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Cave Access Policy

The NPWS cave access policy was created following concern from staff, recreational cavers and scientists regarding access to NPWS caves. The policy sets important guidelines for protecting and conserving NSW caves, and focuses on regulating access while maintaining opportunities for public enjoyment and scientific research.

Read more about Cave Access Policy

NSW is home to numerous caves and karst environments, each as visually impressive as it is geologically significant. NSW National Parks plays an important role in protecting the often irreplaceable features of caves throughout the state.

Developed with input from the caving and scientific communities and other key stakeholders, the cave access policy ensures a consistent approach to cave access regulation. 

In implementing the cave access policy, NSW National Parks aims to ensure public access to caves aligns with their conservation. We aim to manage cave access, in terms of both extent and type, and implement cave security measures. 

Other policy objectives include determining key considerations for cave hazard assessments and clarifying our position in terms of competitive cave activities, cave diving and emergency response in NSW caves.

The cave access policy also outlines approval principles for karst-related research, and details how to obtain a scientific licence.

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