Park Visitation Numbers
Park visitation assesses the total yearly visitor numbers (via traffic counters) for 5 parks in the Darwin Harbour catchment for the reporting year, as proportion of average visitation numbers for the previous four years. Parks included in this assessment include Berry Springs Nature Reserve, Casuarina Coastal Reserve, Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve, Howard Springs Nature Park and Litchfield National Park. Data is collected by the Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security.
In order to standardise the reporting scale across all indicators, park visitation rates for 2020 were converted to a 0-100 report card scale using the relationship shown in this graph. This conversion makes the assumption that a visitation rate of 50% of previous years visitation rates (average 2016-2019) equals a 0% report card grade, and a visitation number of 100% or greater equals a 100% report card grade.
Park and reserve visitation rates were, on average across all parks and reserves assessed, 31% lower in 2020, compared to the 2016–2019 visitation rates. This resulted in a moderate grade (C-). As with Jobs and Tourism, this overall reduction is attributed to COVID-19 restrictions impacting local, domestic, and international tourism. Not all parks and reserves saw a reduction in visitation, however, with Casuarina Coastal Reserve experiencing a 17% increase in visitation on former years, likely reflecting its proximity to Darwin and usage by local residents during the pandemic. Visitation for the other parks assessed include Berry Springs Nature Reserve (30% reduction), Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve (38% reduction), and Howard Springs Nature Park (23% reduction).