People planning their holiday travels and activities should put State forests on top of the list.
However, Forestry Corporation of NSW is reminding visitors to be safe and respectful as they explore the great outdoors.
Forestry Corporation’s Manager of Tourism and Partnerships, Louise Faulkner, said State forests are a great place to visit over the Christmas break, but rules apply.
“Have a great time in our State forests, but we ask visitors to respect the rules and each other,” Ms Faulkner said.
“Be sure to tread lightly, observe fire bans, avoid excessive noise and consider your fellow campers. Bins are provided in some visitor areas, however we encourage people to take their rubbish home.
“Trail bike riders are also welcome in State forests, but we remind people that they need a rider’s licence and their bike needs to be registered.
Trail bike riders must stick to formed roads at all times and are not permitted to ride on sanctioned mountain bike single trails.
As many forests continue to recover from last summer’s bushfires, visitors are also asked to be mindful of fire-affected trees.
“Visitors to burnt forests need to be aware of the dangers of falling branches and avoid dead or fire-affected trees,” Ms Faulkner said.
“We also strongly recommend people check the Forestry Corporation website, fires near me app and SES website for any closures, fires or emergencies that could affect their trip.”
With more than two million hectares of State forests, there are plenty of unique places to discover and activities to share.
“There are so many areas where you can bring the family and picnic or camp for free – even the family dog is welcome!,” Ms Faulkner said.
“State forests contain thousands of kilometres of roads for four-wheel driving, mountain biking, trail biking, horseriding and bushwalking.
“Our State forests have spectacular scenery and award-winning visitor attractions. I encourage anyone who hasn’t visited in a while to download our free VisitForests app and discover great places to enjoy these holidays.
“Visitors can also follow us on Facebook for up-to-date information on special places to visit.
“Remember to register your visit via our COVID-19 camper self-notification form available on our website, or via the QR code displayed in visitor areas.”
For more information about visitor experiences and destinations in your local State forest, visit www.forestrycorporation.com.au.
Forestry Corporation’s top tips for visiting state forests
- Camping is free in NSW State forests, so there’s no excuse not to enjoy the great outdoors.
- Dogs are welcome in NSW State forests. Bring your four-legged friend on your family picnic or camping trip, just remember to keep them under control so they don’t impact other visitors.
- There are plenty of dedicated bushwalking tracks waiting to be explored. Improve your fitness, reap the health benefits of being outdoors or just take a gentle walk to relax.
- Many State forests have mountain bike trails managed by local clubs under permit. These trails are available to ride outside Club events (you could even consider joining your local club).
- Horse-riders – you can ride your horses on roads and fire trails in State forests.
- Four-wheel driving and trail bike riding are allowed on formed roads and fire trails in State forests. But don’t risk a fine, remember: no licence, no rego, no ride.
- Many State forests have fireplaces for barbecues (you can collect fallen wood to make a fire) and great spots to enjoy a picnic. You can enjoy a fire in most State forests, but not all – check our website for locations of solid fuel fire bans or visit the Rural Fire Service website for information about total fire bans. In an emergency, contact 000.
- Make sure you share your experiences via #visitnswforests and @visitnswforests. The ‘Visit NSW State Forests’ Facebook page will be sharing visitor happy snaps over the holiday period, so don’t forget to tag your shots – you could be a star!