A picnic in the park

We spend a lot of time talking about the environment and how we might save it. But how many of us actually get into it at the weekend? I say, it’s time to bring back the old-fashioned picnic, rug and walking boots and head off for a tramp into the wild blue – or green – yonder. So this week my Publisher’s Pick is a quick list of my favourite national parks in each state or territory – and why.
And don’t think our parks are merely for the super active – in the Grampians National Park some all-terrain wheelchairs are being trialled. Now that’s what I’d call progress…

South Australia – Flinders Ranges
This iconic part of SA allows visitors to explore outback Australia in depth. Sightseeing, hiking, opal-fossicking, 4WD-ing are some of the ways to enjoy the Flinders Ranges.

Western Australia- Ningaloo Marine Park
North west of Perth, near the town of Exmouth is WA’s Ningaloo Marine Park offers visitors the chance to see whales, dolphins, sharks and manta rays swimming freely in their natural environment. But go quickly – developers can’t wait to get their hands on this stretch of paradise.

Northern Territory – Kakadu
One word, but a thousand experiences in 20,000 acres of biodiversity. Visiting Kakadu is a pleasure that deserves a 3-5 day stay. Camp or choose a hotel, and then avail yourself of the Yellow-water cruise through the wetlands, indigenous-guided walking tours, plus a few hours in the visitor centre. An unforgettable way to learn about Australia and its original inhabitants.

Queensland – Daintree – Cape Tribulation
Daintree did not receive world heritage listing for simply looking good. The indigenous history, biological diversity and stunning views of rainforested mountains plunging to white sandy shores guarantees this park a place in my heart.

NSW – Kosciusko National Park
Stay in Jindabyne and enjoy one of our most visited national parks, home to Australia’s highest mountain. This park has something for everyone, including cross-country skiers, hikers, ramblers and motorists.

ACT – Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
Just south of Canberra, boasting a diversity of habitats a perfect spot for a lazy picnic or a robust hike.

Victoria – Mornington Peninsula National Park
Because this part of Victoria is my favourite, with a great mix of rural hinterland and rugged coastal scenery and the chance to disappear for hours with just the bush and local fauna for company. Tread gently.

Tasmania – Cradle Mountain
Because I haven’t been there yet and to tramp through the undergrowth inhaling the fragrance of the lemon-scented gums remains one of my dreams.

Australia boasts more than 500 National Parks just waiting to be explored. Which is your favourite? And don’t forget to hit the “comment” button so you can see the parks others have discovered and recommend.

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