There are more than 500 national parks in Australia covering more than 28 million hectares of designated land. The parks are large areas that are protected against commercial activities and farming. Not only are the natural wonders and historical sites along with wildlife and plants preserved, but the parks are also meant to give visitors a chance to learn about Australia’s unique culture and heritage, mostly Aboriginal. The locations of the parks are in a variety of areas such as deserts, alps, reefs and forests.
Western Australia’s Purnululu National Park
Has the Bungle Bungle Range containing unusual landforms shaped like beehives that were created by erosion and uplift over 20 million years. Used as a hunting ground by the Aborigines for thousands of years as they collected the abundant animal and plant life during the wet season, it contains burial sites and artwork. Living areas were granted within the park for the land’s traditional Aboriginal owners, and they contribute to the cultural awareness and management of this World Heritage Site, which was inscribed in 2005.
Kakadu National Park
Has more than 1,600 plant species, 10,000 species of insects, over 280 types of birds along with mammal and freshwater species. The Aborigines have lived in this area for approximately 20,000 to 40,000 years, and approximately 500 traditional owners still live in the park. There are over 5,000 art sites showing this culture. Kakadu is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, which is an honor because it is an international register of outstanding cultural properties that have natural significance.
Daintree National Park
Is also listed with World Heritage and is basically the same as it has been for the past 110 million years. A main feature is the rare plants that are key links in evolution. Its Discovery Centre has won multiple awards and has a theater, all-weather verandas and the latest in touch-screen technology. There is an aerial walkway that links the display center to the Canopy Tower. You can take a four-wheel-drive tour into the rain forests or take a cruise to spot crocodiles and birds on the Daintree River. Fishermen love to come here and battle the big barramundi.
The Royal National Park south of Sydney
Was renamed after Queen Elizabeth II paid a visit in 1955. Proclaimed in April of 1879, it was the first national park in Australia and was the second of the world’s national parks, the first being the United States’ Yellowstone National Park. In the early days, it was used mostly as an amusement area with a dance hall and a train line between two towns.
Flinders Ranges National Park contains fossil remains of geological history, Aboriginal rock art sites, and the ruins of an early settlement when Europeans farmed the land in the 1880s. Unique plants and animals that have evolved and adapted to the unusually arid landscape roam here. This is also the traditional home of the Adnyamathanhas, and their history and culture is recounted here. The Wilpena Pound located in the park is an immense crater which is the erosion of a mountain range over millions of years. A natural amphitheater, it covers more than 80 square kilometers and was used by the European settlers to graze their stock because it could be easily rounded up.
Australia is well known for its beautiful nature and extremely rich ecosystem. Seeing national parks can be one of your activities when visiting this country. Whether it is The Royal National Park or Daintree, being a part of the nature can bring you an amazing sense of relaxation and take you far away from everyday city life.Categories: Curiosities
Localities: Australia, Oceania, Sydney
Travel Themes: Nature