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Camping safety

Camping is a fun way to discover the beauty of our national parks. In NSW national parks, camping is usually restricted to within the boundaries of a campground. This is for conservation purposes, your safety, and the enjoyment of our parks for all visitors. Follow these safety tips to keep you and your camping group safe.

Read more about Camping safety

Before you go

  • Designated camping areas within NSW national parks vary from park to park. For more information on where you can camp, please contact your local NPWS office before you arrive.
  • Always check the specific safety information available for the campground you plan to visit.
  • Drinking water isn’t available at all campgrounds. Check before you arrive.
  • Check the weather forecast. 

Where to set up camp

  • When you arrive, check signage on the ground to see where camping is permitted.
  • Don't camp directly under large trees. When pitching your tent, remember to look up to ensure there aren't any loose, dead or overhanging tree limbs.
  • To protect the land, avoid camping on low or poorly drained areas where soil or vegetation may be easily damaged. Look for harder ground or sandier soils.

Campfires

  • Follow all fire safety information during total fire bans and download the Fires Near Me mobile app, especially in summer.
  • Only light fires in designated fireplaces.
  • Completely extinguish all fires before you leave an area or go to sleep. 
  • Campfires should not be used to incinerate rubbish. Fire doesn't destroy aluminium foil, and plastics release toxic gases when burned.
  • Dead wood provides valuable habitat for native animals. Please don’t break branches or collect fallen timber for fires.
  • If you're camping off the beaten track, use a fuel stove. If you do need to light a fire, please remove the top layer of soil before making the fire. Keep the fire small and ensure you put the fire out thoroughly, scatter the ashes, and replace the top layer of soil.

Cooking and heating

  • Never use gas stoves or fuel burners to heat your tent.
  • Never cook inside a tent or enclosed camping spaces.
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur from combustion of fuels such as petrol, oil, gas and wood in areas with little or no ventilation, including tents and caravans. Read more about carbon monoxide safety.

Generator use

Limited use of generators is permitted in some NPWS campgrounds. To reduce the risk of wildfire:

  • Never use generators during fire bans.
  • Locate the generator in an area clear of fuels, dry grass or other combustible material.
  • Ensure extension leads do not cross access tracks and are rated for external use.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for safe operation of your generator.
  • Only operate generators in well ventilated areas outside of tents and sleeping spaces.
  • Be around whenever the generator is operating.

Protect native plants and animals

  • Domestic animals pose a danger to native animals and are not permitted in any national park. Please leave your pet with a friend or family member.
  • Don't feed native animals. It can damage their health and make them dependent on campers for food. Kangaroos, goannas, dingos and kookaburras are common scavengers around camping and picnic areas.
  • Store food and rubbish in secure containers and away from animals.
  • Only use detergents, toothpaste and soap if you're at least 50m from a waterway.

Be a considerate camper

The safety of other park visitors, native wildlife and the environment is important too. Read these tips on how to be a considerate camper.

Aerial view of Sheepstation Creek campground. Photo: John Spencer/DPIE