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Your nearest national park is closer than you think

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Wild About Whales
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National parks
North Head lookout, Sydney Harbour National Park. Photo: D.Finnegan/OEH

NSW national parks are home to some of the most scenic locations and headlands along the coastline, and it is easy to explore your nearest national park regardless of age or location.

We know that heading to a national park is the perfect way to catch a glimpse of the whales as they come past during the migration period, but did you know that your nearest headland may be closer to home than you thought?

With over 800 national parks in the state of NSW, our parks are easy to find and allow you to escape to explore natural setting. NSW national parks are located nearby many major regional and metropolitan areas; making it easy to head out and reconnect with nature for a short break or day trip. Even in the heart of Sydney you will find national parks with Sydney Harbour National Park being accessible from many locations across the city.

To assist your preparation for your next coastal national park adventure, we have put together a few tips to help you get organised.

1. Check the Wild About Whales sightings map

Before heading to your nearest coastal national park to spot some whales, check out Wild About Whales smartphone app. Join in on the whale journey before you head out to a headland and get the latest whale sightings, record your own sightings and help other whale watchers spot a whale via Twitter and Facebook. The app will also help you to learn about different whale species you might see, see tips for spotting them and to find tours near you.

2. Purchase a parks pass

Buying an annual pass is great value for money and covers entry fees to your nominated park or parks for either one or two years. Having annual parks pass is not just great value for money, but will make your next visit easier and ensure you won’t have to worry about paying fees on your arrival.

3. Visit a Visitors Centre

Make your first stop at a national park one of our Visitor Centres, where you can get assistance and insider knowledge about planning your coastal adventure to see the whales. Our friendly NPWS staff can help you decide where to stay and what to see and do when visiting your nearest national park.

4. National Parks are accessible for everyone

National parks are filled with beautiful headlands and walks which are easily accessible and don’t necessarily require you to put on your hiking boots. NSW national parks offer lots of wonderful places suitable for people with a disability to visit, including Cape Byron State Conservation Area to the north, Minnamurra Rainforest Centre and Murramarang National Park to the south. Around Sydney, the Royal National Park has accessible areas, along with many places in Sydney Harbour National Park making it easy to head out and spot whales.

Most importantly when heading to national parks for your coastal adventure this whale season it is important to stay safe, further information about park safety can be found at the national parks website.

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