Barrington Tops National Park, Mount Royal National Park and Barrington Tops State Conservation Area Plan of Management Draft Amendment: Public Consultation

The Barrington Tops National Park, Mount Royal National Park and Barrington Tops State Conservation Area Plan of Management draft amendment public exhibition has closed.

Public exhibition of the draft amendment provided members of the community with the opportunity to have a say in the management directions for these parks. The parks are in the Hunter Central Coast and Blue Mountains regions of New South Wales.Opportunities to comment closed 22 March 2021.

The amendment to the Plan of Management includes:

  • improved visitor facilities at camping and day use areas and improvements to walking tracks
  • updates to general information about the parks.

What is a plan of management?

Parks and reserves established under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 need to have a plan of management. The plan includes information on important park values and provides directions for future management. Once the plan is adopted, no management operations can be undertaken in the park unless they are consistent with the plan.

Plans of management may be amended to support changes to park management or proposed works.

Why was an amendment being prepared?

In 2018, Barrington Tops National Park received an estimated 120,000 visits. Visitation to the park continues to increase.

Gummi Falls camping and day use area receives an estimated 3000 visits every year, which exceeds the capacity of existing visitor facilities. Competition for space, overflow bush camping and driving off-trail has negatively impacted native plants, the adjacent Manning River and the visitor experience. Existing outdated toilet facilities pose a safety risk to staff and visitors.

The proposed upgrades to the Gummi Falls camping and day use area will enhance the visitor experience, improve camping amenity and reduce safety risks to staff and visitors, maintenance requirements and adverse impacts on the park's significant values.

Improvements to visitor facilities at several other camping and day use areas and walking tracks across the parks are also proposed. Amendments to the plan will enable:

  • provision of additional camping sites and visitor facilities at Gummi Falls, Youngville, Little Murray, Junction Pools and Devils Hole camping areas
  • year-round entry to Gummi Falls camping area, subject to access upgrade
  • provision of additional visitor facilities at Polblue Falls, Williams Top, Gummi, Williams River and Lagoon Pinch day use areas
  • development and implementation of a walking track strategy for Mount Royal National Park
  • inclusion of facilities that have been established, in line with the plan, at Youngville, Cobark Park and Jerusalem Creek and removal of outdated or completed visitor infrastructure actions from the plan.

These improvements in visitor facilities are possible because of the NSW Government's record $257 million investment to deliver 170 new and improved infrastructure projects across the national parks' estate. This is the largest ever investment in national parks visitor infrastructure and aims to improve visitor experiences and boost local economies while also promoting enhanced conservation of important natural assets.

The draft amendment also updates general information about these parks.

When will the amendment be finalised?

At the close of the public exhibition period, we consider all submissions on the draft amendment and prepare a submissions report. We provide the Hunter Central Coast Regional Advisory Committee and the National Parks and Wildlife Advisory Council with the amendment, all the submissions and the submissions report. They consider the documents, make comments on the amendment or suggest changes, and provide advice to the Minister for Energy and Environment.

The Minister considers the amendment, submissions and advice, makes any necessary changes and decides whether to adopt the amendment under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974. Once an amendment is adopted, it is published on the Department's website and key stakeholders, including those who made a submission on the draft amendment, will be notified.

How can I get more information about the draft amendment?

For further information about the draft amendment please contact the National Parks and Wildlife Service Planning Team at npws.parkplanning@environment.nsw.gov.au