Ranger and campers, Overland Track
Ranger and campers, Overland Track (photograph: Andrew Englisch)

Improved Park Pass System for our National Parks

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The Parks and Wildlife Service will implement a new park pass system for our national parks from 1 September 2020. 

This is the first change to park entry fees in 10 years.

Our national parks are for people to enjoy.  Tasmania has spectacular natural and cultural values and people from all over the world want to experience that with us. 

Every year national parks make a positive contribution to the Tasmanian economy, especially in our regions.  Of the 1.3 million visitors coming to Tasmania from interstate and overseas in 2018, some 537 100 (or 41 per cent) said they went to a national park. 

Our national parks are the main reason people visit Tasmania.  Research tells us that the ‘core appeals’ (i.e. key appealing aspects) of Tasmania, include wilderness and nature; heritage and history; pristine and untouched scenery; and wildlife.  Our natural areas support well over 200 nature based tourism operators.

There is a need for planning and infrastructure to ensure delivery of a high quality experience for visitors to these areas, while protecting those things that make the region special in the first place, for example we need to provide better visitor centres that reflect the special areas that people are visiting, that are sustainable and world’s best practice. Tasmanians and visitors alike will benefit from the initiatives such as the Discovery Ranger program, better transportation provisions and shelters at track heads. 

Park entry fees offer extraordinary value for money and provide residents of Tasmania and visitors to our parks with access to some of the most beautiful and unique places in the world.

Research shows that visitors are willing to pay more for access to Tasmania’s national parks and understand that the cost of providing safe and reliable services needs to keep pace with the growth in numbers and popularity of our parks.

That is why the Parks and Wildlife Service will be modernising the park pass system.  Our new system will see every dollar spent returned directly to our parks and reserves and at the same time, reduce the cost for those that regularly access our national parks.

The changes include:

  • Reducing the cost of an Annual All Parks pass by $6 and a Two Year, All Parks pass by $8. These passes represent great value and provide unlimited entry to every national park in Tasmania for an entire family. Further reductions will also apply for the new discounted Seniors passes, which were introduced as part of the Government’s Active Ageing strategy.
  • Creation of an Icon pass – under the Icon Park pass, Cradle Mountain Day passes will increase from $16.50 to $25 for an adult. Day passes for children will increase from $8.25 up to $10, and a family will increase from $41.25 up to $60.
  • Seniors, Holiday, One and Two Year All Parks passes include access to Icon national parks.
  • Holiday passes (valid for 2 months) that are more typically purchased by visitors to Tasmania will also increase by $10 per person and $20 per vehicle.

These fees are expected to generate approximately $3M in revenue per annum and will help to recover the costs of shuttle bus and ferry services and other programs.

Note: Modelling undertaken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recommended PEF to apply from 1 September 2020

Pass Type
Current Rate New Rate Change
Annual One Park (excluding Icon NPs)$49.00$46.00-$3.00
Annual All Parks$96.00$90.00-$6.00
Two Year All Parks$123.00$115.00-$8.00
Seniors Annual All Parks$38.00$36.00-$2.00
Seniors Two Year All Parks$49.00$46.00-$3.00
​Daily Person​$12.00$20.00$8.00
Daily Vehicle$24.00$40.00$16.00
Holiday Person$30.00$40.00$10.00
Holiday Vehicle$60.00$80.00$20.00
Icon NP Daily Adult (Cradle)$16.50$25.00$8.50
Icon NP Daily Child (Cradle)$8.25$10.00$1.75
Icon NP Daily Family (Cradle)$41.25$60.00$18.75

Park Entry Fees Q&A

Q. When were park entry fees first introduced?

A. Entry fees were first charged in Tasmanian National Parks in 1994. 

Q. When were park entry fees last changed?

A. Tasmanian Park Entry Fees were last changed in 2009.

Q. Why isn’t entry free for Tasmanians?

A. Under section 117 of the Australian Constitution it is illegal for the Parks and Wildlife Service to provide an exclusive discount to Tasmanian residents, as this is considered discriminatory to residents of other states.

Unlike private operations such as MONA, the Parks and Wildlife Service is operating as an entity of the Crown and must provide the same fee rate to all Australians.

The new parks pass system makes our parks more affordable for longer term users compared with short stay visitors, but everyone can purchase any pass type.

Q. What if I can’t afford a National Parks Pass?

A. Under our new fee structure the cost of accessing Tasmania’s National Parks has decreased for those passes we know locals purchase.  There has been a reduction of $6 and $8 respectively for annual All Parks and two year All Parks passes. 

We have also continued to provide for our Seniors Parks pass initiative which provides for a 50% discount on the concession rates for annual parks passes encouraging more older Tasmanians to be active and enjoy our parks.

Concession card holders will continue to receive discounts on annual and two year passes.

It is also important to remember there are many spectacular and beautiful places, managed by the Parks and Wildlife Service outside of national parks, which provide free access.  Reserves such as the Bay of Fires on the East Coast, the Tamar Island Wetlands and the Peter Murrell Reserve in the South are great examples of places where people can get out and enjoy Tasmania’s spectacular natural environment without paying for a parks pass.  

Q.  What changes are being made?

A.  Under our new fee structure there will be two core types of passes; local (longer term passes) and visitor (shorter term passes).

The cost of accessing Tasmania’s National Parks has decreased for those passes we know locals purchase including:

  • Two Year All Parks pass – reduction from $123 to $115
  • Annual All Parks pass – reduction from $96 to $90
  • One Park Annual Pass – (excluding Icon Parks) reduction from $49 to $46

There has been an appropriate increase to passes, such as day and holiday person and vehicle, as well as our Icon Parks pass, that we know better meet the needs of our interstate and international visitors.  These prices still provide extraordinary value for money and reflect that with increased visitor numbers we need to invest more in our infrastructure and maintenance programs to ensure the visitor experience meets expectation and that our special places are protected for generations to come.

There has also been an increase in cost to our commercial operators; these changes will not take effect until 1st March 2021 to accommodate business planning and enable our valued partners to undertake a smooth transition.

Q When will the change in fees commence?

A. The new fee structure will commence on the 1st of September 2020.  This will ensure that visitors who have already planned and booked their holiday to Tasmania over the coming summer season have the comfort of status quo on pass prices.  It will also enable the PWS to transition to the new fee structure in way that continues to support the visitor experience.

Commercial operator fees will be applicable from the 1st of March 2021 to accommodate business planning and enable our valued partners to undertake a smooth transition.

Q. How much money is expected to be raised and where will it go?

A. Based on modelling undertaken on 2016/17 pass sales, it is expected an additional (approximate) $3 million will be generated per annum.  This equates to an increase of approximately 30% in funding on the basis of 2017/18 data that shows close to $9.4 million was generated through park entry fees.

Note: Modelling undertaken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Every cent of this revenue will be reinvested into the Parks and Wildlife Service to support critical infrastructure and maintenance projects and service delivery across our Parks.

Published 13/08/2020