The most recent full-year numbers for national park visitation show the McGowan Government’s investment strategy for new and improved visitor infrastructure is working.
Regional destinations in particular are delivering great results, with the Kimberley and Wheatbelt regions seeing the largest proportional increases in visitation when compared to the previous year with 22 per cent increases in both regions.
Visitors have also flocked to Western Australia’s latest ‘trail towns’, Dwellingup and Collie, following the construction of exciting new mountain bike adventure trails at Westralia Conservation Park, Lane Poole Reserve and Arklow.
Camping in national parks continues to be popular, with many campsites booking out well in advance.
There are now almost 2,000 campsites bookable online via the Park Stay WA website across 67 campgrounds, following the addition of more than 150 campsites to the Park Stay WA online booking system since 2020.
The McGowan Government has created more than one million hectares of new conservation areas under Plan for Our Parks, is building 490 kilometres of new hiking, mountain biking, paddle and horse trails, and upgrading campgrounds and visitor infrastructure as part of an overall $221 million investment in new and improved visitor facilities.
This includes the recent State Budget commitment of $19.9 million to continue the roll-out of Plan for Our Parks, which remains on track to create five million hectares of new conservation areas by February 2024.
As stated by Environment Minister Reece Whitby:
“Western Australia has incredible natural attractions and our investment in national parks is seeing more people experience culture, enjoy recreation and contribute to wildlife conservation.
“Attractions like the Skywalk and Nature’s Window in Kalbarri National Park where new visitor attractions opened in 2020 continue to be extremely popular.
“More campsites than ever are now able to be booked online, giving travellers the certainty to plan their trips knowing they have a campsite booking secured in advance.
“The McGowan Government’s Plan for Our Parks initiative has already created more than one million hectares of new conservation reserves across the State since February 2019.
“Most recently we celebrated the creation of the Bardi Jawi Gaara, Mayala and Maiyalam marine parks in the Buccaneer Archipelago and the Warlibirri National Park along the Margaret River in the Fitzroy Valley with Traditional Owners and the community.”