While Australia is certainly well known for its captivating and vibrant cities, the myriad stunning national parks decorating the country are what really stand out.
Whether you’re looking to explore canyons or cliffs, dive into unforgettable swimming holes or stroll down beaches dotted with kangaroos, you are bound to satisfy your adventurous spirit with a visit to an Australian national park. To help you plan your next visit, we’ve scouted out some of the most stunning national parks in Australia – whichever one (or few) you choose, get ready for a remarkable adventure.
Kakadu National Park
Okay, this seems like an obvious one to start with but the ancient landscape in Kakadu National Park is completely out of this world. Kakadu is located in the Northern Territory and is the largest national park in Australia. A remote national park, Kakadu offers countless things to see in a destination that isn’t teeming with tourists. Wetlands and cliffs, saltwater crocodiles and birds, swimming holes and waterfalls, Kakadu has it all.
Nitmiluk National Park
Also located in the Northern Territory, Nitmiluk National Park is just south of Kakadu. Nitmiluk, formerly known as Katherine Gorge National Park, is best known for its series of gorges, 13 in total, that form Nitmiluk Gorge. To witness the beauty of this national park, you could stroll the Windolf Walk or even jump on a helicopter flight. However you choose to explore, this stunning rocky landscape is one you don’t want to miss.
Nambung National Park
Located in Western Australia, this stunning national park is just a day trip from Perth. The Pinnacles Desert is Nambung’s most famous feature, filled with a sea of eroded limestone rocks. Whether you visit Nambung during the day, at sunset or under a starry sky, the views are extraordinary. If you venture toward the coastal regions of Nambung, you may even catch a glimpse of a sea lion swimming around.
Purnululu National Park
Purnululu National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site also located in Western Australia. This national park is located in the Kimberley region. It is most well known for its Bungle Bungle Range, the dome formations featuring orange and black striped rocks. You can explore this park via helicopter flyover or by foot. If you choose to lace up your boots and hit the walking trails around the park, be sure to venture to the canyons, gorges and rock pools as well.
Tjoritja / West MacDonnell National Park
Tjoritja / West MacDonnell National Park is located west of Alice Springs and will captivate you with its magnificent beauty. When visiting this national park, be sure to explore Simpson’s Gap, Ochre Pits, Standley Chasm and the waterholes at Ellery Creek Big Hole and Ormiston Gorge. If you’re looking for an adventurous hiking experience, try the Larapinta Trail. Broken into 12 sections, you can hike this trail all at once, or you can split it up into several stages. This is a park you’ll want to continue exploring for a few days. Keep that in mind as you plan your visit.
Watarrka National Park
Located in Central Australia, Watarrka National Park is a favorite stop for visitors to this area. The landscape includes rockholes and gorges, canyons and creeks and beautiful walking paths. The permanent waterhole located at the end of an accessible, paved path has special significance. It is important for wildlife and holds lasting meaning for the local Aboriginal people. Swimming is not permitted, but you can certainly soak up the stunning views.
Still searching for more national park magic?
A journey through Kakadu National Park
Charismatic Karijini National Park