Welcome to Destination Inspiration, our blog series dedicated to showcasing the most beautiful places to visit in all of Australia. With so much uncertainty around international borders, now is the best time to get out there and explore our very own country. In this installation of the series, we’re taking a look at the best national parks in Australia…and it was no easy task, with 681 places in the country declaring the title of “national park”. So, we’ve decided to go state by state (with a few honourable mentions along the way) to delve into the best national parks in Queensland, NSW and beyond.
Kosciuszko is a fantastically picturesque place and, as far as national parks in Australia go, rather unique, being one of the few places in the country where you can wander alpine plains and snowy mountains in winter and fields of wildflowers in the spring. This makes it among the best national parks in NSW, with the opportunity to climb the highest peak in mainland Australia and explore Cabramurra, the country’s highest town. Of course, skiing is on the table for winter, while hiking, fly fishing and horseback riding are popular summer past times. Plus, there’s plenty of kangaroos and possums to meet among the iconic snowy gumtrees.
We love Bouddi National Park with its serene Coastal Walk, Blue Mountains National Park for it’s star landscape, and the captivating beaches of Jervis Bay National Park.
Not only is the Daintree the oldest rainforest in the world, but it’s also one of the most magical. Daintree National Park is located in Far North Queensland and offers more than enough rainforest walks along elevated platforms, animal encounters, freshwater swimming holes, and even off-road adventures in your 4x4. Receiving quite a bit of rainfall all year round, you’ll want to avoid the Daintree during monsoon season, but regardless Daintree National Park is one of the best national parks in Queensland.
Undara Volcanic National Park offers a unique cave and volcanic experience, and you can revel in World Heritage-level beauty at Lamington National Park. For a more coastal escape, try the Great Sandy National Park.
The land truly meets the sea at Port Campbell National Park, arguably one of the best national parks in Victoria due to its stunning limestone rock formations and crystalline blue waters. Located on Victoria’s Shipwreck Coast, there’s plenty of discoveries to be uncovered, along with nature walks where you’ll encounter native flora including orchids, and of course local wildlife such as peregrine falcons. If you’re driving the Great Ocean Road, you absolutely need to check this park out.
We recommend the Grampians National Park for the sheer scale of its sandstone peaks, Mount Buffalo National Parks to experience Victorian high country, and the Yarra Ranges National Park for its biking and picnicking opportunities.
There are plenty of top contenders for the best national park in Tasmania, but Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park is the true winner. The climate allows for exploration of both rainforests and alpine areas, while hikers will revel in the Overland Track – a hike that takes six days to complete and takes you through breathtaking mountain scenery. Like many national parks on this list, you can camp amongst glaciated Wilderness World Heritage beauty at Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park.
Check out Freycinet National Park (home to the heavenly Wineglass Bay), Rocky Cape National Park for its caves, beaches and rockpools, and the Tasman National Park to marvel at 300 metre-high oceanic rock formations.
If you’re an enthusiastic off-road adventurer, you’ll likely agree that Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park is among the best national parks in South Australia. It’s also one of the best Australian outback experiences, with plenty of camping to be enjoyed and glorious mountain ranges to explore including the 800-million-year-old Wilpena Pound, which is best viewed overhead via a scenic flight.
Make sure to take a trip to Innes National Park on the York Peninsula for its pristine turquoise beaches, for the Maldives-esque waters of Coffin Bay National Park, or go boating, fishing and kayaking within Murray River National Park.
Located within the eye-opening Pinnacles Desert, Nambung National Park is easily one of the best national parks in Western Australia. Sandstone pillars pierce the shifting yellow sands, making for a wonderous scene at both sunrise and sunset. You’ll also find beaches within the national park at Kangaroo Point and Hangover Bay, where you can cool off after wandering the scorching desert.
You can’t miss Lesueur National Park for its gorgeous fields of native flora, the panoramic views from Helena National Park, or the black and orange rock formations known as Bungle Bungle within Purnululu National Park.
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park may just be the best – if not most culturally significant – national park in all of the Northern Territory and Australia. It’s where you can find the internationally recognised red rock known as Uluru, spectacular gorges and uninterrupted twilight skies at night. It’s definitely worth a visit during your lifetime.
Kakadu National Park is second only to Uluru-Kata Tjuta for its beauty and diversity, while Nitmiluk National Park’s gorges are sure to blow you away, as is the rugged, scenic terrain of Joritja West MacDonnell National Park.