Important information when visiting state forests

Road safety in the forest

Forestry Corporation has introduced a 60 km/hr speed limit, unless otherwise signposted, on all unsealed gravel roads in an effort to enhance the safety of all road users.

At lower speeds:

  • Drivers have more time for decision making.
  • Vehicles have much shorter stopping distances.
  • Crashes that do occur result in less severe injuries because of the lower impact.

Please observe the speed limits of the forest and drive safely.

Put safety first

Forest areas contain many unseen and unpredictable hazards that cannot be removed or controlled. Because of this, you are entering State forest areas at your own risk.

  • Check conditions before you go, and tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to be back.
  • If you are bushwalking or camping, make sure you have the right equipment, including a map, extra clothing, first aid kit and torch.
  • Water is provided at some sites, but always carry adequate drinking water just in case.  If you haven’t taken enough water with you, boil water in high-use or low-water-flow areas for five to ten minutes before drinking.
  • When walking, wear sturdy footwear (not thongs or sandals). Ticks and leeches are common, particularly over warmer months.
  • Be careful camping under trees, especially during windy weather when branches are more likely to fall.
  • Drive according to road, traffic and climatic conditions. Make sure your vehicle is roadworthy before your trip. Get out and physically check any obstacles before committing yourself to crossing it.
  • Look out for possible road hazards such as holes, ruts, slips, drainage structures, fallen trees, collapsed bridges and the like.
  • Don’t speed and look out for log trucks and other road users.
  • Be careful after rain or snow when road surfaces can be hazardous.
  • Watch out for native animals when driving through bushland areas – for both your and theirs.
  • Obey signs and respect road closures due to timber harvesting, fire or other incidents. Find out more about signs in State forests.
  • Leave gates as you find them. Do not use roads and tracks on private property without the owner's permission or other areas closed to the public.
  • Ring triple zero (000) in the event of an emergency

Fire safety and total fire bans

  • Please observe the fire dangers of the day. Listen to local radio stations for advice and only light fires when allowed and where fireplaces are provided. A map of areas with a total fire ban is available.
  • During a Total Fire Ban no fire may be lit in the open. This includes incinerators and barbecues which burn solid fuel such as wood or charcoal. You may use a gas or electric barbeque, but only if it is under the direct control of an adult, the ground within two metres of the barbecue is cleared of anything which could burn, and you have an immediate and continuous supply of water available.
  • Solid fuel fires are not permitted in any state forest during the summer fire danger period (usually November to April).
  • Never leave a campfire unattended, make sure that your campfire does not escape, and extinguish it completely before leaving.

Check the NSW Rural Fire Service website for further information, including declared Total Fire Bans (Web: www.bushfire.nsw.gov.au Phone: 1800 679 737).

Follow the rules

  • When driving, keep to the formed public access roads and don’t bush bash. Fire trails may be used in State forests and some Crown reserves.
  • Road rules and vehicle registration requirements still apply on roads and fire trails on public land - vehicles must be registered, drivers/motorcycle riders must be licenced and safety equipment required by law must be worn.
  • Fishing on public land requires a permit. Contact NSW DPI.
  • Bulk firewood collection is not permitted in national parks and other reserves managed by NPWS. On other public land, bulk firewood collection will require a permit from Forestry Corporation.
  • Authorised hunting for feral animals such as pigs, goats, foxes, rabbits and wild deer is only allowed at sites specifically declared and open for hunting. Hunters must have a valid licence and written permission and are limited to specific areas of the forest. Visit www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/hunting for more information or to apply for a licence or permit. All other recreational users are still permitted to visit public lands declared and open for hunting, unless a forest has been closed. .
  • Entry to State forests is free. Some national parks, nature reserves, state conservation areas and historic sites charge entry fees.
  • Many organised activities in State forests require a Special Purpose Permit. Contact the Forestry Corporation Information Centre (Phone: 1300 655 687 or 02 9871 3377) or local Forestry Corporation Regional office for more information.

Contact us for more info

Call the Forestry Corporation State-wide Information Line
1300 655 687 or 02 9871 3377 Monday to Friday 9.30am – 4.30pm

Visit the Forestry Corporation Visitor Centre
95 Castle Hill Road, West Pennant Hills NSW 2125

Page last updated/reviewed:17 Jan 2014