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). Most NPWS campgrounds, cabins and cottages have started reopening from Monday 1 June, in line with the easing of holiday travel restrictions announced by the NSW Government.

Read more about COVID-19 update

You are now required to make a booking 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 before planning your visit.

Parts of Kosciuszko National Park will be closed over the 5-9 June long weekend while ski resorts prepare for the season opening from 22 June.

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.

We appreciate your patience while we conduct risk assessments to ensure campgrounds and other visitor services can reopen safely.

Last updated: 2:00pm, 3 June 2020.

Frequently asked questions

FAQs will be updated regularly. Please check this page soon for more information.

Kosciuszko National Park

What areas of the park are closed over the 5-9 June long weekend?

To prepare for the opening of NSW ski season on Monday 22 June 2020, the resort areas of Perisher, Thredbo and Charlotte Pass, and the Main Range of Kosciuszko National Park, will be closed to the public from 5pm Friday 5 June to 9am Tuesday 9 June.

What areas of the park are open?

Many areas of Kosciuszko National Park remain open to the public including walking tracks around the Thredbo Valley as well as the Thredbo River below Bullocks Flat.

Some camping areas will remain open during the 5-9 June weekend. Please check the webpage for Kosciuszko National Park for areas open and to make a booking.

When is the start of NSW ski season?

NSW ski season will start on Monday 22 June 2020, with Thredbo opening on 22 June, Perisher on 24 June and Charlotte Pass on 26 June.

What COVID-safe measures are in place during NSW ski season?

NSW Snowy Mountains resorts are working to ensure their operations are compliant with NSW public health orders. COVID-safe measures will be implemented by resorts, ski field operators, associated businesses across the whole Snowy Mountains including surrounding towns from Monday 22 June.

These measures include:

  • Lift tickets must be pre-purchased at one of the resorts
  • A Trip Intention Form must be completed before any back country activities
  • Tobogganing is not permitted in Kosciuszko National Park until further notice.

When will park facilities and attractions reopen?

Yarrangobilly Caves (access to the thermal pool and walking experiences only) reopened on Monday 1 June. Guided or self-guided caves tours are not available at this stage. The Yarrangobilly Caves Visitor Centre and Caves House accommodation will remain closed until further notice.

Tumut, Jindabyne and Khancoban Visitor Information Centres reopened on Tuesday 2 June.

Creel Lodge at Waste Point, Numbananga Lodge at Smiggin Holes and some other NPWS-managed accommodation will reopen from Tuesday 9 June.

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?

Back country camping is allowed from Monday 1 June. 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. Please check alerts for closures in NSW national parks before planning your visit.

Some sites and attractions may need to remain closed to ensure compliance with the current rules on public gatherings. Check this list of popular NSW sites and attractions that are currently closed or have restricted access.

What areas remain closed?

Most historic sites as well as some beaches, picnic areas and playgrounds are closed due to the COVID-19 crisis. We are working to reopen these sites and facilities following case-by-case assessments and make our parks fully accessible as soon as possible.

Most visitor centres have started reopening from Monday 1 June, following risk assessment processes.

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.

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.

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.

Tours and events

Are tours and events cancelled?

All guided tours and events managed by NPWS are cancelled. A full refund will be provided.

Some tours and events managed by commercial operators are recommencing for groups of 10 people or fewer. Please contact the tour operator directly.

Can I proceed with a personal event?

Organised events are allowed in NSW national parks with up to 10 people in total. No other events can proceed until further notice.

However, up to 20 guests (including adults and children) may attend a wedding. This is in addition to the couple, the people conducting or assisting in the conduct of the wedding, a photographer, videographer.

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.

Shrubby wattle against a blue sky. Photo: Amanda Cutlack/DPIE