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Commercial activities in parks

The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service provides many opportunities for commercial activities that are compatible with the protection of our natural and cultural heritage.


The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is committed to providing activities, attractions, facilities and tours in its parks and reserves for visitors to enjoy and learn from. These are often operated by NPWS, but sometimes they can be managed more effectively, efficiently or flexibly by the private sector.

It is important that NPWS and the private sector work together to run professional operations and deliver these quality and innovative services to the public. We know that commercial operators who are fully invested in our parks will help us protect these valuable places for future generations to enjoy.

Any individual, company or organisation proposing a commercial activity within a national park requires an agreement. An agreement maintains the quality of activities provided in parks and prevents harm to the natural areas. Private-sector operation also provides NPWS with additional income that can be used to protect and conserve natural and cultural heritage.

Any commercial activity in a park or reserve must be permissible under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 and compatible with the park's plan of management.

How can I apply to run a commercial activity?

You will need to apply for a licence or consent if you would like to use a national park or reserve for:

Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water commercial opportunities (for example, to run existing accommodation, food services or Parks Eco Pass selective licence opportunities) are advertised on the NSW Government tenders website. You can also approach the department for permission to operate a new business or commercial activity.

If you would like to run a business in a park, first check the park’s plan of management to see if this is allowed. If no plan currently exists, discuss your proposal with local NPWS staff (call us on 131 555 to be directed to the most appropriate person). Either way, speak to NPWS staff before you put time and effort into preparing a proposal.

What form does an agreement take?

NPWS is part of the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (the department). The department can enter into agreements to allow commercial or business activity on land it manages. An agreement is a legally binding contract and may take the form of a:

  • lease
  • licence
  • permit
  • consent
  • franchise
  • easement.

Benefits of an agreement

An agreement in the form of a lease, licence, permit or consent gives you:

  • a legal right to carry out your proposed activity
  • a formal relationship between you and the department so that both parties are aware of their responsibilities and obligations
  • security of tenure for the term of your concession, provided you comply with its conditions.

Requirements of an agreement

Any contractual agreement must:

  • be offered in a way that meets government requirements for probity
  • secure fair, market-based returns to the department.

Contact us

Visitor Engagement and Revenue Branch

Phone: 02 9585 6082

Email: [email protected]