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NPWS park entry and campground fee increase FAQs

Find out more about price increases to daily vehicle entry and camping fees at NSW national park fee-collecting locations, from 6 October 2015.

Read more about NPWS park entry and campground fee increase FAQs

What are the changes?

  • Daily vehicle entry and camping fees will increase at all NSW NPWS fee-collecting locations from 6 October 2015.
  • Daily vehicle entry fees are increasing by $1 per day across all the current price points. To see the new day entry price points see the fee-collecting parks page of the website.
  • Daily vehicle entry fees to Kosciuszko NP during the declared ski season will increase by $2 per day from the 2016 June long weekend.
  • Camping fees will be increasing by 15%, an increase of between 50 cents and $3.50 and there will be a corresponding increase to base site fees where applicable. Download the Camping fees and locations table (236KB PDF).
  • The increase reflects a partial recovery of CPI since the last fee increase and will be used to assist in meeting costs associated with maintaining visitor facilities as well as important conservation objectives such as pest and weed control programs.
  • NPWS will be implementing annual changes to entry and camping fees which will be linked to CPI.

Why are the fees increasing?

  • Costs associated with maintaining visitor facilities and campgrounds have risen since the last fee increase.
  • The last daily vehicle entry fee increase was in 2004 and standard camping fees last increased in 2007.
  • NPWS must ensure the cost of services and fees are aligned with inflation and the costs of providing these visitor facilities.
  • Periodic review and adjustment of prices, including the incorporation of CPI movements, is standard practice for many organisations, both government and corporate.

Are annual passes increasing?

  • Annual Pass products will not be changed by the 6 October 2015 increase. Annual passes continue to be a cost effective option for regular park users.
  • Annual passes will go up in the future with an annual increase linked to CPI applied. This will provide a predictable and transparent future pricing regime for park visitors and businesses in line with the pricing practices of a range of other government agencies and private entities.

Why does the level of fees vary?

  • NSW national parks offer a wide range of day use and overnight stay options from picnic areas and bike tracks to bush camping or campgrounds providing significant visitor infrastructure.
  • NPWS has a standardised campground classification process that is used to assess the level of fee at campgrounds.
  • The level of fees reflects the cost of managing the services and visitor facilities provided. Locations offering a lesser level of visitor infrastructure are available at a lower price and in many cases are free and will continue to be free.

Are all NPWS camping areas affected by this change?

  • Yes. All locations that currently charge camping fees will be increasing their rates across all charged occupant types on 6 October 2015. This includes increases to base site fees at those camp grounds where they are applied.
  • Popular sites are generally associated with higher fees due to demand on facilities and provision of important services such as garbage collection, sewage systems, and general maintenance.

Why do I need to pay to camp in a national park at all?

  • Revenue raised through camping fees is used by NPWS to improve and maintain visitor facilities and on-park conservation programs.
  • With the increasing costs of managing and maintaining overnight visitor facilities and infrastructure in these unique and environmentally sensitive areas, it is considered appropriate that those visitors who use the facilities and services provided contribute to the recovery of costs.

What happens if I change a booking that I have made at the cheaper rate?

  • If you are reducing the number of nights or occupants, or cancelling the whole existing booking, your booking is still subject to the Terms & Conditions you agreed to at time of booking and will not be affected by the increased prices.
  • If you are transferring your booking to another date, site type or site number, your booking will be subject to the new rates charged at that time or location.
  • Any other changes (such as adding additional nights) to bookings that were made before the announced fee increase will be at the new rate.
  • Campground bookings taken after the announcement, staying on 6 October 2015 onwards, will be at the increased rate.

Why can't I combine my day use fee and camping fee?

  • The fees are managed separately to ensure that customers are not overcharged, as may be the case with annual pass or exemption pass holders.

When will future increases occur?

  • Vehicle day entry fees, campground booking fees and annual passes from this point on will have an annual increase applied, the rate of which will be linked to CPI. This will provide a predictable and transparent future pricing regime for park visitors and businesses in line with the pricing practices of a range of other government agencies and private entities.
  • Details of future increases will be published on the National Parks website and will consider factors such as holiday periods and peak visitor seasons. Bookings made 12 months in advance may be subject to increase.

I have a commercial tour operating company, do I have to pay the increased rate?

  • An exception to the commencement of the new charges from 6 October 2015 will apply to licensed Parks Eco Pass operators who package and sell tours which incorporate day vehicle entry or camping fees are exempt from the increase until the 2016 June long weekend.
  • The extension to licensed Parks Eco Pass operators will ensure they have sufficient time to adjust their pricing to absorb the increased cost.
  • For this to apply licensed Parks Eco Pass holders must request the fee concession. You can obtain more information on the Office of Environment and Heritage website.

Will other "entry fees" increase?

  • Bus and taxi entry fees may be adjusted in-line with vehicle day entry fees. The amounts and way they are applied will be shown on the NPWS Park website page.
  • Landing fees and picnic bookings will not change in this increase.

I ride a bike, do I need to pay entry fees?

  • If you ride a bike or walk to your park, entry remains free. 

I have an exemption pass, will this remain unchanged?

  • Entrance fees to NSW national parks and reserves are supported with an extensive range of exemptions and concessions these remain unchanged.

What happens in reserves that do not charge vehicle entry fees?

  • The majority of NPWS national parks and reserves will remain free and continue to be serviced with visitor facilities.
  • Revenue raised from fee collecting parks is used to cover expenses across management regions and will continue to support identified maintenance and conservation programs and projects. 

Are the hourly rates at Broken Head Nature Reserve, Cape Byron State Conservation Area and Sydney Harbour National Park changing?

  • No, the hourly rate at Broken Head Nature Reserve, Cape Byron State Conservation Area (beach precincts only) and along Chowder Bay Road, Middle Harbour (SHNP) will not be increasing at this time.

Will fines increase?

  • No. Penalty units are not set by NPWS and will not be changing as a result of this fee increase.

Will the replacement fee for annual passes ($6.00) be increasing?

  • Yes it will now be $8.00 and will subject to ongoing annual increases.

Where can I find more information?

Junction Pools campground, Barrington Tops National Park. Photo: John Spencer/NSW Government