One of the most famous National Parks in NSW is Mount Kosciuszko home to the highest peak in Australia. NSW has over 800 National Parks and Reserves for you to explore. We have teamed up with a few of our blogging friends to share some of our favourite National Parks in NSW.
1. Mount Kosciuszko National Park
In the heart of the Snowy Mountains, Kosciuszko National Park offers everything from winter snow sports to mountain biking and hiking. It’s a spiritual home for horse riding enthusiasts who go there for a taste of bush poet Banjo Patterson’s iconic poem The man from Snowy River.
In spring there are carpets of wildflowers, it’s a fly fishing paradise and, of course, there are the views. Snow-covered mountains, alpine lakes, gorges and forests. But best of all, it is home to Australia’s tallest mountain – Mount Kosciuszko.
Standing atop Australia’s highest peak is a very achievable claim to fame. There are two popular routes. There is an 18 kilometre return walk from Charlottes Pass. Alternatively, start at Thredbo, and let the chairlift do much of the work for you. It is still a 13 kilometre return walk, but the gradient never gets too challenging.
No matter which path you take, the views form the 2228 metre summit are spectacular and more than worth the effort.
We stayed at the Kosciuszko Tourist Park and loved it. There are kangaroos and possums all over the place. They seem accustomed to people visiting their home so expect some close-up animal encounters. The possums were especially keen to explore our camper trailer! There are beautiful snow gums throughout the park. It is a beautiful place to stay.
2. Bouddi National Park
With its rugged coastline and beaches stretching for miles, the NSW coast has its fair share of national parks to visit for a day or a weekend. Bouddi National Park is approximately an hour’s drive north of Sydney, on the Central Coast, so it’s perfect for a day trip. There are camping grounds and fire trails to explore, however the most beautiful part is the Coastal Walk. Stretching from Putty Beach to MacMasters Beach, the coastal walk is a medium grade bushwalk. The walk is a mix of coastal decking, fire trail, beach and forest. Along the way, you get magnificent views of the NSW coast and an opportunity to take a break at the beach, and go for a swim. Also, there is an opportunity to admire a most unusual feature. The rocky coastline has some fine examples of tessellated pavement, which is a unique rock formation caused by erosion. The rock also has some beautiful colours ranging from cream to beige and orange. So, the Bouddi National Park Coastal Walk is a beautiful nature walk with gorgeous views and unique features! You can read more about Bouddi National Park here.
Delphine is a travel writer and photographer, and the creative soul of LesterLost. Travelling solo or as a couple, her stories are about discovering new places with confidence and respect.
3. blue mountains national park
The Blue Mountains National Park, just under two hours from Sydney, is one of the most spectacular parks in the state, if not the country. Spread over 4,000 square miles, this ancient land impresses with temperate rainforests, waterfalls, beautiful cliffs, and vast valleys and plateaus. It’s a great spot for bushwalking, or hiking, with challenging and scenic walks for all levels of abilities, including families.
There are so many walks in the area, but a few of my favourites include the Ruined Castle hike, the Grand Canyon walk, and the Katoomba Falls walk. Wherever you go, you’ll be impressed by the stunning natural beauty of the area – it’s hard to believe a place like this exists so close to Sydney!
If you’re planning a trip, some highlights in the area include the Three Sisters formation at Echo Point, near Katoomba, the town of Leura, with its cute cafes and gardens, Scenic World and the Govetts Leap lookout point. If you are looking for outdoor adventures there are impressive hiking tracks, abseiling adventures or cave exploration. Although there are many day trips from Sydney to the Blue Mountains, it’s worth spending at least a weekend to really soak up the atmosphere, enjoy the scenery, and try some of the bushwalks in the area. The Blue Mountains can easily be reached by train or car from Sydney.
Katie Dundas is a travel blogger and writer based in Sydney, Australia. Originally from the US, she loves the outdoors, hiking, and swimming. Read more about her adventures on The Accidental Australian.
4. Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
Since moving to Australia, my husband and I have been blown away by the huge number of stunning national parks there are, at least 870 in New South Wales alone. One of our favourites is luckily right on our doorstep, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. The park is located in Sydney’s North and is the city’s second-oldest national park and is a fantastic spot for a weekend’s energetic hike or lazy beach day. There are so many highlights it’s hard to choose, but some of my favourite things to do in this park include visiting the West Head lookout for unbeatable views over Pittwater and Barrenjoey Head, the hike down to Resolute Beach, a beautiful secluded beach where you’ll feel like you’re miles away from Sydney, and finally the Willunga Track walk up to the highest point in the park with 360 degree views of the bushland. There is only one campsite in the park, the Basin campground, which is incredibly popular so make sure you book in advance. The best way to reach the campsite is by ferry from Palm Beach, otherwise if you opt to drive, you’ll have a nearly 3km walk to the campsite from the West Head Road carpark.
Jessica is an ex-pat freelance travel writer and blogger based in Sydney, formally of Brixton, London. She has a passion for unique, purposeful travel, good food and a good book. She loves to combine all three whenever she gets the chance. Check out her adventures in her newly adopted home of Australia at jessicapascoe.com including her recent road trip exploring the national parks of Australia’s Northern Territory.
5. Royal National park
With the title of the second oldest national park in the world, the Royal National Park just 32km south of the Sydney CBD is a fantastic escape from the big city. It also attracts fewer visitors than many of Sydney’s main sites, so you are unlikely to run into crowds unless it’s a local holiday.
Two of the parks most popular sites, Wedding Cake Rock and Figure 8 Pools, have become world-famous thanks to Instagram and while they are well worth visiting be sure to do your research or go with an organised tour group as they can be quite dangerous if you are not familiar with the tides.
There are a couple of great overnight hikes so if you are a serious walker you might want to investigate the Coast Walk track. It is a 2 day walk that covers 25km and takes in Wedding Cake Rock.
Other key areas to explore include Wattamolla with its lagoon and hidden beach, Jibbon Beach and the nearby Aboriginal rock carvings and Audley with its pretty river and rowboats for rent.
If you don’t have a car you can reach the park via ferry from Cronulla train station or walk in from Waterfall or Heathcote Stations.
Once you are finished exploring the park take the Grand Pacific Drive south and check out one of Australia’s best coastal drives. .
Paula Morgan shares advice and ideas about enjoying Australia’s beautiful Harbour City whether you are a local or a visitor SydneyExpert.com
6. warrumbungle national park
Visiting the Warrumbungle National Park (Near Coonabarabran) is not so much about the landscapes and the bushwalks, but about the Siding Springs Observatory.
Don’t get me wrong, there are amazing bushwalks, pristine camping spots and magnificent views, but the Siding Springs Observatory is the draw card, and a place to visit and to learn about our Night Sky.
Settled on the highest peak within the park – it offers some of the most amazing views of the surrounding bushland and the small towns dotted nearby. If you are lucky enough, you might even see an Eagle or two soaring around on the thermal currents.
The Observatory first opened in 1964, and is Australia’s premier optical and infrared astronomical observatory. It is also Australia’s first International Dark Sky Park.
What is a Dark Sky Park? Well, it is dedicated to helping us all reduce our light pollution. Reducing our light pollution will allow our astrophysicists to further investigate the numerous solar systems and planets that have been discovered in other galaxies.
There is an amazing exhibit dedicated to the Dark Sky Project. It explains the discoveries being made are thanks to the surrounding towns, like Coonabarabran, that reduce their light usage and adhere to a lightning plan to lessen the effect of the glare on our night sky.
Four Hands in a Tin Can are a family of four who have been travelling Australia, with their Chocolate Labrador, since January 2016..
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NSW National park TOUR DEals
Blue Mountains & Jenolan Caves Tour, Enjoy two of NSW’s best natural attractions, the beautiful Blue Mountains and Jenolan Caves with this fantastic day tour from Sydney.
"I've just read the first issue & I loved it. I can't wait to do the things you highlight, kayaking with a platypus, swimming with seals, zip-lining & only hope I remember all these things when we get to those parts of the world. At least I know where to look back to when I'm planning holidays. A great read. Thanks for putting it together." Janine