NSW national parks popularity booms, with Blue Mountains leading the way

Published: October 12, 2023

New South Wales National Parks continue to hold huge appeal to grey nomads and other visitors.

The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service 2022 Park Visitor Survey shows that, across the state, there were more than 53 million domestic visits to national parks in 2022.

That’s an increase of 49% in the past decade. In addition to these domestic visitors, many international travellers also enjoyed the state’s parks.

Blue Mountains National Park has retained its top spot as the most visited national park in NSW. Some 6.4 million domestic visits were made to the World Heritage-listed national park, which is home to 260,000 hectares of bushland, including the Three Sisters, Meehni, Wilmah and Gunnedoo.

The second most visited national park in NSW is the world’s second-oldest national park, Royal National Park on Sydney’s southern coast; Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park in Sydney’s north sits third on the list; with Lane Cove National Park fourth; and Kosciuszko National Park fifth.

The top 10 most-visited national parks in 2022:

  1. Blue Mountains National Park, 6.40 million visits
  2. Royal National Park, 5.05 million visits
  3. Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, 4.40 million visits
  4. Lane Cove National Park, 2.61 million visits
  5. Kosciuszko National Park, 2.48 million visits
  6. Sydney Harbour National Park, 1.93 million visits
  7. Eurobodalla National Park, 1.41 million visits
  8. Garigal National Park, 1.18 million visits
  9. Cape Byron National Park, 1.03 million visits
  10. Brisbane Water National Park, 929,000 visits

Minister for the Environment Penny Sharpe said national parks were one of NSW’s greatest public assets and that, in a post-Covid world it is clear that visits to national parks are growing.

“Across the state there are 895 national parks, nature reserves, state conservation areas and regional parks… these are places to be in nature, to swim, to seek adventure, to understand Aboriginal and other heritage and to appreciate the beauty of our natural environment,” she said. “The NSW Government is investing $74 million to upgrade visitor infrastructure in NSW national parks so people can enjoy unforgettable experiences, from camping trips in the bush to coastal getaways and alpine adventures.”

  • Which is your favourite national park in NSW … and why? Comment below.

Are you a Grey Nomad member yet? Click here to find out about the discounts, competitions and other benefits on offer.

1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

It is a pity that the proposed tunnel, from Emu Plains to Hartley, was cancelled by the incoming NSW Parliament.
The horrendous drive through the Blue Mountain villages, with is everchanging speed limits, lane changes and traffic lights, are a deterrent to many who wish to travel west from Sydney. No doubt tourism would increase without the travel hassle to the area.


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop