Did you know that there are over 500 national parks in Australia? It might not be possible to visit them all, but we’ve handpicked seven of the most magnificent to add to your travel list!
Great Sandy National Park, QLD
Keen to combine the magnificence of national park wilderness with sparkling beaches? Seek out the Great Sandy National Park’s Cooloola area, which begins just north of Noosa Heads.
There are opportunities for camping (permits required), swimming, fishing, canoeing, trekking and 4WD-ing.
Travel tip: Got a bit of extra time? Continue north past Rainbow Beach and onto Fraser Island!
Alpine National Park, VIC
Just a short hop down from Kosciuszko National Park, Alpine National Park is a hiker’s dream. You’ll find plenty of easy bushwalking trails, as well as more challenging hikes that encompass dazzling waterfalls, mountain peaks (the highest in Victoria) and flowering plains.
Travel tip:Swimming, canoeing, cycling and camping out under the stars are all common here as well.
Ben Boyd National Park, NSW
If you fancy a spot of whale and seal watching on your national park visit, Ben Boyd is one of the most beautiful places to be. The Green Cape Lightstation offers gorgeous cottage stays or you can opt to camp out right on the beach.
Travel tip: The 30km Light to Light Walk is a must-do here, offering amazing views of the coastline and chances to stop, swim and stay overnight along the way.
Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, TAS
Just south of Cradle Mountain National Park, Franklin-Gordon is all about wandering among the treetops, discovering striking waterfalls and rafting, canoeing or swimming in the rivers.
The park is a catchment area for the Franklin, Olga and Gordon Rivers, making for some fantastic walks and trails, as well as lookout points, camping areas and picnic spots.
Travel tip: If you haven’t got much time, cruises and scenic flights in the park are available from Strahan.
Nullarbor National Park and Regional Reserve, SA
If you’re looking for a different kind of park experience, get over to the western side of South Australia and put the Nullarbor National Park on your list – it’s the world biggest limestone karst region, and it spans all the way into WA. A trip here means vast desert landscapes, elegant blue waters and captivating sea cliffs.
Travel tip: Visit between May and September to catch a glimpse of the southern right whales, which come to the coastal area to breed.
Kalbarri National Park, WA
You can thank the flow of the Murchison River for the stunning 80km gorge of the Kalbarri National Park. This red and white sandstone wonderland features an iconic arch known as ‘Nature’s Window’, the famed 8km Loop Trail and the Ross Graham River Walk (among others). Key lookouts and stopping points include Z-Bend, Hawks Head, Red Bluff, Rainbow Valley and Island Rock.
Travel tip: Activities include everything from fishing and picnicking and snorkelling, but those keen on a long hike should ensure they have at least five people in the group.
Kakadu National Park, NT
It’s appealing to set your sights on Uluru, but Kakadu National Park offers travellers the chance to explore some of Australia’s most beautiful and culturally rich bushland. You can explore Indigenous rock art, hike to glorious waterfalls, cruise or swim the park’s waters or dine at some vibrant restaurants. If you’re not comfortable exploring the park on your own, ranger-led activities and tours are readily available.
Travel tip: You’ll need a pass to enter the park, with daily fees starting from $30 for seniors card holders and aged pensioners.
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*Domestic travel insurance does not include cover for Medical expenses.