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Adventure sports safety

Caves, canyons and cliff faces are spectacular places to visit, and adventure sports like climbing, caving, canyoning and abseiling offer a thrilling opportunity to explore these unique environments. These adventure sports, however, involve inherent risks that should be taken seriously. We strongly recommend that you only head out under the guidance of a suitable group or club, or with one of our partner adventure sports tour operators.

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Emergencies and closures

  • In an emergency, dial Triple Zero (000) or activate your emergency beacon from a suitable location.
  • Check the NPWS alerts page for current closures that may be associated with bushfires, prescribed burning operations, pest control activities or infrastructure maintenance.
  • Visit the Think Before You Trek website for information on how to get an emergency beacon

Never go alone

  • The ideal safe group size is 4 people for all adventures. Take responsibility for your own safety and be self-reliant.
  • Only participate in activities for which you and all members of your group have the skills and experience to participate, and where the leader has sufficient experience. Your leader should be able to get you there, but more importantly, get you out of the park safely in the event of an emergency.
  • Training and instruction for adventure is included with authorised NPWS tour operators, so it’s always recommended that you head out with a licensed operator.
  • Know the proposed route and stick to it
  • Leave details of your group, route and expected return time with a responsible person who knows who to contact and what detail to provide if you are overdue.

Plan ahead

  • Bring food, water, safety gear, first aid supplies, maps, navigation equipment, sunscreen and clothing for all contingencies.
  • Avoid caving and canyoning after heavy rain or if it is forecast. Unexpected dangerous conditions arise during elevated water flows after heavy rain. Please check the Bureau of Meteorology website before setting out.
  • In wet environments, hypothermia can be a real hazard – be sure to take wetsuits and dry warm clothes.
  • Avoid peak use times in well-known canyons if possible. This especially applies to Empress and Claustral canyons in the Blue Mountains, where overcrowding can cause delays and safety problems.

Thredbo River Track, Kosciuszko National Park. Photo: Clint and Todd Wright