Image credit: Parks Victoria
Easter and the school holidays are a popular time for Victorians to travel before the weather turns chilly for winter, but it’s vital we keep it COVIDSafe too.
Be patient. Remember, it’s going to be busy in many places as we take the opportunity for a break before winter sets in.
Plan your trip before you go, and have a back-up plan if your destination is crowded or there are queues when you get there.
It may have been a while since you’ve taken a road trip
Take regular rest breaks. On narrow and unsealed roads, take care and give oncoming vehicles plenty of room. Know your vehicle’s limitations before you attempt to go off-road.
Stay aware of local fire and weather conditions. Listen to local emergency radio stations. Watch the Bureau of Meteorology and the VicEmergency app. Storms, flash flooding and bushfires can still occur at this time of year.
The bush might be busy over the long weekend with cyclists, mountain bikers, recreational walkers and more passive recreationalists all sharing space. Be patient, and consider an alternative location if your chosen spot is too crowded.
If you’re new to camping or caravanning
Consider these tips and tricks before you head away
When you camp or caravan, choose your site carefully. Stay 1.5 metres from the next site (use the width of a standard car, a beach towel, a tent pole or a canoe oar as a guide).
If your chosen site in a national, state or regional park, a reserve or a state forest is already full, and there are no designated camping or caravan sites, you must go elsewhere. Consider a private campground or caravan park or other local accommodation. Do not camp on or near roads and outside designated areas.
Stick to designated camp and caravan sites. Never create your own space. Don’t camp too close to roads or in dry watercourses, where flash flooding might be an issue.
Trees and limbs can fall unexpectedly. Choose your camping or caravan site carefully and stay clear of trees.
Whatever you take into our parks, you must take out again. Take your rubbish with you, because stiff penalties apply for littering and rubbish dumping.
There is plenty to explore
There are a host of parks and forests across Victoria that you can explore. For some ideas, go to the Parks Victoria website or Forest Fire Management Victoria’s Places to Visit page, but also consider private options if crowding is an issue on public land.
When bushwalking, or visiting parks and gardens, keep left on tracks for physical distancing and stay on designated tracks.
Never leave a campfire unattended and extinguish it with water, not soil, before you leave. If the fireplace is cool to touch, it’s safe to leave.
Not all parks allow campfires. Make sure you ask a ranger or check park signs before you light a campfire. Use a purpose-built fireplace where provided, otherwise light your campfire in a trench at least 30cm deep and no larger than one square metre in size and the area around the trench is cleared of flammable material up to three metres in all directions, including above. Most national and state parks only allow campfires in the purpose-built fireplaces provided by the park.
If it's flooded, forget it
It takes only 15cm of water to make a car float, and flooding can badly damage the road surface without you knowing. Find another route.
Never swim, boat or perform any other water-based activity in flooded watercourses.
Going to the beach? Use the VicEmergency app to check for beach closures and consult the BeachSafe app so you have a back-up option if your chosen beach is crowded. Always swim between the flags and never swim alone. Watch children closely near the water.
Visiting inland waterways or water catchments? Remember physical distancing and hygiene when you’re fuelling up, buying bait, on a jetty or using boat ramps. Don’t share your fishing gear with others.
If your preferred boat ramp is crowded when you get there, have a list of alternatives ready so you can beat the queue.
Page last updated: 26/03/21