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West Australian National Parks price hike

National Parks in Western Australia have seen a price hike on camping fees because of the claimed increased cost of protecting National Parks.

National Park fees in Western Australia are being increased between 15-30 percent, depending on the pass type. For instance, the annual all-parks pass, which is typically sold as the value proposition will be raised from $92 to $120.

Speaking this week about the price increase on ABC Radio, Director of Parks and Wildlife Services Western Australia, Peter Sharp said, the price increases are about recuperating the costs that are in involved with protecting the National Parks. “We’re in a business of trying to provide high quality experiences for people and protect the biodiversity values … we’re just nudging the price up a little to get a contribution from someone who is using our parks.”

Interestingly, while fees in Western Australia are being increased, there’s talk of fees in other States and Territories being reduced. In Tasmania, there’s a proposal before parliament to reduce rates in May 2020 on the price of an annual all-parks pass from $96 to $92. While in New South Wales an annual all-parks pass, including Kosciusko National Park, costs $190, but drop Kosciusko National Park and the cost of an all-parks pass drops to $65.

Question: Has National Parks West Australia gone too far with its price increase?

33 Comments

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  • The best areas to camp are those that DPAW hasn’t “managed” yet. Unfortunately getting harder to find these days. I understand having to control the idiots but this excessive management is more akin to a lockout.
    Very disappointing to return to an area after many years only to find manicured roads and amenities, limited access, fees and a lessened experience.

  • I’m in WA and get my annual pass through the RAC and as I’m a pensioner get the concession rate so save quite a bit but what annoys me is the number of people (cars) drive straight past the unmanned pay stations if everybody did the right thing and paid fees could be reduced! So come on fellow travellers don’t be selfish and pay up!

  • Interesting posts and all make valid points, however my view is that we have paid, and do pay a lot of tax to state and federal governments, why must we pay again to “maintain” these state and federal assets.
    I believe that these fees are excessive, the South Australian Simpson Desert pass is a classic example.

  • Just last Monday/Tuesday I visited Marysville Vic (one of the areas deverstated by fires in 2009), for the first time. It was so quite and at a restrauant for dinner the owner said people are not coming to see the snow region because of the $57.00 Nat Park entry fee. On one hand the Gov say visit and support regional towns especially those affected by disasters but they charge such high prices to see local attractions. Even visiting Marysville’s famous Stevensons Falls has a $3.00 parking fee.

  • So $125 to visit KNP each year and 65 for the rest. Not great value unless you are a skier. Given 60 percent of KNP was burnt in 2003, what would they charge, if the dead snow gums and alpine ash were alive and worth looking at?

  • I am in Melbourne and I pay a parks and gardens charge of $90 every year ,and this does not allow me to use national parks and the only parks within cooee of me are the local council parks that I pay for in my rates.
    So yeah I get pissed off a bit the we all pay this charged the fee. then we get hammered in national parks, as an aside I hear that the gov are considering a new model for state parks and state Forests such as along the Murray this means charging for the use of and using the registration system similar to that national parks now use I only hope that this is false.

  • i think they seem to be forgetting who’s parks they are they belong to the people
    and no body has asked them to provide “an experience”
    i make my own experiences and i dont require they’re help
    the only things that require maintenance and the added fees , are the man made structures they continually install to guide me along the path where they want me to go
    if youve ever been to chambers pillar and seen the disgraceful walkway and hand rails installed because of one idiot you will know what i mean

  • could you do a quick value comparison on these states … eg $/park entrance, or maybe $/km2 accessible?? It is a bit disingenuous to compare different states if you don’t try to normalise the data somehow. The other comparison would be distance to parks … i would assume that in a state like WA, you would have to drive further ?? All of which increases both park maintenance cost and travelling cost for the traveller. Thanks

  • So I found this little gem out the other day. NSW National Parks offer the Veteran community a concession, however, you have to be able to prove that you are 70% incapacitated before they will issue you one…. On one hand they promote supporting the Veteran community, on the other hand they ensure that the acceptance criteria is such that they would lose too much money by saying that you have to be broken to get the concession, thus probably unlikely (not in ALL cases) to request the concession.

  • The term national park is misleading, you can’t use any passes outside the state you purchased it in , should be called state parks.
    With the WA national parks (I’m calling it this because they charge the name so often it could be anything this week!) if they stopped wasting money on sterilising our natural attractions ( ugly stainless steel fences etc , ie Black Point, porongurups , the gap and the over use of the national park favourites treated pine poles) maybe they could reduce the cost of entry fees .
    I prefer my natural attractions without the manicure , the way natural intended

  • Let’s face reality here… NP’s need protecting which costs money. Nothing is free. Have a look at what’s happening overseas in war torn countries and places of abject poverty and starvation. That should put things in perspective. Save your $2:30 per week and buy a yearly pass and think yourself lucky you are here and can enjoy WA’s parks. Use the pass when you can get away and If you cant travel that often see it as a donation to a worthy cause

    • 100% agree with you Waz, you’ve hit the nail on the head… If more people were less selfish and took a step back to put things in perspective, imagine how much more funding these worthy causes would have. I take the exact same approach to my zoo membership here in Melbourne. I may only get around to visiting once or twice a year, but I know much organisations like that count on recurring membership income in their budgets. Even if I don’t go at all it doesn’t bother me in the slightest, I consider that $80-90 a year the least I can do to support a zoo that does incredibly important work to protect endangered species.

  • Unfortunately a reasonable chunk of these fees goes towards repairing damage to the Parks caused by a small number of drop kicks in 4WDs who take pleasure in destroying facilities, gates, tracks etc plus do not have much between their ears!!

    • dont be a ridiculous 90% of people could not get to places without the 4wd
      people spend thousand on vehicles so that they can enjoy areas without dealing with the precession of afternoon bus tours bringing hundreds of wildlife warriors in to stamp there mark on something thats otherwise of no interest to them
      i bet your quite happy to drive up and down all these huge highways that have seen thousands of square kilometers of wildlife and bush destroyed

    • I (read we) host in WA NP,s and have been told that the real reason for the price rise is the Caravan Park lobby. Apparently they’ve pestered the State by saying that the cheaper prices are hurting them.
      They are a big lobby group in WA and carry a lot of influence/money, just look at how they closed down all the free camping alone the coast from Lanclin up to Broome.

  • The WA Government are good at screwing us every chance they get. Last year we decided to take the mother in law to a few parks to check out the wildflowers and the cost of entering the parks was expensive, half of them had signs out the front saying “Park full” so after driving 80km+ just to not even be able to enter was frustrating. Instead of the planned bbq, weended up having McDonald’s for lunch at a suburban park after paying a lot of money to be herded like sheep through the parks we managed to get into. I understand it costs money to run these places but paying to walk on a boardwalk and being watched the whole time we’re there wasn’t the experience we were expecting. We went to actually experience nature and get off the beaten trail, instead we were herded like sheep from the entry to the exit as quickly as possible to get as many park fees as they could. Now to hear they’re hiking up the prices again does not make me want to drive all day to a destination just to get turned away. I’m a proud West Aussie and I support conservation of our beautiful parks but they need to understand why people head out there, it’s not to stand shoulder to shoulder with 1000’s of other people, it’s to enjoy the open spaces and get away from the rat race.

    • Sorry mate but that is happening all over Aust It seems there must be 100 million living here not 25 million, ah for the good ole days when we could go out there and not see anyone for days on end
      Just recently we were camped on the Savannah Way around the gulf and in one very remote spot we had 19 campers and caravans in an area the was only for maybe 7 or 8 same at Liechard lagoon we counted 20 camps in there so I guess it’s a sign of the times we live in

  • Western Australian parks are the best in the country in my travels, they are clean, well sign posted, have quiet camping areas along with not so quiet areas for those that need to use generators. There is generally a Ranger in location for information and collection of fees from those without an annual pass. $120 Annual Pass is still the best value for camping/visiting parks in WA. Sully

    • Hang on a second, I’m from QLD myself and did I just read it correctly that in WA you pay $96 and get access to any park all year round/unlimited nights????

      $96 will only get an individual 15 nights stay in QLD 🙁

      • It does not cover staying in the National park only entering. Camping fees are paid separately and are usually per person eg Karajini is $11.00 per person pit toilets , no campfires.

  • I look at this way. If it keeps the National Parks open, so I can go camping, I am happy to pay. Most of the other states are closing access to National Parks. So we do not have as many National Parks options to go too. Less National Parks fewer fees.

    Also, it only takes a minority to destroy it for the rest of us.

    • I agree with aljohnno in that if these are National Parks, then the fees should be set by the Commonwealth Government. On the other hand,I don’t agree that it’s just another rip-off. While facilities may range from some to none, compared to Canada and the US, where I lived and worked for 16 years, we have it pretty damn good.

  • Sounds like WA don’t want people to visit tbeir National Parks.
    Just another rip off.
    If these are NP why are the fees not set by national government.

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