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Crown Reserves

Bondi Iceberg

What are Crown Reserves?

Crown reserves are land set aside on behalf of the community for a wide range of public purposes including environmental and heritage protection, recreation and sport, open space, community halls, special events and government services. This results in a diversity of reserve types, ranging from state parks, beaches and national surfing reserves, caravan and camping grounds, cemeteries, racecourses, showgrounds, community halls, sporting fields and parks, walking tracks, canoe and kayak trails, smaller ports and harbours to wharfs.

Many popular recreation areas are Crown reserves. Sydney's Hyde Park and Bondi Beach are two famous iconic examples of our Crown reserves at work. Underwater areas such as river beds, lakes, ports and up to three nautical miles out to sea are also classified Crown reserves.

There are about 35,000 Crown reserves with a total area of around 2.9 million hectares across NSW - about three percent of the land area of the State.

Reserves are created to protect and manage important community resources and are administered under the Crown Lands Act 1989.

How are Crown Reserves managed?

The Crown Reserve System is the oldest and most diverse system of land management in NSW. It promotes the cooperative care, control, and management of Crown reserves by the community with assistance from the NSW Crown land (the Department) and other government agencies and reserve users.

The Crown reserve system aims to optimise the social, recreation, environmental and economic benefits to the people of New South Wales by working in partnership with other government agencies, local government, local trust boards, private enterprise, industry and community groups.

The Department aims to identify and draw on the potential of Crown reserves to ensure that they make a difference to people's lives through responsible management that also supports regional communities and economies now and in the future.

The Department seeks to continually improve its services and the way it manages Crown reserves for community outcomes. A comprehensive review of NSW Crown land management was completed in April 2013 which will guide the Department over the coming years to increase the benefits and returns from Crown land to the community.

Crown Reserve publications