6 incredible national parks in NSW
The beauty of New South Wales extends beyond the incredible city of Sydney (though, we could never tire of her!), and into the wilderness. There are over 225 national parks in NSW – from outback walking tracks and coastal lookouts to picturesque campgrounds and beaches. Some are an easy day trip from Sydney, while others will see you on an epic road trip. Whichever you choose to explore, you’re in for a treat.
Keen to start your adventure?
Check out 6 incredible national parks in NSW below.
Royal National Park
Australia’s oldest national park has it all. There’s sparkling beaches, rainforests, wildlife, Aboriginal sites and some of the best walking trails. The Royal National Park is an easy day trip from Sydney that you can get to by car or train (or even, by train + ferry). There are so many activities you can take up in this park. Popular adventures include:
- Figure 8 Pools: These naturally-formed tide pools are visually appealing for their unique ‘8’ shape, and a fun site to see. You should only visit these pools during low tide, so make sure to check the alerts before visiting.
- The Coast Track: You can walk this 26km track over two days, or opt to hike a small section of it on a day trip. Much like it sounds, the Coast Track passes along stunning coastal lookouts, swimming spots, wildflowers and sandstone escarpments.
- Wedding Cake Rock: The stark white colour of this rock is super unique. Start the Coast Track walk from the Bundeena Ferry, and then hike the 3.4km to get to this gem!
- Eagle Rock and Curracurrong Falls: Enjoy this relatively quieter area of the National Park. Here, you’ll find a secluded swimming spot as well as a beautiful waterfall that meets the ocean – one of the few in the world! Eagle Rock is also an amazing point to spot humpback whales during winter months!
Warrumbungle National Park
Six hours north-west of Sydney, and you’ve reached the astronomy capital of Australia. Warrumbungle National Park is a nature and star-lover’s dream. This land is home to the Southern Hemisphere’s first Dark Sky Park, which means you’ll be treated to nights of no light pollution and out of this world stargazing. As if a magnificent Milky Way wasn’t enough, the Warrumbungles also has several adventurous hikes. The Breadknife and Grand High Tops walk is considered one of the best in Australia!
Blue Mountains National Park
This one is a MUST visit for anyone staying in Sydney. The Blue Mountains are World-Heritage listed and world famous. And for good reason! They offer it all: breathtaking views, epic walking tracks, rainforests, waterfalls… and that unique blue haze that blankets the mountains. There’s countless walks for you to do, but here are some of the best walks to do in the Blue Mountains:
- Wentworth Falls: Take the 4-5 hour Wentworth Falls walking track if you’re on the hunt for epic valley and waterfall views. In fact, there’s seven waterfalls in this walk! You can include a short detour here on the incredible National Pass for even more views.
- Three Sisters: This iconic sandstone rock formation formed thousands of years ago through erosion. It is best viewed from Echo Point, which will also provide views of the wider valley too.
- Lockleys Pylon: Ah, the serenity. That’s the kind of vibe that you’ll likely feel on the Lockleys Pylon walking track. Offering some of the best views of the Blue Mountains, we suggest adding this 7km walk to your list!
- Scenic World: This nature-based adventure offers very cool experiences in the Blue Mountains.You can hop on the glass-topped Scenic Railway carriages, or take the Cableway for unique vantage points of some of the Mountains’ icons.
Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park
Ku-Ring-Gai Chase is the second oldest national park in Australia. We love this Park for its proximity to Sydney (a quick 45 minute drive from the city), significant Aboriginal sites and stunning scenic views. There are many walks you can do here, but make sure to soak up the panoramic views at West Head Lookout! You can also go kayaking, stopping at some of the secluded beaches that line the park.
Bouddi National Park
Located on the Central Coast, Bouddi National Park is one for beautiful landscapes and beaches. Just 90 minutes from Sydney, Bouddi is a hidden treasure. The beautiful water makes this park idyllic during summer, but it also provides a prime vantage point for whale watching over the winter. You can experience Bouddi National Park on a day trip. Pack your picnic goods and head on the 8.5km (one-way) Bouddi Coastal Walk – it’ll give you a perfect taste of the best of what the park has to offer!
Dorrigo National Park
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Dorrigo National Park is one to explore! Located just shy of four hours from Byron Bay, the park is part of the Gondwana Rainforests and has been made over millions of years. You’d be right then, to expect some of the most stunning (and secret) waterfalls here. For one of the best experiences, head to the Skywalk lookout. This elevated walkway will take you right into the heart of the rainforest, providing soaring views 21m over the rainforest all the way to the coast.
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