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Bushwalking safety

Walking in national parks and reserves provides a great opportunity for solitude and self-reliant exploration. In order to protect our landscapes for generations to come, please ensure that native plant and animal communities are disturbed as little as possible. Walking tracks throughout our parks are not always signposted or maintained, so be sure take care when walking in NSW national parks.

Read more about Bushwalking safety

If you’re keen to head out on a longer walk or a backpack camp, that’s great – you’ll never run out of options. But always be prepared.

  • Research your walk, ensure everyone is comfortable with the planned route
  • Don’t overestimate your abilities and go at the pace of the slowest person
  • Check weather forecasts and park conditions and be aware that weather conditions can change
  • The NSW Police Force and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service provide bushwalkers and adventurers in the Greater Blue Mountains and Kosciuszko National Park with a free loaned Personal Locator Beacon. Find out more about the Think Before You Trek initiative and how to submit an online trip intention form before your wilderness adventure.
  • Walk groups of three or more – in an emergency one might need to wait with the injured person while the other gets help.
  • In a natural environment there is sometimes no escape from pests including mosquitoes, ticks and insects. Be sure to wear appropriate clothing to prevent bites, spray clothing and exposed skin with an insect repellent and reapply as directed, particularly if camping – and be sure to close that tent flap at night. Further information is available at NSW Health.
  • Some walks require rock scrambling and abseiling skills. If you’re uncertain of the difficulty of the walks, contact the local park office.
  • Take a topographic map and compass and be confident with their use
  • You may not have mobile phone service; if you’re really heading bush, consider taking a locator beacon which can be used as a last resort
  • Wear or take appropriate clothing and closed-toe footwear and always take a windproof and waterproof jacket
  • If you're camping take a good tent and appropriate sleeping bag
  • Check with the park office about fire and firewood-gathering restrictions and remember fires are not allowed during a total fire ban
  • For longer walks take more water and snacks and a first aid kit
  • Remember insect repellent and a torch
  • Provide route details with friends or the police and tell them about any medical conditions and when to expect you back
  • Check in when you return
People on 1080 Beach. Photo: Dina Bullivant