Ambulance Service of New South Wales
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Bushwalking Safety

As the weather warms up, many of us will be heading outdoors to enjoy the beautiful national parks and reserves that NSW has on offer. Our national parks offer any number of different environments from eucalypt forests to heathlands or rainforests to mallee, and keen adventurers have the opportunity to find features such as Aboriginal or historic sites, lookouts, waterfalls, wildflowers and more.


However, bushwalks can sometimes end abruptly if an emergency situation occurs. It is important to be always prepared and aware. Here are some things you can do before your next bushwalking adventure to make sure you don't run into any trouble:

  • Research the walk and plan ahead. Check weather forecasts and local park conditions and change or modify your plans if necessary.
  • Carry plenty of water and snacks, and consider a first aid kit if your walk is longer than one kilometre.
  • Carry a compass and a topographic map on longer walks. Check directional, warning and advisory signs, and remember that your mobile phone may not receive or transmit in some areas.
  • Wear appropriate clothing, footwear and carry a raincoat or jacket in case of a change in weather conditions.
  • Let someone know where you are going. Give route details and expected arrival time to close relatives and friends or the police.
  • If you become lost, stay where you are and keep your group together - don't leave an injured person alone in the bush.
  • Some national parks in NSW offer free personal locator beacons for loan - consider taking one on longer walks.

For more information on safe bushwalking and loaning locator beacons, visit the Office of environment NSW homepage.