Camp with care

When camping in Queensland’s parks and forests it’s important to look after yourself and be gentle on the environment. Before you book, ensure you select a camping area that suits your needs and check you have all the necessary tools and equipment to make your stay safe and enjoyable. Remember, camping bookings are essential.

    Your camp site

    • Use designated camp sites or areas to reduce the risk of damage to surrounding vegetation.
    • Don’t tie ropes to trees or other vegetation.
    • You can use generators in some camping areas but conditions apply. Know the rules before plugging in.
    • Keep camp sites free of scraps and keep all food, bait, fish, fishing gear and rubbish in well secured containers. Never tie rubbish bags in trees or on your tent.
    • When water isn’t provided, bring enough for all your drinking, cooking and cleaning. Treat all water collected in the park.
    • Help protect our parks by ensuring you don’t carry plant seeds, soil or pests in footwear, clothing, boats, vehicles and camping gear.
    • Leave domestic animals at home when camping in national parks. Some State forests and recreation areas allow dogs in camping areas—check before you go.
    • Be considerate of other campers and wildlife by minimising noise.
    • Protect the waterways by minimising the use of soaps and detergents.
      • Use gritty sand and a scourer instead of detergent to clean dishes and scatter water so that it filters through the soil. On K’gari (Fraser Island) you must be dingo-safe and pour washing water into a hole and cover.
    • Never feed wildlife—animals can become reliant on hand-outs and lose their fear of people. If they are fed or become accustomed to hand-outs or scrounging around camps, animals can become aggressive, often bullying or biting people for food.
    • Always supervise children around camp fires, camp sites and surrounding natural areas.
    • Everyone, not just children, should wear shoes to avoid stepping on sharps or camp fire embers.
    • Use a fuel stove in preference to having a camp fire, or when camp fires are not permitted.

    Camp fires

    • If having a camp fire is important, check they are allowed in the park before you book. On the day, also check:
    • Bring clean firewood such as untreated, mill off-cuts—collecting firewood from the park is prohibited.
    • Ensure you are camp fire safe.
    • Use fire rings where provided.
    • Use a previous camp fire site, rather than starting a new one.
    • Put camp fires out with water. Do not use sand—embers stay extremely hot for many hours under sand.

    Toileting

    • If you’re bush camping and toilets aren’t provided, move well away from camp sites, walking tracks and creeks, and use a trowel to bury waste at least 15cm deep (50cm for sand).
    • Bag all personal hygiene products including disposable nappies and take them away for appropriate disposal in rubbish bins.
    • Empty chemical toilets at approved dump points, not in our parks’ toilets.
    • Empty chemical toilets at approved toilet waste disposal facilities.
    • Never pour portable toilet waste into parks’ toilets—the toilets cannot cope with this waste or the chemicals.

    Rubbish removal

    • Always pack to minimise rubbish.
    • Take your rubbish with you when you leave.
    • Some parks may offer large industrial bins, sometimes in fenced enclosures. Close the lids, shut gates behind you and if a bin is full find another.

    Camping and turtles

    If you’re beach camping during the marine turtle nesting and hatching season (November to March) remember:

    • Bright lights and noises disturb nesting and hatchling turtles. Disturbed females may return to sea without laying their eggs.
    • Camp and boat lights should not be visible from nesting areas. Cook early, shield camp lights and use small torches to find your way around.
    • Never shine lights on turtles leaving the water, moving up the beach or digging nesting chambers.

    For information about artificial light disturbance and marine turtles—see Cut the Glow.

    Want to know more?

    Read stay safe and visit with care for important information about staying safe, caring for parks and essentials to bring when you visit Queensland’s national parks.