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The Best National Parks in WA You Need to Visit at Least Once

If you're planning a trip to the west coast, here are six best national parks in WA that deserve a spot on your itinerary.

Cathedral Gorge at Purnululu National Park (Image Credit: Roxanne Pendreigh)

Embark on an adventure through Western Australia's awe-inspiring national parks, where breathtakingly rugged gorges, ancient rock formations, panoramic vistas and unique wildlife await. 

Immerse yourself in the crystal-clear rock pools of Karijini National Park for a revitalizing dip, uncover the enigmatic beauty of the Bungle Bungles within the UNESCO-listed Purnululu National Park, or marvel at the surreal landscape of the Pinnacles in Nambung National Park.

There's all of that and more when traversing around the best national parks in WA; each park a promise of exploration and wonder amidst the captivating and diverse natural landscapes this state is so well known for.

What are you waiting for? Pull on your hiking boots and start your journey today; they're all worthy experiences to add to your bucket list. Here are our top picks. 

Karijini National Park (Image Credit: Annabel Claire)

Karijini National Park

Karijini National Park is a jaw-droppingly stunning wilderness in the rugged Pilbara region of WA. It's well-known for its gorgeous landscapes; think deep gorges, towering cliffs, pristine waterfalls and crystal clear rock pools. Take exhilarating hikes through the gorges (Dales Gorge, Weano Gorge, and Hancock Gorge are some of the must-sees), each offering its own spectacular scenery and natural wonders. 

Highlights include swimming in the impossibly clear  waters of Fern Pool, navigating through narrow chasms in Hancock Gorge, and marvelling at the majestic Fortescue Falls. Camping facilities are available within the park, so you can immerse yourself fully in its breathtaking beauty. 

Purnululu National Park (Bungle Bungle Range) (Image Credit: Western Australia)

Purnululu National Park (Bungle Bungle Range)

Recognised for its iconic beehive-shaped domes, Purnululu National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a testament to the power of nature. These striking geological formations, composed of sandstone and conglomerate rock, create a surreal and incredibly unique landscape. Explore the maze-like formations on foot or take a scenic flight for a super-memorable bird's-eye view. 

Don't miss the mesmerising Cathedral Gorge, which leads to a phenomenal natural amphitheatre carved into the rock.

Pinnacles Desert (Image Credit: Western Australia)

Nambung National Park

Home to one of Australia's most iconic landscapes, the Pinnacles Desert in Nambung National Park is a surreal sight to behold. Wander among thousands of limestone pillars rising from the golden sands, sculpted by centuries of wind and weather. As the sun sets, you can watch the shadows dance across the ancient formations, casting an otherworldly glow.

The Pinnacles Desert Discovery Centre provides insights into the geological and cultural significance of this unique landscape, making it a must-visit destination for anyone intrigued by natural history and geological formations.

Kalbarri National Park (Image Credit: Australia's Coral Coast)

Kalbarri National Park

At the mouth of the Murchison River, Kalbarri National Park is a paradise for outdoor exploring. Hike through ancient gorges carved into red sandstone, admire panoramic views from stunning lookout points, and cool off with a refreshing swim beneath cascading waterfalls.  

Nature's Window, a natural rock arch framing stunning views of the Murchison River Gorge, is an absolute must-see (and an essential photo opp). Other highlights include the Z-Bend lookout, where you can peer into the depths of the gorge below, and the picturesque Kalbarri Coastal Cliffs, offering panoramic views of the Indian Ocean and rugged coastline.

Mount Augustus National Park (Image Credit: Rob Mulally)

Mount Augustus National Park 

Tucked away in the heart of Western Australia, Mount Augustus is a true hidden gem that often escapes the limelight of its more famous sibling, Uluru. Mount Augustus National Park, located in the Gascoyne region, is home to the impressive Mount Augustus, known as Burringurrah by the local Wadjari Aboriginal people. 

While not as widely recognised as Uluru, Mount Augustus is twice as big and holds the title of the world's largest monocline – an immense rock structure that rises dramatically from the surrounding plains. Located 460 km east of Carnarvon, the Mount Augustus rock itself is about eight kilometres long and covers an area of 4,795 hectares within Mount Augustus National Park. The granite rock that lies beneath Mount Augustus is 1,650 million years old. 

Francois Peron National Park (Image Credit: Explore Parks WA)

Francois Peron National Park

Francois Peron National Park, on the shores of Shark Bay, is a pristine wilderness that boasts red sand dunes, turquoise bays, and diverse ecosystems. The park is well-known for its abundant wildlife, including kangaroos, emus, dolphins, and plenty of bird species. If you’re in a 4WD, you can explore and venture into remote coastal areas that are otherwise inaccessible.

Shell Beach, with its millions of tiny white Shark Bay cockle shells stretching as far as they eye can see along the coastline, is a fascinating natural wonder and an incredible sight. Visit the historic Peron Homestead, and take the opportunity to relax on secluded beaches, surrounded by the most beautiful coastal scenery.

While you’re on the west coast exploring the beautiful national parks of Western Australia, be sure to check out some of the best things to do in Margaret River, York, Busselton and Cervantes, or peruse our list of the best restaurants in Perth. Exploring never looked (or tasted) better!

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