Learn more about the educational work of the national parks
From the steppe lake to high mountains, from forest wilderness to floodplains, from raging rivers to gentle valleys: as internationally recognised protected areas, the six Austrian National Parks safeguard landscapes of wild beauty and rich biodiversity – making sure that the natural wonders are still here for us to encounter tomorrow.
Research in and about protected areas plays an important role - not only for Austria's National Parks. In addition to its social and scientific values, it serves as an important pillar for the management of protected areas worldwide. In order to promote exchange and international networking in this field, the Symposium for research in protected areas was launched in 1993 by the Hohe Tauern National Park.
From September 7th to 9th 2022, the scientific conference is to be held for the first time in Vienna.
The Sea of Trees and Moated Castle: Austria’s largest forest wilderness in the highly karstified Sengsen and rugged Reichraminger Hintergebirge mountains.
The Great Canyon
Located in the Reichraminger Hintergebirge mountain range, it only came into being thanks to the persistence of water: its “canyon bends” were shaped by the Große Bach in the dolimite rock over thousands of years.
Feichtaualm and Feichtau Seen
At the feet of the Hoher Nock lies the idyllic Feichtau mountain pasture, with its crystal-clear lakes.
Hengstpass Alpine Pastures
Surrounded by the peaks of Wasserklotz, Kampermauer, Hexenturm and Pyhrgas, the Hengstpass mountain pastures are situated in the south of the National Park. You can clearly see the transition from mountains to cultivated landscape here, resulting in rich biodiversity.
A green wilderness on a great river: between the European metropolises of Vienna and Bratislava, the Danube still flows freely and is a lifeline to many and a dynamic creative force, forming an abundance of habitats.
As part of the schlossOrth National Park Centre, the “Schlossinsel” floodplain adventure site is a place of authentic encounter with animals, plants and habitats in the region. In addition to native species of snakes and amphibians, ground squirrels, wild bees, beetles, dragonflies and butterflies, European pool terrapins can also be spotted. Young visitors should have a great time playing on the suspension bridge, exploring the wooden bridge trail and bird’s nest.
The Orth wetlands are a particularly dynamic habitat. Where two tributaries connect with the River Danube, the landscape is constantly changing and creates the ideal conditions for amphibians, reptiles, fish, birds and water-based insects. Bodies of water in the Orth islands have also become inviting wild bathing sites and the basis for natural forests and unspoilt primeval forests.
View from Braunsberg
A magnificent 360° panorama over the floodplain and Marchfeld opens up the high plateau of Braunsberg. The view can reach as far as Bratislava in Slovakia.
Green Canyon of the Wild Cats: In conjunction with Národni Park Podyjí, the Thaya Valley National Park protects one of the finest and most biodiverse valley landscapes in all of Europe. With its forest wilderness and idyllic river landscape, this gem in the High North provides a habitat to animals such as the European wildcat, which seemed to have disappeared from Austria a long time ago.
The landscape-shaping force and life-giving energy of the Thaya becomes impressively tangible at the Überstieg viewing point.
The 1.8 km long circular trail is perfectly suited for going on a comfortable hike around the National Park and is very popular for families.
The cool, wild, romantic Kajabachtal valley allows for diverse encounters with the flora and fauna in the protected area.
So far. So good. Located at the edge of the Alps and western fringe of the Pannonian lowlands, the National Park protects a biological border region of rich biodiversity. For thousands and thousands of migratory birds, the only steppe national park in Austria means one thing above all else: an essential stop off between their winter habitat and breeding ground.
Observation Tower at Sandeck
The reconstructed watchtower at Illmitzer Sandeck provides a view over the mighty reed belt of the National Park nature zone.
From the Lake Dam to the Stinkersee Lakes
With the large salt ponds of the Upper and Lower Stinkersee, it includes a particularly gentle landscape with various opportunities for bird watching.
Great Bustards’ Courtship Display in Waasen-Hanság
A real highlight for bird watchers. It takes place from the beginning of April until the middle of May and can be observed very clearly from the heights on the Andau and Tadten side.
Steep Cliffs and Wild Water: Dominated by the uninhibited, raging Enns River and the limestone mountains of the Reichenstein, Buchstein and Hochtor Group, the Gesäuse National Park conceals an inaccessible landscape and a special wealth of species of endemic plants, insects and arachnids. This is how the protected area truly nurtures the unique treasures of our natural heritage.
This mountain of extremes is a stark reflection of the variety and contrast of the Gesäuse’s character: hostile and yet popular, forbidding yet approachable, immoveable and fragile.
Theme Trail „Wilder John“
Invites visitors to walk along the renaturalised Johnsbach creek. This legend is one fascinating story. The history of “setting the wild river free” is made into an adventure for the whole family to enjoy.
Gesäuse Photography School
Impressive starlit skies, numerous species of orchid and rugged natural beauty make the Gesäuse a hotspot for nature photography.
Magnificent Alpine Nature at its Finest: From the valleys to the summit regions of the mighty 3000 metre peaks, the oldest and largest protected area in Austria preserves habitats of rich biodiversity. With 342 glaciers, the internationally recognised wilderness area of the Sulzbach valleys and traditional cultivated landscapes, the High Mountains National Park is an area filled with a special kind of nature as well as research and adventure.
In addition to sinkholes, shafts, caves, atypical karst formations and the famous Tauern Window, the tour also provides amazing views over the range of peaks.
Theme trail Rauriser Urwald
The Rauris primeval forest is a very special natural gem with fenland ponds, old spiky spruces, fallen trees and clearings you would expect to find in a fairytale.
Innergschlöss Glacier Trail
Takes you on a journey into the “eternal ice” of the core zone. On the tour to the Schlatenkees glacier (at the foot of the Grossvenediger), visitors will find out about the landscape-forming force of the glaciers and the consequences of climate change.
National parks are not just areas where wildlife is protected and visitors can experience adventure, but they can also be research laboratories and hotspots for nature-based learning. Whether it be long-term monitoring, wildcat surveys, greylag goose watching or educational projects under the banner of climate protection: our national parks establish facts, impart valuable knowledge and invoke a passion for nature.