Permits for New South Wales

The following information is provided to assist you in gaining the right permits to lawfully travel through or access specified regional and outback areas. It is very important to gain the right permit and follow the conditions imposed on it because they are in place to help protect the Aboriginal lands, National Parks, deserts and beaches as well as private and pastoral areas. This article by John Greig discusses most of the popular areas that four wheel drive tourists tend to visit within New South Wales

National Parks and Reserves

In New South Wales there are no aboriginal permit requirements that I am aware of, however, a number of our National Parks and Reserves (about 10% of them, which includes most of the more popular Parks) do levy an entry fee. And, in some there is also an overnight camping fee. If you are in the habit of spending quite a few nights away in NSW national parks, or you visit a number each year where charges are levied, then you might want to consider a National Park Annual Pass. They are available on-line (see below), or by fax or mail, or from a number of outlets, including Royal National Park and from the National Park Shop located in Cadman’s Cottage at Circular Quay. They can be bought to cover a 1 or 2-year period. A few examples (as at August, 2010) are: an All Parks Annual Pass including Kosciuszko is $190 per annum or $335 for a 2-year pass. Excluding Kosciuszko reduces the rates to $65 and $115. Single Park and Multi Park Passes are also available for NSW Country National Parks.

Daily rates of admission (where applicable and as at August, 2010) are reasonable. Rates vary from a general minimum of $7 per vehicle to $11 per vehicle.Sydney Harbour National Park and Burragorang State Conservation Area are only $3 per vehicle.Oxley Wild Rivers National Park does have some special entry costs to particular areas which can be up $25 per day. During the skiing season a day entry to Kosciuszko National Park is $27 whilst for the rest of the year it is $16. The website contains all the details.

Camping fees are also levied for some campgrounds in some National Parks, and again the website has all the details. Rates can also vary between peak season and off peak seasons. Camping fees where applicable are generally one of the following per person per night: Adult $10 and child $5; or Adult $7 and child $3.50; or Adult $5 and child $3. In Oxley Wild Rivers National Park at the locations where the special entry fees of up to $25 per vehicle apply, the camping fees can be up to $40 per vehicle per night. However, if you are camping at those special locations you only pay the camping fee as the day entry fee does not apply.

NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service

The very helpful and informative website for the New South Wales National Parks & Wildlife Service which is a Division of the Department of Climate Change and Water is at

Annual Passes can be ordered on-line or alternatively you can download an Application Form for use by fax or post. You can call the Annual Pass Centre, or make general enquiries on 1300 361 967 (for the cost of a local call within Australia, excluding mobiles) or (02) 9585 6068 or fax them on (02) 9585 6831.

The postal address is
NPWS Annual Pass Centre, PO Box 1967, Hurstville, NSW 1481.

For email inquiries about Annual Passes use or for general information use

NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service

Head Office Address: 59-61 Goulburn Street, Sydney, NSW 2000
Postal Address: PO Box A290, Sydney South, NSW 1232
Phone: (02) 9995 5000
TTY: (02) 9211 4723 (Telephone typewriter for hearing impaired callers)
Fax: (02) 9995 5999


If you are dealing with a National Park Service or any Government Agency and you have a Seniors Card, Pension or Concession Card of some description; always ask whether a discounted rate applies.

Stockton Beach

And of course if you enjoy driving on the sand dunes at Stockton Beach, then you will need the appropriate permit for such activities. (Please note that as a consequence of the handing over of some areas in the region to an aboriginal group, (see Note below), some changes have occurred). One of two vehicle permits is required for what is now known as the Worimi Conservation Lands. The first is a Beach Vehicle Permit for road registered 4WD vehicles to access Stockton Beach; the second is a Recreational Vehicle Permit which is available for RTA conditionally registered vehicles (endorsed for Stockton Beach RVA) to access the Recreational Vehicle Area of the Worimi Conservation Lands.

The Beach Vehicle Permit is available at a number of outlets in and around Newcastle, including the Birubi Beach Service Station, Gan Gan Road, Anna Bay ((02) 4982 2201) and the Birubi Beach Holiday Park in James Patterson Street, Anna Bay ((02) 4982 1263). They are also available at Out of Town 4WD at Barnsley ((02) 4953 3288), and at the Metro Lavis Service Station, Nelson Bay Road, Williamtown, (opposite Lavis Lane which is one of the entry points to Stockton Beach). The Metro Lavis can be contacted on (02) 4965 0401, and is probably the closest location for persons from Sydney. Other outlets are at: Tackle Power, Sandgate; the Mobil at Salt Ash; Port Stephens Visitor Centre, Nelson Bay and Medowie Tyre and Auto at Medowie.
Permits can also be purchased in person or over the phone (with a credit card) from the NP&WS Hunter Regional Office on phone (02) 4984 8200. Their street address is Level 1, 12 Teramby Road, Nelson Bay, NSW 2315.

The minimum three day permit costs $10 per vehicle, whilst a 12 month permit costs $30. Pensioner discounts apply on production of the vehicle’s registration papers to which the RTA has applied a pensioner discount.

You will also find that to camp overnight on Stockton Beach you will need one chemical toilet (or other system of removing and disposing of human waste) for each six persons in your party. You are also required to camp within 100 metres of the mean high water mark. There is no camping permitted within the forested areas or around the lagoons. A number of other restrictions also apply, so get the latest NP&WS brochure when you purchase your permit.

(N.B.: The Recreational Vehicle Area at Stockton, together with some other nearby areas has recently been handed over by the Port Stephens Shire Council to the National Parks and Wildlife Service. They in turn have handed some of the area back to the Worimi Aboriginal Corporation).

Hawks Nest to Lemon Tree Beach Access

The 3 kilometres or so of public beach access from Saddlington Drive in Hawks Nest to Lemon Tree requires an annual pass issued by the local Council. They are available at the Council Offices in Tea Gardens from Monday to Friday, or on Saturdays they are available from the Tea Gardens Tourist Information Centre, Myall Street, Tea Gardens ((02) 4997 0111 (which is next door to the Council Offices) at a cost of $45 (July to June*). They are also available from the Hawks Nest News agency.

*N.B.: The passes are an annual pass only, and all expire on 30 June each year.

Tea Gardens Visitor Information Centre

Myall Street
Phone: (02) 4997 0111
Fax: (02) 4997 0111
Opening Hours: 10 - 4pm (Most days)

Tea Gardens CTC - Visitor Information Centre

Shop 4, Myall Plaza, 209 Myall Street, Tea Gardens, NSW 2324
Phone: (02) 4997 0749
Fax: (02) 4997 0759

Myall Lakes National Park

Currently, (August, 2010), the beach run within Myall Lakes National Park is only open from Lemon Tree north to Little Gibber, and from Mungo Brush north to Big Gibber. The rest of the beach areas are closed till further notice with the exception of Lighthouse Beach at Seal Rocks where beach driving is still permitted. Permits (which are essentially your National Park entry fee), are available either on a daily basis at $7 each or $22 for a 12 month period from date of purchase. They are obtainable from the same locations as the Council Permit above, and from the Booti Booti National Park Office. The beach area is very much subject to erosion from wind and tidal action and is subject to closure from time to time. So if you are planning a visit it would be well worthwhile ringing the National Park Area Office which is located within Booti Booti National Park on (02) 6591 0300 to ascertain the latest information.Myall Lakes National Park and Booti Booti are parks where peak season and off peak camping rates apply. Currently, (August, 2010) the rates are $14 per adult per night and $7 per child per night in the peak season and $10 and $5 in the off peak season.

Port Macquarie/Hastings Shire Council Beaches

To drive any of the beaches which are marked as vehicle accessible within the Port Macquarie/Hastings Shire Council area, including the beach access from North Shore to Point Plomer (which includes access into the Limeburners Creek Nature Reserve), you will need an annual beach access permit issued by the Council. They are available for $21 per vehicle (July to June) and can be bought at any of the Council’s offices or from any of the Tourist Information kiosks within the Council area. If you drive up the beach to Limeburners Creek Nature Reserve you will also need to purchase a national park day entry permit ($7 per vehicle per day) available from the coin operated vending machines within the Nature Reserve, so ensure you have the correct amount of gold coinage. And if you camp within the Nature Reserve at either of the two designated camping areas it will cost you $10 per adult and $5 per child per night. Inquiries can be made at Arakoon State Recreation Area, Cardwell Street, South West Rocks, NSW 2431. Telephone (02) 6566 6168.

[SH]State Forests:[/MH]Most State Forests in NSW are available for camping and recreation. Many have well maintained 4WD trails, and many also offer exceptionally beautiful and scenic touring opportunities.

Remember though, that you will be sharing the roads and tracks with logging trucks and logging machinery, so take care at all times.

Forests NSW have recently introduced a 60 km/h speed limit on all unsealed gravel roads in all State forests and are now in the process of installing 60 km/h signage.

For further information go to the Forests NSW website at and click on “Recreation” or contact them at (02) 9872 0111 or Fax (02) 9871 6941

Road Conditions:

Go to the NSW RTA website on and remember up to date road reports are also available at

Can I get a Concession?:

Don’t forget, if you are dealing with a National Park Service or any Government Agency, and you have a Seniors Card or a Pension Card of some description; always ask whether a Seniors Discount is available. In most cases the answer is, yes!


Whilst every care has been taken in the preparation of this information, no responsibility can be accepted for either the accuracy of the contents or for any errors or omissions.

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