NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service is keeping bushwalkers safer thanks to its upgraded digital technology. It’ll now send out safety texts to you and your emergency contact before and after your trip.


In the last financial year, 683 people were rescued by NSW Police during land searches and most of these happened in national parks. Having access to timely information about the visitor’s trip location has been critical in their safe return.

Technology has a huge impact on visitor safety and now, thanks to a collaboration between NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and the NSW Police, keeping safe on your bushwalking adventures across NSW has become a lot easier.


Hannels Spur – Climbing the Steep Western Face of Mt Kosciuszko, Richie Robinson, hannels spur, kosciuszko national park, nsw, snowshoe

Photo by Richie Robinson

How does it work?

Trip intention forms have been crucial in many search-and-rescue operations in national parks across NSW.

The online form has been upgraded to be more user-friendly. The form collects detailed information about the bushwalker’s plans and shares this with their emergency contacts and family members. If the bushwalker doesn’t return as planned the NSW Police can be notified.

The digital upgrades now include SMS reminders sent to the bushwalker and their emergency contacts before and after the trip. It also provides alerts to hikers about park closures so they can avoid hazardous situations and change their plans if need be.

‘These changes will help protect the millions of bushwalkers, campers, skiers, and families who enjoy NSW national parks every year,’ says NPWS Acting Executive Director Business Delivery Michael Vader.

Unexpected weather events and natural disasters can have an impact on bushwalker’s safety.

‘By improving the efficiency and effectiveness of our safety system, we can respond more quickly to get help to those in need,’ says Michael Vader.


Tomaree Coastal Walk – An Overnight Hike Just North of Sydney, Amy Fraser, Rock hopping, coastal hiking, hiker, headland, Port Stephens, NSW

Planning your outdoor adventure will help keep you safe | Photo by Amy Fraser


The upgrades are all a part of Think Before You TREK, a bush safety initiative created by NSW NPWS and the NSW Police designed to help Explorers prepare for a safe trip before their adventure begins.

The upgraded trip intention forms can be found online at the NPWS website and for up-to-date safety information about all NSW national parks, check in with NPWS Alerts.


Feature image thanks to @mattiejgould