Parks Australia

Friday 22 May 2020

Is Booderee National Park open?

To minimise the risk of exposure to Covid-19, Booderee National Park is closed to travellers and other non-essential visitors until 23 June 2020 (inclusive).

Is camping permitted?

No forward bookings will be taken until longer-term arrangements for the park are determined.

Visitors who have bookings in place will be contacted to arrange refunds.

Is Murrays Boat Ramp closed?

Yes, Murrays Boat Ramp is closed.

Are any boat ramps in the park open?

All boat ramps are closed.

Are boats still permitted within Booderee National Park waters?

Boats are still permitted within national park waters, however they are not permitted to come ashore and recreate on the shore.

Can you ride your bike in the park?

Bike riders are not permitted to ride their bikes into the park.

Who is allowed into Booderee National Park currently?

Over 700 people live within the Jervis Bay Territory, predominantly at Wreck Bay Village, Jervis Bay Village and at HMAS Creswell. Residents of the Territory are still free to travel to and from the Territory only on reasonable grounds as long as they abide by the conditions.

Who is allowed to enter Wreck Bay Village?

Parks Australia is working with WBACC to step up COVID-19 protections. To protect the health of Elders, and chronically ill and vulnerable residents, WBACC Executive Board has requested that non-residents of Wreck Bay Village do not enter Wreck Bay Village, even if they are a Registered Member of Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council.

The Board understands the impact on families who have members within and outside of the Jervis Bay Territory and this decision has not been made lightly. It reflects decisions taken in other Indigenous communities around the country to keep people safe during the COVID-19 crisis.

How will you enforce the park closure?

Traffic management will be maintained at the entrance to the park, and regular patrols by park rangers will continue to ensure the park remains closed to those not permitted. WBACC will communicate with residents both directly, and via messages, to provide up-to-date information to the community.

WBACC will communicate with residents both directly, and via messages, to provide up-to-date information to the community.

What restrictions will be placed on employees, contractors and businesses operating in the park or who need access through Booderee National Park?

Employees, contractors and service providers are only permitted to enter the park to undertake the performance of their duties.

Pre-booked guests of venues such as The Cove, RBTU, Christian’s Minde and others are allowed to use Elmoos Road to get to their destination, however they are not permitted in the park at other times.

Can I be fined for entering Booderee National Park?

Yes. The Jervis Bay Territory recently issued non-essential travel laws similar to those passed in other states and territories, with penalties up to $10,500 for any travel which does not meet strict exemptions.

Three fines totalling over $2,500 have already been issued to non-residents for not complying with the park closure directions.

What will staff be working on while the park is closed?

Many staff will be reassigned to duties that ensure the park closure restrictions are enforced appropriately.

As a national park most of our operations can be undertaken while complying with social distancing requirements.

Natural resource management which includes control of weeds and feral animals must continue. Meanwhile, we will also continue cultural heritage management and monitoring the biodiversity and ecological health of the park and its threatened plants and animals.

For our staff who are largely office-based, more flexible working arrangements such as working from home are in place in line with medical advice regarding social distancing.

While visitation has ceased temporarily, planning and project work will continue along with preparations to reopen the park to the public when it is safe to do so.

What impact does this have on Jervis Bay Territory residents and Traditional Owners staying within the park?

This closure is not intended to restrict traditional use of the park by the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community for hunting, gathering, ceremonial or religious purposes.

This closure does not affect the operation of the Jervis Bay Store, however it does restrict non-residents from entering the park purely for the purpose of making purchases at the store.

How are you communicating to the public, community, residents and visitors?

There will be notifications on the Booderee National Park website and Facebook pages and through Parks Australia social media channels.

There will be messages on the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council Facebook page and through Shoalhaven Tourism.

There is a portable LED Message Board set up at the park entrance stating Park Closed.

There is also signage placed along Naval College Road prior to park entrance (including at Hyams Beach turnoff) while closure signage at front entrance will be there 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Cave Beach Road, Summercloud Beach Road, Stoney Creek Road and Jervis Bay Road from Wreck Bay Road cross-road have been closed to non-essential travel with part closure and “Local Resident Only” signage on Wreck Bay Road and Elmoos Road.