The Royal National Park, Heathcote National Park and Garawarra State Conservation Area are located between the major urban centres of Sydney and Wollongong and are part of the traditional country of Aboriginal people of the Dharawal language group. Situated on the doorstep of Australia’s most populated city, the parks welcome more than 6 million visitors each year.
A new draft plan of management has been developed for these parks and is accompanied by the Royal National Park, Heathcote National Park and Garawarra State Conservation Area Planning Considerations document. Readers of the plan should refer to this document for detailed explanations of the parks' values and management considerations.
Once adopted, this plan of management will replace the existing plan, which was adopted in 2000.
Key issues addressed in the draft plan include:
- the continued protection and management of natural and cultural values
- managing increasing visitor numbers and improving the visitor experience, including upgrades to visitor facilities and a zoning system to guide future management of the parks
- a draft mountain biking plan which proposes a network of tracks in the parks and provides strategies for ensuring environmental protection and maintaining rider and visitor safety. This plan is open for public comment with the draft plan of management.