There are too many spectacular national parks in Australia for us to possibly list them all here, but we’ve taken the liberty to find some of the best. We recommend hiring a rental car in Oz and taking the time to explore some of these…
Royal National Park, NSW
Just south of Sydney, along the Grand Pacific Drive, is the Heritage-listed ‘Nasho’. This is the second-oldest national park in the world, and features a great mixture of bush, boardwalk and beach.
Sydney Harbour National Park, NSW
The only urban park in this list, Sydney Harbour is home to excellent historic attractions, such as Cockatoo Island, Fort Denison and Hornby Lighthouse.
Washpool National Park, NSW
Washpool, northwest of Coffs Harbour, is a great vantage point to explore the UNESCO Gondwana Rainforests of Australia. More than 140 species of bird have been spotted here, so bring binoculars!
Blue Mountains, NSW
West of Sydney, you’ll find the stunning Blue Mountains. If you’re not crossing a staggeringly deep gorge on a transparent-floored cable car here, you’ll be snapping photos of unique natural sights.
Undara Volcanic National Park, QLD
Out in Gulf Savannah country, you’ll find Australia’s own surreal lava tube formation at Undara Volcanic National Park. This in addition to the vast Outback surroundings, which are a must-see.
Great Barrier Reef, QLD
Stretching from Bundaberg to Cape York (3,000 kilometres), the unparalleled Great Barrier Reef has the largest collection of coral in the world, not to mention thousands of aquatic species. You can dive, snorkel and cruise here – or all three.
Daintree National Park, QLD
In close proximity to Cairns is Daintree National Park, part of the UNESCO Wet Tropics. This is one of the oldest rainforests in the world, and is split into two sections: Mossman Gorge and Cape Tribulation.
Nambung National Park, WA
Drive north of Perth to Nambung National Park and you’ll be in a landscape that almost feels alien. The Pinnacles are here – odd limestone pillars rising from the earth, scattered around the desert.
Cape Le Grand National Park, WA
Down by Esperance is Cape Le Grand, the ultimate place to visit if you want to watch kangaroos sunbathe on untouched beaches, or even go rock climbing at Frenchman’s Peak.
Flinders Ranges, SA
One of the most popular parks in the country can be found in South Australia. The Flinders Ranges are home to Aboriginal rock art and sites of early European settlement, plus the amazing natural amphitheatre, Wilpena Pound.
Kangaroo Island, SA
There are a few national and conservation parks to be found on pristine Kangaroo Island, all of which are well worth your time. Seal Bay is home a 1,000-year-old sea lion colony, and the fascinating rock formations of Admirals Arch and Remarkable Rocks are in Flinders Chase.
Grampians National Park, VIC
As one of Victoria’s top holiday hot spots, you’re in for a treat when you road trip to the Grampians. These sandstone mountains are an icon of the local area, and the forests are filled to the brim with wildlife.
Port Campbell National Park, VIC
We love the Great Ocean Road so much that we’ve featured two of its parks on this list. Port Campbell is where you’ll find the 12 Apostles, one of the most famous sights in the entire state. The Island Archway and London Bridge are definitely close seconds.
Great Otway National Park, VIC
Closer to Torquay, Great Otway is a park of two halves: One blends sparkling beaches with craggy coastline, and the other is swathed in luminous green forests, teeming with animals, waterfalls and delightfully placid lakes. To get the most out of your road trip, consider visiting both!