With over 500 national parks to explore, covering millions of hectares, Australia is truly a natural wonderland. Due to the variety of nature, there is something for everyone. Deep gorges, special rock formations, rainforest, coral reefs and long-stretched beaches. Many also offering unique cultural treasures.
The question is, ‘Which national parks should I visit?’ With our local knowledge and your interests, we can help you make that important decision. Whether you are a bird lover or a photographer. Or if you enjoy waterfalls and hikes, we will ensure you make the most of your time in Australia. To help you decide, we have listed 8 of our favourite national parks.
Our 8 Favourite National Parks in Australia
# 1 Lamington National Park
Be charmed by a mountain-fringed rainforest escape, Lamington National Park. Located in South-East Queensland, two hours south of Brisbane. This World Heritage Listed region boasts geology and dates back more than 225 million years. It features densely forested mountains, raging waterfalls and over 160 kilometres of walking trails.
Admire ancient trees, unique vegetation and various animal species. Uncover the magic of the O’Reilly’s Tree Top Walk, where you can find the world’s first suspension bridge. This bridge allows you to observe nature in a unique and fascinating way.
Head over to the Araucaria Lookout to spot Australia’s largest remaining forests of Hoop pine. Or explore the Picnic Rock and Elabana Falls Walk. Here, you can rock hop and try to spot spiny blue crayfish in the water! Along the way, visit award-winning wineries, mountain cafes and local bakeries.
# 2 Blue Mountains
The mystical, Blue Mountains. Located two hours drive, west of Sydney in New South Wales. The name was chosen because the mountains have a unique blue glow. This is due to its spectacular eucalyptus forests, a magical occurrence happens when the sun heats the leaves. There are 92 different species of eucalyptus growing in the area.
The region also boasts quaint and charming towns, grand landscapes, forested valleys and waterfalls. Take a wander on one of the many walking trails. This place is a walker’s dream! Immerse yourself in Indigenous culture and rich history. Visit the famous Three Sisters and learn about its value to the local Indigenous Australians. Hop on the steepest passenger railway in the world, the Scenic Railway, with a thrilling 52-degree incline!
"The Blue Mountains has such a beautiful community of people and it's right in the middle of a World Heritage National Park."Local hosts, Monique and Jason
# 3 Fraser Island
Fraser Island is the world’s largest sand island, stretching over 123 kilometres along the southern coast of Queensland. This rugged island features champagne pools, extensive beaches, towering pines and has over 100 freshwater lakes. It is the only place in the world where tall rainforests grow on the sand dunes.
The indigenous people of the region, the Butchulla people, named the island K’gari which means paradise. Here, you can discover shipwrecks, endless walks and untamed waters. Explore the subtropical rainforests, spot dingoes and take a refreshing swim at the famous, Lake McKenzie.
# 4 Kakadu National Park
Kakadu, an untamed wonder of the Top End. Featuring the oldest culture on earth. Kakadu is rich with ecological and biological diversity and is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Covering an area of over 20,000 square kilometres, this fascinating area is Australia’s largest National Park.
South Kakadu is characterised by a rugged and rocky landscape. Visit the iconic waterfalls, Jim Jim Falls and Twin Falls. Both waterfalls are surrounded by impressive rock formations that can only be reached by 4WD and boat during the dry season.
At Gunlom Falls, make the steep climb to the top for an unforgettable view over South-Kakadu. Take a dip in the freshwater of Gunlom Falls. Join in the Yellow Water Cruise and travel along a billabong while your guide teaches you about this unique and diverse landscape.
North Kakadu features an assortment of landscapes which extends to the ocean. Discover floodplains, billabongs, swamps, lowlands, rocky ridges and one-third of Australia’s bird species. Admire Aboriginal rock art which dates back to prehistoric times. During the wet season, you can expect the rivers to flood, creating a natural spectacle.
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# 5 Cradle Mountain
The first national park in Tasmania, Cradle Mountain is a nature lover and hikers paradise. Forming the northern end of Cradle Mountain, Lake St Clair National Park, it is a part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage area. It is one of Tasmania’s most renowned natural environments. A wild landscape featuring ancient rainforests and alpine heathlands. Icy streams cascading out of the mountains, glacial lakes and a wealth of wildlife.
A place where you can spot possums, pademelons, wallabies and wombats. If you are lucky, maybe even the rare Tasmanian Devil. Visit the sanctuary in Cradle Mountains and learn more about these fascinating creatures! Cradle is the starting point for the world-famous Overland Track, a sensational six-day trek. There is something in Cradle Mountain to captivate everyone.
"Cradle Mountain in Tasmania is a great area for hiking, regardless of your level of fitness. It caters for everyone."Judi, Travel specialist
# 6 Uluru/ Kata Tjuta
Be captured by one of nature’s greatest spectacles - Ayers Rock (Uluru) and The Olga’s. Located in the Red Centre, 470 kilometres west of Alice Springs, this place is bursting with a powerful spiritual presence. Uluru is sacred to the Pitjantjatjara Anangu (the Aboriginal people of the area) and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The 348-metre giant monolith was formed over 600 million years ago with a circumference of 9.4 kilometres. For decades the Anangu people have asked tourists not to climb Uluru because it holds such importance to them. Since October 2019, climbing Uluru has been banned.
"A 3 or 4-day camping safari in the Red Centre is the most unique thing, I have experienced in Australia."Sylvia, Travel specialist
Nearby, you can also visit the 36 red rock domes that form the Olga’s (Kata Tjuta), located about 40 kilometres west of Uluru. Watch the sunrise and set as nature showcases striking outback colours, from burnt orange to bright red!
# 7 Stirling Range National Park
Be entranced by a natural oasis, an ancient landform and a biodiversity 'hotspot' - Stirling Range National Park. Located in the great southern region of Western Australia, 337 kilometres south-east of Perth. The national park and mountain ranges are an astounding 1000 metres above sea level.
Be mesmerised by the tallest peak in the region, Bluff Knoll. The only place in Western Australia to ever see snow! Rich in Aboriginal heritage, the Indigenous name for the range is Koi Kyenunu-ruff, meaning 'mist rolling around the mountains'.
Renowned for colourful blooming wildflowers in the spring. Boasting over 1000 different species, some of which are found nowhere else. A bushwalker's haven with an abundance of nature and wildlife to discover, one of the richest floras in the world. Spot parrots, emu's, kangaroos and wallabies.
# 8 The Grampians
The Grampians, a pure gem. Located 260 kilometres south-west of Melbourne, Victoria. An enticing mix of ancient culture, mountain forests with eucalyptus trees and more than 200 species of birds. A national park bursting with a soothing ambience, it’s ideal for exploring either by cycling or hiking. The iconic Pinnacle Walk is worth a look, you will be rewarded with spectacular scenery.
Go waterfall hopping! MacKenzie Falls is an impressive 25 metres high and 25 metres wide. Say G’day to local kangaroos grazing in the late afternoon. Admire Indigenous rock paintings or visit The Brambuk Cultural Centre and learn more about the Aboriginal traditional way of life. Stop by quirky country towns such as Halls Gap for a delicious cup of coffee. Or, visit The Old Bakery in Dunkeld for a freshly baked chocolate croissant.
Would you like to learn more about Australia’s national parks? We would love to tell you more about them. Feel free to contact us for more information.
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