western australia nature

Australia's Best National Parks: Gems of Western Australia

10 December 2020
Read Time: 3.2 mins

What you need to know: 

  • Western Australia’s most beautiful natural discoveries can be found in its incredible national parks. 

  • Cape Range National Park on the western edge of North West Cape offers ranges, limestone gorges and 50 kilometers of pristine shoreline. 

  • Fitzgerald River National Park is a spectacular botanical wonderland, home to half of Western Australia’s orchid species. 

  • For mountains, waterfalls and adventure, head to the northern reaches of Pilbara’s Karijini National Park. 

In a play of natural ‘wow’ factor that is wildly diverse, dramatic and downright beautiful, Western Australia lures admirers from near and far.

To outsiders, our westernmost, biggest and most sparsely populated state might seem a beast to tackle, but as anyone who’s taken a little time to investigate really knows, it’s a journey worth every second.

From those red and dusty desert-laden borders on the east to its salty western shores, Western Australia’s most beautiful natural discoveries stand to be found in its incredible line-up of national parks.

Here’s a glimpse at just a handful of the best national parks in Western Australia.  

Cape Range National Park

The desert meets the sea in captivating fashion at Cape Range National Park. Here, on the western edge of the North West Cape, rugged ranges and dramatic limestone gorges stand carved by ancient rivers and 50 kilometres of pristine shores offer stunning sandy respite.

On land, spot red kangaroos and emus running wild in unforgettable territory. In the sea, dive in to witness up close the treasures of the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Marine Park.

Ningaloo Reef Ningaloo Reef - where the desert meets the sea in Western Australia.

You can literally step off the white sands into what is the world’s largest fringing reef and Australia’s most accessible to easily find yourself face to face with spectacular coral formations, floating alongside whale sharks and manta rays.

These stunning contrast offer the best of both worlds in one magical backdrop.

Fitzgerald River National Park

This rugged and spectacular botanical wonderland is a gem on the popular Albany to inland Esperance route. Why? Because it’s home to half of Western Australia’s orchid species – 70 of which you can’t find anywhere else on the planet.

This makes it one of the most significant national parks in Australia in the floral stakes; it is also one of the country’s largest.

Fitzgerald River National Park. So many vistas to take in at Fitzgerald River National Park.

Roll on through during spring and spot the colourful blooms at their mighty brightest. Plus, from July to October, the southern right whales hug the region’s ocean shores on their way past; Point Ann is a top spot to keep lookout.

Karijini National Park

If it’s mountains you like to conquer, the state’s northern reaches in Pilbara’s Karijini National Park is where you need to be. This beautiful area is all gorges, lookouts, waterfalls, crystal clear swimming holes and sheer-sided chasms ripe for adventure.

Enthusiastic hikers and bush-wanderers will absolute love it. It’s unspoiled and scenic at every turn – parts of it, two billion years in the making.

Karijini National Park. Beautiful spa pool at Karijini National Park.

Its biggest claims to fame? It is the second-largest national park in Western Australia and boasts the state’s highest mountains. In the cooler months, it’s distinctively beautiful for its blooming yellow cassias and wattles, purple mulla-mullas and northern bluebells.

For an overnight stay that doesn’t involve camping, don’t look past the wonderful, indigenous-owned Karijini Eco Retreat for a Karijini National Park encounter like no other.

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Tijana Jaksic

Tijana loves new adventures as much as she enjoys reliving old ones. Favourite stops on the map so far include Greece (beyond the islands!), Mexico City (hello ancient ruins and wonderful art), Poland (for the history and off-the-beaten-track finds), Berlin (so artsy and chilled) and Bosnia (ahhh the natural beauty). Choosing is always hard though - that's why her list is so long and she spends her 'real life' time writing about travel until she's out there on the road again.