Where to go if you're looking for adventure
Bushwalking is a parks mainstay, a fantastic way to really experience our diverse natural landscapes and encounter the extraordinary flora and fauna within them. Short riverside strolls, full-day rainforest walks, five-day mountain hikes - you won't run out of options.
But a walk in the park is just the beginning if you're after outdoor adventure in our national parks.
Nymboida National Park
Take on the white water of the Nymboida and Mann rivers in Nymboida National Park. Or head to one of the quieter spots for canoeing, swimming or fishing.
Where: Nymboida National Park is 50km west of Grafton in the New England tablelands.
Kanangra-Boyd National Park
Set your heart racing on an abseil down the sheer sandstone cliffs of Kanangra Walls in Kanangra-Boyd National Park. Check with local visitor information centres and on the web for information on accredited organisations offering abseiling tours.
Where: Kanangra-Boyd National Park is 180km west of Sydney near Jenolan Caves.
Solitary Islands Marine Park
Don your scuba gear and explore the underwater world of Solitary Islands Marine Park. Solitary Islands shelters more than 550 species of fish, four species of turtle and around 90 species of coral.
Where: Solitary Islands Marine Park stretches for 75km along the coast north of Coffs Harbour in north-east NSW.
Bongil Bongil National Park
Feel the wind in your face as you traverse the gravelled fire trails on your bike through the beautiful coastal forest of Bongil Bongil National Park.
Where: Bongil Bongil National Park is 10km south of Coffs Harbour on the mid-north coast of NSW.
Kosciuszko National Park
For a taste of the drover's life, head to the high country with your horse! In the northern parts of Kosciuszko National Park you can follow a network of trails, with special spots for horse camping. Before you set out, get a copy of the Australian Alps Horse Riding Code from visitor centres in the Snowy region, and check which areas are open for horse riding.
Where: Kosciuszko National Park begins about 450km south-west of Sydney.
Oxley Wild Rivers National Park
For a bird's eye view of the dramatic gorges, wild and scenic rivers, dry rainforest patches, rugged wilderness and plunging waterfalls - including the highest waterfall in NSW - charter a helicopter for an unforgettable flight over Oxley Wild Rivers National Park.
Where: Oxley Wild Rivers National Park begins about 20km east of Armidale in the New England Tablelands region of NSW.
Yuraygir National Park
Test your paddling prowess in the Sandon River in Yuraygir National Park. Canoe enthusiasts will also enjoy the numerous lakes within the park such as Wooloweyah Lagoon, Lake Arragan, Minnie Water and Lake Hiawatha.
Where: Yuraygir National Park is 50km east of Grafton in north-east NSW.
Nightcap National Park
Join a national parks Discovery 4WD tag-along adventure of Nightcap National Park. Our Discovery Walks, Talks and Tours program includes all kinds of national park adventures throughout the year for explorers aged five to 95.
Where: Nightcap National Park is 30km south-west of Newcastle in the hunter region of NSW.
Jenolan Karst Conservation Reserve
Experience the thrill of adventure caving as you crawl, squeeze and climb your way through the winding tunnels and passageways of Jenolan Caves with just your head lamp to light the way. Adventure caving tours are led by experienced guides. Not a fan of small spaces? Try one of the regular guided cave tours at Jenolan or take yourself on a digital audio tour of Nettle Cave.
Where: Jenolan Karst Conservation Reserve is 2.5 hours west of Sydney by car.
Royal National Park
Grab your board and hit the famous surf spot beautiful Garie Beach in Royal National Park, the world’s second oldest national park. There’s a surf club at Garie Beach.
Where: Royal National Park is 32km south of Sydney.
Of course, NSW national parks also offer plenty of amazing walks. Here's a handful of the classics:
Kosciuszko National Park Summit Walk - Charlotte's Pass to Snowy River
This walk follows the old Summit Road to Mount Kosciuszko, passing through snow gums, heath and herbfields and providing extensive views of the Main Range and Snowy River. After crossing the Snowy River (4.5km) the walk climbs gradually to Seaman's Hut (6km), Rawson's Pass (8km) and the summit of Mount Kosciuszko.
Where: Kosciuszko National Park is 450-600km south-west of Sydney.
Gibraltar-Washpool 5-day World Heritage Walk
This walk is made up of a network of tracks linking the Gibraltar Range and Washpool national parks. Dramatic and diverse changes in the landscape are typical on the walk, from dry eucalypt forests amid ridges and granite tors to lush rainforests with plunging waterfalls. In spring and summer the heathlands, swamps and open woodlands erupt in a colourful display of wildflowers. Despite the difficult terrain, the walk is not rigorous. Travelling along roads, fire trails and walking tracks, most walkers allow 5 days to do the 40 km main loop, and include most of the optional side walks, which can add another 40 km. The walk starts and ends in the Gibraltar Range National Park visitor centre.
Where: Gibraltar Range National Park is around 80km east of Glen Inness in the New England Tablelands region of NSW.
Ben Boyd National Park Light to Light Walk
The 30km Light to Light Walk links Green Cape Lightstation with Boyds Tower in Ben Boyd National Park, traversing the coast and offering up spectacular scenery along the way. Camping overnight at Saltwater Creek is the best way to break the walk into two days, however an additional night is possible at Bittangabee Bay. Or stay at the Lightstation's cottages for a well-earned rest after the walk.
Where: Ben Boyd National Park is in two sections north and south of Eden on the far south coast of NSW.
Page last updated: 16 August 2011