There is no better way to get away from all the city life and hustle than visiting a national park. Australia has a more than 500 national parks covering a remarkable 28 million hectares and 4 per cent of the total land area. You want to unwind. Go discover the wildlife in the Australian wild and take hikes in the rainforests and misty waterfalls or relax in the secluded beaches and magnificent cliff tops.
Here are some of the top national parks you can visit in Australia.
1. Flinders Chase National Park, South Australia
The park is located just off the south coast of Australia near Adelaide and occupies the western part of Kangaroo Island. The park is best known for its remarkable rocks, a peculiar natural formation perched atop a granite ridge. It also hosts the Admirals Arch, which the New Zealand fur seals frequent and if you are in luck, you can see them play in the surf. Other wildlife includes kangaroos, koalas, platypuses and goannas. The spectacular scenery, various wildlife and mild climate make it perfect for camping and trekking. If sleeping under the stars is not your fancy, you can experience the uniqueness of staying in what was once the lighthouse keeper’s cottage at Cape du Couedic.
For a bit of luxury, stay at the Southern Ocean Lodge which has turned its geographical challenges to its advantage by fostering the development of local artisanal food production and instituting a wide-range of eco-practices that put the lodge on the forefront of Australian ecotourism.
2. Wilsons Promontory National Park, Victoria
The Promo as it is locally known is located in the southern tip Victoria. The park is a dazzling coastal wilderness. It formed the beginning of the land bridge with Tasmania that is now far across the Bass Strait. The fringes that meet the ocean are a clutter of rugged rocks interspersed with deserted arcs of beach. The park has a wide range of wildlife from emus, kookaburras, kangaroos to swamp wallabies. It has a trail of 130kms you can explore on foot. Like Flinders Chase, it has its own hotspots, the squeaky beach whose sand is so fine it squeaks underfoot. It has a huge and fragmented apple shaped boulder known as Split Rock and a lighthouse that has been operational since 1859.
3. Blue Mountains National Park, New South Wales
The park named because of the ethereal blue haze emitted by the dense eucalyptus forest that covers the slopes and valleys is just a two-hour drive from Sydney. This is a place of eye-catching splendor. The most popular sites is the Echo point, a cluster of towering viewing platforms that present enthralling views over the Jamison Valley. It is looked down upon by the iconic three sister rock formation. It is webbed with trails and adventure sport opportunities are in plenty from horse riding to cliff climbing. The Scenic Railway, the steepest railway in the world takes you from the cliffs to the rainforest. The Scenic Skyway carries you above the ravines and features a glass floor, the Scenic Walkway is a 3km rainforest boardwalk.
Extend your stay at the Wolgan Resort, an example of top notch conservation work. Activities at the eco-friendly ranch include horse back riding, wildlife safaris, historical tours, mountain biking and the good old-fashioned nature trail.
4. Whitsunday Islands National Park, Queensland
There is no better word to describe this other than paradise. The 74 islands dotting the Pioneer Bay off the Queensland coast were formed from the ocean 100 million years ago by volcanoes. Some islands like Hamilton, Dent and Daydream have been developed into resorts. However, the most remain untouched and protected including Whitsunday Island, which is the largest and most magnificent of all. Here you will find Whitehaven Beach that is arguably the best in the world. It has a 6km stretch of sand that is almost pure silica hence the appearance of icing sugar. The water is a radiant shade of turquoise. Rainbow colored fish dart about the shallows and the tropical birds sing to one another in the bright green vegetation that blankets the interior.
These are just few of the national parks in Australia. Next time you take a vacation tour the national parks to get an experience of a lifetime.