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Together we can keep COVIDSafe when camping, hiking and spending time outdoors

Tips for staying safe while enjoying the outdoors - whether you're camping or hiking, visiting parks and beaches, or boating.

Victorians love being out in nature, enjoying our beaches, rivers, parks and forests. If we are all COVIDSafe, we will keep Victoria open for everyone to enjoy.

Before you travel, check local rules and conditions so you’re prepared when you arrive and keep up to date with the latest public health measures.

If you feel unwell, get tested and stay home or if you’re already staying away from home, don’t leave your accommodation until you get your results.

To help with contact tracing, keep a record for you and the people you are travelling with of the places you have been and the people you have visited.

Things may take a little longer at outdoor recreation locations. When waiting in line or walking through busy areas, be patient and give others space so they can give you yours.

Consider visiting popular areas at a different time or check ahead if the attraction allows it.

There may be limits on the number of people that can safely be onsite at any given time. This includes at accommodation providers, hotels, restaurants, cafes and tourist attractions (where open). Avoid queues or being turned away by booking or calling ahead wherever possible.

Prepare to be flexible as restrictions may change during your time away. Check Victoria’s restriction levels or call the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Hotline on 1800 675 398.

Importantly, respect nature. Keep to designated tracks. Take your rubbish with you. Obey signs and instructions from lifeguards and park rangers.

If you need an interpreter, call TIS National on 131 450.

Find information in your language.

Camping and caravanning

If you’re planning on camping or caravanning make sure you Plan your trip before you leave so you understand and can follow the rules.

Some camping sites require you to book ahead. Make sure to book your spot before you travel.

Stay 1.5 metres apart and remember the hand sanitiser.

Visitor numbers will be limited. Providing tracking and tracing information is part of the reservation process.

If camping or caravanning sites aren’t marked, keep a car’s length (sedan size) or tent pole or paddle length between you and the next site.

Clean barbecues, outdoor cooktops and campfire hot plates before and after use.

There are rules about campfires and camping in our parks and forests. Did you know you can never leave a campfire unattended and it is your responsibility to make sure it is fully extinguished with water, not soil? Read about campfire safety before you travel.

Take your rubbish away with you and dispose of it correctly. Littering could be a health risk and we want everyone to stay COVIDSafe. 

Walking, hiking, 4WD, mountain or trail biking

While you’re walking or hiking, stay 1.5 metres apart and remember the hand sanitiser. If you feel unwell, get tested and stay home.

Before heading out into nature, check restrictions on the VicEmergency app at your preferred spot in case you need try somewhere else.

Walking tracks will probably be busy. So, keep left as part of physical distancing and check whether tracks are one-way to safely pass others.

Plan your trip and check your route before you leave.

Stay on designated tracks. Going off-track to avoid large groups of people could be dangerous and may damage protected areas of conservation or cultural significance. It’s also illegal and penalties could apply.

Remember you are responsible for your own safety and of those in your care.

Parks and gardens

To stay COVIDSafe in our beautiful parks and gardens, always carry a fitted face mask in case you need to head indoors or you encounter a crowd and you can’t distance.

Keep 1.5 metres apart from people outside your household – a picnic blanket is a good indicator of how far apart you should be from other picnic-goers.

Don’t forget to pack hand sanitiser and, importantly, if you feel unwell get tested and stay home.

Many Victorians will be enjoying the outdoors, so plan ahead, consider others and have a safe backup destination if your first-choice location is busy.

And please stay on track, take your rubbish with you, respect conservation areas and know the rules before you go.

Beaches

To stay COVIDSafe, remain 1.5 metres apart. Don’t forget, if you feel unwell, get tested and stay home. 

Plan where you're going and make sure it’s open. Check the VicEmergency app for beach closures.

Use the Beachsafe app to find beaches that are patrolled by lifeguards and safety information including, local weather forecasts. It’s best to plan alternative options in case your first choice is crowded. 

Use the length of a large beach towel as a guide to keeping 1.5 metres away from others at the beach.

Swim between the red and yellow flags wherever possible, this means the beach is patrolled by lifeguards and they have marked the safest place to swim between the red and yellow flags. Beach patrols are now underway.

Know your own capabilities and make an emergency plan, including how to get help if you need it.

Read beach safety signs when you arrive, observe the conditions before entering the water. Ask lifesavers for advice if unsure.

Supervise children closely around water and always swim with a friend.

Water safety information for multicultural communities is available.

Beach safety information is also available in languages other than English.

Boating, fishing and staying safe on the water

Whether out on the bay, open ocean, rivers, lakes, waterfalls and lagoons or water catchments – carry a fitted mask, keep 1.5 metres apart and remember the hand sanitiser. Don’t forget, if you feel unwell, get tested and stay home.

Make sure you follow hygiene and physical distancing rules when filling up on fuel, buying bait, on a jetty or at the boat ramp.

When fishing from a jetty, stay 1.5 metres apart from other fishers, carry a fitted face mask and don’t share equipment such as rods and gaffs.

Ensure your vessel is in good working order and check the weather and ramp conditions before heading out.

Prepare a list of ramps to use, in case your favourite is too crowded. Stay in your car until ready to launch your boat.

Before you head out on the water, download the Boating Vic app for iOS or the Boating Vic app for android to plan a safe and enjoyable trip.

Prepare to survive: check the five best ways to stay safe in a boat, kayak or canoe.

Check the VicEmergency app for warnings and alerts before travelling to inland waterways.

When you arrive, check out safety signs. Observe conditions before entering the water. Ask locals or park rangers for advice if unsure.

Water safety information for multicultural communities is also available.

Find out about boating activity restrictions at Better Boating Victoria

Information for land managers

Public safety on public land and waterways

The summer plan, available for public land and waterways managers, provides a framework and principles to guide use and management on public areas.

It is based on:

  • Victoria’s COVIDSafe directions and public health measures issued by the Chief Health Officer (CHO) on the central Victorian Government resource website (these are regularly updated and should be referred to directly)
  • other Victorian Government guidelines about COVIDSafe operations that may apply to business or activities using public land

Review a summary of the Summer plan

If you are a public land and waterways manager and would like a copy of the Summer Plan please email: public.land.policy@delwp.vic.gov.au

Government regulations to assist public land and waterways managers

The Crown Land (Reserves) (Safety) Regulations 2020 were published in the General Government Gazette on Thursday 12 November 2020 and commenced on that day.  The regulations cover land reserved under section 4 of the Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978.

The regulations allow a land manager for such a reserve to either:

  • temporarily close a reserve or an area of a reserve to the public; or
  • restrict or prohibit access to a reserve
  • because of risk, or likely risk, to the safety of persons within the reserve 

The regulations are in place until 30 June 2021.

The closure, restriction or prohibition can be for up to 14 days. The regulations include powers for specified officers to direct a person to leave the reserve or an area of the reserve for a period not exceeding 24 hours.

Closure or restriction of access is the last resort. Use of the regulations should only be considered when other management arrangements are demonstrably ineffective in maintaining public safety.

A Committee of Management considering using the regulations to temporarily close or restrict/prohibit access to a reserve  should contact their DELWP Regional Manager (Land and Built Environment). The Regional Manager will discuss the appropriateness of using the regulations and provide the necessary documents.

Review the Crown Land (Reserves) (Safety) Regulations 2020

Reviewed 02 March 2021

Coronavirus Victoria

24/7 Coronavirus Hotline

If you suspect you may have coronavirus (COVID-19) call the dedicated hotline – open 24 hours, 7 days.

Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

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