Generator use policy

Generators may disturb wildlife and park visitors, and so are generally not permitted in parks. But there are places where you can use them.

Camping at Pretty Beach campground, Murramarang National ParkPark visitors may wish to use generators to provide power for overnight stays. Some parks have signposted areas where generators are allowed. Some park visitors may also need generators for medical or disability purposes.


1. How will I know if a generator is allowed?

  1. Signs will show the areas where generators are allowed and the conditions under which they can be operated. If there is no sign, you cannot use a generator without first obtaining consent from the park manager (see paragraph 5 of this policy for information on generator use for medical or disability purposes).

    Even where generator use is permitted, it can be restricted for park management reasons or because of unsuitable weather (for instance, high fire risk).

    You should contact the relevant NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) local office before you come for more information and guidance.

2. What conditions apply to using a generator?

  1. If you use a generator in an area where they are allowed, you must:
    • take reasonable measures to minimise the generator's noise and its impact on neighbouring campers
    • use no more than one generator for your group
    • position the generator closer to your camp than to any neighbouring camps
    • obey any noise curfews in place at the campsite.
    To reduce the risk of a generator starting a fire, you must:
    • locate the generator in an area clear of fuels, dry grass or other combustible material
    • ensure that extension cords do not cross access tracks and are rated for external use
    • ensure that you follow the manufacturer's guidelines to safely operate your generator
    • be present whenever your generator is running – never leave it unattended
    • never use the generator on days of local fire bans.
  1. To decide where to permit generator use, NPWS considers:
    • the need to provide a range of camping opportunities, including camping in a natural setting without noisy equipment
    • nearby places outside the park where you might camp with a generator
    • whether there are different campsites available for people wanting to use generators and those not wanting to
    • the size and configuration of campsites, including the distance between campers
    • visitor numbers and the cumulative impact of many generators at a campsite
    • existing background noise at campsites, for example, noise from vehicles on roads or from powerboats
    • the likelihood of generator use leading to increased nuisance behaviour
    • the seasonal or permanent presence of noise-sensitive wildlife such as flying-foxes or birds sitting on nests
    • the level of fire hazard from using generators.
  1. Powers to manage generators are provided under the National Parks and Wildlife Regulation 2019 (NPW Regulation), which creates offences for undertaking the following activities without consent from NPWS:
    • operate noisy machinery (clause 10(1)(n))
    • operate or use machinery in a manner likely to interfere with or cause a nuisance to any person or animal (clause 15(1)(e)).
    Consent to use a generator can be given directly by the NPWS park manager or through signage. Generator use may be subject to conditions, such as being prohibited for a specific period in a camping area where it was previously permitted. This could be because of environmental impacts (for instance, on roosting birds) or for safety reasons (such as local fire bans). Such prohibition must be implemented by installing signs.
  1. NPWS aims to ensure parks are accessible to all, including people with disabilities or other conditions that may impact their ability to access and enjoy parks. If you need to bring and use a generator in a national park to operate a disability aid or for other medical purposes, you may do so.
  2. Before entering the park or booking accommodation you should contact the NPWS local office to advise that you are planning to bring and use a generator for disability or medical purposes, and provide information demonstrating your need for such equipment (such as a medical certificate).
  3. This will help NPWS to make any arrangements or provide any advice needed to ensure your visit to the park is safe and enjoyable. After reviewing your information NPWS will confirm that you may bring and use a generator for these purposes.
  4. If NPWS is not satisfied that the proposed generator use is for disability or medical purposes it may request further information or you may be advised that the generator cannot be used in the park.

Policy adopted 2016
Policy last updated March 2021

Scope and application

This policy applies to 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.


Disability Aid is as defined under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992. A disability aid is defined as equipment (including palliative or therapeutic device) that (a) is used by the person, and (b) provides assistance to alleviate the effect of the disability.

Disability in relation to a person is as defined under the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992.

Park means a reserve gazetted under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974, including a national park, nature reserve, historic site, Aboriginal area, state conservation area, karst conservation reserve, regional park or any land acquired by the Minister under Part 11 of the Act.

Generator means a device that converts mechanical energy to electrical energy. Generators are usually powered with an internal combustion engine. As used in this policy, generator includes vehicle engines that are left running to charge batteries or directly power other equipment.


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

Paragraph Position accountable
4. Grant consent to use a generator for one area Area Manager
4. Grant consent to use a generator across more than one area but within one operational branch Branch Director
4. Grant consent to use a generator across many operational branches Executive Director Park Programs and Executive Director Park Operations
7. Confirmation to use a generator for disability or medical purpose for one area Area Manager
7. Confirmation to use a generator for disability or medical purpose across more than one area but within one operational branch Branch Director
7. Confirmation to use a generator for disability or medical purpose across many operational branches Executive Director Park Programs and Executive Director Park Operations