More than 5 million visits

to our local National Parks

More than 5 million domestic visits were made to national parks in the Hunter Central Coast region last year, according to the latest NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service Park Visitor Survey.

Maitland Bay Track, Bouddi National Park, Central Coast.

11 October 2023


VISITS to the region have increased by 46 per cent in ten years, as people flock to see the area’s diverse natural beauty from Patonga Beach up to Newcastle and out to the Hunter Valley and Barrington Tops.


Nearly one-in-five park visits in the Hunter Central Coast region was to Brisbane Water National Park, with its total of 929,000 visits making it the 10th most-visited national park in the state.


Brisbane Water National Park has expansive views, bushwalks, cycling tracks and Aboriginal rock engraving sites, and stretches from near Gosford, down around Woy Woy to Patonga.


Minister for the Environment Penny Sharpe said “National parks are one of NSW’s greatest public assets, which are loved by people from NSW, across Australia and internationally. In a post-Covid world it’s clear visits to national parks are growing.


“The NSW Government is investing $74 million to upgrade visitor infrastructure in NSW national parks so people can enjoy unforgettable experiences, from camping trips in the bush to coastal getaways and alpine adventures.”


Minister for the Central Coast David Harris said that across the state there are 895 national parks, nature reserves, state conservation areas and regional parks, and the Central Coast community is lucky to have so many on our doorstep.


“Among the outdoor adventures available to us is the Crackneck Lookout at Forresters Beach, which has been upgraded to make the track, lookout and parking more accessible.”


Recent park upgrades and regional highlights include:


Tomaree Coastal Walk – spectacular 27-km walk past beaches and angophora forests with views over Port Stephens. One of the 13 ‘Great Walks’ in NSW national parks.


Bouddi Coastal Walk upgrade – spot dolphins, whales or echidnas on the recently upgraded 8km walk along the coast and through rainforest from Killcare Heights to MacMasters Beach.


Worimi Conservation Lands – guided tours in a culturally significant landscape that is also the largest mobile sand dune in Australia. The area is jointly managed with Aboriginal owners.


Across NSW, visits to national parks increased 49 per cent over the past 10 years to reach 53 million. In 2022, 1.8 million nights were spent in a park campground, cottage, cabin or lighthouse.


A state record was set in 2022 with 12.5 million visits by children. The Greater Sydney area also set a record with over 20 million visits, the highest number since the two-yearly survey began in 2008.


Minister for the Hunter Yasmin Catley said “National parks in the Hunter region are a huge drawcard for visitors and locals. They are incredible places which conserve our unique wildlife and allow people to relax and recharge.


“NPWS has recently upgraded mountain bike trails in Glenrock State Conservation Area near Newcastle, enabling mobility riders to get back in their cycling seats. Family favourites such as Myall Lakes National Park are great for camping and water activities.”


Visiting a national park is a major drawcard, giving people a reason to spend time in regional communities, to the benefit of local jobs and economies.


The Park Visitor Survey is undertaken every two years. It reports on the total number of visits, rather than the number of people who visited parks. It considers people who live in Australia.

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