarthByte Group at the University of Sydney’s School of Geosciences is developing an Experimental Planet to explore different pathways in Earth’s geological evolution through integration of high-resolution computer simulations with a diversity of geodata, enabling an improved understanding of Earth’s dynamic engine and environmental interactions. This virtual time machine allows us to travel “back to the future” to explore past configurations of the continents, ancient “rings of fire” and fluctuations in sea level to understand what lessons these may hold for a future Earth.