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Outdoor recreation in the Greater Sydney region

How often are activities undertaken in a year?

In 12 months in Greater Sydney, people participated in walking on roads and footpaths for recreation 255.4 million times, running and jogging outdoors 101.3 million times and water sports (including outdoor swimming, snorkelling, surfing, body boarding and wind and kite surfing) 60.4 million times.

Number of times Greater Sydney residents participated in activities

What is the size of the audience for activities?

In 12 months, 87% of Greater Sydney residents participated in picnicking, 84% in walking on roads or footpaths for recreation and 79% in visiting landmarks, lookouts and scenery.

The size of Greater Sydney residents who participated in activities

How interested are people in participating more frequently?

62% of people have a high interest in participating more frequently in picnicking. People are also very interested in participating more frequently in walking on roads and footpaths for recreation, visiting landmarks, lookouts and scenery and water sports.

Percentage of Greater Sydney residents interested in participating more frequently in activities

What stops people participating more frequently?

Across all activities, 85% of people said time stops them participating more frequently.

Percentage of what stops Greater Sydney  residents participating more frequently in activities

There appears to be some unmet demand, with 31% of people reporting a lack of local opportunities and 17% reporting a lack of awareness of any local opportunities.

What do participants want in a National Park?

When they participate in an outdoor recreation activity in a National Park:

  • 50% want toilets.
  • 49% do not want additional facilities.
  • 39% want cleared paths or trails through the bush.
  • 39% want scenery and views.

Why do people participate?

Health benefits and socialising were the most highly rated reasons for participating in outdoor recreation in nature.

StatementRating out of 10
I like to get outdoors for the health benefits, like breathing the fresh air8.1
I enjoy getting outdoors to spend time with my family or friends8.1
I like to spend time outdoors to get a break from my day-to-day routine7.8
I like to get outdoors for the peace and quiet7.5
I prefer to exercise in the outdoors rather than inside7.5
I'm willing to travel a bit further to find more untouched places for outdoor activities6.8
I'm interested in learning about the history or cultural heritage of places I visit in the outdoors6.8
I enjoy learning about the animals and plants of places I visit in the outdoors6.7
I find the opportunities for adventure and challenge in the outdoors appealing6.5
I seek isolation and escape in the outdoors5.4

Source of data

NPWS used a telephone survey to collect this data. 2,800 telephone interviews were conducted around the State, 800 of them in Greater Sydney.

Read the full report (GreaterSyddemand.pdf, 1.0MB).

Page last updated: 27 February 2011