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.
- 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)
Minimise the impact of your visit
With large numbers of visitors to national parks, state forests and other natural areas, we run the danger of loving our bushland to death. By learning to ‘tread softly’ in the bush, you can minimize damage to the natural environment.
- When visiting conservation area such as national parks, nature reserves and state conservation areas, remember that no pets are allowed (other than trained assistance animals). State forests, some Crown reserves and some regional parks permit dogs, but visitors should keep them under control and on a lead at all times.
- Please dispose of rubbish properly. Use rubbish bins if provided or take it with you.
- Choose a campsite carefully, at least 20 metres from the edge of any stream or waterway. Use existing areas for camping and do not clear or damage trees and plants.
- Do not cut standing timber, alive or dead, for firewood.
- When toilets are not available, bury human waste, Use soaps or detergents at least 50 metres from waterways and camping areas. Detergents, toothpaste and soap (even biodegradable) harm fish and aquatic life.
- All native plants and animals are protected in forests, parks and reserves. Try not to disturb native wildlife. Don’t feed birds and animals around campsites, as unnatural food can be harmful
- Consider other visitors and keep noise to a minimum.
- Visiting forests, parks and reserves outside peak visitor periods can help reduce overall impacts.
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’ for hunting. Only Game Council-licensed hunters can hunt feral animals in these areas. Visit www.gamecouncil.nsw.gov.au or phone (02) 6360 5100 for more information or to apply for a licence. All other recreational users are still permitted to visit public lands declared and signposted for hunting.
- 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