Australia's National Parks

Australia's National Parks
Site Requires Javascript - turn on javascript!

Australia’s National Parks

Australian national parks are found in a diverse number of landscapes: from alpine regions to deserts, forests and marine areas.

Australia has more than 500 national parks covering an incredible 28 million hectares - almost four per cent of the country. Australian national parks are found in a diverse number of landscapes: from alpine regions to deserts, forests and marine areas. Like Australian Zoos, Australia's national parks serve to protect our native plants and wildlife. They are also places to enjoy and learn about Australia's environment, heritage and culture. Whether it's meeting Aboriginal elders at Uluru, snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef or trekking through the Tasmanian Wilderness, here are some of Australia's top national parks to help plan your visit.

World Heritage Areas

Many of Australia’s national parks are World Heritage-listed. These are declared as protected areas by UNESCO because they represent the world’s best examples of cultural and natural heritage. You’ll find them along the coast, in the outback, and within ancient rainforests. Australia’s World Heritage-listed national parks include the Tasmanian Wilderness; Kakadu and Uluru-Kata Tjuta in the Northern Territory; Purnululu National Park, the Ningaloo Coast and Shark Bay in Western Australia; Fraser Island, the Great Barrier Reef, the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia and the Wet Tropics in Queensland; and the Greater Blue Mountainsand Lord Howe Island in New South Wales.

Mount Ginini, Namadgi National Park, ACT

Australian Capital Territory

Namadgi National Park is located just south of Canberra at the northern end of the Australian Alps and makes up 46 per cent of the Australian Capital Territory. It offers a scenic detour through some of Australia’s most spectacular mountain regions. It provides habitat for a wide range of native Australian animals. The park joins Kosciuszko National Park In the south-west with Brindabella National Park on the north-western border. Nearby Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve shows evidence that Aboriginal people were living in the region around 20, 000 years ago, and there are hundreds of known Aboriginal rock art sites in the region. In the 1960s Honeysuckle Creek was the first place on earth to receive the images of Neil Armstrong as he became the first man to walk on the moon.

New South Wales

National parks in New South Wales offer a diversity of landscapes and wildlife: from rainforests, bush and outback deserts to seaside and alpine regions. There are even national parks on the edge of Sydney Harbour. Some of the most popular include Royal National Park (Australia’s oldest); Sydney Harbour National Park; Blue Mountains National Park; Wollemi National Park; Lane Cove National Park; Kosciuszko National Park (Australia’s largest); Kuring-gai Chase National Park; Bouddi National Park; Dorrigo National Park (part of the Gondwana Rainforest Reserves of Australia); Murramarang National Park; Myall Lakes National Park near Port Stephens; and World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island.

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, NT

Northern Territory

The Northern Territory’s most well-known national parks include Uluru-Kata Tjuta and Kakadu National Park. Kakadu National Park is Australia's largest national park. It’s a landscape of rugged escarpments, lush wetlands, cascading waterfalls, abundant birdlife and rich Aboriginal culture and history. World Heritage-listed Uluru in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is one of Australia’s most iconic symbols and rich in Australian indigenous culture. Close to Darwin, the Charles Darwin National Park and Litchfield National Park feature unspoiled rainforests and a variety of Australian native wildlife. Some of the Northern Territory's most remote national parks include the Dampier Peninsula and Nitmiluk National Park in the Top End.


Some of Queensland’s most well-known national parks include the Daintree National Park; the Whitsunday Islands National Park; and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The Wet Tropics of Queensland is one of only few sites worldwide which met all four criteria for World Heritage listing. The Great Sandy National Park on Fraser Island is home to the world’s largest sand island and abundant wildlife, including whale-watching in winter. The waters from Caloundra to the southern tip of South Stradbroke Island form the Moreton Bay Marine Park. Lamington National Park in the Gold Coast hinterland is renowned as one of Australia’s top bird-watching spots. The Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area straddles the border between New South Wales and Queensland and protects some of Australia’s oldest subtropical and temperate rainforests.

Arkaba Walk, Flinders Ranges, SA

South Australia

Flinders Ranges National Park is located around 470 kilometres from Adelaide. This ancient landscape is like a walk back in time to the Earth’s history. Here you’ll find the remnants of early European settlement, Aboriginal culture, ancient rock art sites and some of the world’s oldest fossils. The Flinders Ranges is the traditional home of the Adnyamathanha Aboriginal people. Many unique Australian animals and plants have adapted to this arid landscape and can only be seen in the region. Flinders Chase National Park on Kangaroo Island is another popular park where you’ll see a wide range of Australian native wildlife.


Tasmania's outstanding national parks offer a wide range opportunities to discover spectacular landscapes: from highlands carved by glaciers to ancient rainforests, solitary beaches; and alpine wilderness. Tasmania's national parks are home to a diversity of unspoiled habitats with ancient, plants and animals found nowhere else on Earth. The 1.4 million hectares that make up the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area cover one-fifth of the island and include Southwest National Park, the largest in Tasmania; Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park; Lake St Clair and Cradle Mountain; and the mountain landscapes of the Hartz Mountains, close to Hobart. Freycinet National Park offers spectacular scenery on Tasmania's east coast. Maria Island and South Bruny National Park are also rich in history and wildlife.

Wilson's Promontory, Gippsland, VIC


The Alpine National Park stretches from central Gippsland to the New South Wales border where it joins Kosciuszko National Park. The park features some of Australia’s most stunning alpine landscapes. In winter, many Australians head to resorts such as Mount Buller, Falls Creek, Mount Hotham and Mount Buffalo for tobogganing, skiing and snowboarding. The Great Otway National Park along the Great Ocean Roadfeatures rugged coastlines, sandy beaches and forests. At Port Campbell National Park there are historical shipwreck sites, abundant wildlife, and the Twelve Apostles. Croajingolong National Park in Victoria’s far-east offers coastal camping, beach walks, bird watching, boating and fishing. Brambuk - the National Park and Cultural Centre in the Grampians is renowned for its Aboriginal history. At the southernmost tip of mainland Australia, the waters surrounding Wilsons Promontory National Park are protected as a marine national park and offer excellent diving.

Bungle Bungles, Purnululu,
Western Australia

Western Australia

Western Australia has many well-known national parks including Purnululu National Park in the East Kimberley, home of the Bungle Bungle Range; and Karijini National Park in the Pilbara. They’re home to a variety of Australian native wildlife including rock wallabies and red kangaroos. Yanchep National Park, just an hour north of Perth is one of Western Australia's oldest national parks. It’s rich in Aboriginal history and home to a colony of koalas. Kalbarri National Park, around 700 kilometres north of Perth, features red river gorges, sea cliffs and rolling sands, and wildflowers. Stirling Range National Park is home to Bluff Knoll, the highest peak in Western Australia’s south-west for experienced bushwalkers and climbers. Visit the Valley of the Giants in Walpole-Nornalup National Park along Western Australia's southern coast or go 4WD touring in Cape Le Grand National Park near Esperance.