In 2016, park visitation was estimated at a total of 51.77 million visits, accrued from 42.49 million adult and 9.28 million child visits. This is an increase of 31.3% on 2014 results.
|NPWS Park Visitation by Year||2008||2010||2012||2014||2016|
In terms of volume of visits Blue Mountains national park retains its top position in 2016 with 5.19 million visits. This was followed by Royal national park 4.6 million visits, Ku-ring-gai Chase national park 3.32 million, Lane Cove national park 2.35 million and Sydney Harbour national park 2.25 million.
Table 1 Top 10 national parks
Intrastate visitation comprised 87.4% of all visits, while interstate visitation comprised 12.6% of visits a proportional increase from 2014. Melbourne at 4% was our most significant interstate market.
Table 2 Origin of visits
|Final adjusted annual park visitation estimate 2016||Adult Visits||Child Visits||Total Visits|
|Remainder SE QLD||632,210||1.49%||474,849||5.12%||1,107,059||2.14%|
|Total Australia 2016||42,495,513||100.00%||9,281,310||100.00%||51,776,823||100.00%|
|Margin of Error||±2.83%||n/a||±7.34%||n/a||±3.64%||n/a|
|Total Australia 2014||31,674,661||100.00%||7,761,387||100.00%||39,436,048||100.00%|
|Margin of Error||±2.84%||n/a||±7.99%||n/a||±3.85%||n/a|
|Total Australia 2012||28,745,337||100.00%||6,750,287||100.00%||35,495,625||100.00%|
|Margin of Error||±2.90%||n/a||±8.02%||n/a||±3.87%||n/a|
|Total Australia 2010||27,262,279||100.00%||6,581,347||100.00%||33,843,626||100.00%|
|Margin of Error||±3.18%||n/a||±7.44%||n/a||±4.00%||n/a|
|Total Australia 2008||31,128,875||100.00%||6,798,741||100.00%||37,927,616||100.00%|
|Margin of Error||±3.34%||n/a||±4.40%||n/a||±3.54%||n/a|
Over 54% of visits to our park are day trip based and 20.3% are part of an overnight or multi-day trip.
Table 3 Trip Type
Just over one third of NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) park visitors indicated that the only reason for their trip was to visit the NSW NPWS park (34.0%), while just under one third indicated that the park was their main reason for their trip (31.5%).
Table 4 Role of Park visitation in trip generation
As in the previous years, males (60%) were more likely to visit parks than females in 2016.
Visits by 18–24 year olds (9%) were underrepresented compared to the population (12%).
Visits by 25–34 year olds are underrepresented (16%) compared to the population (19%). This underperformance is largely driven by males.
Visits by 35–49 year olds (31%) are consistently greater compared to their proportion in the population (26%). This is predominantly driven by males in this age group.
Fifty-plus year olds: the proportion of visits from this group (43%) was the same as their proportion of the population (43%). This is due to the substantial contribution of males as females are significantly underrepresented.
Table 5 Age and sex of visitors
Walking is consistently the most commonly named activity undertaken in parks at 63%. Up significantly from the level quoted in 2014 (49%). Walking is followed by water-based recreation (17%) and picnicking/dining which has risen year on year (14%).
Camping and accommodation, exercise and sport and cycling are the next most popular activities.
Table 6 On-park visitor activities
Satisfaction with park visits in 2016 stayed at the high level attained in 2014 with an overwhelming 94% of visitors being satisfied to very satisfied.