12 October, 2023
National Park visits up
Visits to national parks in western New South Wales have nearly tripled in the space of 10 years.
The NSW Parks and Wildlife Service 2022 Park Visitor Survey shows more than 1.17 million visits were made to parks in western NSW in 2022, up from nearly 298,000 back in 2012. Thousands of people visited the red soils of Sturt National Park, river redgum country at Murray River National Park and the bushwalking oasis on Mount Canobolas. More than 40 per cent of visits were from interstate, who took in highlights including:
- Mungo National Park’s unforgettable Aboriginal-guided tours, personalised birding tours around Deniliquin, stunning wildflower seasons in the red soils of Sturt National Park and Narriearra Caryapundy Swamp National Park.
- Mount Canobolas State Conservation Area’s new facilities, Aboriginal and European interpretation signs and wheelchair accessible pathways across the entire summit, upgrades at The Walls Picnic Area, The Walls lookout and Towac Day-use Area.
Statewide, visits increased 49 per cent in 10 years to reach 53 million in 2022. A record 12.5 million of those visits were by children.
1.8 million nights were spent in a NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service campground, cottage, cabin or lighthouse.
The Greater Sydney area set a record with more than 20 million visits, the highest number since the two- yearly survey began in 2008. There are 895 reserves in the NSW national parks system, conserving around 10 per cent of the state and protecting a diverse range of ecosystems.
Visiting a national park is a major drawcard, giving people a reason to spend time in regional communities all over the state, to the benefit of local jobs and economies.
It’s also good news for park conservation and nature, as the more people visit and experience parks, the greater the flow-on effect in inspiring people to love and respect the natural environment.