Plan ahead to keep our national parks safe

Ahead of the school holidays and October long weekend, visitors are reminded to plan their trip to NSW National Parks as staff prepare for a busy Spring season.

Children walking along Garie Beach, Royal National Park

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Greater Sydney Director Deon van Rensburg, said with COVID-19 restrictions still in place, keeping visitors and staff safe remains the top priority but is only possible if we all work together.

“With good weather expected for the holidays our most popular precincts such as Wattamolla, Garie and Audley in Royal National Park and Bobbin Head and West Head in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park will very quickly reach capacity,” said Mr van Rensburg.

“When coming to any park  or reserve, even for just a quick picnic or swim, please plan ahead by visiting our website for information on closures, park alerts and COVID-19 updates as popular precincts will be closed at short notice to ensure visitation levels do not exceed safe capacity.

“By working together, we can all keep our parks COVID compliant and ensure all visitors have a safe and enjoyable nature-based experience.

“This means if you arrive at an area where you can’t safely maintain social distancing, then please move to another location or time your visit outside peak periods.

“With close to 50 parks and reserves in the Greater Sydney region alone, there are plenty of places and lesser known spots for everyone to get out and explore.

“Visitor areas tend to fill up between 11am and 2pm so come early in the morning or try later in the day so you can safely enjoy the park with fewer crowds and ample parking,” said Mr van Rensburg.

Julie Bishop, Visitor Experience Director, said NPWS is required to operate its parks and campsites in line with NSW Public Health orders including managing visitor numbers within each campground or precinct. 

“For many of us it will be such a relief to get outdoors and into nature this Spring, particularly after what felt like a long Winter, but accommodation in parks is filling up fast,” said Ms Bishop.

“All campgrounds in NSW national parks, even our free sites, now require a booking to ensure we comply with COVID requirements.

“Only visitors who have booked may stay in campgrounds over the busy spring/summer period so booking ahead is essential.

“It is also your responsibility to maintain social distancing at these sites and make yourself familiar with our COVID 19 safe camping guidelines.

“We want people to make sure they are taking all necessary precautions to keep themselves and their families and friends safe in these difficult times.

“The easiest way to check camping availability and to book is at the NPWS website,” Ms Bishop said.

For up to date information on closures, camping and specific precincts visit the NPWS website. Up to date information on road closures can be found at Live Traffic NSW.