Walk with care

Queensland’s parks and forests offer plenty of walking opportunities and it’s a great way to unwind, get fit and connect with nature.

Know your limits

We want to avoid the search and rescue missions that result from inexperienced or unprepared walkers taking routes beyond their abilities.

  • Be realistic about your physical condition, knowledge, experience and skills.
  • Choose walks that suit your abilities.
  • If walking in a group, choose tracks that suit the skill and ability of your slowest walker.

Track grades

Tracks are graded, using the track classifications (below), according to the most difficult section. In some parks, tracks may be described as easy, moderate or difficult instead of the Grade 1–5 rating.

GradeDescription
Grade 1
Walking with care grade 1

No walking experience required.
Flat, even surface with no steps or steep sections. Suitable for wheelchair users who have someone to assist them. Walks no greater than 5km.

Grade 2
Walking with care grade 2

No walking experience required.
The track is a hardened or compacted surface and may have a gentle hill section or sections and occasional steps. Walks no greater than 10km.

Grade 3
Walking with care grade 3

Suitable for most ages and fitness levels.
Some walking experience recommended. Tracks may have short steep hill sections, a rough surface and many steps. Walks up to 20km.

Grade 4
Walking with care grade 4

Walking experience recommended.
Tracks may be long, rough and very steep. Directional signs may be limited.

Grade 5
Walking with care grade 5

Very experienced walkers with specialised skills, including navigation and emergency first aid.
Tracks are likely to be very rough, very steep and unmarked. Walks may be more than 20km.

Rules you need to know

  • Follow track markers and directional signs carefully.
  • 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.
  • Heed all closure, access and safety information.
  • Obey signs. Penalties may apply.
  • If you are camping, ensure you have booked and paid for your camping permit.

Walk safely

  • For all emergencies call Triple Zero (000).
  • 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.

Want to know more?