Be safe in Queensland’s National Parks during Schoolies

Issued: 12 November 2020

The Department of Environment and Science (DES) is reminding visitors and campers to Queensland’s national parks and state forests during Schoolies Week to behave responsibly and respect your fellow campers.

With Schoolies Week events cancelled across Queensland due to COVID-19, campsites across Queensland are proving popular with people of all ages.

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) rangers are monitoring social media sites that are encouraging schoolies to celebrate the end of school in Queensland’s campgrounds.

Acting Principal Ranger Nick Smith said rangers and the Queensland Police Service would conduct compliance activities in the state’s campground during Schoolies Week.

“We expect many campgrounds to be fully booked out for Friday and Saturday night during Schoolies Week, and I remind all visitors to have the required permits,” Mr Smith said.

“Rangers will provide education, monitor visitor behaviour and promote minimal impact camping, which involves removing your own rubbish from the park and leaving only footprints behind.

“Most visitors to our national parks and recreation areas do the right thing, but rangers can issue fines for not having the necessary permits and for environmental and socially inappropriate behaviour.”

“It is an offence in recreation areas to remove branches from trees or collect fallen branches for firewood in Queensland national parks, and people can be issued with a Penalty Infringement Notice (PIN).

“Rangers are also concentrating on driving offences and can issue PINs for offences such as unregistered vehicles, driving without a licence, not wearing seat belts and driving without due care and attention.”

Acting Principal Ranger Nick Smith said rangers routinely receive information and photos from visitors about poor driving behaviour and loud music from nearby campers.

“We want everyone to enjoy themselves during Schoolies Week and our rangers will provide advice and education to campers about safe driving practices and socially acceptable behaviour,” he said.

“Coming into bushfire season, this is a reminder to make sure campfires are kept under control and are never abandoned.

“People should always use water and not sand to extinguish a campfire, as the coals can smoulder beneath the sand.

“The Queensland Police Service will be monitoring the beach and campsites during Schoolies Week for underage drinking, unlicensed driving or inappropriate driving.

“We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable experience during Schoolies Week, or any time you visit the region.”

Please check our park alerts page for up to date information.

DES encourages all visitors planning to four-wheel-drive on Queensland’s beaches to prepare appropriately for their visit by reading and following the Driving on Sand: Safety Guide.

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