8 Beautiful National Parks You Have to Visit in Australia


Australia has a diverse landscape: with more than 500 national parks, each of which offers a different experience, it is impossible to put a label on it. From dramatic coastlines to sky-high mountain ranges, otherworldly desert landscapes, and dense forests with diverse wildlife, there is a little bit of everything across the six states that make up the continent. For a traveler hoping to see the best of the best, this can be overwhelming. While you certainly won’t be able to explore everything Australia has to offer in one go, here are the best national parks that won’t let you down.

Take a day trip to Blue Mountains National Park, NSW

Starting this list off with a favorite of New South Wales, the Blue Mountains National Park is located just an hour and a half from the buzzing streets of Sydney but it presents a stark contrast to the city life. As you arrive in Katoomba, the site of the famed Three Sisters, you’ll already be swept off your feet. The park has a lot to offer. With over 140 km of tracks and trails to explore, it’s clear that one day will not be enough to see all of its wonders, despite the fact that it’s a popular day-trip destination. But that’s okay—you can always come back for more!

Walk above the canopies in Daintree National Park, Queensland

Taking a leap up north, for a more tropical feel, consider visiting the age-old forests of Daintree National Park. Famous for its immense biodiversity, this park has plants and animals you won’t see anywhere else in the world, and that in itself makes it an intriguing destination. Explore hidden creeks and waterfalls among the lush vegetation, keep your eyes peeled for colorful bird species, have a picnic in Mossman Gorge, or take a cruise on the Daintree River. Learn more about the rainforest at the Daintree Discovery Centre while taking a canopy tour. It’s the ultimate wilderness experience.

Marvel at the purity of Freycinet National Park, Tasmania

As we already said, every corner of this continent has something different to offer. This is true for its remote island state in the south as well. Tasmania may be the smallest state in Australia, but it has no shortage of wonderful sights. Out of its 19 amazing national parks, Freycinet is certainly one you shouldn’t miss. Located on the eastern coast of the island, this peninsula offers some of the best views out there. Have a delicious meal at Coles Bay and then make your way south. Marvel at the unique Wineglass Bay and take a dip in crystal clear waters at private beaches. You’ll fall in love with the pink hues of the Hazards that create nothing short of an iconic backdrop.

Explore the red landscapes of Purnululu National Park, Western Australia

But it’s not only the eastern side of the continent that offers unforgettable sights. While Western Australia is mostly made up of harsh deserts, there is no doubt that it also has its set of unique wonders. Purnululu National Park near the northern coast, in the Kimberley region, is certainly a fantastic example. Its most famous sight, the Bungle Bungle Ranges, is something you won’t see anywhere else. Don’t miss a hike to the Cathedral Gorge for otherworldly sights, either. The park is open from the beginning of April until the beginning of December, so now is a great time to make your way to Purnululu.

Experience the outback in Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park, South Australia

For a truly authentic experience of the rugged landscape of the south, put Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park on your itinerary. Distant mountain views and expansive landscapes will make you feel extremely small but in a good way. The sheer size of the scenery is awe-inspiring. Bushwalking, camping, and mountain biking are all perfect activities and will allow you to explore the local flora and fauna up-close. Other than the wonders of nature, you will also be able to get immersed in ancient cultures, since this is a famous site of Aboriginal rock art.

Have an active holiday in Royal National Park, NSW

If you’d rather stay near civilization, don’t worry. There are plenty of great destinations that don’t require you to venture to the middle of the desert. Royal National Park just by Sydney is a great example. With beautiful, rugged coastlines, refreshing swimming holes, and lively beaches, there are plenty of activities to choose from. Rent a kayak, try paddle boarding, or just have a relaxing picnic—the scenery allows for all. In addition, Royal National Park is also abundant in cycling trails, so get trail mountain bikes for the whole family and explore nature on two wheels.

Look at bucket-list sights in Port Campbell National Park, Victoria

This list would simply not be complete without mentioning one of Australia’s most iconic sights, the Twelve Apostles. This world-famous landmark is located in Port Campbell National Park on the south coast of the mainland, and it’s a bucket-list sight for sure. But there is more to this park than the famed landmark. Stop by the London Bridge rock arch, check out the Loch Ard Gorge, or go on a blood-pumping helicopter ride over the landscape. You won’t regret it.

Get close to culture in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

Finally, another bucket-list destination in the Land Down Under is certainly Uluru (Ayers Rock) which is basically a symbol of the continent of Australia. This massive rock is located in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park which is also the site of the rock domes of Kata Tjuta (Mount Olga). Needless to say, the cultural importance of this national park makes it an even more interesting destination. Uluru has special significance for Aboriginal people and is believed to have been formed during the creation. The site is nothing less than sacred for many, and visiting it can be a spiritual experience of its own. Watch the colors of the sky change above this rock formation, explore Aboriginal rock art, and get closer to the local cultures.

A trip to any Australian national park will have you coming back for more. Pick your favorite for now and get up close with nature to see what this continent is all about!

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