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Australia is the most environmentally friendly continent in the world. Five percent of its territory is reserved for various reserves and other natural attractions. At the moment, the eleven national parks of Australia are included by the United Nations in the list of places of exceptional importance to humanity. Therefore, we consider the best, most beautiful, most famous national parks of Australia.
– Gog and Magog Rocks, Port Campbell National Park, Port Victoria, Australia
Top 10 Australia
Top National Parks
Australia is perhaps the only continent on Earth where people have learned to live in harmony with nature, building beautiful cities, equipped with all the benefits of civilization, but not forgetting about nature conservation.
Australia is full of diverse national parks and reserves, strikingly different from each other! Australia’s best natural parks are located in different climatic zones, so that without leaving the country you can immediately see glaciers and deserts.
Australia has created more than 500 national parks with a total area of 28 million hectares, which is about 4% of the country’s territory. Another six percent of the territory is protected by other protected areas. According to Australian Geographics, the national network of conservation areas includes 9,300 different objects, which makes up 13% of the country’s territory, also provides information on 71.9 million km² of protected areas and plans to increase this number by 25 million in 2013.
Mostly national parks are managed by state and territory agencies in Australia. So far, only six national parks are under the jurisdiction of the Australian Parks of Australia: Bouderie, National Island of Christmas Island, Kakadu, National Park of Norfolk Island, North Keeling, Uluru – Kata Tyuta.
And now about the best, most beautiful national parks of Australia. I took the list of the best Australian National Parks according to the Australian Geographic magazine as a basis.
– 1 – Blue Mountains National Park (Blue Mountains NP)
– Dawn in the valley, view from the Queen Elizabeth Lookout, Blue Mountains National Park, New South Wales
The Blue Mountains shrouded in a fabulous haze resemble the old picture from afar, the author of which became interested in blue tones. In fact, turquoise bluegrass is a pair of eucalyptus oils, exuded by lush trees. This charming area, spread over an area of over a million hectares, is on the list of UNESCO sites. It is so densely covered with forest that the oldest tree in the world, the pine of Wollemi, was simply not noticed until 1994. The colorful countryside is replete with fascinating routes, among which every traveler will easily select the most suitable one.
The Blue Mountains National Park is one of the most picturesque and therefore unforgettable places in the world! It is part of an extensive mountain system stretching along the entire eastern and southeastern coast of the continent. This is the most picturesque part of the Great Dividing Range, although, in principle, there are almost no mountains in the Blue Mountains National Park, just several beautiful plateaus and cliffs, and most of the park is occupied by deep green valleys with rivers and lakes. The height of the Blue Mountains National Park varies from 20 meters above sea level at the lowest point (the Nepeana River) to 1,215 meters at the highest (Verong Mountain).
The park was formed in 1959, occupies an area of about 270,000 hectares today, and is one of the most popular tourist destinations – even night tours are found here. Hiking trails pass through deep canyons with steep sandstone walls, through forests, among rapidly growing eucalyptus trees and tree ferns. Within the park there are several observation platforms, offering breathtaking views of the valley below, the famous Three Sisters cliffs (giant stone formations from Aboriginal legends), the Echo Gorge, the Great Australian Canyon. In the town of Katumba, you can ride on the steepest railway in the world or above the rocks in the cab of the aerial cableway. Nearby are the Jenolan caves. These are the most famous limestone grottoes in Australia. In one of the nine caves, an abundance of magically illuminated limestone stalactites and stalagmites.
– 2 – Flinders Ranges NP National Park
– Bunyeroo Valley from the Razorback view platform
One of the most striking national parks of the Green continent is surrounded by the majestic mountains of the Ridge Flinders. Local landscapes conquer their color – mysterious gorges, ancient folded mountains, arched trees and huge stones, cast in the light of the sun in different shades.
The Flinders Ridge Mountains are the rarest case in Australia when a scorched desert ruthlessly rises to big cities. The most scenic route to the National Park begins in Adelaide on the Main North Freeway, which crosses the impressive winemaking region that has spread widely around Clare. During the trip, pay attention to the golden fields of wheat and a number of historic cities – Laura, Melrose and Mintaro. When you get to Wellington, choose the direction to Quorn, from where you can reach Flinders Ranger. The provincial town of Quorn is remarkable for its interesting fate. Fans of old trains arrive here from March to November for retro walks on the steel canvass. Rare train, which has come a long way of restoration, follows from the city center to the Pichi-Ricci pass
– View of the northern ridge of Wilpena Pound (Wilpena Pound) with Hucks Lookout. In the foreground is a grass tree (Grass Tree) or “dragon heather” (in Russian-language literature, the serpentine or dracophylum)
The main pride of the National Park is the stunning Wilpena Pound Valley (Wilpena Pound) – a huge amphitheater that nature itself has formed. Steep cliffs of purple slate and red quartz became its sturdy walls. Like the oldest lost world, Wilpena Pound continues to live by its own laws: there is more rainfall inside the amazing tract than in all the surroundings, and the local panoramas are truly fantastic. The widespread realm of herbs is complemented by slender cypress trees, red eucalyptus trees and casuarinas. The local fauna is beautiful. It is made up of wallabies, red kangaroos, emus, echidnas and hundreds of bird species, whose polyphonic chirping spreads throughout the park. Pink cockatoo and bright rosella now and then take off, creating a characteristic noise. There are plenty of entertainments on the territory of the colossal monastery – sightseeing flights over the valley, romantic walks through the forest, intricate mountain bike routes, riding camels or observing space objects from the Arkarula observatory.
– 3 – Kosciuszko National Park (Kosciuszko National Park)
– Seaman’s Hut, Mount Kosciusko NP, New South Wales
Kosciuszko National Park (Kosciuszko National Park) – the largest in the state of New South Wales. The park is part of the Australian Alps and was named after the eponymous mountain, which is the highest peak of Australia, and is located in the park.
In 2008, the Kosciuszko National Park, together with other protected areas of the Australian Alps, was included in the list of national heritage of Australia. Kosciuszko National Park is one of the most famous national parks in Australia, it is visited by about three million tourists annually.
On the territory there are huge lakes of glacial origin with calm water, which reflect the hills and thermal pools, the water temperature in which is +27 degrees. The largest rivers of the region originate in the park: the Snowy River, the Murray and the Marrambiji.
Among the rare animals living in the park, the mountain couscous, which was considered extinct until 1966, as well as the bright false toad.
– 4 – Purnululu National Park
– Bungle Bungle Range, Purnululu National Park, Western Australia
Purnululu National Park is spread over an area of 239,723 hectares in the north-eastern part of Western Australia, on the Kimberley Plateau. It is one of the most interesting geologically parks in Western Australia, a real open-air museum. In 1987, a park covering 240,000 hectares on the Kimberley Plateau was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The nature of these places is truly virgin and untouched – the nearest settlement is located 250 km from the park.
In the native language of the tribe cue “Purnululu” means “sandstone”. Sometimes the park is called the Bungle-Bungle (Bungle Bungle) after the name of the mountain range of the same name, which is entirely part of the park.
The relief of the park is very diverse – it is the above-mentioned Bangla-Bangl mountain range with an area of 45 thousand hectares, extensive sandy plains, grassy lowlands in the Ord River valley and limestone cliffs in the west and east of the park.
The main attraction of the Purnululu National Park (Purnululu National Park) is the mountain formations of the Bangle-Bangle ridge, which took the form of hives as a result of erosion processes that lasted 20 million years. These “beehives” have an interesting structure – bright orange sandstone alternates with dark stripes several meters wide. Oxides of iron and manganese give them a bright orange color.
The territory of the park was of great economic and cultural importance among the indigenous tribes – about 200 rock paintings of ancient people and burial places were found here. But Europeans, by virtue of the arid climate and inhospitable natural conditions, avoided these places. The first pastoralists appeared here only at the end of the 19th century, and the amazing mountain formations of the Bangle-Bangl range were first discovered for the world in 1982!
– 5 – Uluru – Kata Tjuta (Uluru-Kata Tjuta NP)
– Ayers Rock (Uluru), Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory
UNESCO World Heritage Site, a desert landscape with two giant massifs sticking out of the ground – Mount Uluru and Mount Olga or Kata Tjuta (40 km) from it. Interestingly, Olga is a much more impressive massif – 1069 m high against 348 m of Uluru mountain, but less popular for pilgrimage. Geologists say that Uluru and Olga are not separate elevations, but part of a single mountain range lying beneath a layer of earth and rushing outward only in two places.
Uluru or Ayers Rock is a sacred place for the Australian Aborigines. The base of the rock is cut by caves, and their walls are covered with ancient inscriptions and drawings. The dimensions of the caves are impressive: the largest of them reach 800 meters in length and 30 in height. Three small lakes even formed in the caves, filling up during the rainy season with water seeping through the cracks of the rock. So, in the hot summer, when all the sources in the district dried up, the aborigines found shelter from the hot rays of the sun and life-giving moisture.
The name Uluru is associated with numerous legends and traditions. Gigantic, animal-like traces, dents on a strong stone gave rise to many legends and beliefs of superstitious indigenous Australians. Since ancient times it was believed that the owner of the red hulk, the water python, lived here. Because local residents still come to the foot of the cliff to perform a ceremony in honor of a natural deity. The mountain giant consists of red sandstone, precisely because of its amazing property to change color, at dawn and dusk, Uluru looks completely different.
Ayers Rock is located near the southwestern corner of the Northern Territory, in the dried red heart of Australia. This colossal orange-brown rock 2.4 km long and 1.6 km wide rises 348 meters above the surrounding desert plain and is the world’s largest monolith. The first European to see the monolith of Ayers Rock was the Australian explorer Ernest Gyle, who crossed this part of the barren desert, in 1872. He noticed a rock from the shores of Lake Amadias, but could not reach it. However, a year later, English explorer William Goss climbed to the top of the wonder-mountain. He named the stone block “Ayers Rock” in honor of the Secretary of State of South Australia Henry Aires.
– 6 – Kakadu National Park
– Gunlom Infinity Pools, Kakadu National Park, Northern Territories
Australia is famous for the wealth of its nature. Here and amazing landscapes, and a unique underwater kingdom, and a diverse wildlife. Australian Kakadu National Park – just one of the worthy representatives of his country.
There are amazing plant, many species of birds, fish and animals. Among them you can find a tree frog, octopus, kangaroo, buffalo, varan, as well as the famous huge barramundi fish. A walk along the Alligator River is an opportunity for the most courageous travelers to look at freshwater crocodiles.
The terrain itself is very beautiful: cascading waterfalls, a large uranium mine Ranger, and high cliffs. The park’s greatest pride is the “X-ray” cave paintings of ancient tribes that have survived to this day. They are called X-ray because they depict not only people, but their internal organs. These are the souvenirs from the ancient tribe, in whose honor the park itself was named.
Kakadu National Park – UNESCO World Heritage Site No. 147. The country’s largest national park stretches 200 km from north to south and more than 100 km from east to west in the Alligator River region. The total area of the park is equal to the area of Slovenia or almost half of the area of Switzerland.
About half of the park’s territory is owned by the aboriginal tribes of the Northern Territory, and, according to the law, the Directorate of the park rents these lands to manage the national park. The aborigines living today on the territory of “Kakadu” (there are about 5,000 of them) are the descendants of various tribes that have lived here since ancient times.
– 7 – Great Sandy NP
– Great Sandy NP, Fraser Island, Queensland
Much of the island, which has preserved untouched tropical rainforests (with an area of about 1,645 km²), is part of the Great Sandy National Park. Fresh-water turtles live in well-warmed lakes; on land, the wild dog Dingo is found. Dingo, on the island, is strictly forbidden to feed (a fine of $ 3000) and you must follow certain rules at the meeting, which will tell the guides or read on the site of the park.
The dunes that make up the island were formed about 400 thousand years ago and have a height of up to 240 m. There are more than 40 fresh “hanging” lakes here, which is one of the geographical features of the island. This is unusual for a sandy island that is washed by the ocean from all sides. The largest lake covers an area of about 200 hectares, its name is Lake Boemingen. The west coast of Fraser is occupied by mangrove forests and swamps, the eastern coast (facing the ocean) is a beach of fairly white sand about 100 km long. The most popular and affordable swimming lake (you need to walk three kilometers through the woods and dunes) is Lake Wabbi, the deepest on the island (12 meters).
– 8 – Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair NP National Park
– Cradle Mountain, Cradle Mountain National Park – Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair NP, Tasmania
The most beautiful and famous national park of Tasmania, the official name of which is Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park. It is located on the Central Highlands of Tasmania, 165 km north-west of Hobart. The main points of attraction are Cradle Mountain of the same name, 1545 meters high and Barn-Bluff, next to it. A stunning view of the Cradle opens on the north side, where Dove Lake lies with the purest clear water. Here is the Overland Track, Australia’s most famous multi-day trekking route, which stretches 82 km from Cradle Mountain to the opposite end of the park, to Lake St. Clair.
The first European to visit the park in 1910 was Gustav Weindorfer. He bought a plot of land here and in 1912 built a small chalet for guests, which he named Waldheim, which means “forest house”. Unfortunately, that chalet has not reached our days – it burned down during a fire. But in 1976, in the Cradle Valley valley, an exact copy of Waldheim was built, which still receives tourists. By the way, it was Gustav Weindorfer and his wife Kate who actively supported the granting of this protected status to this territory. In 1922, the area between Cradle Mountain and Lake St. Clair, an area of 64 thousand hectares, was declared a nature reserve, and in 1971 a national park.
In 1935, a 6-day route Overland Track was laid across the territory of the park, along which tours began to be conducted and which brought the park extraordinary popularity for its breathtaking views. The rugged contours of Cradle Mountain, ancient rain forests and alpine meadows, picturesque beaches and unspoiled wilderness are the main treasure of the park.
– 9 – Port Campbell National Park (Port Campbell NP)
– “12 Apostles” (Twelve Apostles), Port Campbell National Park (Port Campbell NP), Victoria (Victoria)
The park in Victoria, which lies on the Great Ocean Road, is located in the southern part of the state, 190 km south-west of Melbourne, stretches a relatively narrow strip along the ocean, has an area of 17.5 km². It was originally formed as a small area to protect the coastline, but now it is 1,750 hectares, including a unique collection of limestone “sculptures”: the Twelve Apostles, the London Arch (bearing the name of the London Bridge before the collapse of the connecting land bridge) and the Loch Ard Gorge – a stunning example of many years of work natural erosion.
– 10 – Daintree National Park
– Mossman River, Daintree National Park, Queensland
In the north of Queensland, 1502 km north-west of Brisbane and 100 km north-west of Cairns, is located Daintree National Park. On 1200 square kilometers of Australian land, there grows a unique tropical forest, which has retained its original appearance. The age of the forest exceeds 110 million years, which makes it the most ancient forest on our planet. That is why the forest is included in the List of World Heritage Sites of UNESCO and is strongly protected from the encroachments of humanity.
Daintree National Park (Daintree National Park) consists of two parts, divided in the middle of the inhabited agricultural area, which includes the town of Mossman and the village of Daintree. This whole area is a habitat for rare species of birds. The heart of the park is the Daintree River, originating in the mountains of the Great Dividing Range and flowing into the Coral Sea (Coral Sea).
Daintree National Park is also the location of the famous “Jumping Stones” in Thornton Beach. This quiet beach is sacred to the Kuku Yalanji aboriginal tribe. He was the place where the women of the tribe performed the secret rituals of household magic. A strict taboo has been put on the beach: people who take stones from this shore may be damned.
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