man sitting outdoors on rock outcrop

Right to Roam

Right to Roam is a collection of projects covering the legislative and non-legislative management contexts relating to responsible outdoor recreation access.

Funded by the Department of Sport and Recreation WA (DSR) and initiated by the Curtin Centre for Sport and Recreation Research in partnership with the Curtin Sustainable Tourism Centre, this research responds to the critical need to establish legislation in Australia granting the public right to roam for recreational purposes, identify opportunities for cross-government discussion as well as informal pathways on progressing recreation access management in WA, and accurately assess the extent to which public access for outdoor walking based recreation in natural areas is restricted in WA.

Based on examples from the UK and New Zealand, establishment of the right to roam in WA legislation is set to require four key elements: a clear case justifying the need for public access; extensive community support and consultation; protection of landholder’s rights; and the establishment of an umbrella body which will oversee the implementation and management of right to roam laws.

This research has assisted DSR in its goal to clearly define responsible outdoor recreation and actively promote the importance of responsible outdoor recreation access to natural areas. Subsequent and ongoing phases have included an interstate management review such as bushwalker and management interviews, and the development and implementation of a hypothetical workshop aimed at identifying barriers and ways forward amongst stakeholder agencies, related to establishing access corridors across land of varying tenure and management.

Principal Areas of Enquiry:

Management and Technology

Secondary Areas of Enquiry:

Climate Change and Water
Urban and Regional Planning

Lead Researchers:

Professor Marian Tye - Centre for Sport and Recreation Research

Research Team:

Dr Dianne Costello, Grant Trew, Geordie Thompson

Industry Collaborators

Curtin Sustainable Tourism Centre

Industry Partners

Department of Sport and Recreation WA
Department of Environment and Conservation WA

Project Collection


Urban Fringe Bushwalking: Eroding the Experience

Recreation Access to Land in Western Australia: Summary Final Report.

Whose Land is it Anyway?: Contesting Urban Fringe Nature-Based Tourism and Recreation in Western Australia

Recreation Access to Land Phase 2b: Development of a Hypothetical Scenario Workshop on Managing Recreation Access to Land in Western Australia

Recreation Access to Land Phase 2: Interstate Review of Bushwalking Access in Australia and a Survey of WA Bushwalkers and DEC Land Managers

The Right to Roam: A Review of Policy and Management of Public Access to Land.