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Western Australia: the 5 must-see parks

You want to visit Australia’s west coast but don’t know which national park is worth a visit. In this article, I propose the 5 must-see parks of Western Australia. Don’t forget during your stay!

The unmissable parks of Western Australia

Cape Le Grand National Park: paradise beaches and kangaroos

Let’s start from the south with one of my favourites in Western Australia: Cape Le Grand National Park.

You’ve probably already seen this well-known photo of an Australian beach with whiter sand than ever before and water so blue it looks unreal. All with some kangaroos leaping out of nowhere or quietly lying on the sand basking in the pill. Yes, yes, you’ve arrived at Lucky Bay, Cape Le Grand’s must-see national park beach.

This park is 765km from Perth and you can access it via the city of Esperance. There are different views and beaches to visit and you can stay and sleep inside the park if you wish in the licensed campsites.

Nambung National Park and the Pinnacles Desert

190 kilometres north of Perth, you’ll find a somewhat surprising park, Nambung Park and its pinnacle desert. This desert is actually a set of limestone formations; natural menhirs of all sizes and shapes that arise from the ground.
The Pinnacles

Kalbarri National Park, between gorges and cliffs

If you arrive from the south, this park will be one of the first where you can observe the cliffs of a bright orange. As well as great views of the Murchison River Gorge that passes through this park.
Murchison River Kalbarri NP
You can also do some very nice hikes along the river from 1 to 5 days if you are motivated. But don’t forget to provide water, lots of water. This part of Western Australia can reach fairly high temperatures in summer.

Cape Range National Park – Ningaloo Reef

You have not had the opportunity to visit the Great Barrier Reef on the other coast of Australia. Do not worry! The Exmouth area and Cape Range National Park hides a fabulous forgotten treasure trove of tourists called Ningaloo Reef.
While the coral reef in Cairns is slowly being destroyed by the mass of tourists, Western Australia and the city of Exmouth treasure its fabulous coastline and the magnificent maritime world that surrounds it.
Here, no big boats filled with a hundred inexperienced tourists willing to do anything to have their picture with a turtle (let’s kill the coral present by walking or sitting on it like a common rock). Not. You will find local companies, respectful of their environment and committed to their incredible heritage. Sure, boat tours for snorkelling or diving will be a little more expensive than in Cairns but you will be a small number on the boat and the marine biologists present will advise you and inform you about the protection of the ocean.
Ningaloo Reef Turtle
If you enjoy diving and snorkelling, plan to stay a few days on site inside the park. Many campsites are available (to be booked in advance during the season) and at the foot of snorkelling spots in order to admire the beauty of this coast. And for others, there are also some very nice walks to do along the Cape Range NP.

Karijini National Park: the oasis of Western Australia

Located in Western Australia’s driest region, Pilbara, Karijini Park is an “oasis in the desert”. With its many natural pools, gorges and waterfalls, it is undoubtedly one of the most traveller’s favourite national parks. With an area of 6,274 km2, it is The second largest national park in Australia after Kakadu Park in the north. It’s impossible not to mention it in the five must-see parks in Western Australia.
It is therefore preferable to give several days to this park to enjoy it. You can also sleep here in the park which will allow you to start your hikes at dawn and thus avoid the heat that will arrive soon enough.
The most beautiful gorges are probably Weano Gorge and Dales Gorge. The latter offers a fantastic hike to the edge of the gorge; through Fortescue Falls, Circular Pool and Fern Pool – the park’s most spectacular swimming pools and waterfalls.

How much does it cost to enter WA National Parks?

Entry to Western Australia’s national parks are all priced at AUD $13 per vehicle.
Find all the information needed for national parks on their official website.
Tip: Think about enquiring about the “Holiday Park Pass” – This pass will allow you to enter ALL WA State National Parks as you like and as many times as you want on a 4-week period for only AUD $48/vehicle.

Prices for campsites in national parks

As with admissions, campsites are at the same price in all Western Australia parks.
Find all the information needed at the campsites on their official website.
No facilities or only basic (dry toilets)AUD $8
With facilities such as: shower, toilet, basic
kitchen, picnic tables.
AUD $11

One last tip for the road: During my road trip to Western Australia, many travellers urged me to visit François Péron National Park in Shark Bay. Unfortunately we could not access it because we were travelling by van and this park is clearly dedicated to 4x4s. So I can not give my opinion on this park in this article but I strongly advise holders of a 4×4 to take a tour.

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