2020 Rules to Access Kosciuszko National Park

COVID-19 Impacts on Skiing in 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions will have an impact on this year’s ski season, including access to Kosciuszko National Park.

In Kosciuszko National Park, visitor numbers will be strictly regulated via a ‘book ahead’ system to help keep resorts and surrounding towns safe.

Fewer people will be able to visit and stay at resorts this season to maintain physical distancing requirements, so travel and accommodation must be pre-booked. Measures include maintaining physical distancing at resorts, limiting numbers in ski areas through pre-purchased resort access passes, no toboganning, limited snow play, and ensuring non-resort visitors register with NPWS.

People now have to pre-book lift tickets for resort skiing, or complete a Trip Intention Form for any skiing away from the resorts.

Cross-Country Skiing

There should be no limits on the number of cross-country skiers, however anyone doing on-snow sporting activities that occurs outside of the resort slopes, such as cross country skiing, snow shoeing and snowboarding in the backcountry, will be required to complete a Trip Intention Form, available on the NPWS website at the following link: https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/trip-intention-form    This form also applies to skiing on the cross country ski trails at Perisher.

The central purpose of asking for trip intention forms is to monitor the number of visitors in a given location and track who was with whom in the case of a Covid-19 occurrence. The Trip Intention Form requires the following information:

  • Name, email address and phone number of your emergency contact.
  • Details of all members in your group, including any known medical conditions.
  • Start and finish times, dates and locations.
  • Details of vehicles at your start and finish points, including registration numbers.
  • Trip location, intended route/s, camping spots, key features or deviations from standard routes.
  • The hex or UIN number of your Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). (if applicable)
  • Details of the equipment you’ll be carrying.

Trip Intention Forms can be submitted online on the National Parks website and should be lodged prior to the visit or heading off on the trip.

After submitting the form online, you will receive an email with your trip intention form number and a summary of your trip details. The summary of your trip details will be emailed to:

  • You or the person in your group who completed the trip intention form.
  • Your emergency contact/s.

For Club ski tours, it is expected the Tour Leader will complete a Trip Intention Form for the group and provide the details to any other participants and drivers heading up for the tour.

Completed Trip Intention Forms are not a condition of entry into Kosciuszko National Park and will not be checked at the Park entry stations, however NPWS personnel or the police may ask visitors in backcountry areas or track-head locations to show evidence that they have completed a Trip Intention Form.

Camping

There will be no restrictions on backcountry camping, however a Trip Intention Form still needs to be completed.

For car camping, such as at Island Bend, Thredbo Diggings or Ngarigo, the number of sites available has been reduced for this season. To camp at these campgrounds now requires completing an online booking form on the NPWS website at:

Island Bend Campground: https://nsw.rezexpert.com/book?business_code=500649&type_id=3805
Ngarigo Campground: https://nsw.rezexpert.com/book?business_code=500649&type_id=3814
Thredbo Diggings Campground: https://nsw.rezexpert.com/book?business_code=500649&type_id=3826

You are allowed to book up to 2 campsites, for up to 7 days, and up to 90 days in advance.  A maximum of 6 guests per booking. The sites are not allocated. The campsites are still free but there is a $6 booking fee per site.

  • Only the people booked can stay. Additional people will not be allowed on arrival.
  • You are responsible for maintaining the contact details of your guests.

Nordic Shelter & Perisher Trails

Grooming on the Perisher trails will start 22 June, snow permitting.

The Perisher Nordic shelter will be open only for the toilet. The kitchen & lounges will be off-limits, so BYO food & drink.

Further details and rules for accessing the Perisher Nordic Shelter have been provided by Perisher X-Country here.

Any races or other events held on the Perisher trails in 2020 are yet to be determined.

A completed Trip Intention Form is required for skiing on the cross country Ski Trails at Perisher.

Access & Restricted Areas

The only requirement to enter Kosciuszko National Park is a valid NSW Parks Pass displayed on the vehicle if you are visiting a location where park use fees apply. Trip Intention Forms or a resort lift pass are required if you are planning on-snow sporting activities but are not a condition of entry to Kosciuszko National Park.

There will be limits on the number of Skitube passengers this season which will likely lead to more traffic on the Kosciuszko Road to Perisher.

Mt Selwyn and the Cabramurra trails are closed this season due to bushfire damage. Advice from NPWS is that there is no access for cross-country skiing anywhere off the Snowy Mountains Highway due to fire damage.

Tobogganing, sledding and snow-tubing is not permitted throughout Kosciuszko National Park in 2020. NPWS and the resorts are asking visitors not to visit the ski resorts in 2020 specifically for snow play activities. Visitors can still undertake snow play activities (excluding tobogganing) in other areas of the park, if they undertake these activities in a safe and suitable location. Examples of snow play activities include sightseeing, building a snowman, throwing a snowball, going for a short walk or other similar experiences.

The Cascades Trailhead and Dead Horse Gap car parking areas on the Alpine Way beyond Thredbo will be closed to overnight parking. However to cater for an increase in backcountry activities this snow season, these carparks will be available for day parking only at this stage.

Downhill Skiing

For downhill skiers, access to the Perisher and Thredbo Resorts will be via allocated tickets for lift skiing – this will be limited to a much-reduced number.  Season passes are not valid for this season, only day tickets.  There will be no selling of day tickets at the resorts on the day. People will now have to pre-purchase day lift tickets online beforehand.