Whether you’re looking for a quick weekend trip away from the hustle and bustle of the city, or you’re a keen hiker willing to fly cross-country to explore, there’s no doubt Australia has some of the most unique and stunning national parks the world has to offer. Many of our greatest parks are hours from capital cities, so if you’re booking a hire car with adventure in mind, make sure you’ve made time to check out one of these popular spots.
Freycinet National Park, Tasmania
Before we start, a word from EIC @pilar_guzman "These days, it seems that every day is #AustraliaDay. Let's just say, you are worth the trek, fair continent." We're excited to introduce @Australia's takeover! "Hello! Today we’ll be sharing some of our favourite posts that showcase not only the beauty of our country, but also what makes it so unique! Let’s start with one of @Tasmania's most photographed views – the breathtaking #WineglassBay. We kind of feel a bit lost for words when describing how amazing this spot in @eastcoasttasmania is, it's really something that you need to see for yourself! – @Australia Photo: Brendan Williams / @wineglassbaycruises #MyAustralia
Just under three hours from Hobart is the incredibly unique Wineglass Bay; one of the seemingly never ending highlights of Tasmania’s Freycinet National Park. Complete with secluded pristine beaches, pink granite peaks, stunning white sandy beaches and all sorts of unique Aussie animals frolicking about.
You can hike to the pass overlooking Wineglass Bay and Hazards Beach, but if you’re really serious about your national park experience, book a helicopter tour that will take you around the whole area in a matter of hours from above. From that vantage point, you’re more than likely to spot some friendly dolphins swimming about below!
Flinders Ranges National Park, South Australia
Marvel at Wilpena Pound – a shockingly large amphitheatre in South Australia's Flinders Ranges, created through erosion over millions of years. It’s surrounded by ancient mountain ranges, spectacular gorges and sheltered creeks. Throughout the Flinders Ranges you'll find a huge range of tracks and trails, as well as camping grounds, cottages, villas and even luxury accommodation. Hire a car, hit the road and start exploring. Thanks to @wilpenapoundresort for sharing this beautiful shot with us. It certainly puts things into perspective!
A four-and-a-half hour drive from Adelaide are the rugged mountain ranges and gorges that make up the Flinders Ranges National Park. This is a long way but you won’t regret it: this is one of Australia’s most iconic national parks and also South Australia’s largest mountain range. The natural amphitheatre of Wilpena Pound (pictured above) stands out as a highlight in this vast landscape and as the central focus of the park. For a truly unique experience, book a car with KAYAK.com.au and head into Wilpena Pound to try out glamping for a night at their Safari Camp!
Royal National Park, New South Wales
This one is about as close to Sydney as you can get, and if you are from the city, it is perfect for a quick day trip without having to stay in the wilderness for too long. While the park has a whole range of hikes and treks you can take, the most popular spot by far is Wattamolla Beach. With mostly private spots across the sand and an incredible waterfall backdrop, it’s the perfect spot to pitch a beach chair and relax well into Saturday afternoon.
Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park, Queensland
Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) is found along the Savannah Way Drive in Outback North Queensland and one of the last places to visit before you hit the Northern Territory. It’s the only one on our list that is nowhere near a capital city, but if you ever visit you’ll understand why we’ve included it here. The best way to experience the park is to paddle it in a canoe, which you can hire at $25 per hour for a double canoe. If you’re up for it, we guarantee it’s worth the effort, as you’ll encounter an emerald green oasis weaving its way through semi-arid land and amazing gorge landscapes.
Karijini National Park, Western Australia
If you’re willing to fly, Karijini National Park is actually pretty close to a capital city. It’s a 1 hour and 45 minute flight from Perth to Karijini and it’s entirely worth it to see this one-of-a-kind destination. Best accessed via a four wheel drive vehicle, Karijini is a whole lot of incredible landscape, from Dales Gorge and Fortescue Falls, to the ultra relaxing spa pool at Hamersley Gorge. Many tunnels of marbled rock weave their way through the park where adventurers will need to climb over rock and boulder often, but that’s part of the fun! If you’re a hiker who values their photography, this national park can’t be missed as it’s filled with incredible views and adventure throughout.
*The flight prices given above are for one return economy seat (including taxes and fees, excluding baggage fees) and were collated on 24 March 2016 for travel in June 2016. Prices may be subject to change and offers may no longer be available.
**The hotel prices above (including taxes and fees) were collated on 24 March 2016 for travel in June2016. Prices may be subject to change and offers may no longer be available.
***The car hire prices above (including taxes and fees) were collated on 24 March 2016 for travel in June 2016. Prices may be subject to change and offers may no longer be available.
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