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Last updated : Nov 2009
 
New South Wales National Parks
New South Wales National Parks - TravelPuppy.com
Greater Metropolitan Area

Sydney Harbour National Park features secluded beaches, forts and spectacular views. Guided tours to historic buildings are offered, the most popular trails for walkers are the 5 Bluff’ track to Watson’s Bay, the ‘Hermitage Foreshore’ track to Vaucluse and the ‘Manly’ scenic walkway, the ‘Fairfax’ walk on North Head (which is suitable for wheelchair access).

The Royal National Park is the oldest park in Australia and the 2nd oldest in the world. Wattamolla and Garie are popular swimming spots while Garie, Era and Burning Palms are finest for surfing.

The park offers a variety of walking tracks along its 30 kilometre (19 mile) procession of cliffs, headlands, forests and beaches. Camping is possible at Bonnie Vale, but for bush camping, a permit is required.

Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
(40 minutes north of Sydney) is noted for its Aboriginal rock carvings (which can be seen on the ‘Aboriginal Heritage Walk’) and a broad range of walking tracks (1 of which, the ‘Discovery’ track, has wheelchair access). Stunning water views and good sailing facilities are available at West Head, picnic areas can be found throughout the park and it also contains a koala sanctuary.

The Blue Mountains National Park (a World Heritage listed park), just 90 minutes drive west of Sydney, offers waterfalls and panoramic views featuring landmarks such as the ’Three Sisters’. There are several bush walks on offer, the ’Fairfax Heritage Walk’ at Blackheath is a wheelchair friendly track to Govetts Leap lookout.

Northeast

The Myall Lakes National Park near Port Stephens is the biggest coastal lake system in the State and a significant habitat for many species of waterbirds.

Visitors are offered a range of activities, including a rainforest walk at Mungo Brush, campsites, caravans and cabins along the lake shores and beaches, and houseboat accommodation facilities.

The mountainous Barrington Tops National Park in the Hunter wine-making region is crossed by 6 rivers and is known for its striking altitude variations, allowing visitors to experience snow capped mountains and subtropical rainforests in a day’s walk.

The best views and walking trails are at Carey’s Peak, Gloucester Tops and Williams River. The ‘Riverside’ walk is appropriate for wheelchairs. Mount Warning National Park, 12 kilometres (7 miles) from Murwillumbah, offers a fantastic trek through rainforest communities, culminating in a challenging rock scramble, to reach the 1100 metre (3608 feet) summit of the ancient volcano. Views from the top take in the vastness of the bowl shaped Tweed Valley.

Dorrigo National Park and Border Ranges National Park, both in tropical New South Wales, contain large stretches of rainforest, with educational tours, walking tracks, picnicking and camping all available. The rainforest at Border Ranges National Park grows on the rim of an extinct volcano.

Central

Rock climbing and mountain walks attract visitors to Warrumbungle National Park which is near Coonabarabran, whose ‘Grand High Tops’ track through the remnants of ancient volcanoes ranks high among Australia’s many spectacular walks. The park is well known for its bizarre rock outcrops.

Outback

The Mutawintji National Park is located 130 kilometres (82 miles) northeast of the old mining town of Broken Hill, and offers the classic Outback experience.

Homestead Creek is the chief camping base (booking required) in this park on the back of an ancient mountain range, with amazing gorges and a variety of native animals. Tours to the Mutawintji Historic Site, which contains an important collection of Aboriginal art engraved on a hillside, are also possible.

The nearby Kinchega National Park is equally rich in Aboriginal sites and contains large areas of forest backwaters and lakes, camping and accommodation in former sheep shearers’ quarters are possible (booking is required).

Southeast

South of Sydney by 450 kilometres (281 miles), the Kosciuszko National Park and Snowy Mountains National Park contain some of Australia’s highest mountains, including Mount Kosciuszko (the highest) as well as the great Snowy, Murray and Murrumbidgee rivers.

Winter sports are popular from June to September while, in the summer, nature fanatics can enjoy rare alpine flora. The main attractions of Morton National Park are its waterfalls – 1 at Fitzroy Falls, the other at Bundanoon. Camping is possible (booking required).