18 Best National Parks In Australia

Australia, the land of stunning beaches and iconic cityscapes, is also home to some of the most breathtaking national parks in the world. From arid deserts to dense rain forests, these sanctuaries offer an unparalleled peek into Australia's diverse landscapes and wildlife.

As someone who has personally experienced their beauty and grandeur, I'm excited to introduce you to the best national parks in Australia that will undoubtedly leave you awestruck.

1. Kakadu National Park

Kakadu National Park in Australia Pin

During my travels, I've had the fortune of exploring diverse landscapes and cultures but few have captivated me as profoundly as the Kakadu National Park in Australia. Nestled deep within Australia's Northern Territory, the park spans an impressive 20,000 square kilometers and is teeming with rich biodiversity and indigenous culture.

From sandstone escarpments that look like they've been painted with a myriad of rustic hues to lush wetlands inhabited by vibrant wildlife species - Kakadu presented a startlingly beautiful dichotomy of tranquil nature and raw wilderness.

Kakadu National Park is not just about its astonishing natural beauty; it also carries with it thousands of years' worths of Aboriginal history. The ancient rock art at Ubirr and Nourlangie transported me back to prehistoric times while simultaneously offering panoramic views over floodplains and forest habitats.

I found myself lost amidst stories etched in stone by ancestors long gone, their narratives unfolding under the vast Australian sky in silence broken only occasionally by distant birdcalls or rustling leaves. The profound cultural heritage coexisting harmoniously with extraordinary biodiversity makes Kakadu National Park more than just a travel destination; it's a spiritual journey into nature's grandeur intertwined with human legacy.

Contact:

Address: Kakadu Hwy, Jabiru NT 0886, Australia

Phone: +61 8 8938 1120

2. Daintree National Park

Daintree National Park Pin

My trip to Daintree National Park in Australia was a truly remarkable experience that deeply impacted my perspective on nature and our relationship with it. As I stepped foot into this ancient rainforest, it felt like stepping back in time.

The park is a living testament to the Earth's evolutionary history, exhibiting an impressive array of plant species that date back millions of years. With every step I took, I could feel myself reconnecting with nature; the sounds of birds calling from high up in the tree canopies along the Daintree river and the subtle rustle of leaves being gently agitated by some unseen creature filled me with awe.

One particularly memorable moment was when our guide pointed out a prehistoric fern on one of our walks through Daintree National Park. This fern is so ancient it predates even the mighty dinosaurs! Standing there among trees and plants older than humanity itself humbled me - reminding me of how fleeting our existence is compared to the timeless majesty of nature.

This park isn’t just another destination; it’s a portal into an ancient world seen by very few humans and visiting Daintree National Park has etched an unforgettable mark on my heart.

3. Great Sandy National Park

Great Sandy National Park in Queensland,Australia Pin

My first encounter with Great Sandy National Park in Australia is an experience that still resonates with me. As a lover of nature, I was instantly enchanted by the park's diverse ecosystem; from its vibrant coastal heath lands to its dense eucalyptus forests, every corner seemed to house a different world entirely.

The majestic sand dunes and pristine beaches invoked feelings of awe, as did the sight of various wildlife species in their natural habitats. Each day spent there presented something new; whether it was a beautiful sunrise over the crystal clear waters or the nocturnal antics of possums and other creatures.

An unforgettable moment during my visit to Great Sandy National Park was when I had the opportunity to explore Fraser Island –the world’s largest sand island– within its boundaries. Walking along Seventy-Five Mile Beach felt like traversing a living postcard, with multicolored sands underfoot and an expansive ocean view stretching out before me.

Exploring some freshwater lakes brimming with life further inland offered more enchantment. This journey through Great Sandy National Park opened my eyes even wider towards nature’s beauty and taught me how important it is for us to protect such precious ecosystems for future generations.

Contact:

Address: Cooloola QLD 4581, Australia

Phone: +61 137468

4. Nambung National Park

Nambung National Park Pin

Being one of the top national parks in Australia, Nambung National Park, located in Western Australia, is a unique and awe-inspiring destination that offers an unforgettable experience for nature enthusiasts. This park covers a massive area of approximately 17,487 hectares, showcasing the breathtaking Pinnacles Desert as its main attraction.

The Pinnacles are thousands of tall limestone formations that pierce through the desert sand, creating an incredible sight to behold. These unique structures range from just a few centimeters to over four meters high and are believed to have formed about 500,000 years ago.

The park's diverse ecological system also provides habitats for a variety of wildlife species such as emus and western grey kangaroos which can be observed freely when you visit the park. Moreover, Nambung National Park is home to numerous species of birds making it ideal for bird watching activities.

The stunning coastal dune systems provide not only beautiful scenery but also serve as crucial nesting grounds for sea lions and turtles. Indeed, Nambung National Park presents visitors with an opportunity to explore one of nature's most fascinating landscapes while gaining insight into Australia's unique biodiversity.

5. Port Campbell National Park

Port Campbell National Park Pin

Port Campbell National Park, located along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia, is a place of exceptional natural beauty and biodiversity.

 The national park's coastal scenery is undoubtedly its standout feature which includes spectacular rock formations, dramatic cliffs, breathtaking gorges and charming sandy beaches. It's well-known for its iconic limestone stacks known as the Twelve Apostles that stand majestically in the Southern Ocean.

Covering an area of approximately 1750 hectares on Australia’s rugged southern coastline, Port Campbell National Park offers visitors a remarkable range of landscapes to explore. The park provides opportunities to witness unique flora and fauna such as native birds like Crimson Rosellas and Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos or fascinating marine life including seals, dolphins and migrating whales.

Additionally, it carries significant cultural heritage with evidence of Indigenous communities living within the area tens of thousands of years ago. So whether you're a nature lover or history enthusiast, there's plenty to discover at Port Campbell National Park.

Contact:

Address: Great Ocean Rd, Port Campbell VIC 3269, Australia

Phone: +61 131963

Recommended reading: Best Australian Zoos To Visit

Best Flights To Australia

Quickly search the best flights from the widest selection of airlines flying to Australia. Regardless of what airline you go with, you can save money by comparing. Skyscanner is the best airline price comparison service specifically for Australia.

6. Freycinet National Park

Freycinet National Park Pin

Freycinet National Park, located on the east coast of Tasmania,, is known for its stunning natural beauty. This park covers most of the Freycinet Peninsula and includes a range of landscapes from granite mountains to coastal dunes.

The park is renowned for its spectacular beaches such as Wineglass Bay which is often labeled one of the best beaches in Australia. Hiking trails lead to lookout points that provide breathtaking views over Great Oyster Bay and Tasmania's rugged coastline.

Wildlife is abundant in Freycinet National Park with wallabies, wombats, and numerous bird species commonly seen by visitors. The waters surrounding the park are home to dolphins, seals and whales making it an ideal spot for wildlife enthusiasts.

Additionally, the park offers camping facilities allowing visitors to truly immerse themselves in this unique environment overnight. The combination of captivating landscapes, diverse flora and fauna along with excellent visitor facilities makes Freycinet National Park one of the best Australian national parks to visit.

Contact:

Address: Coles Bay Rd, Coles Bay TAS 7215, Australia

Phone: +61 3 6256 7000

7. Purnululu National Park

Purnululu National Park Pin

Purnululu National Park, located in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia, is an unparalleled natural masterpiece spanning almost 240,000 hectares.

Designated as a World Heritage Site in 2003 due to its extraordinary natural beauty and cultural significance to indigenous people, this national park in Western Australia is home to the iconic Bungle Bungle Range – a series of striking sandstone domes painted with captivating orange and black stripes.

These peculiar formations formed over a span of 350 million years through weathering and erosion which have sculpted these remarkable structures into the intriguing beehive-shaped towers we see today.

The park offers an absolute adventure for nature enthusiasts where you can trek through narrow creek beds, discover hidden gorges or relish in panoramic views from scenic lookouts. The Piccaninny Creek walk is particularly popular among hikers that weaves its way between these towering stripey domes leading eventually to the impressive Cathedral Gorge.

The gorge forms an enormous natural amphitheater with incredible acoustics, often likened to standing inside a grand cathedral. Despite its remote location and rugged terrain, Purnululu National Park attracts thousands of tourists each year who are eager to explore this unique landscape filled with rich biodiversity and deep-rooted aboriginal history.

8. Karijini National Park

Karijini National Park Pin

Karijini National Park, situated in Western Australia, is the second largest national park in the state and truly a hidden gem for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. Spanning over 6274 sq km, this unspoiled wilderness area provides an unforgettable experience with its captivating landscapes of rugged red rocks, sweeping gorges, and stunning waterfalls.

Known for its geological richness that spans over two billion years, Karijini National Park offers breathtaking views from its numerous lookout points. Visitors can explore deep within ancient gorge walls to discover emerald green swimming holes or climb up to gain panoramic vistas of the untamed terrain.

The numerous hiking trails cater to all levels of fitness while providing ample opportunities for photography enthusiasts. Amongst these natural wonders one also finds ancient Aboriginal rock paintings that highlight human history alongside the timeless geological formations.

For those looking for overnight stays, camping sites are available that allow you to bask under star-studded skies amidst tranquil silence broken only by distinct wildlife sounds inherent to Karijini National Park.

Contact:

Address: Karijini WA 6751, Australia

Phone: +61 8 9189 8121

9. Kosciuszko National Park

Kosciuszko National Park Pin

Located in the southeastern region of New South Wales, Kosciuszko National Park holds a special place in my heart. It is one of Australia's largest national parks, known for its amazing landscapes that feature varied terrains such as mountains, rivers, alpine herbfields and vast expanses of forest.

The park not only offers splendid views but also hosts an array of activities ranging from bushwalking through the rugged terrain to skiing on the snow-capped mountains.

Kosciuszko National Park is perhaps best known for being home to Mount Kosciuszko, Australia’s highest peak. Standing at over 2,200 meters high, it provides breathtaking panoramic views that never fail to mesmerize visitors. Despite its height and impressive stature, Mount Kosciuszko is widely considered one of the most accessible peaks for hikers, as the Thredbo chairlift significantly reduces the walking distance.

Beyond this magnificent peak and winter sports opportunities though, I've always been fascinated by this Australian national park's rich biodiversity which includes many rare and endangered species like Mountain Pygmy-possums and Snow Gums. The remarkable blend of natural beauty along with outdoor recreational activities truly make Kosciuszko National Park one of the most beautiful national parks in Australia.

Contact:

Address: Alpine Way, New South Wales 2627, Australia

Phone: +61 2 6450 5600

10. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Pin

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, situated in Australia's Northern Territory, is a place like no other. This park is home to two of Australia’s most iconic natural landmarks: the imposing Uluru (Ayers Rock) and the domed rocks of Kata Tjuta (The Olgas).

The dramatic landscapes of this Australian national park stretch over an incredible 2,000 square kilometers and are considered sacred to the indigenous Australian Anangu people. It's also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its unique geological features and its cultural significance.

Visiting Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park provides a fascinating glimpse into ancient Aboriginal culture. Here you can explore rock art sites that tell stories dating back tens of thousands of years or join guided walks led by Anangu people who share their knowledge about this significant area.

Additionally, this famous national park in the Northern Territory offers unmissable opportunities for photography enthusiasts with its red desert sands contrasting vividly against clear blue skies during daylight hours and offering spectacular sunset views as day turns into night. All experiences in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park serve as powerful reminders of our planet's natural beauty and human history's depth.

Contact:

Address: Lasseter Hwy, Uluru NT 0872, Australia

Phone: +61 8 8956 1128

11. Royal National Park

Royal National Park in Australia Pin

The Royal National Park, located in the southern Sydney region of Australia on the gold coast, is a breathtaking nature reserve that showcases the best of Australia's diverse ecosystems. Established in 1879, it holds the distinction of being the second oldest national park in the world after Yellowstone in America.

With an area spanning over 150 square kilometers, this grand natural spectacle on the sunshine coast offers lush forests, serene beaches, rugged cliffs and even tropical rainforests within its confines.

The real allure of the Royal National Park lies not only in its scenic beauty but also rich biodiversity. The park houses more than 300 species of birds alongside a wide array of Australian wildlife like wombats, wallabies and echidnas. Furthermore, with about 1000 distinct plant species found here including towering eucalyptus trees and vibrant wildflowers creating visually stunning landscapes encapsulating that quintessential Australian feel.

For those seeking adventure or solitude amidst nature’s splendor, Royal National Park provides countless walking tracks ranging from easy to challenging terrains and tranquil picnic spots offering spectacular views.

12. Blue Mountains National Park

Blue Mountains National Park Pin

Blue Mountains National Park, a gem located in New South Wales, has always been my refuge. It's a place that allows me to lose myself in nature, exploring the vast landscapes that are unlike any other.

This park is part of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, encompassing an area of over 2,690 square kilometers. Home to aboriginal rock paintings and more than 400 types of animals including the endangered brush-tailed rock-wallaby and the regal wedge-tailed eagle; it's truly an ecological wonder.

The allure of Blue Mountains National Park lies in its stunning geography. The spectacular Three Sisters sandstone rock formation is one of many awe-inspiring sights within the park boundaries. The sight from Echo Point lookout stretches across eucalyptus forests whose oils fill the air with a faint blue haze - giving these majestic mountains their name.

Virgin rainforests, waterfalls cascading into deep ravines and dense bushland all add to this rich tapestry woven by Mother Nature herself.

Best Flights To Australia

Quickly search the best flights from the widest selection of airlines flying to Australia. Regardless of what airline you go with, you can save money by comparing. Skyscanner is the best airline price comparison service specifically for Australia.

13. Wilsons Promontory National Park

Wilsons Promontory National Park Pin

Wilsons Promontory National Park, also affectionately known as 'The Prom,' holds an esteemed place in my heart. It is one of Australia's most loved places, located at the southernmost tip of mainland Australia.

The park sprawls over 50,000 hectares and offers a distinctly diverse landscape composed of rainforests, untouched beaches, granite mountains, and abundant wildlife. From bushwalking and camping to bird watching and marine exploration - the myriad activities never cease to delight visitors who explore the park.

My fondest memories at Wilsons Promontory National Park are from its various hiking trails that meander through tangled woods leading up to panoramic views of the ocean or even down into secluded coves where one can find tranquility amidst nature’s beauty.

What truly sets this South Australia park apart is its wealth of biodiversity; it provides a safe haven for countless species including wombats, emus, kangaroos and many different types of birds. One cannot forget the serene yet dramatic shoreline characterized by beautiful sandy beaches that are perfect for relaxing walks or picnics with family.

Despite being a major tourist attraction in Australia, Wilsons Promontory National Park always feels remote and tranquil–a testament to its raw appeal that draws people back time after time.

Contact:

Address: Gippsland VIC 3960, Australia

Phone: +61 131963

14. St Clair National Park

St Clair National Park Pin

With so many places in Australia to see, St Clair National Park, nestled in the heart of Tasmania, is a place of remarkable beauty and ecosystem diversity. It is home to globally recognized wilderness landscapes that have been preserved for its indigenous wildlife, making it one of the most spectacular natural wonderlands in the country.

This Tasman national park is centered around Lake St Clair - Australia's deepest freshwater lake - with craggy peaks looming over pristine forests and reflective waters. It's an outdoor lover’s paradise with countless trails leading through ancient rainforests, alpine heaths, moorlands and glacial valleys.

The magnificence of St Clair National Park lies not only in its scenic splendor but also in the unique fauna and flora inhabiting it. The dense vegetation hosts a wide variety of mammals including platypus, Tasmanian devils, wombats and wallabies which visitors may glimpse while exploring.

Birdwatchers too will be enthralled by an array of bird species such as honeyeaters, black currawongs and strong-billed honeyeaters endemic to Tasmania. With its combination of breathtaking beauty and rich biodiversity underpinned by thoughtful conservation efforts, St Clair National Park offers an unforgettable journey into Australia's wild heart.

15. Grampians National Park

Grampians National Park Pin

Grampians National Park, situated in Victoria, is a breathtaking wonder filled with an abundance of wildlife and natural beauty. Spanning over 1,600 square kilometers, the park offers a wide range of activities for visitors including hiking trails to various lookout points, rock climbing opportunities and scenic drives showcasing panoramic views of the landscape.

The park's unique geography includes sandstone mountains, wildflower meadows and immense waterfalls that add to its spectacular allure. Renowned for its cultural heritage as well as its diverse flora and fauna, Grampians National Park effortlessly combines adventure with serenity.

The park also plays host to an impressive array of native Australian wildlife such as kangaroos, emus and koalas which can often be spotted by keen-eyed visitors in their natural habitat. For those interested in indigenous history and culture, Grampians National Park is home to some of the most significant Aboriginal rock art sites in Victoria.

The distinctive sandstone rock formations found throughout the park are not only visually appealing but also hold great scientific importance due to their geological age dating back millions of years. Whether you're an explorer at heart or just seeking tranquility within nature's embrace, Grampians National Park provides an unforgettable experience.

16. Litchfield National Park

Litchfield National Park Pin

Litchfield National Park, located in the Northern Territory of Australia, is a true testament to the breathtaking and astounding beauty that the country has to offer.

The park spans approximately 1,500 square kilometers and features vast swathes of rugged sandstone, monsoon rainforests, cascading waterfalls, numerous walking trails and an abundance of wildlife. The park’s proximity to Darwin makes it an accessible site for tourists yearning for a slice of Australia's wilderness.

One striking feature of Litchfield National Park is its magnetic termite mounds; these intriguing formations standing up to two meters high are built by termites with an impressive architectural prowess. The giant clusters of sculpted mounds aligned north-south have earned them the nickname 'magnetic'.

Another significant attraction is the park's four major waterfalls - Florence Falls, Wangi Falls, Tolmer Falls and Buley Rockhole each offering unique swimming experiences amidst tranquil surroundings. With such natural beauty encapsulated within its bounds together with its rich flora - including wallabies, corellas and fruit bats - Litchfield National Park stands as a remarkable illustration of Australia’s untamed splendor.

17. Carnarvon National Park

Carnarvon National Park Pin

Carnarvon National Park, located in the southern region of central Queensland,, is one of the most significant protected areas in the continent. It's a sanctuary that hosts an immense variety of unique plant and wildlife species.

The park encompasses over 2,980 km² area comprising of towering sandstone cliffs, verdant gorges, diverse animal species and evidence of ancient local Aboriginal people inhabiting this region for thousands of years.

The park's main highlight is Carnarvon Gorge with its white sandstone cliffs rising up to 600 meters, which offer fantastic views across the lush valleys below. Hiking trails weave their way through eucalyptus forests and fern-filled gullies showcasing a breathtaking landscape teeming with native flora and fauna including kangaroos and wallabies.

Moreover, Carnarvon National Park serves as an open-air gallery featuring over 2,000 rock art sites signifying cultural importance to Karingbal and Bidjara Aboriginal people who once occupied these lands.

Exploring Carnarvon National Park provides an unparalleled opportunity to venture into untouched wilderness that is rich in human history. Be it appreciating imposing sandstone formations sculpted by time or identifying rare plant species never seen before or simply listening to echoes from past while witnessing indigenous rock painting – every single experience at Carnarvon strikes awe-inspiring

18. Whitsunday Islands National Park

Whitsunday Islands National Park Pin

Whitsunday Islands National Park in Australia is a mesmerizing spectacle of nature and a destination that has captured the hearts of many. The national park, located in the center of the Great Barrier Reef, extends over 32,000 hectares and includes 74 tropical islands.

It's famous for its crystal-clear waters, lush rainforests, and pristine white sand beaches which are among some of the most beautiful in the world. Within this natural paradise, visitors can discover an array of native Australian wildlife both on land and beneath those clear azure waters.

In addition to its breathtaking landscapes, Whitsunday Islands National Park offers numerous activities for outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors have opportunities to kayak or sail around the islands, camp under clear starry skies on designated camping sites or even snorkel and dive among vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life including turtles and tropical fish species.

There are also plenty of hiking trails available for those interested in exploring more land-based flora and fauna up close - each offering unique perspectives on this stunning region.

While it's hard to fully convey just how spectacular Whitsunday Islands National Park truly is without experiencing it firsthand; no words do justice to these jewels lost somewhere between heaven & earth! Nevertheless visiting this place will surely become an unforgettable experience filled with memories that last a lifetime.

Best Flights To Australia

Quickly search the best flights from the widest selection of airlines flying to Australia. Regardless of what airline you go with, you can save money by comparing. Skyscanner is the best airline price comparison service specifically for Australia.

FAQ

What is the number one national park in Australia?

A: With more than 500 national parks, the number one national park in Australia is the iconic Kakadu National Park. Crowned as Australia’s largest terrestrial national park spanning over 19,800 square kilometers; it's fundamental to both Australia's ecology and cultural heritage. It embodies an exceptional mingle of nature and indigenous culture that is inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List for both its cultural and natural values.

How many national park are there in Australia?

A: Believe it or not, Australia is home to an astounding 685 national parks, covering over 28 million hectares of land. This accounts for almost four percent of the country's entire area!

What are the best national parks in Australia for hiking?

A: Blue Mountains National Park offers numerous hiking trails enveloped by eucalyptus forests and cascading waterfalls where you chance upon a ubiquitous assortment of wildflowers and rare wildlife.

Karijini National Park displays an impressive array of gorges and water-laden caverns that enthusiasts can explore. The park's Handrail Pool trail is a highlight for many hikers due to its thrilling vertical descents into Hancock Gorge followed by a serene swim surrounded by emerald-tinted rock walls. These two parks epitomize Australia's rich natural beauty providing unforgettable hiking experiences immersed within untamed landscapes.

What is the largest national park in Australia?

A: At four times the size of Yellowstone in the US (or more than half the size of Tasmania), Munga-Thirri—Simpson with its 3.6 million hectares became Australia's largest national park when it was declared in November 2021.

PLAN YOUR TRIP TO AUSTRALIA

Book Your Hotel In Australia

You can book your stay in Australia with Booking.com as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hotel, they also return the cheapest rates for accommodations like guesthouses and apartments.

Book Your Flight To Australia

Use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights to Australia. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know you get the best rates.

Need a Rental Car In Australia?

Here is a budget-friendly car rental resource. No matter where you’re traveling, you’ll be able to find the cheapest rental cars in Australia here.

Looking for an Airport Transfer Service In Australia?

If you are looking for a convenient and affordable option to get to and from the airport in Australia, here you will find all the answers to book your next airport transfer in Australia.

Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance

Travel insurance will protect you against illnesses, an injury, luggage theft, and even trip cancellations. It’s a comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong during your trip. I never visit Australia without it as I’ve had to use it several times in the past. My favorite travel insurance companies that offer the best service and value are:

Looking for the Best Travel Companies to Save Money With?

Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel to Australia. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m taking a trip. They will save you money when you travel too.

Want More Information on Australia:

Be sure to visit our Australia Travel Guide for even more planning tips.

More Australia Travel Resources