National Parks Australia
This is a tour of the national parks in Australia that are covered in this guide.
Interested in a particular park? You will find detailed information.
Not sure about where to go? Take your time and browse through the reviews, photos and travel stories to decide which national park in Australia you want to explore further.
You can see the route on this basic outline map.
For a long time Litchfield has been overshadowed by it's bigger and better known neighbour Kakadu. But over the last years word has been getting out that this one is a real gem.
© NT Tourist Commission
Only 129 km south-west of Darwin and covering an area of 1500 sq km, this park is well suited for day trips. Despite its small size (small in my eyes, which are adapted to Australian Outback dimensions) it features a range of tropical habitats, many inviting permanent pools, waterfalls, quiet walks, picnic spots... Of course you don't have to restrict yourself to a day trip. If you enjoy camping, that is.
Another one of my favourite national parks in Australia. Over thousands of years the Katherine River has carved a series of spectacular gorges through this ancient sandstone country. 30 km north-east of Katherine, this park is a must see on your Outback Australia travel.
You can explore the bigger gorges on a boat tour or appreciate the whole gorge system from a helicopter. Take one of the many bushwalks to discover the fascinating geology of the sandstone escarpments, along with waterfalls, wildlife and aboriginal art. Or do what I love best: go on an overnight canoe trip.
© NT Tourist Commission
This is one of the lesser known national parks in Australia. 13,000 square kilometres of ranges, gorges, sandstone and escarpment.
You can find monsoon rainforest, eucalypts, tall arid grasses and tussocky spinifex, big rivers and unique wildlife and a fascinating flora including the unique and distinctive boab trees.
Gregory is mainly a park for four wheel driving enthusiasts. But the Victoria Highway from Katherine to Kununurra cuts right through it. Several walks and lookouts, picnic spots, as well as the old Victoria river crossing, are easily accessible from there.
© NT Tourist Commission
Located alongside the Northern Territory's border to Western Australia, the Keep River National Park is noted for its striking landforms.
I went and had a look and can confirm: they are striking!
Access is on formed gravel roads, so you don't need a four wheel drive here.
This 2068ha park on the outskirts of Kununurra is often called the Mini Bungle Bungles (after the famous Purnululu National Park, featured below). Its 300 million year old sandstone formations show similar intricate shapes and colour.
We in Kununurra call Mirima National Park "Hidden Valley". You can discover the treasures of this hidden valley on several walks along the valleys and ridges.
Unfortunately there is now an entry fee for vehicles (never used to be).
Read more about Mirima National Park
Way off the beaten track, 145 bone rattling kilometres south of Halls Creek on the Tanami Road, lies Wolfe Creek National Park.
It's the second largest meteorite crater in the world, formed about 300,000 years ago when a roughly 50,000 ton meteorite crashed into Australia.
The park received little attention in the past, but has now become hugely popular through the release of the Wolf Creek murder movie.
This is one of the most famous National Parks in Australia and like Kakadu it has been inscribed as a World Heritage site.
What draws people to this park are the mystifying beehive shaped sandstone towers with their unique orange and black striped colouring.
In the dry season you can walk and climb to some truly magical places with such inspiring names as for example Cathedral Gorge.
The more adventurous hikers will get the most out of this park, as there are some great but demanding walks. Access can be a challenge, too, and requires four wheel drive.
That's probably why twice the number of people fly over the Bungle Bungles as those who visit the national park by land.
Only 16 km from Fitzroy Crossing the Fitzroy River has carved an exquisite gorge into an ancient limestone barrier reef.
Regular floods during the wet season have left the bottom 16m of the 30m cliffs white, and very photogenic.
I found the freshwater crocodiles basking in the sun rather photogenic, too.
All kinds of animals abound here, on land and in the water. You can discover the area and the wildlife on a couple of pleasant walks, swim at the sandbank, or take a boat tour.
One of the smaller national parks in Australia, this 91ha park lies 184km east of Derby, and can be accessed from Derby via the Gibb River Road, or from the Victoria Highway via the Leopold Downs Road.
The park contains Western Australia's oldest cave system. The walk through the tunnel is quite an experience...
Tunnel Creek National Park is a day use park only and offers no camping facilities.
But make sure you bring a torch!
To reach Windjana Gorge National Park continue along the gravel road past Tunnel Creek in the direction of Derby.
This 3.5km gorge cuts through the same ancient barrier reef that can be seen at Geikie Gorge and Tunnel Creek. The sheer cliffs - up to a hundred metres high - water and natural vegetation make for a number of pleasant and interesting walks. Wildlife - including freshwater crocodiles - is plentiful, and if you like you can camp here for the night.
There are of course many more national parks in Australia, and the section National Parks Australia will be updated and added to in the future.