The Royal National Park is one of the most beautiful places in Sydney and is filled with pristine waterfalls, swimming holes, beaches and some of the best views in the world.
If features stunning trails and walks and incredible views across the coastline.
However, entering into the Royal National Park by vehicle isn’t free and there are entry fees associated with the park to help with it’s upkeep.
Rangers regularly patrol the park and hand out fines to people who fail to purchase tickets so it’s important for you to have a valid ticket whenever entering the park.
While you can buy day passes for the park it’s often way cheaper and easier to buy an annual pass and there are even free passes or discounts available if you know how to get them.
Summary Of Royal National Park Entry Fees
Single vehicle day pass: $12
Single vehicle annual pass: $65 for a “Multi Parks Pass” with discounts for seniors, concession card holders and carers – get this cheaper
Vehicles over 8 seats day passes: $4.40 per adult, $2.20 per child
Students on educational programs: $1.10 per student. Teachers/Educational Supervisors: Free (1 adult per 10 students)
NOTE: Limited Places To Buy Entry Tickets Using Cash
You used to be able to purchase a day pass for the Royal National Park with cash at the entrance booths but unfortunately this is no longer available.
However you can purchase tickets using cash either at the visitor centre in Audley or via the pay machines scattered around the park’s most popular parking spots.
You can pay by Visa or Mastercard debit cards at park entry stations or pay stations found in the popular car parks. NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) doesn’t charge any fee or surcharge for card payment.
Best Deals For Royal National Park Entry Fees
If you only plan on going to the park once or twice a year then a day pass is going to be your best option.
Currently a day pass costs $12.
However I highly recommend an annual pass as a much cheaper way to visit the park. You can even get your annual pass for free if you’re on a concession – meaning you don’t have to pay for park entry at all.
An annual pass is the best and most cost effect way to access the Royal National Park if you plan on going regularly.
Annual passes cost $65 for 1 year or $115 for 2 years however you can get them cheaper in you know how to do it.
You can purchase an annual pass online or from the visitor centre at Audley.
Unless you’re planning on going to Kosciuszko National Park get the “Multi Park Pass” which covers all fee-collecting parks in NSW except Kosciuszko. This includes the Royal National Park.
Get A $15 Discount On Annual Passes
You can get a $15 discount on your annual pass (making it just $50) one of two ways:
- Purchase your annual pass when you renew your car’s registration
- Hold a valid Australian Seniors Card
If you’re renewing your vehicle registration there will be an option to purchase an annual pass for just $50. This is what I did to get my pass.
If you hold a valid Australian Seniors Card then you can get $15 off an annual pass or $25 off a 2 year pass. Making this prices $50 for annual and $90 for 2 years.
Free Concession Passes
You can get access to the Royal National Park for free if you’re an Australian pensioner or a veteran cardholder.
Annual passes are free for pensioners and veteran card holders
Concession passes available for eligible Australian pensioners or veteran cardholders.
Who is eligible to apply for a NPWS Concession Pass
- Australian Pensioner Concession Card holders
- Holders of an Australian Veterans Gold DVA Card embossed with ‘EDA’ or ‘TPI’
- Holders of an Australian Veterans Gold DVA Card without ‘EDA’ or ‘TPI’, who can provide a letter from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs confirming a disability pension of 70% or higher, or minimum 50 impairment points
Who isn’t eligible for a NPWS Concession Pass
- War widows or White DVA Health Card holders
- Student concession card holders
- Transport concession entitlement holders
- International pensioner or seniors card holders
50% Off A Second “All Parks Pass”
NOTE: This does not apply to the “Multi Park Pass” which is the cheapest annual pass option for the Royal National Park.
If you’ve purchased an “All Parks Pass” that includes Kosciuszko National Park then you can get a second pass for 50% off for any vehicles registered to the same address as the first pass.
This makes additional annual passes just $90 instead of the full $180.
To get this discount you have to verify that both vehicles are registered at the same address with a copy of the registration of both vehicles and proof of the purchase of your first All Parks Pass.
If you purchased your first pass online then you can also apply for the second one online here.
Your second pass will expire on the same day as the first pass so it’s good to purchase these passes on the same day to get maximum value.
Pay Locations For Royal National Park
There are multiple different pay locations for the getting a day pass at the Royal National Park.
However, not all spots have pay stations so if you’re going to a more remote track then you’ll want to grab your day pass from another location on the way through.
Online – Park’n Pay App (or Camping Bookings)
You don’t get printed tickets anymore. All tickets are connected to your car registration number.
You can purchase a day pass online using the Park’nPay app which is run by the NSW Government.
The app is fairly easy to use however I suggest you purchase your day pass before entering the Royal National Park because reception is spotty and you may not have internet to be able to buy a pass once you’re in the park.
Download the app and follow the prompts to get your day pass.
At the main park entry points there are Entry Booths that are manned by someone who will take payment for a day pass.
There is an entrance booth at the Loftus Entrance on Farnell Avenue and there is also an entrance booth off McKell Avenue in Waterfall but I’m not sure about Lady Wakehurt Drive in Otford (but I’m assuming one is there too).
You cannot pay with cash at entrance booths and must pay with card.
Popular Parking Spots
The most popular spots in the Royal National Park have pay stations where you can pay for a day pass using either coins or card.
You simply enter your car registrations details into the machine and then pay for your ticket.
If you’re going to a more obscure spot that is unlikely to have a ticket machine you still need to buy a ticket and rangers do come around.
I recommended visiting either Bungoona Lookout car park or Audley Car Park (outside the cafe, near the visitor centre) to grab your ticket.
These are the easiest spots to double park and grab your ticket and don’t require a detour as they are just off the main road.
Below is the full list of locations (that I know of) that contains parking machines where you can buy a ticket:
- Bungoona Lookout
- Wattamolla Beach
- Garie Beach
- Garawarra Farm
- Bonnie Vale
- Curra Moors
Audley Visitor Centre
You can purchase day passes or annual passes from the Audley Visitor Centre.
The issue with the visitor centre is that there is only a small car park here and it fills up really quickly on weekends.
Royal National Park Camping Fees
If you are camping in the Royal National Park and have paid your campsite fees then parking inside the national park is generally also included within these fees.
Below are the campsites within the Royal National Park and their fees:
- Bonnie Vale Campground – $34 per night plus $7 per additional child over 4 years
- North Era Campground – $12 per adult and child
- Uloola Falls Campground – $12 per adult and child
What Happens If You Don’t Pay To Enter The Royal National Park?
There are no boom gates or anything to enter the Royal National Park and yes, many people enter the pay without paying for a ticket.
However, rangers regularly patrol all areas and issue tickets for cars that have not paid for access.
They even patrol the less popular spots.
I was recently at Winifred Falls which only has parking for around 8-10 cars and rangers arrived and were booking people.
Rangers usually leave a ticket on your window instructing you to pay the $12 entrance fee.
You do HAVE to pay this fee and you can’t simply throw it away. I think you get about 2 weeks before the escalate the fine further.
If you’re found to be parking illegally then extra fines can be issued to you. However, I don’t know exactly how much these fines are and how readily they dish them out.
Do I Have To Pay A Royal National Park Parking Ticket/Fine?
Yes you do have to pay the Royal National Park fines if you get one. If you don’t pay the fine within 2 weeks of issue then the fine will be escalated until you pay it.
What If The Pay Machine Is Broken?
You can’t use the excuse that “the pay machine was broken” for not getting a ticket – especially now that you can purchase tickets online.
If a pay machine is broken then you need to call the number on the machine and provide them with details of the fault, the meter ID and your vehicle registration.
If you’ve done this you’ll get a reference number and then you’ll be safe from getting a fine.
Do I Need To Display A Ticket If I Have An Annual Pass?
You no longer have to display ticket a ticket for you annual pass and there is no sticker to put on your windscreen.
Your annual pass is now linked to your vehicle registration and park rangers will check this before issuing any fines.
How To Enter The Royal National Park Without Paying
You don’t have to pay to enter the Royal National Park by foot.
There are many places you can park outside the Royal National Park which means you don’t have to pay for parking.
The common spots are the most common areas to enter the park without paying:
- Grays Point
Can You Drive Through The Royal National Park Without Paying?
Yes you can drive through the Royal National Park without paying. People regularly drive through the Royal National Park to places like Bundeena and Mainbar which don’t require a pass.
You only need to pay for a pass if you plan on parking a vehicle inside the Royal National Park.
Why Do They Charge Entry Fees Into The Royal National Park?
Entrance fees are charged into the Royal National Park to help pay for it’s maintenance and to fund improvements to the park.
Royal National Parks don’t get enough funding from the government and so entry fees and a supplementary source of income for the national parks to help pay for their upkeep and to pay for local rangers and operating expenses.
Cost For Motorbikes In The Royal National Park
Entry fees for the Royal National Park are charged on a “per vehicle” basis. This means if you are entering the Royal National Park by motorbike you still have to pay the regular fees.
Day pass: $12
Annual Pass: $65 for Multi Parks Pass, $115 for 2 Year Multi Parks Pass