Western Australia occupies more than one third of the total landmass of the country; stretching across two and a half million square kilometres, the size alone beckons visitors time and time again to this diverse and exciting region, full of possibilities. From breathtaking views and areas overflowing with natural beauty to wide open spaces of wilderness, tumbling waterfalls and ancient gorges there is plenty to inspire.
Below are highlights of just a selection of the National Parks of Western Australia. Some of these you will have the pleasure of seeing on a choice of luxurious Australia tours from Scenic Tours.
Kalbarri National Park
This large national park is known for offering some of the most stunning scenery in all of Western Australia. Covering over 180,000 hectares, the landscape is made up of native flora, river, coastline, huge cliff formations and beautiful beaches.
Along the river’s path, ancient sandstone walls create amazing lookout points and fossil tracks can clearly be seen along the edge of the river – some are thought to be around 400 million years old. The ocean has created towering costal cliffs and rock formations of strange shapes and wildly coloured layers of sand and stone. Wildlife to see in this National Park include red and grey kangaroo, echidna, feral goats and a huge variety of birds.
Karijini National Park
If you were amazed by the age of some of the fossils in the Kalbarri National Park, prepare to be blown away – Karijini National Park’s ancient gorges and rock formations are more than two billion years old. There is a myriad of ancient gorges and marbled rock tunnels and caves to explore here, where rock pools have formed with the clearest water and waterfalls tumble down into deep precipices.
Whether you have a thirst for adventure or prefer to admire the natural beauty from a safe lookout point, there is a wide range of trails to access for all levels of mobility. You can even swim in the pools or squeeze through the narrow rocky tunnels; there are also plenty of spots to stop for a picnic while admiring the beautiful views.
Purnululu National Park
This National Park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to one of the most unique and fascinating mountain ranges in the world – the Bungle Bungle range. Although the range is more than 350 million years old, it was only discovered by modern civilisation in the early 80s. However, Indigenous Australian inhabitants have been using the area for more than 20,000 years as life is abundant with plants and animals during the wet season.
One of the most famous landmarks of this National Park is Cathedral Gorge. The gorge is a gigantic natural amphitheatre with incredible natural acoustics, formed by ancient oceans that smoothed the rock and created this chasm.
Nambung National Park
This National Park is found at the foot of what is known as Australia’s Coral Coast; an area full of national reserves, exotic marine life and some of the clearest and bluest oceans in the world. Nambung National Park is also home to the famous Pinnacles Desert, a landscape of thousands of tall limestone spikes rising out of the sand.
There is also a Discovery Centre where you can learn the full history of these landmarks and the weather and water that shaped them over millions of years. Towards the coast, Nambung National park is home to some beautiful white sand secluded beaches, which are perfect for surfing, windsurfing and dolphin spotting.
Walpole-Nornalup National Park
This beautiful park is home to gigantic towering trees, some nearly 400 years old, and an area known as the Valley of the Giants. Some of these ancient red tingle trees in the Valley of the Giants have trunks with a circumference of up to 20 metres wide and a large part of the national park remains virtually untouched.
There is a walkway built 40 metres in the air in the treetops’ canopy and circles the forest for 600 metres, allowing you to gain a unique view at some of the tallest trees in the world. This unique walkway is one of the first of its kind and is designed to minimise the impact of visitors upon this protected natural site.
John Forrest National Park
This National Park is very popular with day visitors. There are many picnic spots, walking paths, mountain biking trails and rock pools to paddle in. The park offers magnificent views across the city of Perth and the surrounding area, as well as plenty of secluded spots and peaceful waterfalls. It’s a common occurrence to see possums and bandicoots scuttling around in this park and there are many types of native birds to spot too.
Image Credit: Phil Whitehouse (flickr.com)
This content was written by Ashley Collins. Please feel free to visit my Google+ Profile to read more stories.