Camping fees in NSW national parks to increase

Published: September 7, 2015

Camping fees in national parks in New South Wales could be set for a significant hike, if the recommendations of a leaked document are to be believed.

A letter from the deputy chief executive of the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Michael Wright, which was dated June 29 this year, has now been submitted to parliamentary estimates hearings. In it, Mr Wright urges park staff to be proactive in helping to secure the ‘financial sustainability’ of the service amid ‘ongoing budgetary pressures … and decreasing expense allocations across future years’.

Fairfax Media is reporting that the letter lists eight ‘sub-projects’ for savings and revenue, including ‘a review of assets currently deployed as staff accommodation’, retention of revenue derived from asset sales’, and an increase to park use and camping fees.

According to Fairfax, Mark Speakman, Minister for Office of Environment and Heritage, told Estimates that entrance fees hadn’t increased since 2004 and those for camping since 2007, and so were due ‘for a catch-up’.

Consumer prices had risen 29% since 2004 and 18% since 2007, but park fees will rise only by an average of 15% in 2015-16, Mr Speakman told Fairfax Media.

Penny Sharpe, the ALP’s upper house member who presented the leaked letter, said national parks were a low-cost holiday option and the fee increase ‘will have a huge impact for people across the state’.

Fairfax Media says motor vehicle entry fees are charged at 45 of the state’s more than 850 national parks and reserves, with most day passes now costing $7. Annual passes for all parks now cost $190 and two-year passes cost $335, according to the NPWS website.

  • Do you think an NSW parks fee hike is justified? Would it put you off using the parks? Which states or territories are the best – and worst – for national park camping? Comment below.


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john smeeth
6 years ago

Disgraceful. A country as big as this and you have to pay to see it. No more nat parks for me in nsw. Qld parks are a lot cheaper.

Faye Hunt
6 years ago

Well the usual cry from the NP’s, no money so the public will pay excessive amounts.
No they just don’t want people in these Parks!
And who is paying for them in the first place, the tax payers, of course.

Ken Bailey
6 years ago

I live NSW the cost for just about everything is more expensive in NSW
I will just avoid NSW National Parks they won’t be getting another yearly pass out of me. They are a discrace,

6 years ago

I/we already pay for the national parks
maybe we could cut out all the dead wood at the top

it could be that they don’t want the average joe to use our parks

6 years ago

I have seen on the jobs.nsw website the wage rate National parks people get. it is well above the average worker wage. They drive around in brand new 4WD’s. Any ordinary business would review their expenses but not NSW government they make us poor people pay more to keep them in a high paid job. They do not even manage the parks in a way they should anymore its all about making revenue.

6 years ago

Sack the fat cats at the top & learn to use this money and the money they have already got, & could save, to improve the parks.
They are just getting greedier & more useless.
They want to price you out of using the National Parks, so they can close them down & say because nobody was using them.

6 years ago

I have just spent 4 months travelling Around NT and WA. The prices there are $8.80 and $6.60 per person per night.The annual parks pass in WA costs in the vicinity of $60. They also charge the day use fee only on the first day. I believe these feesnare fair and reasonable. WA has toilets cleaned each day, by the user or camp hosts. I was impressed by the consistently good standard of their parks where people are welcomed. I would like to seems similar system in NSW. People need to be able to use our parks at a reasonable cost so that future generations can spend time to learn to appreciate and value the diversity of our natural surroundings. Price rises make it increasingly unaffordable for families and this can only be detrimental in the long term.

garry houghton
6 years ago

we stay in national parks a lot and enjoy the beautiful areas set aside to be protected ,but it is getting beyond our budget now we have retired,i would hate to have to take them off our places to stay just because some mislead
bureaucrate has decided to rip us off.

5 years ago

I just enter the national parks, use the facilities and never pay unless I am camping, Ive been caught before and had a believable excuse. I live in Port Macquarie and know for a fact that the council maintain the roads and the beaches. I feel that with obesity amongst other things going outdoors should be encouraged. Driving somewhere is also expensive and paying national park fees could be too much for people who can’t afford them. STATE FORESTS are FREE.

John Shobbrook
4 years ago

In January 2013 my home was completely destroyed in a bushfire that started in and escaped from the unpatrolled Warrumbungle National Park (the Wambelong Bushfire). They never even ‘phoned me to warn me that a fire had broken out. Having contributed to burning down my home, the NSW Govt and the NPWS paid me no compensation. I’ll be arrested before I ever again pay THEM a cent to drive through one of their parks.

10 months ago

How are pensioners able aford to camp in the national parks with fees that nsw national parks charge at $25 a day for 2 people.
No wonder free camping grounds are alway full when there is insufficent areas in existing camp grounds, these areas should be expanded to accommodate the amount of people wanting to enjoy said places


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