Studies of visitor use, experiences and perceptions of the Gardens and opinions about management options for the future were undertaken in 1987 and 1992. The 1992 survey results revealed the following visitor profile.
At the Jervis Bay site about 37 per cent of visitors are from the local area (Nowra to Ulladulla), and 41 per cent from the SydneyNewcastleWollongong urban area (see Figure 4.4). Proportions of males and females are equal and about 62 per cent are more than 40 years old and 13 per cent are under 25. About 68 per cent stay between 30 minutes and two hours, and visitors from the local area stay longer than non-locals.
At both sites the following were found to be the most common visitor activities: relaxing in pleasant surroundings, walking, showing visitors around, having a picnic, eating at the kiosk, watching birds, seeing what can be grown in home gardens, attending special recreational events such as musical performances, and attending weddings.
Information about visitor use of the Gardens will continue to be gathered by counting people entering the gates and the Information Centre. A more sophisticated system of vehicle counting will be installed in Canberra when the front entrance is relocated and at the northern entrance to the Gardens (if this is open to the public).
Visitor numbers for the Information Centre in Canberra will continue to be derived from an infra-red `eye' at the entrance door and additional information about the use of various paths and trails in the Gardens will be gathered by installing outdoor `people counters'.