Protecting the health and safety of our visitors and staff is the highest priority for NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).
Read more about COVID-19 update
Please consult the latest NSW Government news and updates about COVID-19 on a regular basis to ensure you're aware of the current health situation. If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, even mild symptoms, you should stay home and get tested.
You'll need to plan ahead before taking a trip to our NSW national parks. Popular areas may have to be closed at short notice to ensure visitation doesn't exceed safe capacity. This includes popular picnic areas and beaches. Other areas remain closed due to bushfire or flood damage or to ensure compliance with the current rules on public gatherings.
Bookings are required for all campgrounds and campsites in national parks, including those that did not previously require bookings.
Last updated: 4:00pm, 18 January 2021.
Frequently asked questions
FAQs will be updated regularly. Please check this page soon for more information.
Campground and accommodation bookings
How can I book an NPWS campground or accommodation?
Booking is now required for all campgrounds and campsites in national parks. This includes locations that were previously available for use without a booking. This is necessary to protect our visitors and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
With limited availability for bookings in popular campgrounds throughout summer we encourage you to visit lesser-known national parks. The booking rules or maximum capacity may have changed for your preferred destination.
Before planning your visit, you should:
- visit the webpage for your chosen campground or accommodation to check if it is accepting online bookings, and
- check the alerts page for closures in NSW national parks.
You can also check this list of lesser-known campgrounds and campsites that require online bookings, for additional information.
Is wild or back country camping permitted?
Yes. You do not require a formal booking for back country camping, but you must complete a Trip Intention Form before you leave home.
The Trip Intention Form is used to register your plans to assist emergency services in the event you become lost or injured. It is not a booking and is not used to actively monitor the number of visitors in a given location.
As health and emergency services are currently under significant demand due to the pandemic, completing a Trip Intention Form for backcountry camping is mandatory to reduce pressure on any emergency response that may be required.
Backcountry camping (or wild camping) refers to overnight stays in remote areas where walk in camping is permitted.
Are all campgrounds and accommodation in national parks open?
No. Due to the recent bushfires and floods, some of our national parks or some sites remain closed. Some sites and attractions will be closed at short notice to ensure visitation levels do not exceed safe capacity and ensure compliance with the current rules on public gatherings. Some walking tracks remain closed, particularly in the Blue Mountains National Park.
Please check alerts for closures in NSW national parks before planning your visit.
Staying safe in national parks
How do I protect myself and the community from COVID-19?
We ask that you please comply with the following directives and health measures when visiting a national park:
- Practice physical distancing
- Maintain good hygiene
- Comply with rules on public gatherings
- Be aware of NPWS camping safety tips
- If you are unwell, stay at home.
Access to sanitation products and running water cannot be guaranteed. We recommend bringing hand soap, hand wipes and toilet paper with you.
If a national park or other public space is too crowded to practice physical distancing, it is your responsibility to leave the area. Please do not wait to be instructed by NPWS or Police.
NPWS officers and NSW Police are patrolling national parks to ensure visitors are complying with physical distancing measures and other public health orders. It is an offence under the law to disobey temporary closure signage or the direction of national parks officers.
What safety issues should I be aware of in national parks?
It's great to explore NSW national parks and we encourage you to see and do as much as possible. We also want you and your companions to stay safe.
If you don't visit NSW national parks very often there are some really important safety tips you need to be aware of before you go. Remember that parks are natural environments and can be unpredictable.
- Always check NSW National Parks alerts page for up to date information on closed parks and safety alerts.
- Read our bushwalking safety tips before your hike.
- It's important to be safe around rivers, waterholes and beaches, which all have different risks.
- Remember that smoking is not allowed in NSW national parks.
Will facilities in national parks be sanitised more regularly?
We have established protocols to ensure our cabins and cottages will be sanitised after the departure of each guest.
We cannot guarantee that visitor facilities in national parks (e.g. picnic tables, barbecues, playgrounds, toilets and other common touchpoints) are disinfected. It is your responsibility to wash your hands regularly and maintain good hygiene when using shared facilities.
Access to sanitation products and running water cannot be guaranteed. We recommend bringing your own sanitation products and additional drinking water.
Can I pay park entry fees with cash?
In response to the COVID-19 emergency many locations are no longer accepting cash when it is paid directly to a staff member, such as at an entry station.
Cash will continue to be accepted at pay and display machines. It is recommended that you bring a card as this may be the only payment option available at the park you are visiting.
If you visit NSW national parks regularly you can save on motor vehicle entry fees by buying an annual pass and get park visits for 12 or 24 months.
What activities are allowed in national parks?
Most recreational activities (bushwalking, picnic, boating, birdwatching) are allowed now. We remind you that physical distancing is required at all times and current rules on public gatherings continue to apply. Read more about how to stay safe when exploring our national parks.
Tours and events
Are tours and events allowed in national parks?
If you're arranging a commercial event or gathering of more than 40 people you'll need to arrange permission in advance. Find out more about organising an on-park event or get in touch with your NPWS event contact, the relevant local park office, or email the Events team to arrange bookings, cancellations or postponements.
School tours and activities
School tours and activities organised in partnership with NPWS are allowed, in line with recommendations from the Department of Education.
Commercial tour operators
For enquiries about tours and events managed by commercial operators, please contact the tour operator directly.
Can I hold a personal event in a national park?
If you're arranging a gathering of more than 40 people you’ll need to arrange permission in advance according to the National Parks and Wildlife Regulation 2019.
Please get in touch with the local park office to arrange permission and bookings.