Take your pick from almost 100 national parks
Western Australia’s national parks are the perfect place to experience the State’s incredible diversity. Witness the wonder of more than 12,000 species of wildflowers in bloom, be dwarfed by timber giants in the karri forest and discover one of the world’s 36 biodiversity hotspots.
Wildflowers and bird spotting
A short walk or free bus-ride from Perth brings you to one of the largest inner city parks in the world, Kings Park and Botanical Garden, showcasing more than 1,700 native species of wildflowers. The best displays can be seen in September. Be sure to take a stroll along the treetop walk for breathtaking views of the park, Swan River and city skyline.
Head south to Fitzgerald River National Park, a globally-significant biodiversity hotspot boasting 1,800 beautiful and bizarre species of flowering plants – that’s 20 per cent of WA’s plant species packed into 0.13 per cent of the State. Nearby, the dramatic Stirling Range National Park is also home to more than 100 species of birds and 1,500 varieties of plants. August to October is the best time to enjoy the dazzling wildflower trails.
Walks in tall-tree country
The remarkable Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk, near Walpole, elevates you to the treetops, 40 metres above the forest floor. At 600 metres long, and specially designed to minimise impact on the forest, it was the first walk trail of its kind in the world. Descend to ground-level and explore the grove of giant tingle trees in the Ancient Empire.
Enter the marri and karri forests of Beedelup National Park and Warren National Park in the South West and you’ll discover two of the most majestic forests in Western Australia. Some of the hardwood giants here are more than 300 years old, supporting a diverse eco system of wildflowers and native animals.
Where the karri forest meets the ocean, Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park near Augusta gives you three incredible nature experiences in one. Take a walk in the tall-tree forest, explore two ancient caves and spot migrating humpback and southern whales (September to December) from the rugged cliffs and granite headlands.
Tranquil rock pools and waterfalls
A perfect day trip from Perth, Serpentine National Park sits in the ancient Darling Scarp with a scenic rock-rimmed pool and cascading waterfall providing the ideal spot for a lazy picnic or barbecue.
Venture north to the cavernous gorges and cascading waterfalls of nature’s own adventure playground, Karijini National Park. Bathe in clear rock pools as you gaze in awe at some of the oldest rock formations in the world, dating back two billion years.
Indigenous culture and native animals
Join the local Nyoongar people on a cultural tour of Yanchep National Park, near Perth, to discover the stories and traditions of one of the oldest surviving cultures on Earth. Or take one of nine walking trails through wetlands and woodlands, looking out for kangaroos, wallabies, birds and even a colony of koalas along the way.
In one of the last true wilderness areas on Earth, Geikie Gorge National Park in the Kimberley region offers Indigenous cultural tours and wildlife encounters against the stunning backdrop of the gorge’s sheer 30-metre high walls. It’s a top spot for viewing fresh water crocodiles, as well as dingos, wallabies and birdlife.
For a chance to spot some of the cutest and rarest native marsupials, including the endangered bilby, woylie and numbat, head for Barna Mia Animal Sanctuary in the Dryandra Woodland. Here, in one of the world’s flora and fauna hotspots, you can encounter these shy creatures all year round, at dawn or dusk.
Awe-inspiring natural wonders
Discover one of Australia’s most unique natural landscapes, the Pinnacles Desert of Nambung National Park, near Cervantes. Millions of years in the making, thousands of limestone pillars rise up to 3.5 metres above the yellow sands.
Venture into the most curious range on Earth, the Bungle Bungle Range of World Heritage listed Purnululu National Park, in the Kimberley. These extraordinary beehive-shaped domes have been formed over 350 million years, but only known to the world since the 1980s. Explore them on foot or take an exhilarating flight for a birds-eye view.
Another Kimberley wonder can be found in Wolfe Creek Crater National Park, the site of the second largest meteorite crater in the world. The meteorite is believed to have crashed to Earth around 300,000 years ago, weighing more than 50,000 tonnes and leaving a 800-metre-wide crater. It’s an awe-inspiring sight.
Check out the Top 10 State Parks, and to plan your visit to some of the many Western Australian national parks, visit the Department of Parks and Wildlife for information about entry fees, facilities, recreational activities, camping and more.