Explore - NSW National Parks eNewsletter
Also available online at www.environment.nsw.gov.au/explore
News in Brief Tourism and Partnerships Places and Experiences Happenings and Events

Welcome to this Issue

Welcome to our latest issue of Explore, the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service's (NPWS) tourism and partnerships newsletter. Explore showcases NPWS's sustainable tourism activities, profiles successful tourism products and partnerships, communicates happenings and events, tourism and visitor trends and general visitor news.

In this issue, we hit the go live button on a new ‘commercial tours and activities’ section of our website, present the exciting new Pilliga Forest Discovery Centre, and profile some great tour, training and volunteering partnerships in the field.

NEWS IN REVIEW

Tour operators go live on NPWS website

NPWS has taken a significant step to support the promotion of licensed commercial recreation and tour operators in NSW’s national parks with the recent launch of a dedicated ‘Commercial tours and activities’ area on the NPWS website.

Diving at Shelly BeachCommercial recreation and tour operators play an invaluable role in partnership with NPWS to promote NSW’s national parks and encourage visitors to appreciate and enjoy them. To ensure a balance between conservation of our unique natural and cultural heritage and commercial recreational use, NPWS licenses commercial operators who offer guided tours, instructional or educational courses and other leisure activities in NSW’s national parks and reserves. 

The web initiative seeks to build on this partnership and encourage enhanced participation and visitation by ensuring that quality information is available on the licensed guided tours and activities available in our national parks.

The new web area currently profiles more than 60 licensed operators offering guided tours and activities ranging from coach and cultural tours to rock climbing, bushwalking, wildlife observation, fitness training, four-wheel driving, surfing and more. A second round of profiling is currently underway, with more operators to be listed shortly.

Visitors to the site can search for tour operators by name, location or activity. Commercial operator profiles include product overviews and links to operator websites, as well as awards and accreditations.

The NPWS web pages received around 2.2 million visits in 2008 and the addition of commercial tour and activity information is an important enhancement for visitors to the site. The 'Commercial tours and activities' area, which went live in mid-April, has already been viewed more than a thousand times. NPWS has received great feedback on the profiles to date and is keen to have all its licensed operators on the site to encourage visitors to get out there and enjoy our parks.

Profiling licensed operators on the NPWS website is one of the first activities in the staged roll-out of a major new state-wide commercial tour operator licensing system coming soon.

The new system, called Parks Eco Pass, will bring with it a range of benefits for both operators and NPWS, including improved clarity, consistency and certainty around licensing, the encouragement of ecologically sustainable and culturally appropriate visitor use of national parks and reserves, and higher operating standards.  

Stay tuned for the next issue of Explore and the full story on Parks Eco Pass as it's rolled out.

To visit the new 'Commercial tours and activities' area of the NPWS website, click here.


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New Pilliga gateway opens at Baradine

The largest area of semi-arid woodland in NSW has a new gateway, with the opening of the Pilliga Forest Discovery Centre at Baradine in April.

Located between Narrabri and Coonabarabran in Heart of Country NSW, the new Centre offers visitors an excellent starting point for their exploration of the region and its hidden wonders.

Investigaet the mysteries of the Pilliga ForestNPWS Northern Plains Regional Manager Rob Smith said the Centre was designed to give people a taste of what they could discover in the vast Pilliga Forest, which is around twice the size of the ACT.

"The creation of the Discovery Centre has been a community effort, with many local people sharing their stories to inspire the displays.

"The Discovery Centre features a look at the amazing historical and natural features of the Pilliga, and includes a series of tree trunks inside the building, complete with noises and a dappled light effect which actually lets you feel like you are walking through the forest.

"The building itself is also constructed on energy efficiency principles, with a solar power system feeding extra power back into the electricity grid, 150,000 litres of rainwater storage, and design features such as a long narrow shape exposing only a small amount of the building to the hot westerly sun. It also has high louvres to control air flow and reverse veneer, with bricks on the inside to improve thermal control. Even the linoleum in the kitchen is made from recycled cardboard," said Mr Smith.

The Pilliga has long attracted birdwatchers for its abundance of woodland birds, and bird routes through the forest offer visitors a chance to spot some of the 230-odd species that have been recorded in the area.

The Pilliga and its Sandstone Caves also have strong cultural significance for the Gamilaroi Aboriginal people and the Caves are best experienced on a guided Aboriginal Discovery tour.

"The Pilliga offers visitors a vast, ancient and unique landscape and we encourage people to venture off the highway and see what's behind the tree line," said Mr Smith.

The Pilliga Forest Discovery Centre is open everyday and entry is free. For more information or to book a tour, phone the Centre on 02 6843 4000.


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TOURISM & PARTNERSHIPS

Tourism partnership opens iconic island to visitors

South Solitary Island off the coast of Coffs Harbour will open for a week of exciting Discovery tours in July, the result of a successful partnership between NPWS, Precision Helicopters, Novotel Pacific Bay Resort and Coffs Coast Marketing.

South Solitary Island opens for a unique tour experience in JulyNPWS Coffs Coast Area Manager Glenn Storrie said the partnership had created a unique and innovative opportunity for people to access and experience the most remote lighthouse station on Australia's east coast.

"In partnership with local company Precision Helicopters, tours to the island will be offered to the public from 4 to 12 July this year.

"Tours include return helicopter flights to South Solitary Island - offering some spectacular views of the Coffs Coast from the air - and an interpretive guided tour of the island and its historic buildings," he said.

"Visitors will have a chance to explore the rugged beauty of the island and observe some of its majestic sea birds, which include sea eagles, crested terns and silver gulls".

South Solitary's historic lighthouse keepers' quarters were built in the 1880s and are the oldest buildings in the Coffs Harbour area. They recently underwent stabilisation works to protect their long term future.

A Coffs Coast icon that has provided navigation to passing vessels for more than 125 years, South Solitary Island is normally closed to the public to protect the breeding colonies of seabirds that reside there in the warmer months. Tours are only undertaken in winter when the birds are not nesting.

A limited number of tour places are available. For more information, visit the Coffs Coast Visitor Information Website or phone 1300 369 070.


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Ancient stories go high tech under Dubbo starry nights

Stargazers in Dubbo experienced an impressive mix of the very old and the very new in their 'Starry, Starry Night' Discovery tours in April, with NPWS and mobile telecommunications company Pivotel joining forces to deliver a unique Easter school holiday program.

Dubbo's Pivotel facility, strategically sited on a high point on the town's outskirts, is one of the many satellite tracking stations that enable Pivotel to operate the worldwide Iridium and Globalstar satellite telephone networks.

Pivotel satellite dishThe site provided the perfect backdrop for the astronomy-themed Discovery program, which included local stories of the night sky patterns by Aboriginal Traditional Owners, a planetary slide show and explanations on the workings of the universe by a local expert.

"Hosting this event with National Parks is a perfect opportunity for Pivotel to get involved in a local community activity," said Pivotel site manager Scott Mason.

"It's just great to listen to the Aboriginal stories of the stars presented by a traditional Tubbegah person, while our satellite tracking dishes whir across the sky in the background."

Senior Ranger and event facilitator Andy McQuie agreed the Pivotel site was ideal because of its low horizon and absence of bright city lights, with the high tech tracking dishes further enhancing the experience as visitors watched satellites move overhead against a backdrop of stars.

The 'Starry, Starry Night' Discovery tour program is running throughout 2009 in national parks across NSW in celebration of the International Year of Astronomy. Keep an eye out for upcoming tours on our website.


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Promotions planning underway for northern parks

NPWS has commenced work on a promotions plan for the national parks of north-east NSW in collaboration with environmental advisory group EC3 Global.

The project aims to identify short term promotional priorities and guide NPWS in its partnership efforts to promote NSW's north coast and hinterland parks and attract more visitors to the region.

Tourism stakeholders workshop"We want to identify market ready visitor opportunities across our northern parks and link these to key market segments to better match visitor needs with the experiences provided in our national parks," said Barbara Webster, NPWS Community Relations Ranger and member of the project steering committee.

"Our vision is to efficiently deliver the right message to the right people, leading to sustainable nature tourism experiences, regional economic growth, and a greater awareness of the conservation and recreation values of our parks and reserves.

"The project integrates with state-wide strategic planning currently underway for sustainable tourism and marketing of NSW's nature-based and cultural tourism experiences," said Ms Webster.

The partnership with EC3 Global has included a series of tourism stakeholder consultation workshops across north-east NSW in April to identify key opportunities and partnerships for promoting national parks as an integral part of the region's tourism offer.

"We hope one of the results of this project will be a closer working relationship with tourism operators and industry bodies to help increase the awareness and appreciation of the fantastic national park experiences on offer in north-east NSW," said Ms Webster.

For more information on the plan, contact NPWS Northern Branch Tourism and Recreation Coordinator Rod See on 02 6650 7100 or email rod.see@environment.nsw.gov.au


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Tourism training enhances Aboriginal Discovery in Snowys

NPWS is working in collaboration with community groups, state and local government and the Tumut and Brungle Wiradjuri Aboriginal Community to train Wiradjuri people in the delivery of Aboriginal cultural tours, under the highly successful DECC Aboriginal Tour Guide Training and Mentoring Program.

Blowing Valley site visitWith the support of DECC Aboriginal Partnership Funding, the program commenced in February with the selection of 14 Wiradjuri participants who are being educated in the principles and practices of tour guiding, with a focus on Aboriginal culture and interpretation of traditional knowledge.

The program trains participants to become guides within the NPWS Aboriginal Discovery program, while building the capacity of the local community to develop future business enterprises and record, preserve and disseminate local Aboriginal cultural knowledge.

Training has been delivered by NPWS and TAFE NSW, with support from Tourism NSW to ensure an awareness of how NPWS Discovery tours can link to and enhance regional tourism experiences.

Program Coordinator Mark Lees is thrilled with the success of the program to date.

"I'd like to thank all the people who have dedicated their time and skills to help ensure our participants have received the best possible introduction, mentoring and training to become quality tour guides," he said.

NPWS Aboriginal Discovery walks, talks and tours provide a unique opportunity for the general public, schools and community groups to learn about traditional Aboriginal culture, practices and customs with a local Aboriginal guide.

For more information, contact Mark Lees on 02 6947 7023 or email mark.lees@environment.nsw.gov.au.

For information on the DECC Aboriginal Tour Guide Training and Mentoring Program, contact NPWS Aboriginal Education Officer Jody Orcher on 02 9585 6883 or email jody.orcher@environment.nsw.gov.au


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Bitou bush sees volunteering partnerships flower

Efforts to eradicate noxious weeds are planting the seeds for great collaborative volunteering, writes Simon Stroud

It's an exciting time for native flora in La Perouse. After decades of suffocation by the prolific weed bitou bush, native plants at Happy Valley are making a comeback. This follows a concerted effort by NPWS, Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA), the NSW National Parks Association (NPA), and a band of enthusiastic local volunteers to clear away exotic weeds and promote the regeneration of natives including Acacia, Banksia, Leptospermum and other coastal species.

The noxious bitou bushThe localised bitou bush response in Happy Valley represents the combination of two NPWS programs designed to support environmental volunteering by CVA and NPA. The strategy involved bringing in a crew of volunteers from CVA to remove and poison Bitou Bush every day for a week, followed by a team of local volunteers mobilised by the NPA to continue bush regeneration efforts on a regular basis.

NPWS Ranger Kaiya Donovan has been overseeing the bush regeneration work in Happy Valley, and is dedicated to the long-term outcomes of the program. 

"Hopefully we'll be able to establish a regular volunteer group down here at La Perouse so that we can capitalise on this good work and not let Bitou or other weeds re-colonise," she said.

"We're committed to restoring this bushland to a natural state so that it can be appreciated by locals and tourists alike. Particularly in summer, many people come here to do Bare Island tours, swim, visit the Museum or soak up the atmosphere of a place rich in Aboriginal and European history". 

If you're interested in volunteering opportunities in NSW's national parks, you can find out more at our website, the Conservation Volunteers Australia website, and the NSW National Parks Association website.

Bitou bush - Breaking the stranglehold
Bitou bush is a highly invasive weed that arrived from South Africa in 1908. Today, it covers around 80 per cent of coastal NSW, posing the single greatest threat to NSW coastal ecosystems and biodiversity, especially along the north coast. The invasion of native plant communities by bitou bush and boneseed was listed in 1999 as a Key Threatening Process under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995. A Threat Abatement Plan aimed at tackling the problem was subsequently developed and approved in 2006 - the first for a weed species in Australia. Find out more about actions underway to deal with bitou bush on the DECC website.


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NPWS Staff Snapshot

Simon Stroud
Volunteer Coordinator
NPWS Tourism & Partnerships Branch

Tell us a bit about you
I started out as an environmental scientist in the private sector, but fell in love with humanitarian work and subsequently spent ten years working for three not-for-profits, with a few 6-month breaks for surfing, soccer and tea-drinking! Before I started at NPWS, I was developing a social and environmental justice campaign for Caritas Australia. I'm quite proud of the BE More Challenge as it's based on a quote by Archbishop Romero - 'Aspire not to have more, but to be more', which I think says a lot.

How did you get into volunteering?
Simon Stroud - Volunteer CoordinatorVolunteering interests me because I think it's one of the best attributes that society/humanity has to offer. In 1995, I volunteered for UNICEF Viet Nam for five weeks - the experience was life-changing and it created so many opportunities. A few years later I was with Australian Volunteers International and supporting about 40 Australian volunteers in South Africa, Mozambique and Malawi. These volunteers pack up their lives for two years to live on a local wage in developing countries - they have my utmost admiration and yet nearly all of them will say that they "got a lot more out of it than they gave" and that it was the best experience of their lives.  

What's been your most inspiring volunteering experience?
In southern Mozambique during the food shortages of 2006, I supported about 150 volunteers to build a piped water supply system. Men and women, old and young, would dig trenches through rocky, hard soil from 5am to 7am, before going off to collect wild fruits and water for the rest of the day. The community spirit during a time of tremendous adversity and hunger was truly inspiring and humbling.  

What's happening on the NPWS volunteering front?
Heaps! The NPWS Volunteer Operational Policy and Procedures (VOPP) has been endorsed and will be available soon. Two training courses will be piloted in May and induction materials for volunteers and staff will be distributed in June. DECC is also supporting a Ministerial Forum on Environmental Volunteering where we hope to build some further partnerships for volunteering on park. And of course, 11-17 May is National Volunteer Week. Among other activities, we'll be celebrating 20 years of Chase Alive, the signature volunteering program for our national parks in Sydney's North.

Want to talk volunteering with Simon? Phone 02 9585 6155 or email simon.stroud@environment.nsw.gov.au


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PLACES & EXPERIENCES

Reset your work/life balance with a natural escape

Last month, the federal government announced that Australians have stockpiled a phenomenal 123 million days of leave. That's one in four full-time employees with 25 days or more of annual leave, and with the numbers adding up to some $33 billion in wages, it's having a serious impact on business and the Australian economy, not to mention on individuals.

Myall Shores ResortIn an effort to encourage workers to 'unlock' some this accumulated leave and use it to holiday in Australia, the government launched No Leave, No Life in April, a program aimed at equipping both employers and employees with the means to tackle the issue, such as information on managing leave and inspirational ideas for Aussie holidays and experiences.

NSW's national parks offer countless opportunities to escape, unwind and recharge - whether it's for a few hours or a few days. Enjoying a park picnic or a camping trip are great ways to reconnect with yourself and with family or friends without breaking the bank.

There are also excellent off-peak and mid-week deals to be had in our unique park accommodations, which range from stunning beachfront cabins to ambient outback homesteads and unique lighthouse cottages.

Don't miss this special offer - For the month of May, EcoPoint Murramarang Resort and EcoPoint Myall Shores Resort are offering 25% off all villas, including 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom villas. Enjoy all the facilities of these eco-sensitive and environmentally-friendly escapes with the magic of Murramarang and Myall Lakes national parks right on the doorstep. For information, phone 1300 856 326 or visit the EcoPoint website.


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Smooth operators

The tour operators in our national parks play a significant role in helping people to access, learn about and enjoy our natural environment. This issue, we profile Tri State Safaris, a multi-award winning, EcoCertified operator putting Outback NSW in the spotlight.

Explore ancient Outback NSW with expert guides on a TriState Safari tourThe NSW Outback is an area of significant Aboriginal history, filled with wildlife and diverse scenery. Tri State Safaris take in some of Australia's premier tour highlights and guarantee personalised service, providing a special Australian Outback experience. Temperatures are lower in the middle part of the year, making May-October a great time to visit.

Who: Tri State Safaris is the most highly awarded tour operator in Outback NSW, having received multiple NSW and Inland NSW Tourism Awards and two Australian Tourism Awards. Owner-operators Michael and Joanne McCulkin have conducted outback tours for the last 17 years, with the idea originally stemming from Michael's work as a police sergeant with a patrol area covering 180,000 square kilometres and his experience fielding multiple questions from travellers about the area.

What: Tri State Safaris is EcoCertified and offers ecologically sustainable 4WD short breaks and one day tours in Outback NSW, taking in national parks such as Mutawintji, Mungo, Kinchega and Sturt. Tours are designed to introduce travellers to the remarkable Australian Outback and its unique characters, history and features and the team includes several Aboriginal guides who ensure that visits to areas of cultural significance are particularly unique and meaningful. Tri State Safaris work with local communities to promote ecological responsibility and environmental sustainability, and encourage their clients to participate in their minimal impact practices. Tours operate for couples and small groups and can also be customised to suit client requests.

Participants: Michael and Joanne and their guides are friendly and knowledgeable, and love sharing their passion for the outback. Clients come from all walks of life, with a mostly domestic base made up of retired couples from the eastern seaboard. Around 30 per cent of clients are international, with a visit to an outback national park to see a kangaroo a priority for most. 

Find out more: See the full range of tours available at the Tri State Safari website, or phone 08 8088 2389.

For information on other operators offering 4WD tours and guided activities in NSW's national parks, visit our website.


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More reasons than ever to snow local

With snow already starting its annual re-decoration of NSW's spectacular Snowy Mountains, it's a great time for visitors to start planning this year's winter escape.

The spectacular alpine environment of Kosciuszko National Park is home to the Thredbo, Charlotte Pass, Perisher and Selwyn snowfields, offering the country's longest runs, highest snowfields and a huge array of snowsports and winter activities.

Enjoy a winter escape at the NSW SnowysThe NSW snow season officially gets underway the long weekend in June with something for everyone, from beginner ski lessons right through to thrilling black diamond runs, snow tube parks, high speed chairlifts and the finest snowmaking facilities around, maximising top-to-bottom cover on runs throughout the season.

There's plenty of on-snow accommodation to suit all budgets, from cosy lodges and European-style chalets to self-catering apartments for families.There are also a range of all-inclusive deals available that package accommodation with transport, lift passes and equipment hire.

NPWS is working with Tourism NSW and the NSW snow resorts to promote the excellent activities and deals available in Kosciuszko this winter, including a new website hosted by Tourism NSW that has everything a visitor needs to start planning their snow adventure - visit snownsw.com for more.

For information on licensed operators offering NSW national park snow activities, visit our website.


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New website for lighthouse cottages

The spectacularly located Smoky Cape Lighthouse B&B and Cottages in Hat Head National Park on the Mid North Coast has a new website, a joint initiative of NPWS and accommodation operators, Pat and Wendy Halverson.

Enjoy exquisite coastal views at Smoky Cape Lighthouse B&B and cottagesThe new website offers a comprehensive insight into the historic destination and its award-winning lodgings, with information on the park and its surrounds, local activities, and nearby attractions such as Trial Bay Gaol. The site also highlights heritage projects, bush regeneration works, National Parks Discovery activities, and tours and events in the Macleay and South West Rocks areas. Booking enquiries can be made online.

Visit the new website at www.smokycapelighthouse.com

 


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HAPPENINGS & EVENTS

Coffs Coast parks re-open after severe weather

NPWS worked tirelessly in early April to assess the damage and re-open national park visitor facilities across the Coffs Coast after an unprecedented deluge of up to 750mm of rain flooded the area.

The Waterfall WayNPWS North Coast Regional Manager Alan Jeffery said that many of the North Coast's key natural attractions welcomed visitors over the school holidays, despite the major damage to park facilities and infrastructure.

"The storm has affected park facilities in the Dorrigo, Coffs Harbour and Nambucca areas with some roads and picnic areas still closed," Mr Jeffery said.

"Road culverts, bridges and unsealed road surfaces were damaged by high water flows and landslips and fallen trees blocked roads and walking tracks".

Swift work from dedicated NPWS field officers to inspect, assess and remedy the impacts resulted in many parks being re-opened in time for the school holidays, with visitors able to access a great program of Discovery walks, talks and tours over the period and enjoy the fantastic nature experiences of the region.

Mr Jeffery advised visitors to continue to take care and heed any warning and closure signs. Unsealed roads throughout the region should only be used in dry weather conditions.

For info on the national parks of the Coffs Coast, visit our website.


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Music and sport the Autumn highlights for Kosci

Beautiful Thredbo in Kosciuszko National Park provided the memorable backdrop for two successful partnership events in March, with thousands descending on Friday Flat for the second annual CMC Rocks the Snowys concert, while nearly 200 mountain bikers kicked off their epic journey in the first ever BMC Mountains to Beach race.

CMC Rocks thousands at the SnowysAn outstanding line-up of local and international country, folk, blues and roots artists played to crowds of around 4000 at the CMC concert on 6-7 March, firmly establishing the festival as a highlight on the Snowys calendar and an excellent collaborative effort between event organisers Entertainment Edge, NPWS and the local business community.

Thredbo was also the starting point for 171 avid mountain bike riders on 2 March in the inaugural BMC Mountains to Beach event, which saw participants brave a very cold morning at 1900 metres as they set out on a 370 kilometre competitive journey through Kosciuszko and Wadbilliga national parks before winding up days later on the sands of the far south coast.

The event, organised by Wild Horizons in partnership with local businesses and NPWS, was designed to take in the diverse and challenging landscapes of Alpine country in Kosci, the Monaro Plains and sea level country around Narooma.

> For highlights, clips and interviews from this year's CMC Rocks the Snowys, visit the event website.

> For wrap-ups, detailed reports and fantastic pics from the BMC Mountains to Beach event, visit the Wild Horizons website.


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Camping and caravanning still best in show

NPWS reported strong interest in the State's national parks at the recent Caravan, Camping, 4WD and Holiday Supershow at Rosehill Racecourse.

Camping in the desertNPWS managed a national parks stand in the Tourism NSW-coordinated New South Wales area, with field staff on hand throughout the week to answer myriad questions about destinations, activities and facilities for camping and caravanning in national parks around the State.

Numbers were up at this year's event, according to Barry Baillie of the Caravan and Camping Industry Association of NSW, with more than 78,000 visitors attending over the nine days of the Show, slightly more than 2008.

NPWS manages camping and caravan sites in parks across NSW, ranging from remote bushland clearings to sites with full vehicle access and facilities. Sites can be searched on our website.

 


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What's coming up?

NSW's national parks provide unique and outstanding locations and venues for events of all sizes, from intimate weddings and photo shoots to community festivals and adventure races. NPWS is also involved in many local activities that support and promote parks and the environment. Visit our website for event updates and info on national park venues. For now, here are some dates for the diary.

8-10 May - 22nd Yalumba Thredbo Jazz Festival
A high altitude three-day jazz extravaganza in Kosciuszko National Park.

10 May - Mother's Day in Sydney Harbour National Park
Mums are up for a treat in some of Sydney's most stunning locations this Mother's Day, with delicious daytime dining opportunities on offer at North Head's Q Station, Athol Hall at Bradleys Head, Fort Denison Café on the Harbour, and a special High Tea in the gardens of historic Greycliffe House, Nielsen Park.

11-17 May - National Volunteer Week
Australia's biggest celebration of volunteers and volunteering.

June Long Weekend - Opening of the ski season
Snow enthusiasts can start planning their 2009 NSW Snowys winter escape now at snownsw.com

18-21 June - Sydney Winter Festival 2009
This new event will bring the magic of traditional European winter celebrations to Sydney. Info on great winter activities to be had in NSW's alps will be available at the Snowy Mountains marquee.

20 June - Winter Magic Festival 2009
The Blue Mountains' biggest annual event, this Katoomba festival also includes a program of satellite events throughout the month of June.

4-12 July - South Solitary Island Tours
A unique opportunity to visit this iconic island off the Coffs Coast on the Mid North Coast.


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REGULAR FEATURES

Did you know?

Spectacular Ganguddy – or Dunns Swamp – in Wollemi National Park, was formed in the 1920s by the trapped waters of a weir when the Cudgegong River was dammed to provide water for a nearby cement works?

View of Wollemi National ParkToday Ganguddy, as it is known to local Wiradjuri Aboriginal people, has become a magnificent nature escape with a wide range of outdoor experiences just four hours drive from Sydney.

Visitors can enjoy excellent bushwalking, swimming, canoeing, fishing and birdwatching, while nearby rock formations known as 'pagodas' offer great views of the World Heritage-listed Wollemi National Park, the largest wilderness area in NSW!

Picnic areas on the banks of the Cudgegong River provide a charming setting for a day out, while a number of purpose-built camper trailer, van and tent sites are available for those seeking an extended getaway.

Visitors can also enjoy a guided river cruise at Ganguddy with Wollemi Afloat - an ideal way to see local wildlife and places of interest. Canoes are available for hire through the company on weekends and during school holidays in Spring and Summer.

Ganguddy is an important place to local Wiradjuri Aboriginal people, who still care for Country with ceremony, art and song. Last year, Ganguddy hosted Traditional Custodians from World Heritage properties across Australia for the annual Aboriginal World Heritage Indigenous Network Conference and Living Country Culture Camp.

Ganguddy is located 129 kilometres north-west of Sydney, and 25 kilometres from Rylstone along Narrango Road.

For more information about Ganguddy, contact the NPWS Mudgee Office on 02 6372 7199.


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Congratulations to…

> Mount Wood Homestead in Sturt National Park - winner of the Best Outback Station Stay at the inaugural Broken Hill Tourism Awards in late February. The Homestead, located 20 minutes from Tibooburra in the State's north-west, offers a unique opportunity for visitors to enjoy the remote beauty of the NSW Outback from the comfort of a heritage-listed park accommodation.

Mount Wood HomesteadMount Wood offers self-catering accommodation for up to 15 people, with plenty to do in and around the park, including scenic self-guided drive tours, hikes to the summit of Mt Wood and great wildlife spotting opportunities. For more info, phone 08 8091 3308.

> Lane Cove River Tourist Park in Lane Cove National Park - finalist for the Conservation Award at the World Tourism and Travel Council's 'Tourism for Tomorrow' Awards, to be announced in Brazil on 15 May. The award is open to tourism businesses, organisations and attractions that can demonstrate a tangible contribution to the conservation of natural heritage. The tourist park is one of just twelve international finalists in the global Awards and the only Australian finalist - stay tuned for the announcement and good luck LCRTP!


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Parks in the press

NSW's national parks are truly spectacular in Autumn, making for a number of inspiring destination and experience stories in March and April. From south coast cruising and night time stargazing to ancient desert wonders and majestic alpine landscapes, here's a snapshot.

Sunday Canberra Times, 1 March "Sydney in high style" - Sydney Harbour National Park proves one of the Sydney’s hidden treasures.

Sunday Telegraph, 8 March "Come alive on the NSW south coast" - There's no place like the NSW South Coast to bring you some truly unique experiences and a fresh perspective.

The Daily Telegraph, 26 March "Walk on the wild side" - From stargazing to after-dark walks in the company of nocturnal wildlife, NSW’s national parks are a hive of activity over the Easter holiday season.

Life etc, 1 April "Safe haven" - Montague Island is home to thousands of penguins and seals and it surrounding waters are a playground for humpback whales.

Outdoor Australia, 1 April "get out of...SYDNEY" - The ultimate weekend adventure guide takes in some excellent nature based experiences around Sydney.

Channel 10 Evening News, 2 April - Weatherman Tim Bailey helps launch NPWS's Easter 'Starry, Starry Night' Discovery program at a special Bradleys Head tour celebrating the International Year of Astronomy's global '100 Hours of Astronomy' event.

The Daily Telegraph, 2 April "Following ancient footsteps" - Mungo National Park offers an extraordinary window on the land and peoples of the distant – and more recent – past.

Travel Oz, ABC 1, 8 April -The splendid landscapes and wildlife of the Snowy Mountains feature in the first episode of this series return.

Time Out, 15 April, "Reach for the skies and a nighttime dreamtime" - Sydney Harbour National Park and NPWS's 'Starry, Starry Night' Discovery program are profiled in this special 'Be a tourist in your own city 2009' supplement.


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Last word

Ministerial Forum on Environmental Volunteering

On June 11, the Minister for Volunteering will be hosting a forum on Environmental Volunteering at the Powerhouse Museum, providing volunteer managers and coordinators with an excellent opportunity to exchange ideas on ways to increase volunteering to help tackle current and emerging environmental issues.

Chairman of Clean Up Australia Ian Kiernan will deliver a keynote address, and the Deputy Premier and Minister for Environment and Climate Change, The Hon. Carmel Tebbutt MP, will also be attending for part of the day. 

The Forum will include case study presentations on innovative approaches of volunteering and participatory workshops on environmental volunteering issues.

The Department of Environment and Climate Change is co-hosting the forum, which follows on from two volunteering forums held by the Government in 2008.  

If you are a volunteer coordinator or manager and are interested in finding out more about the forum, please email volunteeringinfo@volunteering.nsw.gov.au by 15 May 2009.


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Contents
NEWS IN REVIEW
Tour operators go live on NPWS website
New Pilliga gateway opens at Baradine
TOURISM & PARTNERSHIPS
Tourism partnership opens iconic island to visitors
Ancient stories go high tech under Dubbo starry nights
Promotions planning underway for northern parks
Tourism training enhances Aboriginal Discovery in Snowys
Bitou bush sees volunteering partnerships flower
NPWS Staff Snapshot
PLACES & EXPERIENCES
Reset your work/life balance with a natural escape
Smooth operators
More reasons than ever to snow local
New website for lighthouse cottages
HAPPENINGS & EVENTS
Coffs Coast parks re-open after severe weather
Music and sport the Autumn highlights for Kosci
Camping and caravanning still best in show
What's coming up?
REGULAR FEATURES
Did you know?
Congratulations to...
Parks in the press
Last word
Two cyclists

About Us

The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is part of the Department of Environment and Climate Change NSW (DECC).

With some 1,500 staff across the state, NPWS's core business is to conserve, protect and manage more than 780 parks and reserves - including parks in four World Heritage Areas, four National Landscapes and 11 places on the National Heritage List - and six marine parks.

Our parks stretch from Eden in the south to Byron Bay and Tweed Heads in the north, and
from Lord Howe Island in the east to Tibooburra in the far west.

NPWS protects 6.6 million hectares or 8.3 per cent of the state's land mass.

NPWS also administers more than 2,000 leases, licences, easements and contracts with the private sector and local government bodies.

Under the NSW Government's State Plan launched in November 2006, NPWS has a mandate to increase visitation to NSW national parks, reserves and marine parks by 20% by 2016.

About Us
If you would like to find out more, contact the NPWS Tourism & Partnerships Branch.
T: 02 9585 6878
E: npwstourism.newsletter@
environment.nsw.gov.au

NSW stylised map

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Disclaimer The information contained in this publication is of a general nature only and is, as far as the Department of Environment and Climate Change is aware, correct at the time of publishing. The Department accepts no responsibility for any loss or damage incurred as a result of reliance on any information contained in this publication. Privacy Policy

Banner images Pilliga Discovery Centre (DECC), South Solitary Island (J. Winter/DECC), Cross-country skiing in Kosciuszko NP (DECC), Stars (David Miller/David Malin Images), Cyclists (D.Smith/DECC).

For further information: T | 02 9585 6878 or E | npwstourism.newsletter@environment.nsw.gov.au

www.environment.nsw.gov.au/explore/

Find yourself in a NSW National Park

Department of Environment & Climate Change NSW