Would you believe that Australia has over 28 million hectares of national park land? Imagine yourself picnicking by a natural waterfall, the kids running around amongst the trees, breathing in the freshest air you’ve ever known.

Quality family time in a national park is an affordable and unique experience that will ignite a newfound appreciation for nature.

But with more than 500 national parks in Australia to choose from, how could you possibly decide which ones to visit? That’s where we come in. We’ve found some of the best parks and activities for families with kids of all ages.

Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory

4 people swimming in a natural gorge in Kakadu National Park

Barramundi Gorge is the only croc-free swimming spot in the whole park. Photo: Kitty Newlyn

At the top of our list is perhaps the most famous national park in Australia. Kakadu is as abundant in culture as it is in natural beauty. During your visit, you’re bound to discover astonishing ridges, ancient rock art, tranquil billabongs and an array of flora and fauna that must be seen to be believed.

Park ranger leading a guided tour of the national park

You can learn so much from the rangers in Kakadu National Park. Photo: Tourism NT

Connect with and appreciate the ancient cultures of Kakadu through guided group and private tours. Gain local knowledge of life in floodplain country from the guides of the Ayal Aboriginal tour, and experience incredible didgeridoo, spear throwing and weaving demonstrations from the Pukadul tour.

Two kids smile for picture next to a park ranger

The Kakadu Croc ‘n’ Tell talk is an awesome way for kids to learn about the history and significance of the park. Photo: Bound Round

Kids have the chance to see Kakadu through the eyes of the local rangers. The Kakadu Croc ‘n’ Tell talk and the Ubirr Rock Art talk, both included in your Park Pass, are great ways for kids to learn about the area and its people. Between spirit dancing and croc-spotting, this is a holiday they’ll never forget.

Ikara – Flinders Ranges National Park, South Australia

Wild emus in a field in front of the Ikara Flinders Ranges

There are lots of great bush walks you can take through Flinders Ranges. Photo: Deb Dickinson Smith

Fascinating dreamtime history, sweeping ranges and awesome rock formations – Flinders Ranges is one of Australia’s most spectacular national parks. Get amongst the incredible parkland and wildlife on one of the parks many walking trails. Wilpena Pound, Sacred Canyon and Yourambulla Caves are our favourites, varying in length and grade to suit all ages.

A surprisingly lush area of greenery in the Flinders Ranges

A surprisingly lush area of greenery in the Flinders Ranges. Photo: South Australian Tourism Commission

You will have a chance to hear the ‘creation stories’ about how the landscapes came to be from indigenous tribes through song, storytelling and dance. Kids will also enjoy the variety of wildlife that call this national park home. Bounding kangaroos, proud emus, soaring eagles, spiky echidnas, and waddling wombats – you’ll meet them all.

Two kids sitting on set wiht backs to camera in WIlpena Pouund

Eagerly waiting to start their Ranger program. Photo: Bound Round

Away from the big smoke, the skies are unbelievably clear out in Flinders Ranges. Kids can enjoy outback stargazing tours, where they’ll spot shooting stars, learn about star constellations and galaxies, and how it all ties in to the rich dreamtime history of the area.

Wilsons Promontory National Park, Victoria

Blue sky day with foot bridge over a river

A picture perfect day at Wilsons Prom. Photo: Visit Victoria

Wilsons Prom is a favourite of ours for so many reasons. It has a tonne of activities tailored to kids, it is extremely accessible for less mobile visitors, and juts right out on to the Bass Strait, its wild waters protected as a marine national park.

Park ranger teaching young kids about soil.

Park rangers are a fountain of knowledge for adventurous young kids. Photo: Visit Victoria

Kids can discover an underwater world at Tidal River with a crew of local Rangers. They’ll also get to use microscopes to examine the tiny creatures that call this national park home. Covered footwear is a must and the cost in included in the park fee.

Man assists his son in an accessible beach wheelchair while his sister guides

Wilsons Prom has a range of beach wheelchairs available so visitors can enjoy a walk along the sand and have a dip in the water. Photo: Julie Jones

Wilsons Prom was one of the first national parks in Australia to offer beach wheelchairs for less mobile visitors. They are designed to handle sand, rock and soil with either balloon tyres or wide wheels, available for children and adults.

We’re so excited that National Park experiences are becoming more accessible for everyone. Read more about it here.

Blue Mountains National Park, New South Wales

Hiker looks over ledge on the edge of mountain in the Blue Mountains

Don’t look down! Photo: Destination NSW

This wonderful national park is only a short drive from Sydney, but feels like a world away. Perfect as a day trip or a weekend getaway, with some fantastic accommodation in and around the park, from luxurious forrest cottages to rustic cabins and camping grounds.

Landscape image of the three sisters in Katoomba

Do you know the story of the three sisters? Photo: Bound Round

A trip to the Blue Mountains isn’t complete without snapping a photo of the three sisters. The dreamtime story behind this beautiful natural rock formation is fascinating. Wenthworth Falls is another must-see, with a number of walking trails allowing visitors to see it from all angles.

Kids walking on to the cable car at Scenic World

At Scenic World you can take the Cableway, the Skyway or the Scenic Railway up, down and across the Jamieson Valley. Photo: Bound Round

The National Parks Discovery Program will keep kids entertained all day, offering spotlight tours, camp fire fun, Eco-tours and wild walks on their Junior Ranger Days and Toddler Treasure Hunts. Other fun activities include the Zig Zag railway, horse riding, the Scenic Cableway, and even bushland Segway tours.

Daintree National Park, Queensland

The Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef are the only World Heritage Sites in the world that meet.

Best way to cool down on a hot day. Photo: Tourism and Events Queensland

In far north Queensland, this UNESCO listed national park is the oldest surviving tropical rainforest in the world (135 million years old!). The Kuku Yalanhi peope are the traditional owners of the land, and share this beautiful expanse with thousands of rare, indigenous species of flora and fauna.

Small fire burning under a hut on ranger-guided tour in Daintree

During a Ranger guided tour in the Daintree. Photo: Bound Round

Local Aboriginal elders host Dreamtime tours, sharing their knowledge of traditional indigenous practices and ways of life. You can also take a drive through the national park, spotting cassowaries, crocodiles and other incredible wildlife native to the area.

Green bird in Daintree National Park

You never know who you might meet in the Daintree. Credit: Bound Round

Frequent shuttle services to Mossman Gorge will drop you in the perfect spot to begin your national park adventure. With tonnes of boardwalks, walking trails, lookouts, and suspension bridges, your family is bound to have a fantastic time at Daintree.

 

READ MORE

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Exploring national parks in a wheelchair

Top 5 nature adventures with teens