Visit the Top 5 Glorious Australian National Parks

When planning your ideal vacation, the phrase “different strokes for different folks” definitely comes to mind. While some search for the most luxurious hotels and urban adventures, others need to plan within a budget or just prefer the great outdoors. If you’re reading this blog, it’s a pretty safe bet regarding which of these types you most relate to but a light pocket never stopped a true adventurer from travelling!

Australian national parks have some of the most amazing views and wildlife in the entire world, and a trip to any of the following destinations can be an incredible experience with a very small cost. So whatever part of Australia you are planning to travel to – here’s a list of Australian national parks to admire that won’t require you to buy any lotto tickets to fund the visit!

Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory

Kakadu National Park is located in the Northern Territory within the Alligator Rivers Region. Its name is a common mispronunciation of the real Aboriginal name – Gaagudju. Kakadu National Park is the home for some of the most unique indigenous art sites, and around 500 Aboriginal Australians still call the park home.

Aboriginal art can be found in abundance in Kakadu National Park. Image courtesy of WIkipedia Commons.

Aboriginal art can be found in abundance in Kakadu National Park. Image courtesy of WIkipedia Commons.

Kakadu is the habitat for a remarkable array of bird life including the amusingly named brolga, the magpie goose, and the sacriligeously named Jesus Bird (comb crested Jacana). For those who like to live in the wild side, Kakadu is also home to more than 10,000 of Australia’s deadly saltwater crocodiles, so don’t be too tempted by those shady pools when the mercury rises too high!

During the wet season, Kakadu National Park is also home to some of Australia’s most spectacular waterfalls, including Jim Jim Plunge and Twin Falls.

Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, Tasmania

Located in Central Tasmania, Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park was made for hiking lovers as it contains more picturesque hiking trails than you could shake a stick at. These trails, which wind their way around incredible scenery, cater to everyone from the high heeled wanderer to the seasoned hiker. If you’re hardcore and fall into this last group, try the six-day long Overland Track.

Cradle Mountain is perhaps most famous for Dove Lake, where Ben of Red Rucksack posed in his altogether for the Travel Blogging Calendar.

Cradle Mountain is perhaps most famous for Dove Lake, where Ben of Red Rucksack posed in his altogether for the Travel Blogging Calendar.

Nature lovers can try their hands at spotting such rare indigenous fauna as the Tasmanian Devil, the Eastern Quoll, and the ever-elusive Platypus as well.

Carnarvon Gorge, Queensland

Carnarvon Gorge, the most visited feature of Carnarvon National Park, is a steep canyon. The Gorge, located in the midst of Queensland, is 30 Kilometers long and 600 meters deep. Carnarvon Gorge features towering sandstone cliffs, diverse wildlife and plants and culturally significant rock art sites.

Carnarvon Gorge is full of secluded gorges and caves perfect for some 'me time'. Photo courtesy of Auswalks.

Carnarvon Gorge is full of secluded gorges and caves perfect for some ‘me time’. Photo courtesy of Auswalks.

Editor’s Note: I’ve been here! I have very fond memories of being an eight or nine year old kid and traveling to Carnarvon Gorge with my family and my cousins. We hiked, made the Aussie equivalent to s’mores over a campfire, bathed in a big yellow tub, and even got to swim in some blessedly cool waterfall fed pools. While it’s a distant memory, it remains as one of my all-time favourite childhood experiences.

Washpool National Park, New South Wales

Located a short drive from where the Aussie on the Road calls home when he’s not on the road, Washpool National Park offers a unique rainforest adventure. Despite not being in Australia’s humid north, Washpool boasts a truly stunning rainforest complete with waterfalls, beautiful campsites, and the charming call of the bell-bird.

Washpool is a popular family destination in northern NSW. Photo courtesy of National Parks NSW

Washpool is a popular family destination in northern NSW. Photo courtesy of National Parks NSW

Visitors can enjoy walking trails near crystal clear water which can last anywhere from an hour up to several days. The park is particularly popular with bird-watchers, as it is home to a huge array of birds not found elsewhere in NSW.

Nambung National Park, Western Australia

Containing the Pinnacles Desert and located in Western Australia, Nambung National Park is a true Australian beauty and a study in startling contrast. With its wind weathered spires and towering yellow sand dunes sitting on the shores of the vast blue of the Indian Ocean, Nambung National Park’s Pinnacles are truly a sight to behold.

These beaches obviously make for some great and secluded swimming opportunities, so pack a picnic and pretend you’re the first people to ever set foot on that idyllic stretch of white sand you’ve spotted. If roughing it in the desert isn’t your style, nearby fishing towns offer a quaint way to enjoy the best of both worlds – with deep sea fishing, windsurfing, and snorkeling on offer to boot.

A lonely emu wandering amidst the pinnacles.

A lonely emu wandering amidst the pinnacles.

Wildlife enthusiasts can hope to snap a photo of the iconic emu or grey kangaroo, as well as seeing a huge variety of bird life and floral life.

Your Say

What are your favourite Australian National Parks? Has this guest poster missed any?