Rich in natural beauty, Australia has more than 500 national parks, more than any other country.
Breaking this world record, the country recently launched several new national parks, including its largest park which is 14 times the size of Singapore. Another new park is a sanctuary for rare Australian mammals seen in no other country.
The endless countryside is one of the most beautiful attributes of my home country. In area, Australia is more than 10,000 times larger than Singapore.
Within this gigantic landmass, there are more national parks than China, India, Brazil, France and the UK combined.
That’s not to say Australia has a good environmental record – it only ranks 17th in the world on Yale University’s 2022 Environmental Performance Index (epi.yale.edu), ahead of Singapore at 42. But, when it comes to national parks, Australia excels.
Within an hour’s drive of my home in Perth, there are no less than a dozen national parks. They variously feature exotic wildlife, dense forest, pristine lakes, fish-rich rivers, unique rock formations, ancient Aboriginal heritage, and even the world’s earliest life forms.
These wonders, called thrombolites, are rocks built by 4,000-year-old microorganisms that still live indoors in Yalgorup National Park (str.sg/wHUa).
Also near me are the spectacular waterfall at Serpentine National Park (str.sg/wHUR), the whitewater rapids at Avon Valley National Park (str.sg/wHUD) and the Rock Climbing Center and abseiling from Greenmount National Park ( str.sg/wHwi).
Or I can wander the majestic Jarrah forests of Helena National Park (str.sg/wHw5), tackle the rugged hiking trails of John Forrest National Park (str.sg/wHwS) and visit the sacred Aboriginal bushland of Korung National Park (str. sg/wHwT).
If I’m feeling particularly active, I can hike part of the 1,000km Bibbulmun Trail that begins in Kalamunda National Park (str.sg/wHUz) or absorb the best views in this town by hiking to the summit of Gooseberry Hill National Park ( str.sg/wHUK).