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People and outdoor recreation in natural areas

How do people think of outdoor recreation activities?

Regular Activities Occasional Activities
  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Jogging
  • Swimming
  • Team sports
  • Bushwalking
  • Picnics
  • Fishing
  • Camping
  • Scenic driving
  • Trips to the beach
  • Taking kids to the park
  • Visiting scenic or historic sites
  • Boating
  • Water sports
  • Snow sports
  • Adventure sports

Why do people participate?

Regular Activities Occasional Activities
  • Health and fitness
  • Enjoyment
  • Escape and time out from stress and routine
  • Socialise, quality time and bonding with loved ones
  • Appreciate nature, get back to basics, educate self and others
  • Personal challenge, fun, adventure
  • Appreciate and educate self and others about Aboriginal culture and colonial history

Where do people prefer to go?

Less natural settings for fitness and family activities (with some facilities such as car parking, toilet facilities, picnic tables, BBQs, places for children to play)

Moderately natural settings for most outdoor activities (with limited facilities such as trails and boardwalks and dedicated camp sites)

Highly natural settings for adventure activities (mostly unmodified)

What stops people from participating?

  • Weather
  • Work, household and family commitments
  • Life stage
  • Health and mobility issues
  • Lack of knowledge of recreation options
  • Accessibility, including limited parking, public transport options, opening hours and accommodation options
  • Cost, to engage in and purchase equipment for activities, entry fees, camping fees and parking fees
  • Crowds
  • Lack of appropriate facilities
  • Safety concerns about isolation, strangers and wildlife

Source of data

NPWS completed 11 focus groups to collect this data. Focus groups were conducted in Coffs Harbour, Armidale, Dubbo, Queanbeyan, Merimbula and 3 locations in Sydney.

Read the full report (Outdoorrecfocusgroups.pdf, 325KB).

Page last updated: 27 February 2011