Play it safe in parks and forests this summer

Issued: 24 December 2019

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service rangers are ready to welcome campers over the Christmas-New Year break and encourage visitors to check park alerts while planning their trips.

Take your tent, swag or trailer to one of our parks or forests and experience Queensland’s beautiful landscapes and wildlife. Go online at www.des.qld.gov.au to book your favourite spot or explore somewhere new.

Camping in Queensland’s parks and forests is a great way to create life’s best moments with family and friends, but please remember that campers need to book a site before arriving.

While some areas such as Bribie Island National Park are nearly booked out, many sites are still available at popular locations such as Inskip Peninsula and at K’gari (Fraser Island) in Great Sandy National Park.

In north Queensland, the ever-popular Danbulla camping areas on the Atherton Tableland are booking out, with few sites left at Platypus Bay but still good availability at Fong-on Bay.

Check park alerts while booking and before heading off, at http://www.des.qld.gov.au

Also check current weather warnings and conditions at the Bureau of Meteorology website, and the Queensland Fire and Emergency website for the latest information on fire bans.

Fires and dry conditions are affecting access and camping in some areas:

  • There is a statewide prohibition on campfires at all national parks and State forests at present, and QPWS would appreciate campers’ help with reducing the risk of new wildfires starting. No open fires are permitted – and please take great care when using fuel stoves such as gas barbecues.
  • Due to drought conditions, some national park and State forest camping areas in the Sunshine Coast hinterland will be operating at reduced capacity over the Christmas period. Water shortages mean the number of camping spaces at Charlie Moreland, Booloumba Creek, Glastonbury Creek, Amamoor Creek and Cedar Grove campgrounds near Kenilworth have been halved.

Queensland has hundreds of beautiful natural places to create family memories.

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service is urging hikers, campers and boaties to enjoy our natural areas and chill out from the year’s stresses, without creating new ones.

Take the right gear and be informed, so you can have a safe and happy break.

Here are some tips to make sure your holiday goes to plan:

  • It’s a good idea to take drinking water.
  • Observe safety signage. If it says an area’s closed, don’t risk your life and a fine – choose a different track.
  • Get a vehicle permit for Cooloola, as well as Mulgumpin (Moreton), Bribie and K’gari (Fraser) islands online at qld.gov.au/camping.
  • Follow the road rules when driving on the beach. Wear seatbelts, keep to the speed limit, and don’t drink and drive. If it’s your first time sand-driving, seek expert advice beforehand.
  • Tell someone where you are going, what time you’ll return, and let them know when you get back.
  • On K’gari, be dingo-safe. Follow the tips at www.des.qld.gov.au, and if you have children, keep them within arm’s length, and stay in a fenced campground or town area.
  • If you’re camping in croc country, make sure you, your family and your friends are being Crocwise.  Locate your tent at least 50 metres from the water’s edge and at least two metres above high tide mark. When walking or fishing, always stay back from the water’s edge. Never leave bait, food or fish scraps near your tent. Bury bait or scraps to reduce the chances of attracting crocodiles. More tips are at https://environment.des.qld.gov.au/wildlife/animals/living-with/crocodiles/croc-wise.
  • Take the right footwear for your activities, plenty of water and a first-aid kit.
  • Photos aren’t worth risking life and limb. In particular, keep away from cliff edges.
  • Remember when in the rainforest, darkness comes earlier, so plan to finish your rainforest hike well before sunset.
  • Look after and leave an area as you’d like to find it next time. Take your rubbish with you, and drop off any eligible containers at a container refund point for 10c back on each container.