Filming and photography policy

We offer diverse landscapes and locations that are attractive for filming and photography. Commercial operations are often possible in parks.

Camera person filming in Kosciuszko National ParkThe Filming Approval Act 2004 (FA Act) makes filming permissible even if it may otherwise be prohibited under national parks legislation. Under the FA Act there is a presumption that approval will be granted (other than in unreserved land or wilderness areas) unless filming is specifically prohibited by the park’s plan of management or would have unacceptable impacts that cannot be mitigated through conditions on the approval.

The FA Act provides for a single approval to be given for all activities related to the filming activity. However, assessment of environmental impacts under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act) is still required. The FA Act also allows for certain types of commercial filming in wilderness areas and sets penalties for breaches of filming approvals.


  1. The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), part of the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (the department), will favourably consider all proposals for commercial filming and photography that do not compromise park values, visitor amenity or cultural values.
  2. NPWS will maintain a cooperative working relationship with film makers and photographers, including for filming that is in the public interest or benefits parks and the conservation of biodiversity and cultural heritage.
  3. NPWS will protect the conservation values of parks through assessing the environmental impacts of filming proposals and by placing appropriate conditions on filming approvals.
  4. Filming applications will be considered by assessing the potential impacts of the filming activity while recognising the diverse benefits the filming may have to parks, for the public and for NSW in general.
  1. Commercial filming means filming done for a specific project or show (for example, by a television station or production company) or filming done for the purpose of selling or hiring material to another party. Commercial filming in parks requires approval. Approval can legally be granted under either the FA Act or national parks legislation. NPWS will normally issue an approval under the FA Act.
  2. The single approval granted under the FA Act means that an applicant does not have to obtain any other consents or approvals under national parks legislation for activities undertaken in parks as part of filming, provided that those other approvals are specified in the filming approval. Examples are approvals to harm Aboriginal objects or places, to approach marine mammals, to operate a generator, and to have exclusive use of an area.
  3. A licence to harm threatened plants or animals under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (BC Act) is not required as the FA Act provides the defence that a filming approval equates to an approval under Part 5 of the EP&A Act.
  4. Approvals may still be required under other NSW legislation such as the Heritage Act 1977 or the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997, or under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
  1. News and current affairs filming requires approval. However, as this type of filming generally has very low impact on a park, is often in the public interest and requires quick turnaround times, it has a streamlined approval process.
  2. Public Affairs approval is required for news and current affairs filming in parks. All requests for news and current affairs filming, including matters that relate to a particular incident such as a bushfire, must be referred to Public Affairs at Public Affairs will consult the relevant NPWS areas before deciding to grant approval.
  1. Filming for lifestyle and travel programs requires approval. However, as these activities generally have low environmental impact and provide significant benefit to NPWS through promotion of parks, there is a streamlined process for approving them.
  2. The Visitor Experience Branch of NPWS is responsible for the coordination and approval of filming for travel and lifestyle programs in parks. All requests for filming for lifestyle and travel programs must be referred to the Director, Visitor Experience Branch. The branch may assist proponents for filming that furthers the objects of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 (NPW Act) – for instance, filming that fosters appreciation and enjoyment of natural or cultural values – and which has significant potential to positively promote parks. The Director, Visitor Experience Branch, will consult any other relevant NPWS Directors before deciding to grant approval.
  1. Filming in parks that is commercial but small in scale is approved through a separate process. Small-scale filming is limited to either:
    • taking still photographs
    • filming and/or photographing weddings
  2. For most parks, you can apply for approval to carry out commercial small-scale filming and still photography of weddings by registering online. This approval can last for a pre-determined time, such as a year. If you intend to register online, please refer to paragraphs 48-82 of this policy (the Procedures) for more information on your obligations.
  3. For Aboriginal-owned parks, the board of management for the park can approve commercial small-scale filming and still photography of weddings.
  4. For filming at Jenolan Caves, the Administrator of the Jenolan Caves Reserve Trust can approve commercial small-scale filming and still photography of weddings.
  1. Approval under the FA Act or national parks legislation is not required for amateur filming or photography in a park, where the principal intent of the activity is the pursuit of personal or hobby interests and not commercial gain. However, other approvals may be required under national parks legislation for these activities (for example, consent may be required for a large gathering of people, or for parking a vehicle in certain locations).
  1. No approval is required for filming activity that is ancillary to another activity where the primary activity has been approved under the relevant legislation and that approval acknowledges that ancillary filming will take place. For example, approval for weddings may include consent for small-scale filming to be carried out by a commercial photographer as an ancillary activity to the wedding.
  1. This policy grants approval under Part 2 of the National Parks and Wildlife Regulation 2019 (NPW Regulation) for a lessee to undertake commercial filming in parks directly related to the purposes of their lease (for example, for self-promotion) within their leased area. Approval is granted provided that the filming activities do not require a review of environmental factors under paragraph 34 of this policy and that this approval is not contradicted by an authorised notice, direction or plan of management. No application is required.
  2. For filming on leased land for purposes not directly related to a lease, approval must be obtained from NPWS. The rights and interests of the lessee will be recognised in assessing any such filming application. If the application is to be approved the lessee may seek to impose conditions or fees additional to those imposed by NPWS. However conditions imposed by the lessee cannot be inconsistent with NPWS's approval, and NPWS's fees (which are based on cost recovery) cannot be altered by a lessee's fees.
  1. NPWS generally only has the power to control aircraft flying over parks if they are being flown low or in such a way as to cause unreasonable disturbance to wildlife or park visitors. If a filming activity proposes to fly an aircraft (including a drone) in this way, the approval should be dealt with under the FA Act and may include appropriate conditions. It is the proponent's responsibility to obtain any necessary approvals needed under the Commonwealth Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998.
  2. Applications for filming from park roads (that is, roads that are reserved as part of a park) will be treated as being applications to film within the park. This also applies to public roads that are not reserved as part of a park, but which are managed as part of the park, through formal agreement with Roads and Maritime Services. (Many roads within Kosciuszko National Park are managed in this way, for example.). A filming activity that takes place wholly on public roads within parks does not need approval under the FA Act, but it may need approval from Roads and Maritime Services or the local council.
  3. Applications for filming from waters that are managed by NPWS will be treated as being applications to film within the park. However, not all waters within park boundaries are managed by NPWS.
  1. NPWS will assess all filming applications under this policy and the standard Procedures for Filming Applications (internal document available to staff).
  2. The FA Act enables a filming activity to be approved even where the activity is prohibited or not permitted under national-parks legislation, including where filming is prohibited in a plan of management.
  3. The FA Act, NPW Act, Wilderness Act 1987 (Wilderness Act) and EP&A Act provide a range of matters that may need to be considered in assessing an application for filming. The FA Act does not remove the need to consider environmental impacts under Part 5 of the EP&A Act in addition to the considerations provided in the FA Act (that is, the delegated officer must take into account the provisions of both Acts).
  4. If filming activities are approved under the FA Act despite being prohibited under other legislation, the delegated officer will consider all relevant matters in paragraphs 29-38 of this policy (for example, heritage, existing rights, wilderness, REFs, Aboriginal consultation) when assessing a filming application. If the applicant has not provided enough information to allow the assessment to be made, the delegated officer may request further information.
  5. When assessing any filming application the delegated officer must consider:
    • the heritage values of the area
    • the cultural significance of any building or structure that the approval will authorise the use of
    • the park's plan of management.
    Where the information submitted with the application is inadequate to allow an assessment to be made, the delegated officer may request further information from the applicant.
  6. When assessing a filming application the delegated officer must recognise any existing rights and interests conferred on a third party (for instance, rights under an existing lease, licence, easement or right of way, or rights under an existing filming approval), whether or not those rights are commercial.
  1. For lands that are reserved under Part 4 of the NPW Act (not unreserved lands under Part 11 the Act), and which are not in wilderness areas, the FA Act creates the presumption that filming applications will be approved unless expressly prohibited by a plan of management for the reserve. However, there may be instances where this presumption does not lead to approval being granted.
  2. When assessing a filming application for Part 4 reserved lands, the delegated officer must consider the matters in paragraphs 29-30 of this policy (that is, heritage, a plan of management, and existing rights). In addition, they are not required to but may also consider the matters referred to in paragraph 33 of this policy (for unreserved lands and wilderness), to the extent that they are relevant. However, approval cannot be refused on the grounds that the delegated officer is not satisfied as to these matters, unless the matters cannot be adequately addressed by imposing conditions on the approval.
  1. When assessing a filming application for unreserved lands or a wilderness area, the delegated officer must consider the matters in paragraphs 29-30 of this policy (that is, heritage, a plan of management, and existing rights) and must also consider and be satisfied that environmental impacts on the park are minimised. The officer may impose conditions if necessary (see the Procedures in this document).
  2. Where any part of the filming activity is classified as an 'activity' under Part 5 of the EP&A Act, the applicant is required to complete a review of environmental factors (REF) (see Procedures). 'Activity' might include construction of buildings, other physical works, or the use of land for an extended period of time.
  1. In determining an application, the delegated officer will ensure compliance with department policies related to Aboriginal areas, Aboriginal places, Aboriginal objects and Aboriginal material more generally.
  2. If the proposal includes filming locations or material that is culturally sensitive for Aboriginal people, the proponent must consult with the relevant Aboriginal custodians to seek endorsement of the filming before it begins. The endorsement must specify the relevant activities and who endorsed them.
  3. If endorsement is not obtained, NPWS will take into account the potential impact of the activity on Aboriginal cultural values in determining the application. NPWS may facilitate consultation and will ensure any conditions placed on a filming approval adhere to relevant cultural-heritage legislation.
  4. If the proposed filming is on land subject to an Indigenous land use agreement (ILUA), memorandum of understanding, park management partnership agreement or other formal agreement between an Aboriginal group and NPWS, permission from the Aboriginal parties to those agreements may be required before filming approval is granted, depending on the terms of the agreement.
  1. If approval is refused, the applicant must be given clear reasons for the refusal in writing as soon as the decision is made. Where practical, NPWS should assist the applicant by giving advice and support on possible alternative locations and/or practices.
  2. NPWS staff may seek advice from the Visitor Experience Branch or Legal Services to help resolve a dispute between an applicant and a delegated officer.
  3. An applicant may seek advice separately from Screen NSW, which also offers mediation services. However, NPWS staff must consult Legal Services before referring a dispute to Screen NSW for mediation.
  1. National Parks and Wildlife Service will maintain a public register on its website of approved applications for filming in parks. The register will show the name, location and purpose of a filming activity, and information on the conditions of an approval to the extent permitted under privacy legislation (see Definitions). The register will include approvals for news and current affairs and for lifestyle and travel programs.
  2. Ensuring the currency of the register in relation to an approval is the responsibility of the delegated officer who approves the application. The currency of the register is important as certain third-party enforcement action may only be exercised within 14 days of the granting of an approval (although filming can commence from approval).
  1. The holding of an approval for filming is not a defence against an offence committed under any Act or Regulation (for example, the NPW Regulation or the Wilderness Act) unless the activity that constituted that potential offence was specifically permitted in the filming approval.
  1. Prior written consent is required from the delegated officer for the publication or use of any NPWS logo (or its image), uniforms or insignia, and for NPWS employees to appear in any film or photograph. The delegated officer will consult with Public Affairs before giving such an approval. Public Affairs can be contacted at
  2. Identifiable NPWS equipment, uniforms or insignia must not be portrayed in commercial advertising in any way that would imply endorsement of the product.
  3. NPWS employees, while on duty or in uniform, may not be employed by the filmmaker/photographer on a commercial basis.


  1. Operators who have registered online are required to:
    • hold public-liability insurance as specified in paragraphs 72-73 of this policy.
    • contact NPWS in advance of visiting a park to film to advise of the size of the group and confirm whether:
      • a site needs to be pre-booked (and if it is already booked)
      • the filming requires site supervision
      • time limits apply at a site.
    • pay park entry fees, site booking fees or supervision fees where they are charged
    • notify the local Area Manager when visiting parks to film.
    Advance notice is required as some sites (for instance, those around Sydney Harbour) are very popular and may have multiple bookings of large groups at any one time.
  1. For filming other than small-scale filming (paragraph 13 of this policy), an applicant for a filming approval must submit to the nominated officer a signed application form and the application fee. The application form will include details of the shoot and proposed location and a conservation risk assessment. A review of environmental factors (REF) may also be required (see paragraph 34 of this policy). The application form will be the basis of any filming approval under the FA Act. The nominated officer will forward the application to the delegated officer for assessment.
  2. If approved, the application will be subject to the standard conditions for commercial filming and photography and any additional conditions deemed appropriate to ensure that the activity does not impact on the significance of the area in which it is to be carried out. Additional conditions may relate to matters such as:
    • the type of footwear to be used
    • the number of people on site at any time
    • limits on movement of actors/crew between takes
    • numbers of vehicles on site.
  1. When assessing a filming application for unreserved lands or a wilderness area the delegated officer must consider the matters in paragraphs 29-30 of this policy (that is, heritage, a plan of management, and existing rights). He or she must also consider and be satisfied that:
    • filming is carried out in a manner that minimises any adverse environmental impact on the area
    • existing roads, tracks, paths or other means of access to the area will be used by the approval holder wherever feasible
    • the location in which the filming activity is to be carried out is the minimum area that is feasible for the carrying out of such an activity
    • the period of time required to carry out the filming activity is limited to the shortest period that is feasible for the carrying out of the activity
    • the filming activity is not inconsistent with any applicable threat-abatement plan or recovery plan within the meaning of the BC Act
    • the filming activity complies with any applicable policy of NPWS concerning filming in designated areas
    • the siting and timing of the filming activity, as far as practicable, minimises the impact of the activity on the natural and cultural values of the area and on the public enjoyment of the area.
    The delegated officer can impose conditions to ensure that these requirements are met.
  2. In addition to considering the issues under paragraphs 29-30 of this policy (heritage, a plan of management and existing rights) and paragraphs 33-34 of this policy (regarding unreserved land or wilderness), when assessing a filming application for a wilderness area, the delegated officer must be satisfied that:
    • the filming activity will be carried out by as few people as possible
    • other sites in New South Wales have been considered for the filming activity, and that there is no reasonable alternative to the site requested
    • the primary purpose of the filming is to educate or raise public awareness about at least one of the following topics (or about research into it):
      • Aboriginal heritage or culture
      • historic heritage
      • biodiversity
      • threatened species
      • park management
      • environmental processes
      • public recreation
      • bushfire management
      • visitor safety
      • visits by tourists.
    It is the primary purpose of the activity that is to be assessed, not a consequential outcome. For example, an action thriller movie cannot be classed as 'educational' even though it may lead to increased public awareness of the natural values of the area.
  1. Where any part of the filming activity is classified as an 'activity' under Part 5 of the EP&A Act, the applicant is required to complete a review of environmental factors (REF).
  2. A REF may be required if the filming proposal requires construction of buildings, other physical works, or the use of land for an extended period of time. For more information see NPWS's Guidelines for Preparing a Review of Environmental Factors.
  3. These guidelines set out a non-exhaustive list of undertakings that constitute 'activities'. Filming is not in itself considered to be an 'activity' but associated activities may be. Advice from Legal Services should be sought if it is not clear whether a filming activity is an 'activity' for the purposes of Part 5 of the EP&A Act.
  4. The NPWS Branch Director is usually responsible for determining (that is, approving) a REF for filming.
  1. Early consultation with NPWS can streamline processing and help proponents access the best sites for their needs. Applicants should allow for the time it will take to prepare the application form, inspect the site and gather the information needed for any necessary environmental assessment and the information required by the FA Act and this policy. Early application is also recommended where Aboriginal communities or other stakeholder groups have to be consulted.
  2. Each NPWS operations branch will try to have a staff member available to respond to filming enquiries during normal business hours. However, responses to requests may be delayed in exceptional circumstances, such as when incidents (for instance, fighting major bushfires) are taking up staff time.
  3. For filming proposals that do not require a REF, fully completed applications should be made at least seven business days prior to the proposed activity. Higher fees are payable for applications submitted in less than this time.
  4. Where a REF is required, fully completed applications will be assessed in 10 to 40 business days. Higher fees are payable for applications submitted in less than this time. If particularly complex arrangements are required to facilitate the filming (for instance, if park roads must be closed) or a high risk of impact REF is required (see REF guidelines), it may not be possible to process applications submitted at short notice.
  1. At the time of application, NPWS should inform the applicant of:
    • any known circumstances that are likely to affect proposed filming (for instance, hazard reduction, maintenance works, pest control or special events)
    • any known non-obvious hazard relevant to the site
    • any known sensitive environmental and cultural issues relevant to the site
    • special conditions, known constraints or access restrictions that may be imposed on the activity.
  2. Despite this (paragraph 61 of this policy), the approval holder is still responsible for taking safety precautions and avoiding harm to the environment and cultural values.
  3. Special conditions or activities should be attached to the written filming approval and signed and dated by the delegated officer and the applicant.
  1. The fee schedule sets out the fees that apply to commercial filming (except for commercial small-scale filming, where no filming-related fees apply). Park-use fees are included in the filming fee structure and are not an additional charge. NPWS will ensure that all fees are kept to a minimum and only reflect costs. Fees include:
    • a non-refundable application fee to cover staff time spent processing the application (this fee will be higher if a REF is required)
    • possible fees for assessing more complex applications
    • possible supervision fees to cover staff time as necessary (see paragraphs 78-79 of this policy)
    • possible charges for special requirements such as the hire of venues or equipment, meetings with NPWS staff and site inspections.
  2. Application fees are payable when the application is made. Other fees are payable at the time filming starts.
  3. Filming for news and current affairs is not subject to fees under the fee schedule. Lifestyle and travel filming (see paragraphs 11-12 of this policy, and Definitions) may be subject to fees.
  4. Delegated officers may waive or reduce fees for:
    • charity organisations
    • community service announcements
    • filming that significantly promotes NPWS or parks, including programs that increase the public appreciation, understanding and enjoyment of the natural and cultural values of parks and their conservation, or that encourage visitation (for instance, lifestyle and travel programs: see paragraphs 11-12 of this policy, and Definitions).
  5. Consistent with the FA Act, fees and charges collected from filming activities in parks will be paid into the National Parks and Wildlife Fund.
  1. NPWS will require an environmental management bond, which may be forfeited in part or in full to pay for additional costs to NPWS arising from the activity. The fee schedule suggests a range for environmental management bonds.
  2. The delegated officer may require a larger bond for filming that involves a significant number of props or vehicles, or which is undertaken in more sensitive environments. The bond will be specified in the conditions of approval. The relevant regional office will retain details of all environmental management bonds.
  3. NPWS may require all or part of the environmental management bond to be forfeited to cover unforeseen costs such as unplanned delays, additional supervision incurred after the approval is signed, and site restoration. The delegated officer should ensure that sites are inspected in a timely before and after the filming. If any portion of the bond is to be forfeited, the reasons for this must be given in writing.
  1. Any individual or company undertaking commercial filming activities in a park must hold public liability insurance, valid for operations in Australia, of at least $20 million. A certificate of currency must be attached to the signed approval.
  2. Higher insurance coverage may be required in some circumstances: the level will depend on the scale or nature of the filming and its potential risks to staff, the public and the environment. Advice should be sought from the Treasury Managed Fund, NPWS's insurer, before any filming activity is approved with a variation of the standard insurance.
  1. Proponents should consult the relevant delegated officer (see Accountabilities under About the policy) before choosing locations. The delegated officer will consider if other, more suitable locations are available on public or private lands. The Production Attraction Team of Screen NSW can also provide advice on locations.
  2. NPWS will encourage the appropriate use (for instance, for enhancing conservation outcomes) of high-profile landscape and cultural features that are readily recognised as parks managed by NPWS, and will strongly discourage their use where that would be likely to result in inappropriate associations or messages concerning the agency or conservation. However, NPWS will not assert any editorial control over the content of filming.
  3. Where possible, NPWS will encourage applicants to carry out filming activities in places set aside for visitors or other modified areas rather than in undisturbed environments.
  1. Where filming activities are likely to obstruct vehicle or vessel traffic, a traffic-control plan must be submitted at the time of application. This plan should include a description of measures proposed by the applicant to ensure appropriate access and safe management at the site (for example, employing qualified traffic controllers and security officers). The applicant may also be required to obtain approval from the NSW Police Force, the local council and Roads and Maritime Services. The delegated officer must also notify any lessees or occupants of in-holdings if their access may be affected.
  1. The delegated officer will determine the need for staff to supervise the filming activity: it will be based on the sensitivity of the site or sites, the nature of the location and shoot, and equipment used. If supervision is deemed necessary, a standard hourly rate will be charged for each staff member required to supervise. A higher rate will be charged for supervision outside normal business hours.
  2. If the filming project could significantly promote NPWS or parks, Public Affairs may provide staff to supervise the activity. This does not attract fees and may remove the need for local staff to supervise. Public Affairs can be contacted at
  1. If the proponent has to re-schedule the filming (for instance, because of bad weather), the delegated officer must be notified as soon as possible and the proposed new date(s) agreed upon by both parties. Proponents should be encouraged to nominate contingency days in advance. NPWS may recover from the applicant any reasonable cost it has incurred (for example, the cost of casual staff already contracted for the period).
  1. NPWS will monitor compliance with conditions for all filming approvals and will act to restrain any breaches by taking appropriate enforcement action. The time taken to take action against a breach can have legal ramifications, and a decision as to how to respond to a breach will be made within seven days of the breach coming to NPWS's attention. Action to restrain the breach or offence may include issuing infringement notices, immediately terminating approval to film, and taking legal action (under the FA Act or national park legislation) against the approval holder. The standard conditions of approval to film provide that the applicant does not have the right to claim against NPWS for damages for loss of business or financial or other loss as a result of such a termination of approval.
  2. The FA Act gives any person (NPWS or third parties) the right to bring proceedings for breaches of filming approvals or contraventions of the FA Act in the Land and Environment Court. NPWS may also be able to take legal action under parks legislation. Legal advice must be sought in this regard.

Policy adopted May 2010
Policy last updated September 2020

Scope and application

This policy applies to filming and photography, and related activities, on all lands acquired or reserved under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 (NPW Act), except for lands reserved under Part 4A of the Act (unless the Board of Management for those lands has adopted the policy). However, NPWS staff can use the policy as guidance in their dealings with Boards of Management.

Filming activities that require NPWS approval outside parks, such as proposals to approach marine mammals within prescribed distances, are not subject to the Filming Approval Act 2004 (FA Act) and will be assessed under other relevant legislation.


Approval means approval under section 4(2) of the FA Act.

Commercial filming means any filming or photography ‘for sale, hire or profit’ (as per Part 2 of the NPW Regulation). Commercial filming includes:

  • advertisements, feature films, news and current affairs on commercial networks (both pay television and free-to-air stations, including the ABC)
  • TV or internet drama
  • documentaries
  • educational films
  • Government sponsored filming
  • tourism promotions.

Commercial photography includes images for

  • magazines
  • postcards
  • commercial websites
  • promotional material
  • books
  • advertisements

and the commercial photography of private events, including professional wedding photography.

Consent means approval under the National Parks and Wildlife Regulation 2019 (NPW Regulation).

Delegated officer means the holder of delegation under section 11 of the FA Act to approve filming (see Accountabilities at the end of this policy).

Filming means recording images (whether on film or video tape or electronically or by other means) for exhibition or broadcast (such as by cinema, television or the Internet or by other means) or for sale (FA Act). In this policy a reference to filming also includes photography unless stated otherwise.

Filming activity means filming and any other activity reasonably connected with the carrying out of filming, whether or not for a commercial purpose (FA Act).

Lifestyle and travel programs means footage filmed for television or Internet programming (but not feature films or advertising) or for magazines or other print media, the primary intent of which is to encourage visitation to the area that is the subject of the filming. It is limited to activity that has negligible impact on the environment.

Minister means the Minister administering the NPW Act.

National parks legislation means the NPW Act, the NPW Regulation, the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (BC Act) and the Wilderness Act 1987 (Wilderness Act).

News and current affairs means programs or footage filmed to relay information about recent events or happenings and includes filming of segments related to weather reporting. It is limited to the duration of a specific event with a discrete (though not necessarily pre-defined) timeframe, and has negligible impact on the environment.

Nominated officer means the officer publicly identified as the person who is the first point of contact for filming applicants, and who receives filming applications. This may vary for news and current affairs, lifestyle and travel programs, and other types of filming.

Park means any land reserved or acquired under Parts 4 or 11 of the NPW Act (including any wilderness area located on such land).

Photography includes the recording of still images on any recording medium or in any format (for example, digital or film).

Privacy legislation means the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 or the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998.

NPWS means the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Small-scale filming means filming or photography that:

  • involves a maximum of one camera operator and one assistant
  • requires only low-level equipment (for example, a single tripod or equipment that can be carried in a backpack)
  • does not use structures, film sets or professional talent
  • does not exclude an area from use by other users
  • has negligible potential to impact on a park environment (for example, most wedding photography).


This section outlines NPWS staff with significant responsibilities for ensuring implementation of the policy.

Type of application Officer with delegation to approve application
Area/s within one NPWS operations branch Branch Director.
More than one NPWS operations branch Director, Visitor Experience Branch to approve individual location requests. Only one application and Environmental Management Bond applies.
News and current affairs filming Director, Public Affairs (in consultation with NPWS Director).
Travel and lifestyle filming Director, Visitor Experience Branch (in consultation with NPWS Director).
Proposals requiring Review of Environmental Factors (REF) As per REF determination guidelines.