Sydney / Destinations / Beautiful NSW National Parks for an Adventurous Weekend Getaway

Beautiful NSW National Parks for an Adventurous Weekend Getaway

Pristine coastlines to sweeping outback ranges, the National Parks in NSW are a veritable playground for outdoor enthusiasts.

Bouddi National Park

Overflowing with natural goodness, the National Parks of NSW are nothing short of stunning. From the spectacular coastline with enormous sandstone cliffs and secluded beaches to the dense bushland and deserted plains as far as the eye can see – the National Parks in NSW literally has it all. Whether you're day-tripping or heading for a camping adventure, the best way to explore everything these parks have to offer is on foot. So, lace up your hiking boots and throw a swag on your back, because we've rounded up the must-visit National Parks in NSW.  

Royal National Park 

Sitting just south of Sydney, and spanning across a whopping 15,000 hectares of pristine bushland and coastline is Australia's oldest National Park, the Royal National Park. From scenic lookouts to secluded beaches to whimsical waterfalls, there is so much to explore. Hiking trails lead to the iconic Wedding Cake Rock and its incredible vistas (perfect for whale watching), and the Figure 8 Pools is a natural swimming spot that has propelled to Insta fame. Get your heart rate up trail running, mountain biking, and hiking, plus there are plenty of places to pitch a tent.  

Park Entry: $12 per vehicle per day 

Hours: 7 am to 8.30 pm

The Blue Mountains
Blue Mountains National Park

From Sydney, head inland to the spectacular Blue Mountains region – one of the most visited National Parks in NSW, thanks to the iconic Three Sisters (a towering sandstone formation) and Echo Point Lookout. Forming part of the Great Dividing Range, this expansive area boasts untouched wilderness, that's best explored on foot. A network of trails that range from short strolls to multi-day hikes winds through the mountains. There's also mountain biking, abseiling, rock climbing, waterfalls and swimming holes, camping and 4WD touring. There are various access points to the national park, but Katoomba is the most popular.  

Park Entry: $8 per vehicle per day applies only at attractions in the Glenbrook area

Hours: Always open

Yarrangobilly - NSW Parks
Kosciuszko National Park

This must-visit National Park in NSW may be home to Australia's highest mountain, but it's the ski fields of Thredbo and Perisher that have put Kosciuszko National Park on the world stage. But don't be fooled. There is so much more to this region then ski resorts, alpine hikes and mountain biking. You can camp, horse ride, and paddle along the river in the Lower Snowy River area. Yarrangobilly in the northern reaches of Kosciuszko has caving and thermal pools, while The Tumut area is all about water sports, wildlife and waterfalls. There are plenty of accommodation options, from alpine lodges to heritage cottages to camping grounds. 

Park Entry: $17 per vehicle per day (winter peak season June to Oct, $29 per vehicle per day)

Park Hours: Always open (weather dependent)

Bouddi National Park
Bouddi National Park

Picture-perfect Bouddi National Park is one the Central Coast's biggest drawcards. And it's easy to see why with its array of walking trails that lead to secluded bays, beaches and camping spots. Great for hikers, mountain biking and trail running, the best way to experience this NSW National Park is via the Bouddi National Park Coastal Walk. Stretching eight-kilometres between Putty Beach and MacMasters Beach, hikers traverse beaches, rainforests, boardwalks and beaches. Yet, it's Gerrin Point Lookout that has stunning views of the coastline and during whale migration season.   

Park Entry: $8 per vehicle per day in the Putty Beach area only

Park Hours: Always open

Mungo National Park - NSW Parks
Mungo National Park

Rich in indigenous history, the World Heritage Mungo National Park in south-western NSW is home to the famous Mungo Lady and Mungo Man – the world's oldest human cremations. Of great significance to the Ngyiampaa, Mutthi Mutthi and Southern Paakantyi people, the 42,000-year-old ritual burials, along with past human footprints, speaks to the fascinating history of Indigenous Australians. Explore the area on a guided tour, visit the Walls of China – sculptured sand and clay formations. Camp near Lake Mungo or spend a night at Mungo Shearer's Quarters.  

Park Entry: $8 per vehicle per day 

Park Hours: Always open

white sands, jervis bay national park
Jervis Bay National Park & Booderee National Park 

On the South Coast of NSW, these two National Parks sit side-by-side, hugging Jervis Bay Marine Park's shoreline, in what is an outdoor enthusiast dream. Pristine and oh so alluring, the white sandy foreshore of Hyams Beach graces many a postcard, and White Sands Walk and Scribbly Gum track soaks up the views. Inside Booderee National Park, camping spots are highly prized for their access to some of the country's finest beaches, such as Green Patch Beach and Murrays Beach. Yet, it's the beaches that can only be accessed by boat or hiking trails that truly delight in this NSW National Park. 

Park Entry: $13 per vehicle for a two-day pass (Booderee National Park) 

Park Hours: Always open

Nightcap National Park - NSW parks
Nightcap National Park

Located in the Byron Bay Hinterland in north-eastern NSW, this World Heritage-listed rainforest is a popular day trip for the Byron crowd. It's lush, green and filled with wildlife. The parks biggest attraction is Minyon Falls Lookout, which has views of the waterfall, rainforest and out towards the coast. Rest up at the picnic and barbeque facilities before hitting the Minyon Falls Walking Track, leading to the base of the falls and the natural pool – perfect for cooling off. This NSW National Park is also known for its glow worms, mountain biking and walking trails. 

Park Entry: Free 

Park Hours: Always open

New England - NSW Parks
New England National Park

In the Northern Tablelands of NSW, just outside of Armidale is the New England National Park. Thanks to its winning location, this National Park in NSW is much quieter than many others, making it the perfect getaway that seems worlds away from it all. Wander through the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area and take in the sweeping views of the Great Escarpment. Hikes range from short strolls to multi-day hikes with camping grounds sprinkled throughout. Or choose from one of the cottages in the park.  

Park Entry: Free 

Park Hours: Always open

Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park - NSW Parks
Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park

In Sydney's north, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, in all its natural beauty, has long charmed Sydneysiders with its network of hiking trails that lead to jaw-dropping views over Pittwater and Hawkesbury River. Walk up to Barrenjoey Lighthouse in Palm Beach for 360-degree views of the coastline, picnic in Bobbin Head's parklands, and launch a boat at Akuna Bay or set sail along Pittwater. Ku-ring-gai Chase is one of the National Parks in NSW that the Great North Walk passes through, and for those who want a night beneath the stars, The Basin is the parks only campground.

Park Entry: $12 per vehicle per day

Park Hours: Sunrise to sunset

Sugarloaf Point - Myall Lakes National Park
Myall Lakes National Park 

North of Newcastle is the beautiful Myall Lakes National Park. With campgrounds in abundance, plan to spend a few nights here so you can explore the many walking trails and waterways. Bounded by water, you'll be spending most of your time splashing around in the shallow waters or paddling to secluded bays and beaches. The national park boasts 40km of beaches which are ideal for swimming and surfing, plus there are plenty of fishing opportunities.  

Park Entry: $8 per vehicle per day

Park Hours: Always open

Outback plains to soaring mountain ranges to sweeping coastal views to lush rainforests, the National Parks of NSW are a veritable playground for nature bound adventures. To discover more of what you can do inside these national parks, check out our edit of the Blue Mountain hikes that will leave you breathless and the best walks in the Royal National Park. 


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