The ultimate backyard for days out with family and friends
From canopy-covered rainforests and eucalypt-scented bushland to sparkling sandy beaches, NSW national parks offer up a mix of stunning settings, healthy environments and great open spaces that make for a truly great day out with family and friends.
Throughout the national parks website, the symbols for each park tell you what’s on offer so you can plan your visit, including whether there are:
Not sure where to start? Here’s a taster:
Sydney Harbour National Park
Gather friends for a day out with a difference and picnic with stunning views at one of Sydney’s harbour islands – Shark Island, Clark Island or Rodd Island. Or try Bradleys Head in Mosman or Nielsen Park in Vaucluse for lunch with spectacular backdrops.
Where: Sydney Harbour National Park is scattered around Sydney Harbour and includes the harbour islands.
Border Ranges National Park
Enjoy lunch in the sun in the Antarctic Beech picnic area of the World Heritage-listed Border Ranges National Park – a rainforest park on the rim of a vast, ancient volcano. Afterwards, head to the Pinnacle Lookout for sensational views of Mt Warning and all the way to the coast.
Where: Border Ranges National Park is 38km west of Murwillumbah in far north-east of NSW.
Garigal National Park
Escape the city pace and head to Davidson picnic area on Middle Harbour in Garigal National Park, a popular spot for boating and fishing surrounded by bush, sandstone and great water views.
Where: Garigal National Park is 12km north of the Sydney CBD.
Bongil Bongil National Park
Choose your spot of calm in Bongil Bongil National Park – beautiful beaches and cool rainforests offer tempting escapes, while a canoe through the estuaries with the kids will get them up close with the park’s abundant bird life.
Where: Bongil Bongil National Park is 10km south of Coffs Harbour on the mid-north coast of NSW.
Morton National Park
A southern highlands day trip highlight, Morton National Park offers pleasant picnic spots and spectacular lookouts taking in impressive waterfalls and sandstone scenery. Fancy leaving the lunch prep to someone else? Stop at the Falls Café at the Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre.
Where: Morton National Park is 150-200km south-west of Sydney.
Bents Basin State Conservation Area
Enjoy an active outdoor day on the Nepean River at Bents Basin – get the barbecue going for a long lunch and cool off in the afternoon with a swim or take a canoe out on the river.
Where: Bents Basin State Conservation Area is 60km west of Sydney and 25km south of Penrith.
Goulburn River National Park
Take the kids on a wildlife spotting adventure in Goulburn River National Park. Settle in for lunch at one of a number of excellent picnic sites where you can and watch for the emus, wombats, wallabies, goannas, platypuses and the variety of birds that thrive in the park.
Where: Goulburn River National Park is 45km north-east of Mudgee.
Mann River Nature Reserve
Spread your rug on a smooth boulder beside the Mann River in this lovely nature reserve nestled among the magnificent mountain scenery east of the Great Dividing Range. The creeks and rivers are great for rock-hopping, river-side strolling, swimming and canoeing.
Where: Mann River Nature Reserve is 48km east of Glen Innes.
Page last updated: 27 February 2011