Bushwalking Code of Ethics


Walk With Care

Taken from the QLD Parks and Forests, Department of Environment and Science: Walk with care | Parks and forests | Department of Environment and Science, Queensland (des.qld.gov.au)

Rules You Need to Know

  • Follow track markers and directional signs carefully.
  • Heed all closure, access and safety information.
  • Obey signs. Penalties may apply.
  • Stay on marked tracks.
    • Apparent shortcuts can lead to dead ends.
    • Creating new tracks damages the environment and causes erosion.
  • Follow the give-way code on multi-use trails.
    • Cyclists give way to horses and walkers.
    • Walkers give way to horses.
  • If you are camping, ensure you have booked and paid for your camping permit.

Walk Safely

  • For all emergencies call Triple Zero (000).
  • Download the Triple Zero emergency app before leaving home —it will help identify your location.
  • Read about staying safe and visiting with care, before you leave for your walk.
  • Walk in pairs or small groups—if a person is injured others can assist.
  • Always carry water, warm clothing and extra food and water in case of unexpected delays.
  • Wear appropriate clothing for the climate—always wear sturdy shoes and a hat.
  • Use personal insect repellent to protect yourself from scratches and insect bites and stings.
  • Before you leave for your walk, know what to do in case of extreme weather events—storms, cyclones, bushfires, floods and tsunamis.

Walk Softly

  • Stay on marked tracks. Do not take shortcuts or form new tracks as this damages the environment and causes erosion.
  • Be responsible for your own waste.
    • Carry rubbish out.
    • If toilets are not provided, move well away from camp sites, walking tracks, watercourses and lakes. Use a trowel to bury waste at least 15 cm deep (50cm in sand).
    • Bag—do not bury—all personal hygiene products including disposable nappies and carry out for appropriate disposal.
  • Help protect our parks by ensuring you don’t carry plant seeds, soil or pests in footwear, clothing and gear.

Remote Walking

If you’re a seasoned and experienced walker with genuine survival skills, remote hikes and walk-in camping can be a thrilling challenge.

  • Never walk alone.
  • Prepare physically and practically for a long and challenging hike.
  • Possess high-level survival and safety skills.
  • Be confident of surviving unexpected weather, health or physical challenges.
  • Research the route thoroughly, get local advice and check park alerts.
  • Carry good navigation and communication gear.
  • Be trained in remote area first aid.
  • Leave an itinerary and contingency plan with a responsible person.
  • Maximum group sizes apply for walking and camping in remote areas. Check camp site capacities for the park you are visiting and whether an organised event permit is needed if you are day hiking with more than just a few friends.