There are seven national parks in Austria. These parks have a combined area of 2,376 km², which is 2.8% of the total area of Austria. They include each of Austria’s most important natural landscape types — alluvial forest, Alpine massif, Pannonian steppe and rocky valleys. Austria’s national parks are: Donau-Auen National Park, Gesäuse National Park, Hohe Tauern National Park — Hohe Tauern, Kalkalpen National Park, Neusiedler See – Seewinkel National Park — Neusiedler See, Nockberge National Park, Thayatal National Park — Thaya valley. Except for Nockberge National Park, all of Austria’s national parks meets ICUN Category II standards. The parks are managed by contracts between one or more of the federal states and the Austrian government. The financing is shared equally between the Austrian government and the province. The parks provide the public with educational services, information, and leisure activities.
List of national parks and national forests in Austria:
1. Danube-Auen National Park and national forests
The Danube-Auen National Park (German: Nationalpark Donau-Auen) covers 93 square kilometres in Vienna and Lower Austria and is one of the largest remaining floodplains of the Danube in Middle Europe. The park was designated an IUCN category II national park and spans the areas of Vienna (Lobau), Groß-Enzersdorf, Orth an der Donau, Eckartsau, Engelhartstetten, Hainburg, Bad Deutsch-Altenburg, Petronell-Carnuntum, Regelsbrunn, Haslau-Maria Ellend, Fischamend and Schwechat.
2. Gesäuse National Park and national forests
The Gesäuse National Park is a national park in the Austrian state of Styria. Located in the mountainous Upper Styrian region, it covers large parts of the Gesäuse range within the Ennstal Alps and the steep water gap of the Enns river between Admont and Hieflau. The area also covers parts of the municipal areas of Johnsbach, Weng, Landl and Sankt Gallen. The national park currently covers 110 km², with another 15 km² planned. It was established on October 26, 2002. The highest mountain is Hochtor at 2,369 m (7,772 ft).
3. Hohe Tauern National Park and national forests
The Hohe Tauern or High Tauern (pl.) are a mountain range on the main chain of the Central Eastern Alps, comprising the highest peaks east of the Brenner Pass. The crest forms the southern border of the Austrian state of Salzburg with Carinthia and East Tyrol, while a small part in the southwest belongs to the Italian province of South Tyrol. The range includes Austria’s highest mountain, the Grossglockner.
4. Neusiedler See – Seewinkel National Park and national forests
Lake Neusiedl (German: Neusiedler See) or Fertő (Hungarian: Fertő tó; Croatian: Nežidersko jezero, Niuzaljsko jezero; Slovene: Nežidersko jezero) is the second largest steppe lake in Central Europe, straddling the Austrian–Hungarian border. The lake covers 315 km², of which 240 km² is on the Austrian side and 75 km² on the Hungarian side. The lake’s drainage basin has an area of about 1,120 km². From north to south, the lake is about 36 km long, and it is between 6 km and 12 km wide from east to west. On average, the lake’s surface is 115.45 m above the Adriatic Sea and the lake is no more than 1.8 m deep.
5. Thaya National Park and national forests
The Thaya (Czech: Dyje [ˈdɪjɛ]) is a river in Central Europe, tributary to the Morava River. It is about 235 km long and meanders from west to east in the border area between Lower Austria (Austria) and South Moravia (Czech Republic), but does not exactly follow the border in most parts. Its source is in two smaller rivers, namely the German Thaya (Deutsche Thaya) and the Moravian Thaya (Czech: Moravská Dyje, German: Mährische Thaya), the confluence of which is located at Raabs. Its name means “the inert”. In its upper reaches, the Thaya flows through deep gorges, along which it passes many castles and chateaus. In Moravia, it has been dammed in several locations.
Other National Park and national forests in Austria
There’re some other national parks and national forests in Austria, that we don’t have enough time and information to list them here. They are: Kalkalpen national parks and national forests, and Nockberge national parks and national forests.