Everyone has their favorites but here's our list of the 'top 10' must-see, must-do park experiences in Western Australia, especially if you are travelling from overseas or interstate:
- Purnululu National Park
- Karijini National Park
- Ningaloo World Heritage
- Shark Bay World Heritage
- Kalbarri National Park
- Nambung National Park
- Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park
- Walpole Wilderness
- Fitzgerald River National Park
- Cape Le Grand National Park
Purnululu National Park
A World-Heritage listed area the Bungle Bungle Range, in Purnululu National Park, is one of the most striking geological landmarks in Western Australia, offering a remote wilderness experience. Camping and tours (aerial and ground) are available.
Karijini National Park
The expansive Karijini National Park offers spectacular rugged scenery, ancient geological formations, a variety of arid-land ecosystems and a range of recreational experiences.Massive mountains and escarpments rise out of the flat valleys. The high plateau is dissected by breathtaking gorges, and stony, tree-lined watercourses wind their way over the dusty plain. Erosion has slowly carved this landscape out of rocks that are over 2,500 million years old.
Ningaloo Coast World Heritage
The Ningaloo Coast is a place of stark and spectacular contrast between lush and colourful scenery beneath the surface of the Indian Ocean in Ningaloo Marine Park and the rugged, arid land of Cape Range National Park.
Although it is Ningaloo Marine Park and its famous Ningaloo Reef for which the coast is best known, and perhaps the main attraction of the national park is its beaches within an easy swim of the reef, Cape Range National Park is recognised in its own right as a place of 'outstanding universal value' by its inclusion in the Ningaloo Coast World Heritage listing.
Kalbarri National Park
Kalbarri National Park surrounds the lower reaches of the Murchison River, which has cut a magnificent 80 kilometre gorge through the red and white banded sandstone to create formations such as Nature’s Window, The Loop, Z-Bend and Hawks Head, with scenic gorge views at the Ross Graham Lookout and views of the town and river mouth at Meanarra Hill.
Nambung National Park
Thousands of huge limestone pillars rise from the shifting yellow sands of the Pinnacles Desert, resembling a landscape from a science fiction movie.
Apart from the amazing Pinnacles Desert, Nambung National Park is also known for its beautiful beaches at Kangaroo Point and Hangover Bay, coastal dune systems and low heathland rich in flowering plants. At the park’s northern end near the town of Cervantes, there is a loop trail and boardwalk at Lake Thetis where you can see some fascinating thrombolites (rock-like structures similar to stromatolites built by micro-organisms too small for the human eye to see)
Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park
One of Western Australia’s most loved and scenic holiday spots, with rugged limestone sea cliffs and windswept granite headlands dominating the coastline, interspersed by curving beaches, sheltered bays and long, rocky shorelines.
On the northern shores of Cape Naturaliste, Bunker Bay and Shelley Cove are protected from the prevailing south-westerly winds and popular for swimming, fishing or beachcombing. Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse stands near the start of the long-distance Cape to Cape Track.
Surfing is popular at many well-known breaks on the western coast, such as Smiths Beach, Injidup Beach and Redgate.
The cliffs and rocky shores of the western coast bear the brunt of giant ocean swells. Visitors can marvel at the ocean’s beauty and power from scenic lookouts at Sugarloaf Rock, Canal Rocks and Wyadup Rocks.
Walpole Wilderness contains vast natural landscapes that cover the southern forests, through to the coast protecting more that 363 000 hectares of national park, nature reserves and forest conservation. There are seven national Parks within the Walpole Wilderness Area. The area is roughly the size of countries such as Luxembourg and Samoa. The Walpole Nornalup national park covers nearly 20 000 hectares of diverse vegetation, from towering karri and tingle forests to coastal heath and wetlands and is home to the Valley of Giants Tree Top Walk
Fitzgerald River National Park
Discover a botanical wonderland renowned for its rugged and spectacular scenery.
Fitzgerald River National Park is one the largest and most botanically significant national parks in Australia. Within the park are found nearly 20 per cent of Western Australia’s flora species, many of which occur only within its boundaries. The park features a tantalising variety of landscapes to explore from rolling plains, colourful breakaways, rugged peaks and headlands to stunning bays and inlets. During winter, southern right whales shelter close to shore with their newborn calves.
Cape Le Grand National Park
Within cooee of Esperance, this grand park features sweeping heathlands, rugged coastal peaks and white sandy beaches voted the best in Australia.
The most spectacular coastal scenery is found in the south-west corner of Cape Le Grand National Park where massive granite and gneiss peaks rise from the coastal plain. The park's rolling heathlands are home to pygmy possums, western grey kangaroos and a diversity of colourful wildflowers including dense thickets of showy banksia. Enjoy a picnic in a sheltered nook overlooking the beach at Hellfire Bay or Lucky Bay, or explore the whistling rocks at Thistle Cove.