The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden at Mount Tomah has seen a jump in visitors following the abolition of entry fees by the State Government.
More than 115,000 visitors attended in the 12 months after the fees were scrapped, an increase of almost 45,000 visitors from the previous 12 months.
Member for Blue Mountains Roza Sage welcomed the annual increase of visitors.
“Giving more opportunity to visit these unique gardens is something I am very proud to have been part of.
“The abolition of entry fees which was a commitment made prior to the election in 2011 has led to a significant increase and opportunity to families that would never have been made possible without the NSW Government,” said Mrs Sage.
NSW Environment Minister Robyn Parker said tens of thousands of additional families have benefited from the NSW Government decision to abolish the entry fee to the Australian Botanic Garden at Mount Annan and the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden at Mount Tomah.
And with the NSW Government committing $40 million to make national parks even more attractive to visitors and the increasing popularity of the new National Parks website, there has been a 10 per cent increase in bookings for campsites throughout the state.
“I’m delighted thousands of families and seniors have benefited from this initiative which has opened up these beautiful gardens to them free of charge,” said Ms Parker.
“I understand the cost of living pressures being faced by families, particularly those in western Sydney, and if by removing this fee we have made it easier for them to enjoy a picnic then that’s terrific.
“It is only equitable for families in western Sydney and the Blue Mountains to also have free access to their botanic gardens.”
Ms Parker said that the dynamic new website www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au which was launched last year, had been expanded for the summer holidays allowing the public to take in spectacular holiday destinations, natural local attractions and fun activities for all the family.
“The website now features more than 180 parks in every corner of NSW, close to 1000 park attractions and thousands of images and videos,” said Ms Parker.
“An additional 40 extra on-park holiday properties and 30 extra camping locations (each containing multiple sites) are featured on the website, a total of over 70 stay options, all of which can be booked online.”