Planning for permits

Planning for outdoor recreation trips into the Australian bush should always consider the issue of permits, and leaders must ensure that adequate time is included in their planning to obtain the necessary permits if required. For example, bookings often open (and close) in June/July for summer campsites at Australia’s most popular national parks, and bookings must be made a month or so before the date of the proposed trip at many locations. In any case, the earlier you book, the more likely you are to get the permit you seek.

Permits also usually limit the number of people permitted at any one time and it is good advice to check limits on group size before organising a major expedition or group outing. While there is usually little trouble with groups of eight or less, some wilderness areas have limits less than this. For example, the regulations for all Queensland national parks have a group size limit of six people at any campsite.

Good trip planning will have matched the size and expectations of the group with the conditions of use and permits required for visiting a proposed area. Organised leaders make sure that necessary approvals and permits have been obtained well before the trip.

When you obtain permits and make bookings for park use, it is also a good time to lodge information about the trip itinerary and your group with park management. This will assist if your group is delayed or overdue, or if a bushfire or cyclone in the region might be a threat to the group.