Alpine landscapes, desert plains and lush rainforests. No two National Parks are the same. With 500 in Australia to choose from, you’ve probably done a hike or had a picnic in one of our National Parks. But did you know you can actually stay overnight?
From rustic cabins to lighthouses, we’ve picked out our favourite National Park stays state-by-state.
New South Wales
Murramarang National Park, South Coast
The bush meets the sea at Depot Beach Cabins. Towering gumtrees line the golden sand along this quiet stretch of coastline on the South Coast. Choose between a forest or beach cabin and enjoy self-contained accommodation, great BBQ facilities and an outdoor pizza oven. The surrounding area is a hub for wildlife so you’ll often see kangaroos lazing in the sun just outside your front door.
Prices start from $125 per night for two adults & two kids under 15. Children under four stay free.
Mount Kaputar National Park, Country NSW
Perfect for a short winter getaway, Dawsons Spring Cabins are nestled amongst thick bushland in Country NSW. Each cabin has a traditional fireplace and fully-equipped kitchen; however, you’ll have to bring your own bed linen. The surrounding area is covered in wildflowers and towering snow gums. Go for a wander along the Dawsons Spring Nature Trail, hit the mountain bike paths or hike to the summit of Mount Kaputar for panoramic views of the National Park. Dickson cabin is wheelchair friendly with a ramp and fully-accessible bathroom and kitchen.
Cabins start from as little as $100 a night for up to 6 guests and entry to the National Park is free.
Hat Head National Park, North Coast
Smoky Cape Lighthouse is not just an historic landmark. It’s home to a collection of Lighthouse Keeper’s cottages offering a range of B&B and self-contained accommodation. Its cliff-side location, just 5kms from South West Rocks, offers fantastic whale watching during winter, as well as easy access to beaches and hiking trails.
The 3-bedroom cottages accommodate up to 6 guests and begin at $520 for a two-night, stay.
Kosciuszko National Park, Snowy Mountains
Overlooking Lake Jindabyne, Creel Lodge is a fabulous multi-family stay, accommodating up to 8 guests. This mountain chalet has all the comforts of home with four bedrooms, en-suite bathrooms, barbecue and an outdoor fire pit. Enjoy brekky on the deck before exploring the national park. Reach Australia’s highest peak on the Mt Kosciuszko summit track (It’s actually not as hard as it sounds. Read about it here.), cycle around Lake Jindabyne, head out on horseback or take it easy at the lodge.
Creel Lodge is secluded so be sure to grab your supplies on your way there. Rates start at $305 per night.
To browse through all available accommodation, the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Services website has a great search page where you can filter accommodation by budget, location and 4WD potential.
Wilsons Promontory National Park
Loads of coastal walks and in-land hikes weave through this 50,000+ hectare national park. Home to more than 700 native plant species and packed with wildlife, Wilsons Prom is one of the country’s southern-most National Parks. And it’s free to enter! Most of the accommodation is in the Tidal River area. There are a number of huts, lodges and wilderness retreats available for families.
The John Gregory Lodge is great for groups of families travelling together. It accommodates up to 12 guests in four bedrooms from $434.10 for a 2-night stay.
Cape Howe Marine National Park
Gabo Island is just off the coast near the border of NSW and features the only operating lighthouse in Victoria. Standing just shy of 50m tall, the lighthouse boasts spectacular views of the mainland where Croajingolong National Park runs along the coast. The assistant Light Keeper’s residence has three bedrooms, a fully-equipped kitchen, laundry and BBQ facilities. The remote location means you have to get a boat or plane out and pack all of your provisions but it’s well worth it for such a unique experience.
The nightly rate is around $385 for up to 8 people and private boats can be chartered from the mainland at $360 each way.
Murray Sunset National Park
In the far north-western corner of Victoria, the state’s largest national park is known for its wide open landscapes, flaming sunsets and a dazzling night sky. Accessible only by 4WD, the Shearer’s Quarters is a quirky, historic cottage that sleeps up to 14 people. There are plenty of walking trails in the area but it’s best explored on a 4×4 adventure. It’s BYO bed linen and you’ll want to stock up on groceries before trekking out to the remote cottage.
The nightly rate is around $410, less than $30 per person at full capacity. National Park entry is free.
For more accommodation in Victoria’s National Parks, check out their website.
Deep Creek Conservation Park
Just 90 minutes from Adelaide on the Fleurieu Peninsula, you’ll find pristine beaches, abundant wildlife and stunning walking trails. Deep Creek has a range of accommodation from budget-friendly, rustic cottages to contemporary eco-retreats.
Goondooloo cottage is a quirky, self-contained cabin with trees growing through the roof. Rates start from $185 for a family of four. A slightly ritzier option is the award-winning Ridgetop Retreats accommodation with floor-to-ceiling glass window, beautifully designed interior with fireplace and modern kitchen, and includes breakfast and linen. The nightly rate for two adults and two kids is $295.
Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park
At the foot of Rawnsley Bluff, Rawnsley Park Station is an ideal location for families to explore the Flinders Ranges. Overlooking the southern side of Wilpena Pound, a number of accommodation styles are on offer. Families can choose from four holiday units; 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, 3 bedroom & 3 bedroom accessible. Each has private decks, ensuite bathrooms, fully-equipped kitchens, air-conditioning and WiFi available. Rawnsley Park Station also has a pool, restaurant and a general store nearby.
Nightly rates start at $175 with extra children $15 each per night.
Innes National Park
From short strolls to lengthy day hikes, Innes National Park is a nature lover’s dream on the York Peninsula. During your stay, visit one of the lighthouses, check out the Ethel shipwreck and explore the abandoned township of Inceston. Some of the historic buildings have been restored and converted into accommodation for visitors to the park. Families have five lodges to choose from, each varying in size.
The Gatehouse Lodge offers accommodation for up to six people at a rate of just $135.50 per night.
Check out the National Parks South Australia website to find more info, accommodation and activities.
Carnarvon National Park
Mammoth sandstones cliffs and verdant, tree-covered gorges dominate the landscape in Queensland’s central highlands. Carnarvon National Park is home to a striking collection of ancient Aboriginal rock art, a thriving population of flora and fauna and loads of activities for nature-loving families. Carnarvon Gorge Wilderness Lodge is a great home base with cabin, camping and glamping accommodation available. Rates start from $150 per night with ensuite bathrooms, swimming pool and access to the Discovery Centre.
Springbrook National Park
Buried in the Gold Coast hinterland, Springbrook National Park is waterfalls, nature walks and wildlife galore. Take a dip at Twin falls, just a 30-minute walk from Canyon Lookout or make your way to the Best of All lookout for an incredible view down the valley towards Mt Warning volcano. Cottages and chalets are dotted around the National Park. A great pick for families is the Echo Valley Farm Cottage that sleeps up to six guests, starting from $200 per night.
Daintree National Park
In Far North Queensland, Daintree National Park is a tropical rainforest haven for hundreds of bird, reptile and plant species. It’s made up of two sections; Cape Tribulation and Mossman Gorge. An array of boardwalks weave through the rainforest, leading visitors to waterfalls, waterholes and picnic spots. Accommodation is limited inside the national park, but ‘The Cottage’ at Daintree Cascades is a rare gem, perched along a small creek in the heart of the rainforest. Prices for this one bedroom hideaway start at $250 per night.
You can find more fun things to do in Queensland’s national parks here.
Cradle Mountain – LakeSt Clair National Park
Mirror-like glacial lakes reflect the jagged contours of Cradle Mountain in one of Tasmania’s most picturesque wilderness spots. Serving as the starting point of the famous Overland Track, Cradle Mountain National Park draws hikers, nature lovers of holiday-makers from all over the world. Well maintained walking tracks and all-terrain wheelchairs available for hire make exploring this landscape a breeze. Stay in the heart of the national park at Waldhein Cabins. There are 4, 6 and 8 berth cabins starting at $95 per night. Linen can be provided for an additional charge. Click here to find out more.
Freycinet National Park
Freycinet boasts both beach and mountain scenery on Tasmania’s east coast. Watch azure waters crash against granite cliff faces as you wander along the coastline on one of the pars many walking tracks. Beach strolls and swims in the warmer months and wildlife-spotting all year round offer families a wonderful nature escape just 2.5 hours from Hobart. Family friendly accommodation can be found in nearby Wineglass Bay from $130 a night. Browse the cabins here.
Kakadu National Park
Crystal clear springwater spills over the edge of Gunlom Plunge pool, offering incredible views over Kakadu National Park. waterholes such as this can be found all around the national park, usually accompanied by shady picnic spots and walking tracks. Hawk Dreaming Wilderness Lodge, while a little more expensive, offers families a unique, all-inclusive experience. Accommodation, meals and tours are all included. Packages are charged on a per person basis with longer stays at a discounted rate. Alternatively, hotel-style accommodation is available just outside the national park. Cooinda Lodge Kakadu offer family rooms at a nightly rate of $110.
Litchfield National Park
Magnificent waterfalls, winding bushwalking tracks and 4WD adventures abound in Litchfield National Park. Families will love visiting this Top End wonder because there are so many places to climb over, crawl through, jump off and swim in. Wander through the ruins of ‘The Lost City’, stroll the Walker Creek boardwalk and cool off at Florence Falls. While camping is the only accommodation option inside the national park, just outside is the Litchfield Tourist Park, offering cosy cabins to giant homesteads. Family cabins start at $151 per night.
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
Uluru is a must-see for Australians and international tourists. Uluru is more than just a rock. This has more than 40 sacred sights and 11 Dreaming Trails for the Indigenous Yankunytjatjara and Pitjantjatjara people.
Most of the accommodation available in the area is located at Ayers Rock Resort, around 20km from Uluru. Outback Pioneer Lodge has rooms from $230 per night. A slightly more affordable option is Ayers Rock Campground. They have air-conditioned cabins sleeping up to six guests from $179 per night.
Karijini National Park
The crystal clear rock pools and cascading waterfalls of Karijini National Park are what make it one of the most Instagram-worthy places in the country. Hikes to stunning lookouts and picnics is shady gorges will fill your days. Karijini Eco Retreat is the only non-camping accommodation available in the national park.
Eco tents cost around $208 per night but for an extra $70, you can score a larger cabin with breakfast included.
Nambung National Park
Two hours from Perth, Nambung National Park extends over a strikingly-yellow, desert landscapes. Rising out of the sand, thousands of limestone spires formed over millions of years. The Pinnacles are the only reason you need to visit this fascinating national park, but there are so many more reasons to stay. While there is no accommodation in the national park itself, there is plenty of accommodation in the nearby coastal town of Cervantes.
Cape Range National Park & Ningaloo Marine Park
The Range meets the Reef in spectacular fashion on Western Australia’s north coast. Wild outback landscapes join crystal clear waters, offering visitors a mix of land and water based activities. Whale sharks, dolphins, dugongs and manta rays make up some of the 500 species of marine life that call this stretch of coastline home. The Ningaloo Lighthouse Holiday Park is just a stone’s throw from Ningaloo Reef with cabins from $105 per night.
Visit the WA Parks and Wildlife Service websites for more info.
Australian Capital Territory
Namadgi National Park
The Bendora Arboretum heritage track takes you through stunning forest landscapes. For those who like explore at a faster pace, horse riding and mountain biking trails wind through the Bimberi wilderness. There are various camping sites throughout the national park, however, homestead accommodation can be found at Cuppacumbalong.
On the southern outskirts of Canberra along the Murrumbidgee River, rooms from $150 per night are cosy and comfortable.