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  • Brown tourist attraction road signs - Regional NSW

25th May 2018

Understanding brown tourist attraction road signs

Wayfound has recently completed consultations for tourism signage strategies in two regional areas, one in Western Australia and one in NSW. And despite being on opposite sides of the country, their problems and goals are similar. Both want to attract more visitors and raise awareness of what their area has to offer and both lack tourism road signage that helps support their goals.

Another common issue is a lack of knowledge about the road signage system and the purpose of the different type of signs. There is often conflict between road authorities, who always err towards limiting the number of signs on the road network to ensure road safety and minimise clutter and tourism business operators, who often want a lot of signs to ensure that potential customers find their business.

So, here’s some information on the system in general and some specific information about brown tourist attraction signs.

Brown tourist attraction road signs in Armadale WA


There are four main types of road signs used by visitors to find tourist attractions and facilities in Australia.

  1. directional signs (white on green)
  2. tourist attraction signs (white on brown)
  3. services signs (white on blue)
  4. community facility signs (white on blue)

These are standard types of signs that work together to help motorists find their way and to let them know what attractions, services and facilities are available. These types of signs are recognised internationally they use standard symbols.

Some people say that the road signs are boring and want to know why they don’t have more colour and imagery. But the primary purpose of these signs are for wayfinding and road safety, they are not marketing purposes.

Brown tourist attraction road signs in the Northern Territory


Tourist attraction signs use white lettering on a brown background. They identify tourist attractions of significant recreational and cultural interest, and may make use of tourist attraction symbols.

Attractions & eligibility requirements

 The types of attractions that may be eligible for tourist attraction signs include things like galleries, museums, Aboriginal sites and cultural centres, historic properties, sites and walks, wineries, outdoor/nature based attractions and theme parks.

These attractions must also meet the following eligibility criteria.

  1. The attraction is established and operating.
  2. No pre-booking is required to visit the attraction.
  3. There are adequate car parking facilities.
  4. There are publicly accessible toilets available.
  5. The attraction is open for at least 5 days per week (including both weekend days); 6 hours per day; and 11 months of the year.
  6. Opening hours are permanently displayed at the entrance to the property.
  7. The attraction has a current brochure available, with opening hours etc.

Why the strict eligibility?

In most states and territories, there are strict criteria for eligibility for brown signs.

 The criteria ensure that the attractions signposted offer visitors a quality tourism experience. Tourist signs will only be effective if visitors have confidence in the quality of the product and service they are likely to receive. They will be more likely to stop and visit attractions they are not necessarily familiar with if they know that a tourist sign indicates a high-quality experience, good service and facilities. TASAC

Brown tourist attraction road sign symbols

For more information

The National Tourism Signing Reference Group (NTSRG) is made up of representatives from the road and tourism authorities in each of the states and territories. They have some very useful publications to make tourism road signage easier to understand.