Visits to NSW national parks and reserves top 39 million in 2014

National parks and reserves in NSW are more popular than ever, with a record 39 million visits made to national parks, reserves and estates last year, according to a new report released by Environment Minister Mark Speakman.

Three Sisters Honeymoon Bridge Blue Mountains National Park

This is an increase of almost four million visits, compared with the last report conducted in 2012.

Mr Speakman said the report by Roy Morgan Research, which tracks visits by Australians to NSW national parks, also showed a jump in visits by children.

“With so many amazing parks to choose from it is no surprise that more and more individuals, couples, friends and families are choosing to spend their leisure time in a national park,” Mr Speakman said.

“The Roy Morgan Research survey shows Australians made 39.1 million visits to national parks in NSW in 2014, with 7.7 million of them being made by children. That’s a 13.3 per cent increase in visits by children since 2008 when the bi-ennial survey began.

“The report also shows a nine per cent increase in adult visits since 2012, when the last survey was carried out.

“It’s great to see our visitors are also enjoying their experience, with 94 per cent satisfied with their last park visit, an increase of one per cent on the previous survey.

I am delighted, but not surprised, that my local national park – Kamay Botany Bay National Park is proving popular.”

Minister for Tourism, Trade and Major Events Stuart Ayres has also welcomed the report.

“These figures speak volumes about the impact our natural habitat has on tourism right across the State. Visitors who explore these regions also enjoy surrounding cafes, restaurants and accommodation providing a significant boost to the local economy.”

The top ten parks for domestic visits are:

  • Blue Mountains 4.2 million visits;
  • Royal National Park 3.2 million;
  • Ku-ring-gai Chase 2.6 million;
  • Lane Cove 2.1 million;
  • Sydney Harbour 1.9 million;
  • Kosciuszko 1.4 million;
  • Bouddi 970,000;
  • Worimi 951,000;
  • Tomaree 850,000; and
  • Kamay Botany Bay 746,000

“Almost half the people who come to our parks go for a walk as their main activity, followed by water based recreation, touring and sightseeing and picnicking or dining,” Mr Speakman said.

“I commend the work of everyone in the National Parks and Wildlife Service: the rangers, the field staff and all our tourism partners who have contributed to this great result."

To plan your visit go to www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au

The full survey report is available here: Domestic visitation to NSW national parks.