Top 10 Australian National Parks

No matter whether you choose to take a Melbourne tour, a weekend trip to Tasmania or a sojourn to North Queensland, you will quickly appreciate that Australia is home to some of the world’s most incredible national parks. These national parks offer incredible diversity and amazing scenery and, of course, are home to some of Australia’s most important flora and fauna.

Here we take a look at 10 of Australia’s best national parks:

1:  Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

The world renowned and uniquely Australian monolith, Uluru, can be found in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in the Northern Territory. Uluru and Kata Tjuta (also known as The Olgas and located close to Uluru) both have extensive cultural and spiritual significance for the Anangu people — the traditional owners of the land — and are incredibly beautiful sites to see.

2:  Great Sandy National Park

The Great Sandy National Park is, essentially, Fraser Island. Fraser Island is World Heritage listed and features sub-tropical rainforests that almost miraculously grow in infertile sand. Fraser Island is a stunning location and is the largest sand island in the world. Notably, Fraser Island incorporates more than 40 freshwater dune lakes and is home to the purest breed of Australian dingoes.

3:  Kakadu National Park

Kakadu is an extensive national park that also has incredible natural and cultural importance. With wetlands that are full of wildlife, waterfalls and escarpments, Kakadu National Park has amazing and unique flora and fauna but is also most famously home to a number of saltwater crocodiles. Kakadu is located 171 kilometres from Darwin.

4:  Port Campbell National Park

No Great Ocean Road tour is complete without some time being spent in Port Campbell National Park. The most spectacular and beautiful coastal scenery can be seen from this area and is characterised by the variation of islands, seas, arches, blowholes and rock formations. Two of Australia’s best-known sites, London Bridge and the Twelve Apostles, are located in Port Campbell National Park and, because it has claimed more than 700 shipwrecks, this part of the Australian coast is known as ‘Shipwreck Coast’.

5:  Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park

In Central Tasmania, Cradle Mountain and Lake St Clair (Australia’s deepest lake) are joined by a 65-kilometre overland track that takes in a most spectacular route. This route is characterised by peaks covered in snow, powerful and very beautiful waterfalls and alpine heathlands, all of which are breathtaking and awe-inspiring. In this national park it is possible to see the duck-billed platypus, Tasmanian devil, wombats and wallabies.

6:  Nambung National Park (and the Pinnacles)

Approximately 245 kilometres north of Perth, the Nambung National Park provides one of the most unusual and eerie landscapes that can be seen anywhere in the world. With limestone pillars — some of which are pointed, jagged, enormous and quite haunting — the unusual sights of the park can resemble the setting of a science-fiction movie. Nambung National Park is a great place for exploring and marvelling at these formations.

7:  Purnululu National Park (and the Bungle Bungles)

In the Kimberleys, Western Australia, Purnululu National Park — home of the spectacularly domed Bungle Bungles — is also home to the amazing Piccaninny Creek Walk that takes in cliffs, domes, chasms and rock pools before concluding at the amazing Black Rock Pool, a site at which it is also possible to camp.

8:  Daintree National Park (and Cape Tribulation)

The Daintree National Park is most famous for the breathtaking rainforests that adjoin the most gorgeous white sandy beaches. With towering trees, streams of water and unique jungle species, the Daintree houses one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems. The Daintree is positioned 160 kilometres to the north of Cairns.

9:  Freycinet National Park

This Tasmanian park has amazing boulders made of pink granite, beautiful walking trails and the most magnificent beaches you will see anywhere in the world. With the warmest climate in Tasmania, Freycinet National Park is home to the beautiful Wineglass Bay — an ideal spot for swimming.

10: Kosciuszko National Park

Five hours’ drive from Sydney is Kosciuszko National Park, the location of Australia’s highest peak. Skiing is one of the most popular activities for this area as the park is part of the larger Snowy Mountains area and experiences very cold winter temperatures. In the summertime, it is possible to trek to the top of Mount Kosciuszko, some 2,228 metres high.

Australia’s top national parks are not only impressive but also characterised by diversity and immense significance.

One comment

  1. Kelly Strong says:

    I have to agree with this list, especially the inclusions of the Freycinet National Park and Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. I recently visited Tassie and was amazed at its natural beauty. For more info on some of Tasmania’s other national parks, check out this article, http://blog.discovertasmania.com/discoveries/visit-the-many-world-heritage-areas-in-tasmania, which I found very interesting and helpful in deciding what I wanted to visit when I crossed the Tasman a few months ago.

    June 4th, 2012 at 3:50 am

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