25 Must-Visit National Parks in New South Wales

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Got to love NSW National Parks, and we do being long-term members of some 30 years. This page is a work in progress with the plan to have a breakout page for each of the Parks listed in due course. In the meantime, Google away! ED: Kevin Parker

New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, is blessed with an abundance of breathtaking natural landscapes and diverse ecosystems. From lush rainforests to dramatic coastlines, the state boasts an impressive array of national parks that offer unparalleled opportunities for adventure and exploration. In this article, we present ten remarkable national parks in New South Wales, each with its unique environmental qualities, magnificent flora and fauna, and a range of activities for visitors to enjoy.

Royal National Park: Location: South of Sydney, approximately 32 km away. Highlights: Australia’s oldest national park, featuring stunning coastal cliffs, secluded beaches, and rugged sandstone landscapes. Keep an eye out for native wildlife such as wallabies, echidnas, and a variety of bird species. Discover the beautiful Garie Beach and hike the scenic Coastal Track.

Blue Mountains National Park: Location: West of Sydney, around 80 km away. Highlights: Renowned for its dramatic sandstone escarpments and deep valleys, the Blue Mountains is a UNESCO World Heritage-listed area. Explore the enchanting Jenolan Caves, marvel at the iconic Three Sisters rock formation, and enjoy bushwalking, rock climbing, and abseiling. Don’t miss the stunning Wentworth Falls and the picturesque Leura Cascades.

Three Sisters Katoomba Blue Mountains

Kosciuszko National Park: Location: South of Canberra, about 470 km away. Highlights: Home to Mount Kosciuszko, the highest peak in mainland Australia, this park offers majestic alpine landscapes and unique alpine flora and fauna. Enjoy hiking, mountain biking, and fishing in the pristine streams and lakes. In winter, the park transforms into a snowy wonderland, perfect for skiing and snowboarding.

Warrumbungle National Park: Location: North of Dubbo, around 415 km away. Highlights: Known as the “Galapagos of Australia,” this park showcases an ancient volcanic landscape with striking rock formations and breathtaking vistas. Hike to the summit of Mount Exmouth for panoramic views, explore the Breadknife rock formation, and stargaze at the Dark Sky Park, renowned for its clear night skies.

Dorrigo National Park: Location: Near Coffs Harbour, approximately 75 km away. Highlights: Immerse yourself in the lush rainforest of the Dorrigo Plateau. Walk along the Skywalk for stunning views of the surrounding canopy, visit the Dangar Falls, and spot native wildlife such as lyrebirds and satin bowerbirds. Don’t miss the enchanting Crystal Shower Falls, where you can take a refreshing dip.

Myall Lakes National Park: Location: North of Newcastle, around 210 km away. Highlights: A haven for water lovers, this park features a network of interconnected coastal lakes, pristine beaches, and thriving wetlands. Enjoy kayaking, boating, and fishing in the tranquil lakes, relax on the sandy shores, and spot dolphins and migratory birds. Camping and picnicking opportunities are abundant.

Barrington Tops National Park: Location: North of Newcastle, approximately 220 km away. Highlights: This World Heritage-listed park offers a diverse range of ecosystems, from subtropical rainforests to snow gum woodlands. Discover crystal-clear streams, cascading waterfalls, and the breathtaking Barrington Tops plateau. Enjoy bushwalking, camping, and trout fishing in the park’s pristine rivers.

Murramarang National Park: Location: South of Batemans Bay, around 275 km away. Highlights: Experience the untouched beauty of the South Coast at this coastal park. Explore secluded beaches, hike through eucalypt forests, and spot kangaroos and wallabies. Snorkel or swim in the clear waters of Pebbly Beach, famous for its resident kangaroos that often hop along the shoreline.

Mount Kaputar National Park: Location: Northwest of Narrabri, approximately 570 km away. Highlights: A land of rugged beauty, this park features towering peaks, deep gorges, and ancient volcanic formations. Take in the panoramic views from Mount Kaputar, explore the stunning Sawn Rocks, and encounter unique wildlife, including the endangered brush-tailed rock-wallaby. The park offers excellent camping facilities.

Gibraltar Range National Park: Location: East of Glen Innes, around 500 km away. Highlights: Discover the picturesque landscapes of this park, characterized by granite outcrops, crystal-clear rivers, and diverse woodland. Enjoy bushwalking, birdwatching, and swimming in the pristine waters of Dandahra and Mulligan’s Falls. The park’s diverse flora includes rare orchids and towering ancient gums.

Mungo National Park: Location: West of Sydney, approximately 950 km away. Highlights: Explore the ancient Aboriginal heritage and fascinating geological formations, including the iconic Walls of China. Discover the ancient dry lake bed of Lake Mungo and learn about the area’s rich cultural significance.

Yuraygir National Park: Location: North of Coffs Harbour, around 380 km away. Highlights: Experience untouched coastal wilderness with pristine beaches, estuaries, and heathlands. Enjoy camping, fishing, whale watching (seasonal), and explore the Yuraygir Coastal Walk.

Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park: Location: North of Sydney, approximately 25 km away. Highlights: Discover the park’s diverse landscapes, including eucalypt forests, cliffs, and waterways. Explore Aboriginal rock engravings, hike to beautiful viewpoints, and relax on secluded beaches. The park is also home to the stunning West Head lookout.

Myall Lakes National Park: Location: North of Newcastle, around 210 km away. Highlights: Enjoy the tranquility of the largest coastal lake system in New South Wales, with opportunities for kayaking, boating, and fishing. Discover diverse birdlife and explore the park’s extensive network of walking trails.

Booti Booti National Park: Location: Near Forster, approximately 290 km away. Highlights: This coastal park offers stunning beaches, tranquil lakes, and towering rainforests. Enjoy swimming, surfing, bushwalking, and birdwatching. The park’s picturesque 8.8 km Booti Hill and Wallis Lake walking track offers panoramic views.

Cattai National Park: Location: Northwest of Sydney, around 55 km away. Highlights: Immerse yourself in the park’s scenic beauty withriverfront picnic spots, bushwalking trails, and Aboriginal heritage sites. Explore the Hawkesbury River, go fishing, or take a leisurely canoe trip.

Dharawal National Park: Location: South of Sydney, approximately 55 km away. Highlights: Discover the park’s diverse flora and fauna, including sandstone gorges, waterfalls, and Aboriginal cultural sites. Enjoy bushwalking, mountain biking, and birdwatching.

Hat Head National Park: Location: North of Kempsey, around 430 km away. Highlights: Experience unspoiled beaches, coastal heaths,and scenic headlands. Explore the Smoky Cape Lighthouse, go fishing, snorkeling, or take a bushwalk through the lush rainforest.

Beowa National Park: Location: Southeast of Eden, approximately 530 km away. Highlights: This park offers stunning coastal scenery, including dramatic cliffs, secluded beaches, and the iconic Pinnacles rock formations. Enjoy swimming, fishing, and walking along the Light to Light Track.

Wadbilliga National Park: Location: West of Batemans Bay, around 240 km away. Highlights: Discover this remote wilderness with its rugged mountains, deep gorges, and pristine rivers. Enjoy bushwalking, camping, and fishing. Look out for the park’s diverse wildlife, including the powerful owl and eastern water dragon.

Cocoparra National Park: Location: Northwest of Griffith, approximately 550 km away. Highlights: Experience the park’s stunning landscapes, including dramatic cliffs, scenic lookouts, and unique rock formations. Enjoy bushwalking, birdwatching, and camping. Look for the park’s diverse bird species, including the endangered superb parrot.

Yengo National Park: Location: North of Sydney, around 160 km away. Highlights: Explore the park’s Aboriginal cultural heritage, including ancient rock engravings and sacred sites. Enjoy bushwalking, camping, and 4WD touring. Don’t miss the awe-inspiring views from Finchley Trig lookout.

Nattai National Park: Location: Southwest of Sydney, approximately 100 km away. Highlights: Discover the park’s pristine wilderness, with deep gorges, rugged cliffs, and lush forests. Enjoy bushwalking, camping, and picnicking. The park is also a great spot for birdwatching and wildlife spotting.

Goobang National Park: Location: West of Parkes, around 350 km away. Highlights: This park features diverse woodlands, dramatic rock formations, and beautiful walking trails. Enjoy camping, birdwatching, and scenic drives. Keep an eye out for native animals, including kangaroos and emus.

Abercrombie River National Park: Location: West of Bathurst, approximately 210 km away. Highlights: Discover the park’s picturesque river valleys, waterfalls, and magnificent gorges. Enjoy bushwalking, camping, and fishing. The park is also known for its diverse birdlife, including the peregrine falcon and yellow-tufted honeyeater.

Conclusion

New South Wales is a nature lover’s paradise, with an abundance of national parks offering diverse landscapes, rich biodiversity, and a range of activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re seeking coastal adventures, alpine wonders, or lush rainforests, these ten national parks provide a gateway to unforgettable experiences. So pack your hiking boots, binoculars, and a spirit of adventure, and embark on a journey through the natural wonders of New South Wales.

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