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Be safe - plan ahead


Visitors should be aware of and prepare for natural hazards and other outdoor risks in Victoria’s parks. Read the safety preparation advice below to help you stay safe and get the most out of your park visit.

Be aware and prepare

  • You are responsible for your own safety and the safety of those in your care: Always:
  • Research your trip: Check out short walks, trails and other information on the Park Notes attached to each park.
  • Make the right choices: Match your walks and activities to your abilities, fitness and stamina. Wear good walking shoes and protective clothing for all activities. Always carry water with you.
  • Be Sunsmart:Check the Bureau of Meteorology’s daily UV Alert .When the UV Index reaches 3 and above, make sure you wear a broad brimmed hat, long sleeves, sunglasses, and apply sunscreen every 2 hours. Try and stay in the shade during the middle of the day when UV levels reach their maximum. For more information on how to protect yourself from sunburn, visit www.sunsmart.com.au
  • Check the weather: Some parks may be closed due to major weather events. Check for Change of Conditions in the park you plan to visit before you leave. For weather forecasts and warnings, check the Bureau of Meteorology. Always bring protective clothing in case the weather changes
  • Be fire aware: Familiarise yourself with important bushfire safety information. Check www.cfa.vic.gov.au for information about current fires and for Fire Danger Ratings and Total Fire Bans
  • Allergies: Visitors allergic to insect stings, including those with a history of anaphylaxis, should come completely prepared to reduce the likelihood of an incident. Always wear protective footwear, long trousers and long sleeved shirts to avoid insect bites.
  • Tree risk: When camping or having a picnic, be aware that trees and limbs may fall unpredictably. Being under or near trees may be dangerous and could cause injury.
  • In an emergency: Call Triple Zero 000 to access police and emergency services. Be aware that you may travel out of mobile phone range.

Metropolitan parks

It may seem surprising but more accidents occur in our metropolitan parks than in any other parks.

Before you go

  • Be prepared to share the trail with others - Melbourne’s parks are extremely busy on weekends
  • Be bike safe! Always wear a helmet when riding
  • Ensure shared trails are enjoyed by all
    1. Ride at a safe speed
    2. Keep to the left
    3. Warn when you are approaching on a bike
    4. Move off the trail when you stop
    5. Control your dog
  • Check where you can walk your dog.
  • The park you are visiting may have Emergency Markers 
  • In an emergency, dial Triple Zero 000 to access police and emergency services.

Day visit from Melbourne

Did you know that there are almost 30 parks within a day’s return trip from Melbourne?  

Before you go

  • Check the  Bureau of Meteorology for weather forecasts and warnings, including Total Fire ban days. Be prepared to change your plans on days of Severe, Extreme or Code Red Fire Danger Ratings
  • The days get shorter in Autumn and Winter. Allow plenty of time to finish your activity in daylight, and pack extra food and water in case you lose your way
  • Pack clothing for all weather conditions
  • In an emergency, dial Triple Zero 000 to access police and emergency services.

Water Safety - Coastal Parks and Inland Waters  

Swimming Safety

  • Never swim alone - if you get into difficulties you could drown
  • Swim only at lifesaving patrolled beaches
  • Ensure you supervise your children near water at all times
  • Between September - April, wear a hat, long sleeves, sunglasses, apply sunscreen every 2 hours and seek the shade of your beach shelter regularly.
  • Beware of blue-green algae, especially in mid-late summer. Avoid swimming in affected lakes as the algae is poisonous
  • In an emergency, dial Triple Zero 000 to access police and emergency services.

Boating Safety

  • If your boat capsizes, make sure you can stay afloat. Life jackets (PFD’s) are compulsory
  • Pack a hat, water, sunglasses and plenty of sunscreen to avoid sunburn and dehydration
  • Check tide charts and weather for yachting, sea kayaking, kite boarding and other water sports at Marine Weather Conditions
  • Conduct a full safety check of your boat/watercraft before you leave
  • If you plan to kayak, check river levels before you leave and when you arrive
  • Pack appropriate safety equipment including, map, compass, first aid kit, bilge pump and distress flares in case of emergency
  • Completing a Trip Intentions Form could save your life. If you are planning an extended trip, or going paddling in remote areas, provide your family/friends with a map of where you are going, your vehicle registration and when you plan to return. For more information go to Let someone know before you go
  • You can hire an Emergency Beacon (EPIRB) in case of emergency. For information on emergency distress beacons visit AMSA Beacons.
  • In an emergency, dial Triple Zero 000 to access police and emergency services.

Safety in Remote Parks

Remote parks have very few facilities or services, and the weather can quickly change. If you walk,  ski, kayak or camp in these areas, you must be fully prepared and completely self reliant. For more information on how to prepare for travelling in remote parks, see Safety in Remote Parks