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

Due to the recent community transmissions of COVID-19 new measures, including face masks rules, are now in place across NSW.

Please check the latest NSW Government COVID-19 updates on a regular basis to ensure you're aware of the current health situation. If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, even mild symptoms, do not visit a park. Stay home and get tested.

Some sites and attractions will be closed at short notice to ensure public visitation does not exceed safe capacity, and to ensure compliance with the current COVID-19 restrictions. 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.

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

Greater Sydney region

People in Greater Sydney (including Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour local government areas) are advised not to leave their homes unless absolutely necessary. People may leave home to exercise but must stay within their local Government area or within 10kms of home and must not exercise in groups larger than two (unless members of the same household).

  • All campgrounds, accommodations and visitor centres managed by NPWS in the Greater Sydney region are now closed until further notice.
  • NPWS-led guided tours across the Greater Sydney region are on hold until further notice.
  • NPWS will be contacting visitors with bookings affected by closures and issue a refund.

We're committed to keeping parks and reserves open for the community to exercise, however there may be unforeseen closures or delays. This is because the stay-at-home orders may reduce our staff capacity.

Some high-visitation areas like beaches, carparks, playgrounds, barbecue facilities, water drinking fountains, picnic shelters and tables, rotundas, toilets, and viewing platforms may have to close at short notice due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Where possible, walking tracks and low-traffic open spaces will remain open for the community to exercise.

Physical distancing is required for all activities in NSW national parks, and pets are not permitted in NSW national parks.

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

Regional and rural NSW

We understand how important and significant national parks and reserves are for the NSW community and are committed to keeping our parks and reserves open for the community to exercise. 

Before leaving home, please check:

Visitors are reminded that NPWS campgrounds or accommodation must not be used for self-isolation.

Popular areas across NSW may have to be closed at short notice to ensure visitation doesn't exceed safe capacity and ensure compliance with the current COVID-19 rules. This includes popular picnic areas and beaches. Other areas remain closed due to bushfire or flood damage. Physical distancing is required for all activities in NSW national parks.

Bookings are required for all campgrounds and campsites in national parks.

Last updated: 1:00pm, 19 July 2021.

Frequently asked questions

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

Kosciuszko snow season 2021

What do I need to do before coming to the ski fields?

Please consult the latest NSW Government COVID-19 updates and rules and restrictions that apply across Greater Sydney on a regular basis to ensure you're aware of the current stay-at-home orders and travel restrictions before leaving home.

All campgrounds within Kosciuszko National Park must be pre-booked.

If you intend to do any backcountry activities, such as hiking, snowshoeing, or cross country skiing or boarding please check Think Before You TREK before leaving home. We highly recommend you lodge a Trip Intention Form with NPWS and carry a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). Trip intention forms are mandatory for overnight trips that include backcountry camping.

You should also pre-purchase lift passes if you’re planning to use the ski lifts.

We recommend that to stay on top of the latest information and advice you also check:

What can I do at the snow this year?

It is expected that all recreation activities which were on offer prior to the COVID-19 pandemic will be available to visitors coming to Kosciuszko National Park for the 2021 snow season. This includes snow play and tobogganing.

Thredbo, Charlotte Pass, and Perisher resorts have advised that like every snow season, snow play, snow tubing, sledding, and tobogganing is not permitted in resort skiing and snowboarding areas due to safety reasons. The toboggan slope and snow play areas at Perisher will be open as snow conditions allow. Visitors should check with resorts and commercial venues about opening dates and any other restrictions that may apply.

Visitors engaging in all activities, including snow play, need to comply with Public Health Orders. If it is not possible to maintain safety and comply with Public Health Orders you must leave the area.

If you’re planning to participate in backcountry activities we highly recommend you fill in a Trip Intention Form. Trip intention forms are mandatory for overnight trips that include backcountry camping.

Can I pay for passes and park entry with cash?

In response to the COVID-19 emergency many outlets and locations are no longer accepting cash payments. This includes vehicle entry stations and the NPWS Perisher Valley Office.

It is recommended you bring a card as this may be the only payment option available to you.

Card payments are also preferred at all visitor centres.

Visitors can also buy a digital pass for annual entry to NSW national parks. Please check Introducing digital NSW parks passes for more information.

Where can I get more information?

For more information, you can check with your resort and local Kosciuszko National Park Visitor Centres:

Campground and accommodation bookings

Are campgrounds and accommodation in national parks open?

Due to the NSW Government’s public health orders for COVID-19, campgrounds and accommodation in Greater Sydney (including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour) are closed until further notice.

In addition, some national parks and sites around NSW remain closed as a result of bushfire and flood damage.

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

Can I get a refund if I have to cancel my booking due to the COVID-19 restrictions?

Yes, full refunds are available for impacted visitors with bookings until further notice. Visitors affected by stay-at-home orders or travel restrictions should call the National Parks Contact Centre on 1300 072 757. Standard cancellation fees apply for cancellations requested online.

I do not have a permanent address, can I self-isolate in a national park?

No. Campgrounds and accommodation within national parks are not suitable for self-isolation. Residing in a national park is not allowed.

How can I book an NPWS campground or accommodation?

Booking is required for all campgrounds and campsites in national parks. This is necessary to protect our visitors and prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Before planning your visit, you should:

Is wild or back country camping permitted?

Please consult the latest NSW Government COVID-19 updates and rules and restrictions that apply across Greater Sydney on a regular basis to ensure you're aware of the current stay-at-home orders and travel restrictions before leaving home.

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.

Please check Think Before You TREK before leaving home.

Staying safe in national parks

How do I protect myself and the community from COVID-19?

Please consult the latest NSW Government COVID-19 updates and rules and restrictions that apply across Greater Sydney on a regular basis to ensure you're aware of the current stay-at-home orders and travel restrictions before leaving home.

We also 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.

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 COVID-19 rules.

Due to the recent bushfires and floods, some of our national parks or some sites also remain closed, including some walking tracks in the Blue Mountains National Park.

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

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.

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 pandemic 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.

Commercial tours and events

Are commercial tours allowed in national parks?

Greater Sydney region (including Blue Mountains and Central Coast and Wollongong and Shellharbour): No commercial tours can take place until further notice.

Regional and rural NSW: For the rest of NSW, commercial tours that comply with the current COVID-19 rules are permitted. Visitors and businesses operating within national parks must remain aware of the COVID-19 rules. If you have any questions you can contact (02) 9585 6082 or park.businesses@environment.nsw.gov.au

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

Is commercial filming and photography allowed in national parks?

Greater Sydney region (including Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour): Commercial filming and photography can continue to be undertaken within a NSW national park or reserve in accordance with the current Public Health (COVID-19 Temporary Movement and Gathering Restrictions) Order 2021.

Regional and rural NSW: For the rest of NSW, commercial filming and photography that complies with current COVID-19 rules are permitted. Businesses must remain aware of the COVID-19 rules. If you have any questions you can contact the Visitor Experience Branch on (02) 9585 6082 or park.businesses@environment.nsw.gov.au

Are school tours and activities allowed in national parks?

Greater Sydney region (including Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour): No school excursions are permitted until further notice.

Regional and rural NSW: Limited school tours and activities organised in partnership with NPWS are allowed, in line with recommendations from the Department of Education.

Can I hold an event in a national park?

Greater Sydney region (including Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour): No organised events are permitted until further notice. For postponements or cancellations of events and venue bookings, please get in touch with your NPWS event contact, the relevant local park office or email the events team.

Regional and rural NSW: For the rest of NSW, organised events that can comply with current rules on public gatherings are allowed in NSW national parks. Visitors must remain aware of the current rules for gatherings and events.

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.