The National Parks Explorer site is designed as a visual guide to what is available in the majority of the national parks in NSW. It is mainly for the benefit of New South Wales residents who are familiar with the scenic beauty of the major tourist parks (which are publicised in numerous books and web sites) but are unaware of what lies in the lesser known parks.
Since the introduction of the internet, Australian state governments have increasingly provided information about each of their parks and reserves on the internet, but this is an ongoing activity, and to date, the amount of visual material is limited. In NSW, the major parks were the first to get any kind of visual treatment, but even today, half the parks have no illustrations, and those that do, have very tiny pictures. To its credit, the New South Wales web site has some marvellous maps of locations and walking tracks, but I find a picture will lure me into visiting a park faster than any other form of information, so if you are like me, then you might find this site worth exploring.
For those from interstate (or indeed, internationally), there are some pictures from some of the major tourist destinations in other East Coast states, but this material is far better covered elsewhere, and mainly serves to underline the limitations of my photographic ability. The main benefit of providing this material is so you can assess the quality of what is to be found in NSW Parks, compared to something you might be familiar with. If my pictures of Victoria’s Twelve Apostles and Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain, for example, are somewhat lacklustre (and yet we all know these are brilliant places), then an inspiring picture from some park in NSW (that you have never heard of) must be indicative of something rather special.
Have you ever wondered why it is that a lot of the most beautiful places are in national parks?
National Parks are usually declared for reasons other than their scenic beauty, but it is often the case that the natural landforms which have protected various species of plants or animals have done so because the terrain was not amenable to development. In short, spectacular mountainous terrain makes for good national parks since farms have not had the chance to decimate the local wildlife. Ergo, where there is a national park there is probably some magical landform which has protected that area over the years.
Different Australian states provide varying levels of information on their local parks.
Queensland already provides professional photos for each of its parks, though the amount of additional information is somewhat limited – so everything that this site hopes to achieve has already been done for you regarding Queensland national parks – you can go there if you wish to be inspired.
Tasmania, on the other hand, has no pictures at all (except some vector images of wildlife), while Victoria has some very artistic panorama shots for each park but, in my opinion, these are not overly representative of the landforms in the parks. Many of these deficiencies will no doubt be eliminated within the next few years as broadband speeds increase and the data sizes of images become less of a problem, but for now, this site humbly hopes to plug some of these gaps.
Should you find some magical place depicted herein that you would like to visit, there are links to the state web sites that will provide you with more information on what facilities are available in the park and how to get there.
Generally speaking, the parks covered in this site are all accessible by two wheel drive car, and none of the locations have required any technical abilities (like abseiling or canyoning) to reach, though some of the best spots may require an overnight walk to get there.