Parks Eco Pass for prospective operators

There are currently more than 200 commercial recreation and tour operators licensed by NPWS to conduct a wide variety of guided recreation and/or tour activities in NSW parks and reserves.

Parks Eco Pass recognises the constructive role played by commercial recreation and tour operators, in partnership with the NPWS. It is a partnership that not only will promote our parks and help to increase visitation but also will encourage visitors to appreciate, understand, protect and conserve them.

By becoming licensed with NPWS you will be able to access some of the state’s most highly valued scenic and attractive areas with rich cultural and natural values and be part of the dynamic nature-based and cultural tourism industry – one of the fastest growing areas of Australian tourism and a major contributor to the NSW economy. You will also play a vital role in the conservation of our unique natural and cultural heritage.

Parks Eco Pass offers:

  • one licence (obtained through one application process) which will allow your business to operate across multiple parks
  • a consistent fee structure throughout the state
  • increased certainty by permitting the transfer of licences if a business is sold
  • lengthened operator licence terms (up to 10 years)
  • access to free promotional opportunities to help you grow your business
  • a guarantee of service for licence assessment (eight weeks, based on a conforming application)
  • a dedicated, central coordinator and key contact point
  • a streamlined application process.

Detailed information on becoming a licensed operator

Accreditation requirements

A major mechanism for improving the performance, professionalism and standards of commercial recreation and tour operators. To encourage higher operating standards, obtaining a longer licence is conditional on the licence holder obtaining and maintaining an endorsed accreditation. Relevant accreditation will be a requirement for obtaining a 3 year or Premium 10 year licence.

For more information on accreditation please refer to the information booklet.

The following accreditation programs currently meet NPWS requirements:

3 year licence

Premium 10 year licence

Other government initiatives to support your business

A raft of free business advice and ongoing support is available to all operators (not just those licensed by NPWS) in New South Wales through Destination NSW and the Department of Trade and Investment, to assist with product development and marketing.

Follow these links to tap into the support and advice on offer:

To lodge an application for a Parks Eco Pass

Licence terms and conditions

Licence conditions specify how, when and where certain activities can be undertaken to minimise impacts on natural and cultural values, manage potential issues associated with other visitor uses, and minimise risks to public safety. All licences contain a number of different conditions:

  • General conditions which apply to all locations and all activities, e.g. not feeding, handling or disturbing wildlife, payment of fees etc
  • Activity conditions which apply to a particular activity in all locations. Activity conditions are designed to promote safe practices and minimum standards for organisations conducting outdoor recreation activities
  • Site specific conditions which respond to the specific needs of the reserve or location and are appropriate to the proposed activity or tour.

Prospective operators are encouraged to read the sample licence below to gain an understanding of standard licence conditions:

Preview a sample of a Parks Eco Pass Licence (PDF, 64KB)

Special events

Seeking approval to run a special event

Page last updated: 19 March 2014