The people of Australia have dedicated about 4 percent of the country to its national park system. In over 500 locations land has been dedicated to the preservation of wildlife, plants and scenic wonders for the enjoyment of international and domestic visitors. Many of these parks preserve areas of rare or unique habitat that would have been lost if it not for the national park designation. The park system has a long and active history including the second national park in the world.
Royal National Park
Only Yellowstone National Park in the United States predates Royal National Park’s founding in 1879. Originally known only as “The National Park” it was given the Royal designation following a 1955 visit by Queen Elizabeth II. The park is popular with Australians for its long history and convenient location near Sydney. It remains a sanctuary to wildlife and a place for visitors to get in touch with nature.
Purnululu National Park
Listed as a World Heritage List park in 2003, Purnululu National Park features amazing rocky landscapes that often defy description. The area also includes living areas inhabited by aboriginal peoples some of which participate in the management of the park. The park includes the Bungle Bungle Range of Mountains known for the colorful sandstone and rock formations. Ground transportation to Purnululu National Park is limited to four-wheel-drive vehicles with the track only passable during the dry season.
Snowy River National Park is largely considered wilderness area with no vehicular traffic possible or allowed. The mountain range includes the Little River Gorge known as the deepest in Australia. The gorge is also home to an endangered species of wallaby. The Snowy River National Park is adjacent to Alpine National Park which features Mount Bogong and the Bogong High Plains. The road or track separating Snowy River and Alpine National Park is considered unsafe for large vehicles including recreational campers.
Great Australian Bight Marine Park
Not all of Australia’s National Parks are located on land. Great Australian Bight Marine Park features about 5,700 square miles of ocean and sea floor. The park preserves the reefs and marine habitat off the southern coast of Australia as a protected area.
Coffin Bay National Park
Surfers and beach enthusiasts will enjoy Coffin Bay National Park. The park includes the beaches along the Point Avoid peninsula as well as the reefs and islands off the coast. The park’s camping area is located at Yangie Bay although much of the rest of the park’s land is only accessible by unimproved trails suitable for four-wheel-drive vehicles. The park is known for its seabirds and is noted as an Important Bird Area.
Booti Booti National Park
The white sands of Seven Mile Beach attracts visitors to Booti Booti National Park. The park also includes Cape Hawke. This coastal area was named by Captain Cook in 1770. Overall, the park, located about 175 miles from Sydney caters to those who like their beach and coastal experiences to be wild and lonesome.
Walls of Jerusalem National Park
The island of Tasmanian, located south of the Australian continent, includes a number of notable national parks. Walls of Jerusalem National Park is part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. The geographic features of the park is said to resemble the walls of Jerusalem. To check it out you will have to do some hiking. The Walls of Jerusalem National Park has no developed roads or tracks.
Getting There Australia features a well developed transportation network featuring roads, rail and air systems. Getting to Australia has become more affordable with some airlines offering budget or cheap flights to Australia.