Stay on the track to reduce your impact. Fragile wildlife, like these tiny mushrooms, doesn't stand a chance against a stray footstep. Photo: Bernard Hicks, Queensland Government
Remember to pack zip-lock bags so you can take your rubbish home. Photo: Adam Creed, Queensland Government
Don't let your walk destroy wildlife-stop the spread of pathogens. Clean footwear and other gear before leaving home. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government
Queensland's parks and forests protect and conserve special natural and cultural places.
Bushwalkers can cause damage without even realising it. Follow these guidelines to walk softly and help protect our parks and forests.
- Keep to the track—don’t take shortcuts. Walking tracks are designed to take you into special places without causing unnecessary damage to the park.
- Walk in small parties to minimise damage.
- Never mark your route. Marked, or blazed, trees are susceptible to deadly fungal attacks. Markers can confuse other walkers.
- Take your rubbish with you when you leave, don't bury it. When packing, remove unnecessary packaging to reduce what you’ll have to carry. Keep a small bag or container handy for disposing food scraps and rubbish as you walk.
- Use toilets if provided. If toilets are not available, bury all faecal matter and toilet paper 15–20 cm deep at least 100 m from tracks, camp sites and waterbodies. Take nappies and sanitary products home with you for disposal.
- Protect creeks and lakes. Detergents, soaps, sunscreen lotions, insect repellents and toothpastes pollute water and harm aquatic life. Wash yourself and your dishes 100 m away from watercourses and lakes. Apply sunscreen after your swim.
- Do not feed or leave food for animals—human food can harm wildlife and cause some animals to become aggressive.
- Stop the spread of weeds and pathogens. New introductions can spread and displace resident species and alter the local ecology. Soil from your boots can contain weed seeds and foreign plant pathogens, such as Phytophthora (root rot disease), or some fungal spores which kill frogs.
- Before you leave home, clean your walking boots and clothes.
- For more information watch the stop the spread of weeds web clip.
- Leave pets at home. Domestic animals are not permitted in national parks.
- If you plan on camping make sure you follow minimal impact practices.
- Encourage other walkers to walk softly.
Remember, parks and forests are protected by law. It is illegal to remove or damage anything—living or non-living.
See the guidelines on caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.