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Outdoor recreation in the Western NSW region

How often are activities undertaken in a year?

In 12 months in Western NSW, people participated in walking on roads and footpaths for recreation 18.5 million times, nature study (including bird and wildlife watching, tree and flora appreciation, nature photography, painting and drawing) 10.5 million times and four wheel driving 4.8 million times.

Number of times Western NSW residents participated in activities.

What is the size of the audience for activities?

In 12 months, 85% of Western NSW residents participated in picnicking, 74% in visiting landmarks, lookouts and scenery and 70% in walking on roads or footpaths for recreation.

Percentage of Western NSW residents participated in various activities.

How interested are people in participating more frequently?

57% of people have a high interest in participating more frequently in picnicking. People are also very interested in participating more frequently in visiting landmarks, lookouts and scenery, scenic driving with a car or motorbike and walking on roads or footpaths for recreation.

Percentage of Western NSW residents who have an interest in participating more frequently in outdoor activities.

What stops people participating more frequently?

Across all activities, 82% of people said time stops them participating more frequently.

Percentage of what stops Western NSW residents participating more frequently in outdoor activities.

There appears to be some unmet demand, with 55% of people reporting a lack of local opportunities.

What do participants want in a National Park?

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

  • 50% do not want additional facilities.
  • 49% want toilets.
  • 40% want scenery and views.

Why do people participate?

Socialising, peace and quiet and health benefits were the most highly rated reasons for participating in outdoor recreation in nature.

StatementRating out of 10
I enjoy getting outdoors to spend time with my family or friends8.2
I like to get outdoors for the peace and quiet8.0
I like to get outdoors for the health benefits, like breathing the fresh air8.0
I like to spend time outdoors to get a break from my day-to-day routine7.7
I prefer to exercise in the outdoors rather than inside7.6
I enjoy learning about the animals and plants of places I visit in the outdoors7.2
I'm interested in learning about the history or cultural heritage of places I visit in the outdoors6.8
I find the opportunities for adventure and challenge in the outdoors appealing6.8
I'm willing to travel a bit further to find more untouched places for outdoor activities6.6
I seek isolation and escape in the outdoors6.3

Source of data

NPWS used a telephone survey to collect this data. 2,800 telephone interviews were conducted around the State, 400 of them in Western NSW.

Read the full report (WesternNSWdemand.pdf, 961KB).

Page last updated: 27 February 2011