Beautiful national parks across Australia and New Zealand
When it comes to the natural world, the Australasian continent is one of the most fascinating and diverse places on the planet. With a huge range of climates, landscapes and ecosystems packed into such a (relatively!) small area, it's almost impossible to run out of beautiful places to explore. From the corals of the Great Barrier Reef to the mountain parks of North Island, New Zealand, it's a paradise for those who love to get back to nature and discover vibrant new destinations.
That's why we've been doing a little exploring of our own this week. Take a look at through our list of the very best National Parks across Australia and New Zealand. These protected spaces have been allowed to flourish uninhibited by the presence of humans, making them some of the most beautiful places on earth.
Let's take a stroll.
Daintree, North Queensland
The Daintree Rainforest is one of the most bio-diverse environments on the planet. It has a huge number of species, both flora and fauna, that can't be found anywhere else in the world. Meet the Musky Rat-Kangaroo, the Boyd's Forest Dragon and the Lesser Sooty Owl - all unique to this special part of the world. Although much of the forest remains still unexplored, there are paths that allow you to go deep into the woods on foot. Join a Daintree tour and discover one of the oldest rainforests in the world.
Fiordland National Park, South Island New Zealand
Doubtful and Milford Sounds makeup some of the most dramatic landscapes a traveller could hope to see. Their dramatic granite peaks rise straight up out of the pristine waters of the Fiords for a sight that will truly leave you speechless. It's the perfect place for some quiet time in nature. On your way out of the park, don't forget to check out Te Anau lake for a spot of wild swimming. It's the largest body of freshwater in the whole of Australasia.
Kakadu, Northern Territory
This huge natural paradise is home to almost 2000 different plants and animals, aboriginal rock paintings, gorgeous waterfalls and true Australian billabongs. There's so much to explore that it's hard to know where to start. The Jabiru Crocodile hotel - yes, that's a hotel shaped like the park's toothiest resident - is a great place to venture out from as you hunt down sights of Kakadu's most beautiful vistas. Make sure you check out the unbelievably beautiful Gunlom Falls and the mesmerising Nourlangie Rock. I wouldn't go swimming in any wild lakes, though. You never know what might be lurking just beneath the surface...
Tasmania is an often-overlooked slice of this incredible part of the world. That's a real shame, as it happens to hold some of the most beautiful sights. The Freycinet Penninsula curves around a beautiful bay which is overshadowed by looming pink granite peaks known as 'the Hazards'. It has a curious landscape of rough heathland with white sandy beaches and tranquil waters, making it the perfect location for hiking and outdoor pursuits. Camp out in one of its many campsites for the true Tasmanian wilderness experience.
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory
Of course, we couldn't forget this magnificent park, known as the 'Red Centre' - home to Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kata Tjuta and more of Australia's world-famous geological formations. The site has an almost holy atmosphere and is deeply connected to Australia's aboriginal heritage. Visit the Walkatjara Art Centre to learn about the local Anangu culture before heading out to see landmarks like Pioneer Lookout and the magnificent Field of Light installation. If you go nowhere else in Australia, you must visit the Red Centre.
You can explore all these amazing National Parks, as well as loads of other beautiful destinations, all on our tours page. Start your journey today.