Why are National Parks `National Parks'?


A silly question...
We can find out why a World Heritage designation is allocated, but what about each of our National Parks?
Travelling all over, I'd love to know if a list exists to tell us why each & everyone of our Aussie National Parks has been made a National Park. I assume each would have a specific point that drives the designation - be it historical, geographical, or something else(?) The reason being, that it may influence our decision to visit.
There are just too many NP's to visit every single one, even for a young tacker like me :rolleyes:


Well-Known Member
I would like to know why they are a "national park" when they are controlled by the states and you can not buy a national pass that gets you access Australia wide... Hell most of the state all parks passes have exceptions


I would like to know why they are a "national park" when they are controlled by the states and you can not buy a national pass that gets you access Australia wide... Hell most of the state all parks passes have exceptions
Now, that's a great question!


Well-Known Member
This website has links to all the parks
and it gives this explanation
Australia has over 500 national parks. Over 28 million hectares of land is designated as national parkland, accounting for almost four per cent of Australia's land areas. In addition, a further six per cent of Australia is protected and includes state forests, nature parks and conservation reserves.
National parks are usually large areas of land that are protected because they have unspoilt landscapes and a diverse number of native plants and animals. This means that commercial activities such as farming are prohibited and human activity is strictly monitored.
Like zoos, national parks have several purposes. The foremost of these is to protect native flora and fauna. But national parks are also there so Australians and foreign visitors can enjoy and learn about our unique environment, heritage and culture.
Most of our national parks are managed by the States and Territories of Australia; however the Australian Government manages six national parks and a further 13 marine parks.


4x4 Earth Contributer
This is in Vic anyway.
Victoria's National Parks, State Parks, Regional Parks and Wilderness Parks are managed by Parks Victoria. State Forests are managed by DELWP (Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning).

National Parks (NP) are areas of nationwide significance which are usually quite extensive in size. They encompass outstanding natural environments, scenic landscapes or diverse land types which are predominantly unspoilt. Their aim is to preserve these landscapes from many forms of human activity, protect precious species of animals and plants, preserve areas of archaeological and historical significance, and to provide public enjoyment and education of these areas of nature.

State Parks (SP) are similar to national parks, but are generally smaller. They complement national parks and preserve the major land types and species of flora and fauna found in Victoria.

Regional Parks (RP) are easily accessible areas of land which include a variety of historic, cultural and conservation reserves. Their aim is provide recreation and enjoyment for large numbers of people while protecting the natural surroundings and limiting exploitation of resources.

Wilderness Parks (WP) are large areas with native plant and animal communities that are relatively unaffected by humans. They are managed for conservation, with no facilities provided for visitors and no vehicles are permitted.

State Forests (SF) conserve flora and fauna, protect water catchments and supplies, preserve landscapes and provide recreational areas. They also provide sustainable resources to supply the community, such as timber and other forest products. Hunting for pest animals may be permitted in some State Forests.


Thanks gents.
But still unclear about an easy reference re the specific reason for each Park's existance. Thanks @Tink for the link, but still very much hope for condensed list for easy reference. It may not exist of course.

Paddler Ed

Well-Known Member
I'm pretty sure its also because Australia is a Federation of member States, this is why there is then the Commomwealth law overarching. States are in effect an independent country that is a member of the Commonwealth - but without all the freedoms of a country.


Active Member
Thanks gents.
But still unclear about an easy reference re the specific reason for each Park's existance. Thanks @Tink for the link, but still very much hope for condensed list for easy reference. It may not exist of course.

As mentioned above, it is purely a State-based process ... the Commonwealth has no part to play, other than in the Territories.

For Victoria, pretty much all the recommendations for the creation of new National Parks (and other parks & reserves) since the early 70s started out as land-use studies/recommendations by the Land Conservation Council (which then became Victorian Environment Assessment Council, and is now something different again I think ?). All the LCC/VEAC recommendations spell out the reasons why they recommended it. The Govt. of the day would then accept (or not, or partly accepted) those recommendations, and eventually implement them (or not .... ).

Unfortunately, successive governments over decades have often declared various "big ticket" parks & reserves - because there is political PR mileage in doing so - and neglected to implement many of the other recommendations, which are often just as important.

You can probably find the recommendations online with a little Googling, or they would be in most major libraries. Alternatively, where Parks Vic have published a formal Management Plan for a Park, it will usually include the reason(s) for the declaration.

Paddler Ed

Well-Known Member
As DaveTrees said, the management plans often explain why they are declared as National Parks; up here in the New England some of the National Parks have been declared as such because of:
-Remnant clusters of particular flora
-Parts of the Gondwana Rainforest (particularly pockets of temperate and dry rainforest)
-History of how the area was settled by white people
-History of how the area was lived in and used by traditional owners


Well-Known Member
Up here in qld they turn them into national parks to buy green votes and throw away the key. Kick out industries who selectively log, selectively thin overgrown areas, control feral pests, control invasive weeds, manage and repair tracks, maintain firebreaks, conduct burn offs, replant with trees native to the local area and PAY for that privilege.
I back onto one that is completely landlocked by private land which hasn't had the firebreaks done in about 10 years now.
Cheers Leo
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Well-Known Member
The Mitchell river national park was created in the 80,s by the Kirner labor government to attract the green left vote and end the plans created in the 50,s to build a dam on the Mitchell river. The Mitchell river dam would of provided water to Melbourne for another hundred years.
We now have a desalination plant that replaced the Mitchell river dam ,that cost $2000000 a day to not supply water. Built by another labor government


New Member
This could be a little tedious but here goes. The states of Australia were the original power brokers of the country as there was no federal government. Once a federal government came into existence and taxes started filling the coughers, it was realized that as a federal government, they really needed land. How to get land off the states.
Well, being cashed up from all the taxes and the states screaming for some of that money, deals were done. We'll give you x dollars, but in return you have to hand over some of your land, which we will call National Parks, but you will have to look after and manage these National Parks, we (the federal government) just own them. This was proved a few years ago when the Victorian Liberal government decided to trial cattle grazing again in the High Country. The federal government took Victoria to court as owners of the land, won and Victoria had to remove the cattle again out of the federal governments land.
The federal government has poured millions into Qld over the last couple of years, I wonder how long before Cape York falls into federal government hands.

Now World Heritage sites work in the same manner. As Australia borrows money etc from the World Bank (a UN organization), the government can wangle interest rates and other things if they give away part of Australia to the World Bank and just like our federal government didn't own any land, so too the World Bank. Look at what they now own all over the world.
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Well-Known Member
The reason an area gets resumed can be as simple as it is a representative area of a particular landscape which may or may not be in danger. A friend's station was purchased from NPWS simply because it contained Mitchell grass plains in a particular area.
The Great Sandy RAP (Representative area Program - Fraser island area) sought to identify and protect representative areas of unique underwater landscapes within the park.
The Oxley Wild rivers programme (Cape York) is driven largely by indigenous interests.

The cape is covered in large amounts of DOGIT land (indigenous) and National parks, I know there is talk again of yet another space base like there was in the 80's, do you know why would the Federal Government want it?


Well-Known Member
National park = federal $$
State park = state $$$$.
No state wants to spend there $$$ so change to National an bingo someone else's pays $$$$.


Well-Known Member
The states pay the bills for the national parks inside their state. There are only 5 national parks run by the feds.


Well-Known Member
Mainly because Australia happens to be the most over regulated and taxed and over Governed place in the known Universe.
A wives tale. If you were a US citizen working in Aus, you pay tax here and the US still expects their chunk of your Australian earnings. If you sell your home in the US, you pay taxes on it. US states still have the right to levy income tax, so people living in some states pay both federal and state income taxes, as well as the various sales taxes etc etc. We are not the most taxed.

There are countries that regulate clothing.

Seriously some of the most overused hyperbole. Its not even close to true.