Australia is full of amazing National Parks that are just waiting to be explored. There are thousands of locations across the nation that are home to some of the most spectacular scenery and wildlife in the World.
National Parks are both precious and vulnerable places and it is the visitor's responsibility to treat the environment with respect and care. Before your next visit to one of Australia's magnificent National Parks, please consider the following suggestions:
* Always act with extreme caution when around water. The beaches in Australian National Parks are not patrolled so be extremely careful if you choose to swim.
* Always let someone know of your bush walking plans. Tell them your desired route, departure time and expected arrival.
* Always put the fire out with water before leaving the area or retiring to your tent at night.
* Always respect the indigenous culture seen in National Parks across Australia. Things like Rock Art have been in the parks for thousands of years and can not be replaced. Utilize the 'look but don't touch' rule with your children when exploring National Parks.
* Always stick to the track when bush walking in a National Park, you will be far more likely to get lost if you leave the track.
* Be extremely careful with fire. Use a fireplace if there is one, or dig a hole for the fire.
* Bush fires are a major hazard in Australian National Parks. Fire Restrictions are likely to be in place from November through to April. Be well aware of the current fire restrictions in your area.
* Children should always be supervised near open fires.
* Children should never, under any circumstances, be left unsupervised around waterways.
* Cliff Edges may be more unsteady than they appear. Always stand back from the edge especially if there are warnings and/or safety fences in place.
* Do not attempt to touch or move an injured animal in an Australian National Park, they may bite you if they are in a distressed state.
* Do not bury rubbish in a National Park, take it with you when you leave.
* Do not use soap, detergents or toothpaste in lakes or creeks as this can unnecessarily pollute the waterways.
* Domestic animals/pets are not permitted in National Parks. They jeopardise the safety of the native wildlife in the area.
* Don't leave valuables locked in your car when you venture into National Parks.
* Drive carefully through National Parks. Native animals generally can't judge the movement of a vehicle and many are killed or injured as a result of this.
* If there is a bush fire you should take the track to the closest road, creek, lake or beach.
* If venturing into a particularly wet forest you may be confronted with leeches. If a leech attaches to your skin salt or a match applied to it's tail will remove it.
* You should always have your own water supply when visiting a National Park. If for some reason you you do not have water, be aware that any water you use from creeks or lakes has to be boiled for at least 5 minutes or treated with the appropriate chemicals.
* If you see a snake when visiting a National Park remain calm. You should either stand very still or stamp your feet as snakes generally move away from footstep vibrations.
* Inform your children they are not to play with or feed the wildlife. The animals may respond aggressively and/or human food is sometimes harmful to animals.
* It is recommended that you walk either in a group or within close range of another group when in National Parks.
* Know the area before you enter the water, in some areas of Australia crocodiles will reside in the waterways.
* Leave no rubbish, National Parks are a sanctuary for all the natural wonders of Australia, look after them.
* Note that chainsaws are generally not permitted in Australian National Parks.
* Preparation is the key to a safe and enjoyable holiday. Plan ahead so you have the appropriate equipment when you depart.
* Regularly check the weather forecast and adjust your plans accordingly.
* Some National Parks won't offer rubbish bins as these can attract wildlife (to the animal's detriment). If there are no bins available you should take all rubbish home with you when you leave.
* Stay away from the wild animals in the National Park. You are entering their natural habitat.
* The plants and wildlife in National Parks are strictly protected, be very careful when walking or setting up a tent that you don't trample on the precious flora and fauna.
* Try your best to avoid insect bites and stings by wearing repellents and protective clothing.
* When going on a bush walk take plenty of water with you. You should generally allow 1 litre a day per person but this should be increased to 2 litres on a hot day.
* You may only camp in the designated areas of National Parks. Observe the signs or consult the Park Ranger before setting up camp.
* You should always carry appropriate supplies including water, food, compass, clothing, footwear and a first aid kit.