NATURE AND WILDLIFE

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Australian national parks you must visit

This country abounds with engrossing national parks. Hundreds of them.

They are generally massive areas, so sometimes their riches can be hard to reach. But not always…

We’ve scoured the land and found some of the best national parks in Australia that make comfortable day trips from prominent locations.

Take advantage of easy access to these awesome areas and their prized attractions when staying at various BIG4 parks around the nation.

Some epic sights are easier to reach than it might seem. Location: Simpsons Gap, Tjoritja West MacDonnell National Park. Credit: Tourism NT/Jess Caldwell and Luke Riddle.

QLD national parks

Wooroonooran National Park, near Cairns and Innisfail

Part of the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area, Wooroonooran is ripe with goodies: waterfalls, swimming holes, gorges, and soaring peaks among swathes of rainforest. Conveniently, several key features are within comfortable reach of either Cairns, such as Walshs Pyramid, or Innisfail, led by the not-to-be-missed Mamu Tropical Skywalk and Josephine Falls.

Nearby accommodation: BIG4 Cairns Crystal Cascades Holiday Park, BIG4 Ingenia Holidays Cairns Coconut Resort, and BIG4 Innisfail Mango Tree Tourist Park.

Mamu Tropical Skywalk in Wooroonooran is a must-visit from Innisfail. Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.

Noosa National Park, Noosa Heads

This instantly inviting park engulfs Noosa Headland, so expect a litany of captivating coastal outlooks that contrast with sprawling greenery. Even better, it all begins just a stone’s throw from Noosa Heads’ heart. A key feature is Boiling Pot lookout, which delivers sparkling sea views and is only a short distance from the main car park.

Nearby accommodation: BIG4 Ingenia Holidays Noosa.

Sensational scenery can be soaked up with ease within Noosa National Park. Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.

Conway National Park, Whitsunday area

This coastal area accentuates the bountiful beauty of the Whitsunday region thanks mainly to its expansive tropical rainforest and isolated beaches. It surrounds Conway Peninsula, so expect walking trails that reveal breathtaking coastal vistas that stretch far and wide.

Nearby accommodation: BIG4 Conway Beach Tourist Park Whitsundays and BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort and BIG4 Whitsundays Tropical Eco Resort in Airlie Beach.

Conway National Park blends sprawling rainforest with secluded beaches. Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.

VIC national parks

Great Otway National Park, Great Ocean Road

Encompassing vast stretches of territory that overlook the Great Ocean Road, this crowd-puller is dotted with enticing attractions. A succession of waterfalls are headliners alongside flowing forests that mix colourful ferns with the likes of gigantic Californian redwoods. Captivating creatures and ample opportunity to soak up splendid sea views are also on the agenda. Great in every way.

Nearby accommodation: BIG4 parks in the Great Ocean Road region.

Hopetoun Falls is among ample highlights within Great Otway National Park.

Warby-Ovens National Park, near Wangaratta

On Wangaratta’s doorstep is this beauty, which hoards a wealth of enchanting landscapes that include river red gum forests, wetlands, and craggy granite hills. Inviting walking trails lead to lookouts, some of which reveal mountain peaks that are snow-covered in cooler months.

Nearby accommodation: BIG4 Wangaratta North Cedars Holiday Park.

Warby-Ovens National Park showcases vibrant and variable landscapes. Credit: Visit Wangaratta.

Dandenong Ranges National Park, east of Melbourne

‘The Dandenongs’ are irresistibly enchanting, with cloud-piercing mountain ash trees emerging from lush fern gullies that dominate these hilly surrounds. Visit glorious gardens often erupting with vibrant colours, witness waterfalls, and explore charming villages on the fringes of the park. And that is not all.

Nearby accommodation: BIG4 Dandenong Tourist Park, BIG4 Yarra Valley Park Lane Holiday Park, and BIG4 Melbourne Holiday Park.

Mystical: Dandenong Ranges National Park.

NSW national parks

Crowdy Bay National Park, near Harrington

Occupying a magnificent stretch of coastline, this North Coast NSW park is filled with eye candy. Soak up sensational coastal outlooks that incorporate dramatic cliffs and rock formations with glittering beaches backed by pockets of rainforest, wetlands, wildflowers, and more. There’s plenty of opportunity for wildlife spotting, too.

Nearby accommodation: BIG4 Colonial Holiday Park in Harrington and BIG4 Ingenia Holidays Bonny Hills in Port Macquarie.

Crowdy Bay National Park is crammed with goodies. Credit: Destination NSW.

Mimosa Rocks National Park, near Tathra

Spectacular scenery abounds from this coast-hugging national park. Glittering beaches, stunning headlands, pockets of rainforest, and wildlife aplenty combine to dish up a feast for the eyes. The visual rewards are heightened at various designated lookouts, some incorporating the striking offshore rocks from which the park takes its name.

Nearby accommodation: BIG4 Tathra Beach Holiday Park or BIG4 Wallaga Lake Holiday Park

Easy to reach, plenty to see: Mimosa Rocks National Park. Credit: Destination NSW.

Tomaree National Park, Port Stephens

The park is surrounded by water, which instantly provides appeal. That attraction is heavily amplified by a walking trail that leads to Tomaree Head Summit where the widespread views are simply divine. Gob-smacking vistas aside, Tomaree is home to various native animals and historical remnants among more.

Nearby accommodation: BIG4 Ingenia Holidays Soldiers Point or BIG4 Karuah Jetty Holiday Park

Tomaree National Park has the wow-factor. Credit: Jarryd Salem.

WA national parks

Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, near Margaret River

A raft of gems erupt from this spellbinding coastal area. Encounter brilliant beaches, rugged cliffs, and eye-catching rock formations that contrast with captivating caves and karri forest. Add to the mix spring wildflowers and abundant wildlife, and it’s beyond argument that this park commands serious attention.

Nearby accommodation: BIG4 Breeze Holiday Parks - Busselton and BIG4 Taunton Farm Margaret River.

Dazzling: Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park. Credit: Tourism Western Australia.

William Bay National Park, near Denmark

Reached with ease from Denmark, William Bay is sublime. It’s mostly to do with the blissful beaches found within its boundaries, mixing white sand with turquoise waters alongside gripping rock formations synonymous with the region. Green Pools is the showstopping beach in these parts and it vies for headline billing along with the funky and well-named Elephant Rocks.

Nearby accommodation: BIG4 Denmark Ocean Beach Holiday Park.

Elephant Rocks are a must-see within wonderful William Bay National Park. Credit: Tourism Western Australia.

TAS national parks

Freycinet National Park, near Coles Bay

Right on the doorstep of Coles Bay is one of the best national parks in Australia. Dominated by the bold peaks of the Hazards mountain range, Freycinet hoards gems at every turn. Wineglass Bay is its most recognised asset and is joined by other paradisical beaches, massive boulders, wildlife, and plenty more.

Nearby accommodation: BIG4 Iluka on Freycinet Holiday Park, Coles Bay.

Freycinet easily ranks among the country's best national parks. Credit: Lauren Bath.

Narawntapu National Park, near Kelso

Strong variation of sights and scenery ensures Narawntapu has rich appeal, just west of the Tamar Valley. Beautiful beaches and coastal heathlands meld with wetlands and woodlands and much more. And this is the place to spot variable wildlife, including kangaroos, wallabies, and pademelons along with many bird species.

Nearby accommodation: BIG4 Kelso Sands Holiday and Native Wildlife Park and BIG4 Ulverstone Holiday Park.

A shining light: Narawntapu National Park. Credit: S. Group.

NT national parks

Tjoritja West MacDonnell National Park, near Alice Springs

A treasure trove of eye-catching wonders awaits visitors to Tjoritja, west of Alice Springs. Vivid colours and rugged outlines mark gigantic gorges and other funky formations and mix with refreshing waterholes and colourful ochre pits. The main stars are all within day-trip distance; Simpsons Gap is a mere 20km from Alice.

Nearby accommodation: BIG4 MacDonnell Range Holiday Park, Alice Springs.

Ormiston Gorge is a star of Tjoritja West MacDonnell National Park. Credit: Tourism NT/Jess Caldwell and Luke Riddle.

Litchfield National Park, south of Darwin

An hour’s drive from BIG4 Howard Springs leads to a national park jam-packed with fabulous features. Gorgeous fast-flowing waterfalls and their welcoming waterholes are the top attractions, ably supported by monsoon forest, sandstone outcrops, iconic termite mounds, and all manner of native animals and birds. A day-trip must.

Nearby accommodation: BIG4 Howard Springs Holiday Park.

You'll fall in love with Litchfield National Park. Credit: Tourism NT/Matt Cherubino.

SA national parks

Naracoorte Caves National Park, Naracoorte

Head below the surface and marvel at spectacular natural wonders that make up South Australia’s only World Heritage site. Located on the outskirts of the town centre, Naracoorte Caves are considered one of the world’s most important fossil sites, creating a snapshot of a landscape 500,000 years in the making. Incredible.

Nearby accommodation: BIG4 Naracoorte Holiday Park.

Unearth some seriously amazing sights at Naracoorte Caves National Park. Credit: Mike Haines.

Coorong National Park, near Meningie and Kingston

This national park is unusual in ‘design’, essentially made up of a 130km-long stretch of lagoons fringed by sand dunes. It’s particularly popular with photographers and bird watchers and is well-suited to walks. And for a visit with a difference, join a boat cruise departing from the Fleurieu Peninsula town of Goolwa.

Nearby accommodation: BIG4 Breeze Holiday - Parks Port Elliot and BIG4 The Bend Holiday Park in Tailem Bend.

Not your average: Coorong National Park. Credit: South Australian Tourism Commission/Adam Bruzzone.

Isn’t it time you explored Australia’s immense treasure? Start your adventures here.

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