Dangerous excursion into national park flood recovery works zone costs four-wheel driver almost $5,000

A 4WD driver has been left almost $5,000 out of pocket after illegally entering a flood recovery work zone and becoming stuck in a remote part of Mooball National Park, south east of Murwillumbah.

Major slip on Baranbali Road, Mooball National Park

The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has issued a fine and formal cautions against the driver, who entered the park through closed gates, ignoring the park signage advising that the park was closed.

The driver was charged with offences under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 and ordered to pay $4,800 in fines and vehicle recovery costs.

Mooball National Park is currently closed to the public until early 2024 due to ongoing flood repairs. A number of significant landslips have impacted Baranbali Road and Wabba Road and heavy plant and machinery are currently operating in and out of the park working through the necessary repairs.

All vehicles driven in national parks must be registered and remain on open public roads, and drivers must hold a valid driver's licence.

For more information on Mooball National Park or other park or part park closures visit the National Parks and Wildlife Service website.

Quotes attributable to NPWS Principal Project Officer Silas Sutherland:

The roads in Mooball National Park are closed because there is a legitimate risk to the safety of visitors driving on those roads.

The floods of 2022, and subsequent rainfall, has resulted in a number of significant landslips and sections of the road have been undermined.

By ignoring the closures, you not only put yourself at risk but you are exacerbating the damage and making it more difficult for us to repair.

The driver ignored 3 separate signs stating, 'Park Closed' and 'Road Closed', to reach their final destination. The vehicle was found abandoned in steep terrain, and a number of NPWS staff, tow trucks and large plant were needed to retrieve it.

Please remain on open public roads while in NSW national parks and respect any closure signage that you see. It's there for a reason.


Maroon 4WD parked down slope off road.
Maroon 4WD parked on a slope.