Best national parks in Australia
Many of the most beautiful national parks in the world are located in Australia. There are more than 500 national parks to explore when on a campervan holiday, and as a result you are spoiled for choice! To help plan your trip to Australia easier, our staff at Travelwheels Campervan Hire have summarized the best national parks in Australia and created a list of our favorite parks to visit.
Best national parks in Australia, Queensland:
Daintree National Park – Queenslands most beautiful national park
The Daintree National Park is probably one of the most famous nature reserve in the world! As a result it should on your list of the best national parks in Australia to visit. It is right next to the beautiful Great Barrier Reef and has so much to offer. This is a great place to explore whilst on a campervan hire holiday in Queensland.
Let yourself be enchanted by the world’s oldest rainforest and discover a variety of spectacular lookouts, gigantic fig trees, and a diversity of wildlife. In this free guide you will find tips for a round trip through the Daintree National Park and the surroundings of Cairns whilst on your campervan hire holiday in Australia.
Highlights of the Daintree National Park:
This is definitely one of the best national parks in Australia, and we suggest not to rush this trip. Here is a link to another travel guide we wrote about visiting Daintree National Park whilst touring northern queensland by campervan.
- The Atherton Tablelands – click to the right for an over view of the best things to do in the Aterton Tablelands
- Great Barrier Reef – A fascinating underwater world!
- Cape Tribulation – endless sandy beaches await you!
- Daintree River – Have you ever seen one of the monstrous saltwater crocodiles?
- A bit further south we recommend the Fitzroy Island National Park
Fraser Island in Queensland
Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world. It is part of the Great Sandy Beach National Park and is an UNESCO heritage site. If you are looking for an adventure in a 4×4 vehicle, this is the place to go! This is one of our staff’s choices for best national parks in Australia. Tip – you can’t bring your campervan on to Fraser Island, but there are plenty of places to park your campervan close by. Have a read of our free campsites in Australia guide and you might find somewhere close by to park your campervan.
Highlights on Fraser Island:
A lot of people say it is one of the best national parks in Australia, but why? Loads of cool stuff to do and explore on the largest sand island in the world! You should start with these things first and sit around a camp fire and chat with everyone else who is having a fantastic time!
- Lake McKenzie
- Whale watching in Indian Head
- The Maheno shipwreck in Happy Valley
- Sleep under the starry sky in a swag, which is a genius combo of a sleeping bag and a tent
Burleigh Heads National Park – Queensland
The Burleigh Heads National Park is located in the heart of the Gold Coast and is a small national park in the southeast of Queensland. On your to-do list should be the following highlights:
- Tumgun Lookout
- Echo Beach
- Palm Beach
- The beautiful “Ocean View Walk”
Boodjamulla National Park – Queensland
The Boodjamulla National Park is on the border to the Northern Territory. If you like something quieter, this region is just for you. The bright red rocks of the national park in the outback form a great contrast to the deep blue lakes. Among the best attractions in this forest you can find the Indarri Falls Trail, Lawn Hill Gorge and the fossils and dinosaur footprints in the limestone. Travelwheels recommends a canoe trip to get to know the beauty of this remote place.
The best national parks in Australia, New South Wales
There are so many wonderful national parks in NSW to explore once you have hired a campervan in Australia. Many of them are very accessible to campervan hire holiday customers and hence a great place to explore the real Australia.
Blue Mountains in NSW
In less than two hours from picking up your campervan from Travelwheels Campervan Hire Sydney depot, you could be in the Blue Mountains! Furthermore it is a truly breathtaking national park with many different hiking trails. It has its name from the blue haze which rises above the mountains during clear weather conditions. The reason for this is an essential oil, which evaporates from the leaves of the eucalyptus forests.
Travel tips for the Blue Mountains
Remember to leave plenty of time to explore the Blue Mountains when you are planning on which are best national parks in Australia to visit! Remember the Blue Mountains are the size of Belgium! Many people make the classic mistake of visiting it for one day by the way which is very sad! The staff at travelwheels campervans hire in Sydney recommend 2 to 5 days to get a good feeling of what this magical place is like. Here are few tips for your first visit to the Blue Mountains whilst on a campervan hire holiday in Australia.
- Visit the town of Katoomba (this is where you can book all the tours)
- Echo Point – “The Three Sisters”
- Katoomba Falls
- The Scenic Railway and Skyrail
- Wentworth Falls
- Jenolan Caves – Amasing stalactite caves
Royal National Park – NSW
The Royal National Park is within a short distance south of Sydney. The natural area is often in the shadow of the well-known Blue Mountains, but should not be underestimated. There are fun activities and adventures for everyone! As experienced hikers you can try several multi-day bushwalks, for example from Bundeena to Otford. But even for less athletic there is plenty to discover!
What to do at the Royal National Park?
“The Royal” as it is known locally is definitely one of the best national parks in Australia! First of all it was the very first national park in Australia back on 26 April 1879! It is less than an hour’s drive south of Sydney. It was actually the second “National Park” to be declared in the world, the first being Yellowstone National Park in the United States of America. For more information click on the link from Wikipedia about the Royal National Park.
- Wattamolla Beach
- Hike at full moon
- Garie Beach
- Bungoona Lookout
- Whale watching from Governor Game Lookout (May – November)
- Discover Loftus loop trail by bicycle
Jervis Bay National Park – NSW
When it comes to discussing what are the best national parks in Australia, Then Jervis Bay has got to be included in this list! If you start your campervan hire Sydney holiday from our depot, you can be here in less than 3 hours from Sydney! Jervis Bay is know has having the beach with the world’s whitest sand and as fine as powdered sugar! Jervis Bay is one of the best places to see wild dolphins in Australia! There is a pod of over 140 dolphins in the area and plenty of dolphin tours to go and see them! Together with the tame kangaroos which hop along the beautiful beaches, you can easily for example see why this is one of the best national parks in Australia! Jervis Bay is ideal for a weekend getaway and guarantees pure relaxation from the bustling city of Sydney.
Travelwheels travel tips for Jervis Bay:
Below are some hints and tips for things to do when visiting Jervis bay with your campervan.
- Diving in Huskinsson
- Dolphin watching with over 140 resident dolphins!
- Watching penguins in Booderee National Park
- Kayaking or paddle boarding at Hyams Beach
- White Sands Walk from Greenfield Beach to Hyams Beach
- Surfing at Cave Beach
- Whale watching at Cape St George Lighthouse
Kosciuszko National Park in New South Wales – Snow in Australia?
Another entry into best national parks in Australia is the magnificent Kosciuszko National Park. This is the largest national park in New South Wales, and it even snows here in the winter! If you want to climb the highest mountain in Australia, in brief make sure you visit Mount Kosciuszko which is 2228m tall! In this national park you will also find the Snowy Mountains region, which in Europe is often referred to as the Australian Alps. This is an incredible national park whatever time of year you visit. For example they have plenty of things to do in both summer and winter! Consequently you can do hiking, skiing, mountain biking, walking, and particularly climb the highest mountain in Australia!
Top things to do at the Kosciuszko National Park:
There is simply so many things to do here, and this is why it is rightly one of the best national parks in Australia! Here is a very brief list of just some of the things to do! We suggest checking out the main tourists information office to see what is happening in season!
- Snowy Mountains
- Jounama Creek Walk
- Main Range Track
- Summit Walk
- Kosciuszko Lookout
- Kosciuszko Express Chairlift
- Yarrangobilly Caves
The best national parks in Victoria
Travel tip: Wilsons Promontory in Victoria
When it comes to naming some of the best national parks in Australia, then Wilson’s promontory is very highly recommended! For instance this park is one of our staff’s favourite national parks to visit in the whole country! In this case, we recommend getting your hiking boots and off you go! Wilson’s Promontory is among the most beautiful parks that can be explored on foot. Most of all, it is a must do when visiting Victoria. The area is one of Australia’s most popular hiking regions and is best to explore outside the holidays and weekends. The park has a huge diversity of landscapes, wildlife and plants. It especially has lovely coves, long coastal paths, fine sand beaches, and dense rainforests to check out. For example there is more than 80km long hiking network to await you at Wilson’s Promontory National Park.
Wilson’s Promontory National Park:
This is one of our staffs best national parks in Australia to explore! We recommend spending at least three days including time to explore the following areas:
- Mount Oberon Lookout – really worth climbing up here to see the views
- Tidal River Lookout
- Squeaky Beach, a pristine sand beach with picturesque panorama views
- Lilly Pilly Gully Walk(6km)
- Watching wombats, emus and many kangaroos in roaming around in one of best national parks in Australia.
Great Otway National Park in Victoria
The Great Otway National Park stretches from Torquay to Princetown and has rugged coasts, sandy beaches, leafy plains, magnificent waterfalls and quiet lakes. It is very well known mainly because of the proximity to the Great Ocean Road. There are some spectacular lookouts, some of which are not visible from the Great Ocean Road, so definitely worth a visit!
“The 12 Apostles”, “The Gibson Steps”, “Loch Ard Gorge”, the remains of “The London Bridge”, “The Arch” and “The Grotto” should all be at the top of your list when visiting the adjacent Port Campbell National Park!
What to see at the Otway National Park?
- Several shipwrecks along the Shipwreck Coast
- Great Ocean Walk – 91km long hiking trail
- Horse riding trips and bicycle tours
- The Erskine Falls
- Lake Elizabeth
- Cora Lyn-Kaskaden
The best national parks in South Australia
Flinders Ranges in South Australia
The Flinders Ranges are considered a hotspot for kangaroo fans. Only a few hours north of Adelaide you get a historical impression of the Australian outback, one of the greatest natural wonders of Australia. Another reason why many people suggest it is one of the best national parks in Australia is due to spring flowers! It is truly an incredible sight and especially just when all the mountain flowers bloom into life. The colours are wonderful and together with the remoteness and the rugged mountain range, it is easy to see why this place is so special.
We recommend spending several days in the region, as one finds a variety of interesting national parks here. The national parks can best be explored by an 4WD vehicle. It fascinates with its wonderful steep mountain ridges, an underground opal town in Coober Pedy, a beautiful salt lake and colorful wildflowers on deep red rocks.
With a bit of luck, you even get a glimpse of the rare yellow-footed rock-wallaby.
Highlights of the Flinders Ranges National Park
- Hiking to the Amphitheater Wilpena Pound
- St. Mary Peak
- Native rock art at Arkaroo Rock or Sacred Canyon
- Lake Eyre – the largest salt lake in Australia
- Overnight stay in Coober Pedy’s underground mines
Innes National Park
The gorgeous scenery of the Innes National Park offers coastal landscapes with rugged cliffs and sandy beaches. You can find it south of Adelaide. Bushwalking is a great way to explore the park. Pack your picnic blanket and use one of the 30 minute to 4 hour hiking trails. Then you can cool off at one of the many beaches this area surprises you with.
Highlights of the Innes National Park in Australia
- Picnic at the West Cape picnic area
- Hike to Stenhouse Bay Lookout
- Cape Spencer
- Investigator Strait Shipwreck Trail
Best national parks in Australia, Western Australia
Kalbarri National Park in Western Australia
This is another special place and in particular it is easy to understand why it is one of best national parks in Australia. From the craggy gorges to the dramatic cliffs, sensational beaches and the tranquil Murchison River, Kalbarri is unique and has something to offer for everyone.
The rock formations for instance such as, Island Rock, Natural Bridge and Mushroom Rock are among the best viewpoints and are surrounded by great hiking trails. There are so many wonderful places to explore in this park, and for example here are a few more highlights
- Nature’s Window
- Z Bend
- Red Bluff Beach
- Ross Graham Lookout
- Blue Holes
- Hawks Head
Karijini in Western Australia
With 627,422 hectares, the Karijini National Park is the second largest park in Western Australia. The ideal times to visit the park are in late autumn, winter and spring. Usually the temperature rises up to 40 ° C, therefore it is important to carry enough water with you!
In general it is recommended to inform yourself about the park in advance. Near Dale’s campsite you will most likely meet dingos. Please do not feed them and stow any food away well, as the wild dogs can become aggressive. That is a not detract from the beauty of the impressive canyons, gorges, waterfalls and up to 100m deep pools. The Karijini National Park is always worth a visit!
Highlights of the Karijini National Park:
- Swimming at the Fern Pool of Dales Gorge
- Fortescue Falls
- Weano Gorge
- Oxers Lookout
- Wanderung auf den Mount Bruc
The best national parks in Northern Territory
Kakadu National Park in Northern Territory
As one of the most famous and fascinating national parks in Australia, the Kakadu National Park, a UESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage, is an absolute must for every Australian tourist. Some people might argue about some of our choices, but in particular everyone agress that this is one of the best national parks in Australia. Let yourself be guided by Australia’s inhabitants, the Aboriginies, through their country and learn a world far from today’s hustle and bustle.
The park can be visited with great tours from Darwin or explored individually. We recommend investing at least 3 days for this trip. There are great things to watch at any time of the year, but it is better to avoid the wet season because many roads quickly become impassable. Who travels in a 4WD drive has a clear advantage in this rough area with very little sealed roads.
Top tips for the Kakadu National Park in Australia
Don’t rush Kakadu as it is classed as one of best national parks in Australia. Some people spend a day or so here and others in the meantime can spend months exploring Kakadu.
- Mirrai Lookout – The most beautiful view over the heart of the park
- Jim Jim Falls
- Swimming in Gunlom Waterfall Creek
- Aboriginal rock art at Ubirr Rock
- Watch saltwater crocodiles
Best national parks in Australia: Litchfield National Park
This is a world class and above all a great example of one of the very best national parks in Australia! Litchfield is less than two hours drive from Darwin and surpasses all expectations with crystal clear waterfalls, and oasis-like pools. Including more swimming possibilities than in the Kakadu National Park as a result of less crocodiles! The park is often referred to as the little brother of the Kakadu National Park and is therefore a favorite holiday destination in Northern Territory. We have summarized the highlights of the park:
- Swimming in the pools of the Florence Falls and the Wangi Falls
- Visit to the termite nests (Cathedral Termite Mound is 6 meters high!)
- Rocky basin of the Buley Rockhole
- Tolmer Falls Walk
- Sandstone formations of The Lost City
- Ruins of the historic Blythe Homestead
The best national parks in Australia
We hope you have enjoyed this guide to the best national parks in Australia from Travelwheels Campervan Hire. Not everyone will agree with our choices, and as a result it is now time for you to explore some of these great national parks. Let us know which ones you prefer and we are particularly interested in your photos and videos from your campervan hire holiday with Travelwheels. We can only recommend to spend as much time as possible in each of these parks, as the flora and fauna is simply unbeatable and makes your holiday unforgettable. We are happy to help you plan a trip to Campervan hire holiday in Australia with us. If you have any questions, simply send us an e-mail to [email protected] or call us at +61412766616.
Exploring Best National Parks in Australia by Campervan
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