Australia's natural landscape is by far the biggest reason to travel to this distant country. A combination of wide open spaces, reserves, and national parks, travelers are constantly shocked and amazed at the sight of a simple sunset or sunrise when presented as a backdrop to the landscape.
Even more exciting is the ability to get up close and personal with the wildlife, namely the good kind like kangaroos and wallabies. You can experience the glory of Australian nature by visiting a national park; here are five:
Sydney's Royal National Park
The Royal National Park sits very close to Sydney city, making it fairly easy for the short-term traveler to visit. Plus, it gets street cred because it bears the classification as the world's second oldest national park, right after Yellowstone. Being just a short 45 minutes to the south of the city, the RNP makes for the perfect day trip getaway where you can bush walk, hike, lounge at the beach, and picnic with several barbecues around for convenience.
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
Uluru-Kata Tjuta is the national park that is home to the Aboriginal spiritual site of Uluru, almost in the center of the country. This monolith sits in the park along with the Olgas (Mount Olga) just 16 miles away, which are also of a similar rock formation. Uluru would have to be one of Australia's most iconic attractions making the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Park worthy of a wander.
Kakadu National Park
Kakadu is situated outside of Darwin in the Northern Territory. Covering nearly 20,000 kilometers of land, this national park is World Heritage listed for both its natural beauty and its cultural importance. In fact, the park is co-run by both the Aboriginal traditional landowners in addition to the Director of National Parks. The biodiversity at Kakadu is present as you move through the park from mangrove plains to coastal mudflats to lowland hills.
Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park
This national park is located in the southern island state of Tasmania and helps to form the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Known primarily for Cradle Mountain, the park is a popular tourist destination for those wanting to complete the six-day Overland Track.
Daintree National Park
North of Cairns in tropical north Queensland, the Daintree National Park is popular because of its biodiversity in addition to its nearby picture-perfect beaches. Don't believe me? Just head north to the secluded Cape Tribulation to get the feel for where the rainforest meets beach and you will quickly know why it’s loved by so many. Also make sure there is room in the itinerary for a ride on the Daintree River where crocodile spotting is the name of the game!
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photo: wikiwill- Bola Creek on the Wallumarra Track in Royal National Park
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