Australian National Parks
Australia is the driest continent in the world and is part of a former giant landmass, Gondwana, which connected the southern continents of Africa, Antarctica, Australia, India and South America, and broke up more than 100 million years ago. Australia's national park system recognises the need to preserve that historic connection. The Wet Tropics of Queensland, for example, contain 13 of the 19 families of the most ancient flowering plants known to survive from Gondwana times. They have now been declared a World Heritage Area by the United Nations.
Rent a 4WD Camper at any of our locations and spend a few days exploring Kakadu National Park, Fraser Island, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, the Tasmanian Wilderness or the Flinders Rangers.
- National Parks and Reserves
Under the Australian Constitution, the creation and management of national parks and other nature conservation areas is the responsibility of State governments. However, 15 parks and reserves are administered by the federal government.
They include fauna and flora reserves, conservation parks, environment parks and Aboriginal areas as well as national parks. There are also marine protected areas such as the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, to fish habitat reserves, fish sanctuaries, aquatic reserves, conservation areas, marine parks and marine and coastal parks.
- World Heritage Areas
Australia has 11 World Heritage properties, totaling 42.6 million ha. Each contains outstanding universal values. Most are also designated as national parks. Around the world, 149 countries have agreed to the World Heritage Convention, with more than 506 sites now on the World Heritage List. Some of the Australian sites are among the very few properties on the list that meet all four criteria for natural heritage or have been selected for both natural and cultural criteria.
- Great Barrier Reef
The Reef stretches over 2000 km and covers an area of almost 35 million ha on the north-east continental shelf of Australia. It runs from north of Fraser Island to the tip of Cape York and provides habitats for many forms of marine life, as well as providing a major breeding ground for humpback whales and a feeding ground for endangered species such as the dugong and green and loggerhead turtles.
- Fraser Island
Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world, stretching over 120 kilometres along the southern coast of Queensland and covering 184 000 ha. The islands massive sand deposits provide a continuous record of climatic and sea level changes over the past 700 000 years. Its complex sand dune systems are still evolving and host an enormous number of landscapes, habitats and species. The island has several barrage lakes, formed when moving sand dunes block a watercourse. The island contains 40 perched dune lakes, about half of all such lakes in the world.
- The Wet Tropics of Queensland
Located between Townsville and Cooktown on the north-east coast of Queensland, this property covers approximately 894 000 ha of one of the largest rainforest wilderness areas in Australia and is centered on the Daintree River valley. In places, the rainforest coastline is fringed with coral reefs, a rare combination in other parts of the world. The rainforest contains an almost complete record of the major stages in the evolution of plant life on Earth and provides the only habitat for many rare and highly restricted plants and animals. It contains the widest range of animal species in Australia.
- Kakadu National Park
Kakadu is located in Australia's tropical north, 120 kilometers east of Darwin and covers almost 2 million ha. Known for its natural beauty and sweeping landscapes, Kakadus's focal points are its famous wetlands habitat for migratory birds and spectacular escarpments. Besides being an important site of biodiversity, the rich natural resources of Kakadu have sustained human habitation for at least 25 000 and possibly 60 000 years. It is inscribed on the World Heritage List for both cultural and natural values since it has many Aboriginal occupation sites and large natural galleries of Aboriginal art. It is co-managed by Parks Australia and the region's traditional Aboriginal owners.
- Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park covers 132 566 ha close to the center of Australia and is owned by the Anangu Aboriginal people. It contains a range of remarkable geological and landform features including the spectacular monoliths of Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (the Olgas). The park is co-managed by Parks Australia and the Anangu people. It is an important reserve illustrating the biodiversity of arid ecosystems, particularly of reptiles. It is also an invaluable example of a cultural landscape representing thousands of years of continuing Aboriginal interactions with the natural environment, under traditional Anangu procedures governed by tjukurpa (the law). Uluru has been the focus of religious, cultural, territorial and economic inter-relations among the Aboriginal peoples of the Western Desert for thousands of years. It is 340 meters high and has a circumference of 9.4 kilometers. Kata Tjuta means many heads. Kata Tjuta covers an area of 3500 ha and Mount Olga, its highest peak, is 500 meters high. The 36 steep-sided domes that makeup Kata Tjuta are located near Uluru.
- Tasmanian Wilderness
The island state of Tasmania is separated by the Bass Strait from mainland Australia. The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage area is one of the largest conservation reserves in Australia, covering about 20 percent (1.38 million ha) of Tasmania. It is one of only three temperate wilderness areas remaining in the Southern Hemisphere.
It contains rocks of every geological period and is a major centre for plant diversity. Its Huon pines, which can be up to 2000 years old, are some of the oldest trees in the world. It is a stronghold for several animals now extinct on mainland Australia. The wilderness also contains the most southerly site yet found bearing evidence of human occupation during the last ice age. It has an outstanding universal value for its sites reflecting Aboriginal occupation, its rock art sites (one of the richest and best-preserved collections of ice-age art sites in the world), and for those sites that reflect Australia's convict past and colonialisation by forced transportation.
- Shark Bay
On the most western point of the Australian coast, covers an area of 2.3 million ha and represents a meeting-point of three major climatic regions. It contains an extraordinary number of marine and terrestrial habitats and landscapes. It is an important reserve for many endangered animals and contains diverse and abundant examples of stromatolites-the oldest form of life on Earth.
- Willandra Lakes Region
The region covers some 240 000 ha of semi-arid country in the Murray Basin in far south-western New South Wales . It contains a system of ancient lake basins formed over the last 2 million years. They are an outstanding example of the Earths evolutionary history and also preserve evidence of Aboriginal occupation that stretches back at least 40 000 years. This area also includes what is believed to be the oldest human cremation site in the world, 26 000 years old.
- Centra Eastern Rainforest Reserve
This property includes over 50 separate areas in south-eastern Queensland and north-eastern New South Wales , with a total area of 366 455 ha. The reserves include important examples of volcanic landscapes such as Mount Warning . They contain some of the worlds oldest species of animal and plant life, are an important store of biodiversity and include many rare and endangered species.
- Aboriginal Areas
Australia applies the concept of cooperative management of national parks that are located on traditionally owned land. The declaration of Aboriginal land as national parks and their subsequent listing as World Heritage Areas has greatly increased the significance of Australia 's park estate. Title to Uluru-Kata Tjuta and title (part only) to Kakadu national parks in the Northern Territory and Booderee in the Jervis Bay Territory has been granted to Aboriginal land owners. They have leased these areas back to the Director of National Parks and Wildlife (Parks Australia) to be managed as national parks for current and future generations. In conjunction with Parks Australia, management boards with Aboriginal majorities determine policy at Kakadu, Uluru and Booderee and ensure the preparation of management plans which provide direction for nature conservation and visitor management programs, as well as meeting the needs of Aboriginal land owners.
Accommodation, Caravan Parks and Camp Grounds: Big 4 ; Top Tourist Parks
Aussie Campervans can assist with your 4WD Camper rental requirements. We can also offer campervan rental, motorhome hire, 4WD car hire and 2WD car hire.
You can hire campervans and rental cars from all our locations and most companies allow one-way rentals to other destinations. Deluxe motorhomes and 4WD hire vehicles are available from Sydney to explore Kakadu National Park, Fraser Island, Flinders Ranges and the Tasmanian Wuilderness.
We work with Apollo Motorhome Holidays, Around Australia Motorhomes, Britz Rentals, Backpacker Campervans, Jucy Rentals, Kea Campers and Maui Rentals, Trailmaster Campervans and 4WD Hire Services to offer hire campervans, rental motorhomes, 4WD campers and rv's for rent.