• Coastal Track, Royal National Park. Photo: D Finnegan/OEH
    Coastal Track, Royal National Park. Photo: D Finnegan/OEH

For anyone who believes people are rejecting the outdoors for indoor activities we have news for you.

New data reveals there has been 16.6% increase on estimated visitors to national parks across NSW last year with bushwalking being the main activity.

The results come from the 2018 Parks Visitor Survey, conducted every two years since 2008 by Roy Morgan Research.

“NSW national parks are the ticket for tourism in our own backyard,” Energy and Environment Minister Matt Kean said. “A whopping 60 million Australians visited NSW national parks in 2018, compared to 51.77 million in 2016.”

The most popular parks for Australians in 2018 were:
Blue Mountains NP with 8.43 million visits
Royal NP with 6.08 million visits
Ku-ring-gai Chase NP with 3.90 million visits
Kosciuszko NP with 3.27 million visits
Sydney Harbour NP with 2.42 million visits

“Half of the parks in the most-visited list are in regional NSW. We want that figure to keep growing and make sure people are seeing the beauty of our regions,” Mr Kean said.

What do visitors do? Walking is consistently the most commonly named activity undertaken in parks at 64%. Up indicatively from the level quoted in 2016 (63%). Walking is followed by water-based recreation at (21%) up from 2016, Touring and sight-seeing (14%) and picnicking/dining which remains at (14%).

Who visits? Intrastate visitation comprised 87.2% of all visits, while interstate visitation comprised 12.7% of visits a proportional increase from 2014, 2012 and 2010. Melbourne at 4.3% was our most significant interstate market.

What sort of trips are they on when they visit parks? Over 40% of visits to our parks are part of a regular routine, 32.4% are day trip based and 19% are part of an overnight or multi-day trip.

How important are parks for generating tourism travel? Over 45% of NSW national park visitors indicated that the only reason for their trip was to visit the NSW NPWS park and another 25.2% indicated that the park was their main reason for their trip.

For more info on any of NSW National Parks click here.


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