Words: Priya Ghatol, travel 3Sixty° travelsmith
With sprawling acres of land covered with massive stretches of lush rainforests, fascinating rugged mountains and secluded beaches, Australia entices you to leave behind the chaotic urban rush and sojourn into a realm of soothing sounds and visions of nature. The perfect way to cherish your nature wanderlust is by taking a journey through Australia’s spectacular collection of national parks. Deciding which one to include in your trip can be daunting as you will be spoilt for choices due to the sheer abundance of Australian national parks. Here are six well-loved Australian National Parks that you would want to put on top of your list.
Blue Mountains National Park, New South Wales
A misty wilderness spread across acres of mountainous landscapes, Blue Mountains National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site which is renowned for its phenomenal hazy blue mountain vistas. Set in New South Wales in eastern Australia, this national park teems with acres of lush forested landscapes that mainly have eucalyptus trees among other foliage, sandstone rocks eroded into magnificent canyons, cliffs and caves such as the Three Sisters Mountain and Jenolan Caves. A day trip from Sydney makes a wonderful excursion away from the manmade world, letting you appreciate nature in its purest form on nature walks and hiking experiences. Spend some time on adventures such as camping, abseiling, rock climbing and mountain biking.
Great Sandy National Park, Queensland
A serene coastal national park, Great Sandy National Park is located in Queensland, three hours from the Gold Coast. Two distinct segments are yours to explore–the Cooloola section and Fraser Island. This National Park is a perfect place to watch some of Australia’s outlandish birds such as the black-breasted button-quails, mangrove honeyeaters, emus, eastern ground parrot, as well as wild animals such as dingoes. Take the five-day Cooloola Great Hike or Fraser Island Great walk to discover its enthralling nature charms.
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory
Famous for the iconic natural landmark Ayers Rock, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park presents a staggering fusion of unique natural beauty with ancient aboriginal culture making it one of the iconic places to visit in Australia. A World Heritage Site, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park can be explored in various ways – take an Aboriginal cultural tour and discover the ancient traditions and rock art or take a hot air balloon ride to watch the Ayers Rock changing into various hues of pink, purple and crimson. Many travelers come to the national park through Alice Springs, which is accessible by land and air from Darwin and other cities.
Daintree National Park, Queensland
Shrouded by ancient lush tropical rainforest, Daintree National Park is home to exceptional wilderness and rare wildlife. It is divided into two sections: the Mossman Gorge with beautiful vistas of Mossman River and granite boulders, and Cape Tribulation with offers gorgeous beach sides and mountains blanketed in rain forests. It is one among those exclusive places in Australia where you can view tree kangaroos and cassowaries. This national park is best experienced on ferry rides and scenic drives.
Moreton Island National Park, Queensland
A sand island in Moreton Bay brimming with stunning white sandy beaches, green woodlands and huge sand dunes, Moreton Island National Park is quite popular as a day excursion from Gold Coast to escape the hectic life and enjoy some light relaxation amid nature. The park is also known for adventure sports such as four wheel driving, surfing, sand tobogganing and quad biking. You can even feed or swim with dolphins, or spot whales.
Port Campbell National Park, Victoria
Feast your eyes on two of the world’s most astounding panoramas at Port Cambell National Park – The London Arch and the Twelve Apostles. Undoubtedly the best experience is the Great Ocean Road tour which gives you stunning vistas of the coastal scenery and rock formations jutting out of the sea. A four-hour drive from Melbourne, this national park’s enigmatic carved rock formations and windswept coastlines won’t get you tired of looking out the window.
Bursting at the seams with over 500 national parks portraying diverse features of nature through its rare and exotic flora and fauna and outlandish topography, Australia has taken great effort to conserve these natural wonders, hence many of the national parks are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and protected areas. Explore vast stretches of coastlines, centuries-old rain forests, or rugged mountain cliffs in Australia.
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