Australia & NZ

8 Hidden Gem National Parks in Australia

Australia has more than a few national parks that merit world-class status and, indeed, a disproportionate number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It takes some work and effort, then, to uncover the best hidden gems of the lot – those national parks that deserve a little more attention from domestic and international tourists alike.

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Kalbarri National Park – Photo credit

Washpool National Park
Washpool and Gibraltar Ranges, New South Wales

Washpool, some 500 km north of Sydney, protects a considerable array of rare plant and animal life in a park that measures some 586.78 km2. On the National Heritage List and part of the UNESCO World Heritage Gondwana Rainforests but still under the radar enough to warrant a shout-out here, in our humble estimation.

Wilsons Promontory National Park
Gippsland, Victoria

We would hole up in glorious Gippsland at any chance opportunity, with Wilsons Prom, or The Prom, a particular enclave with oodles of promise. A mere 150 km from Melbourne, the park is the southernmost on the Oz mainland and unfurls a lot of inherent gems as a result, from stray wombats on the beach to the tip of Mount Oberon.

Melbourne City Guide

Kalbarri National Park
Mid West, Western Australia

You have to drive 485 km north from Perth to arrive at Kalbarri National Park but the ride is well, well worth it. Chiefly for the epic Murchison River gorge but also for dramatic cliffs that plunge into the ocean, western grey kangaroos, thorny devils, emus, ospreys and tammar wallaby.

Brindabella National Park
Brindabella Ranges, New South Wales

The Brindabella Ranges that form the physical border between NSW and the ACT provide the basis for a namesake national park on the National Heritage List. While small in stature at 185 km2, the advantage of this oft-neglected but beautiful sub-alpine reserve is its closeness to Canberra – just 30 km west of the city by car.

Mount William National Park
Bay of Fires, Tasmania

A no-brainer to make this list, Mount William comes in at 185 km2 and sports a relatively isolated and empty stretch of coast, not to mention significant populations of eastern grey kangarooes, wombats, Bennetts wallabies, Tasmanian pademelons, echidnas, brush-tailed possums and Tasmanian devils. Plus, Hobart is only 235 km away.

Hobart City Guide

Carnarvon National Park
Central Queensland

The Southern Brigalow Belt bioregion (try saying that five times fast) is a vital section of Central Queensland that acts as de facto lungs and also boasts a tremendous cultural legacy. Carnarvon National Park brings it all together in one massive, 2,980 km2 chunk, much of which, rightly, is inaccessible to ordinary visitors. The most famous feature, however, Carnarvon Gorge, is accessible from Rolleston or Injune along the Carnarvon Highway. All 600 km from Brisbane.

Davenport Murchison National Park
Northern Territory

We don’t give the NT enough love and when we do, it’s invariably for the usual suspects like Uluru-Kata Tjuta and Kakadu. Davenport Murchison National Park is pretty much in the middle of the state, some 1,000 km south of Darwin, and contains an ancient impact crater, among other visual delights.

Lake Gairdner National Park
South Australia

SA’s Lake Gairdner National Park is just over 400 km north of capital Adelaide but, for all intents and purposes, a world away in terms of scenery and landscape. Stringent public access rules are behind the park’s clandestine character but that’s just fine with us. For birdwatchers, novice botanists and just plain nature lovers, the 5,481 km2 park is a paradise.

2 Comments for "8 Hidden Gem National Parks in Australia"

Nirala Aspire says on March 25th, 2013 at 5:14 pm:

That pic you posted is really amazing. Someday I really hope to visit the country.

Lance rover says on March 25th, 2013 at 9:55 pm:

Beautiful ! Very beautiful indeed! My friends tells me often that there are so many beautiful places in Australia that hardly ever get explored. Now i am glad that i travelled to <a href=apollo bay resorts which i should have done a long time time ago. It was awesome indeed! I stayed at whitecrest apollo bay accommodation (i think that's what they call it) with spectacular ocean view and sounds of breaking waves right below my apartment! the accommodations at apollo bay are truly world class and reasonably priced. Gosh….i want to go back there again….

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