National Geographic’s Favourite Australian National Parks

Video highlights from America's National Parks

Our picks for the must-see national park in each state/territory

More than just scenic places, national parks are a country’s common ground.

Our national parks have gradually taken on the high purpose of preserving nature’s diversity - native fauna and flora, ecological processes, free-flowing waters, geology in its raw eloquence.

They teach us as well as delight us. They help us imagine what the Australian landscape and its resident creatures looked like before railroads, automobiles and hotels existed.

They help us imagine. They carry a glimpse of the past into the present and - if our resolve holds and our better wisdom prevails - they will carry that into the future.

Today, National Geographic takes a look at some of Australia’s most breath-taking – and most important – national parks.

News South Wales: Royal National Park

This heritage-listed area was Australia’s first national park and the world’s second national park, after Yellowstone National Park in the United States.

Sydney's Wattamolla Beach. Royal National Park

Victoria: Mt Eccles National Park

Mount Eccles (Budj Bim) is a long dormant volcano that last erupted around 6,500 years ago. The area is central to the history of the Gunditjmara people who co-manage the park with Parks Victoria.

Lake Surprise, Budj Bim - Mt Eccles National Park, Victoria, Australia

Queensland: Fraser Island

The largest sand island in the world, Fraser Island has an array of unique features including dune lakes, rainforests and freshwater lakes.

Beautiful pure Lake McKenzie, Fraser Island, Australia

South Australia: Flinders Ranges National Park

Flinders Ranges National Park is home to unique remains including Aboriginal rock art, ruins of early Europeans settlement and ancient fossils.

Australian outback, Flinders Ranges National Park

Western Australia: Purnululu National Park

This stunning park is home to the famous Bungle Bugle Range, large beehive-shaped landforms made by uplift and erosion over millions of years.

Bungle Bungle

Tasmania: Maria Island National Park

With historic ruins, amazing wildlife and rugged mountains, Maria Island National Park has something for everyone.

Maria Island

Australian Capital Territory: Namadgi National Park

Spanning more than 100,000 hectares, this national park accounts for almost 50 percent of the ACT.

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve

Northern Territory: Kakadu National Park

The largest national park in Australia, Kakadu covers close to 20,000 kilometres and contains an enormous amount of ecological diversity.

Kakadu National Park

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