COVID-19 update
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COVID-19 update

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

We remind visitors to plan ahead before taking a trip to our NSW national parks because popular areas will be closed at short notice to ensure visitation levels do not exceed safe capacity. This includes popular picnic areas and beaches. Other areas remain closed due to the recent bushfires and floods or to ensure compliance with the current rules on public gatherings.

Please check alerts for closures in NSW national parks before your visit.

We also encourage you to plan your visit outside of peak periods (11am to 2pm) and explore lesser-known spots outside of our most popular areas.

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.

The booking rules or maximum capacity may have changed for your preferred destination, so please check the webpage for your chosen campground while planning your visit.

 We remind you that physical distancing is still required for all activities in NSW national parks. Current rules on public gatherings also continue to apply.

Last updated: 10:00am, 23 September 2020.

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 camping and accommodation in national parks.

Before planning your visit, you should:

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

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:

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.

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.

High-risk activities such as rock-climbing, abseiling and canyoning should be avoided to avoid increasing demand for emergency services.

Can I visit a national park if I have recently been in Victoria?

NSW has temporarily imposed border restrictions with Victoria to contain the spread of COVID-19. If you need to cancel your booking due to border closure, a full refund will be provided.

Only persons authorised under the public health order may enter NSW. If you can enter NSW, you may be required to self-isolate for 14 days. Please refer to the latest advice from the NSW Government on the self-isolation requirements, which depend on your recent travel history.

If you are required to self-isolate, you must:

  • follow the NSW self-isolation guidelines
  • not enter a national park, given NSW National Park campgrounds and accommodation are not suitable places for self-isolation. 

Tours and events

Are tours and events allowed in national parks?

Tours and events that can comply with current rules on public gatherings are permitted.

School tours and activities organised in partnership with NPWS are allowed, in line with recommendations from the Department of Education.

For enquiries about tours and events managed by commercial operators, please contact the tour operator directly.

Can I proceed with a personal event?

Organised events that can comply with current rules on public gatherings are allowed in NSW national parks.

Please get in touch with your NPWS event contact, the relevant local park office, or email the Events team to arrange bookings, cancellations or postponements.