Four-wheel drive touring is a great way to enjoy the tremendous variety of outdoor experience offered by Victoria’s parks, forests and other reserves.
An extensive track network gives 4WD access for a range of activities such as camping, walking, hunting, fishing, horse riding or just going bush.
The natural beauty of the bush attracts more and more visitors each year. The increasing numbers of visitors have the potential to cause serious damage to the natural environment.
Escapes from campfires, expansion of campsites, trampling and cutting of vegetation and deterioration of roads and tracks have all become more common.
Just one person “bush bashing” can do enormous environmental damage and give four-wheel driving a bad name.
Fortunately most of us have adopted a new ethic about their use of natural areas. By learning to ‘tread lightly’ in the bush, you can minimise the damage to the natural environment and reduce the need for restrictions on visitor numbers, and track or campsite closures. This will give the “extreme greens” less ammunition.
What does the law say?
- Vehicles may only be driven on formed roads and vehicle tracks.
- Tracks created informally by vehicles, and walking tracks are NOT roads.
- Management tracks are closed to private vehicles to ensure sensitive areas are not damaged and to enable other visitors to enjoy their recreation without the intrusion of vehicles.
Minimal Impact Driving
- Stay on the track. Drive your vehicle only on roads that are open to the public. Never “bush bash” or drive on closed roads. Off-road driving is a major cause of erosion and vegetation loss.
- Obey all track closures and regulatory signs.
- Remove fallen trees or limbs from roads or report the obstruction to DSE or Parks Victoria – don’t create a new track by driving around it.
- Drive lightly. Stay off tracks when they are wet and muddy, or when they have been recently graded. They are easily cut up, and repairing the damage is expensive or can result in track closures.
- Minimise damage by avoiding steep tracks on erodable soils in winter and during wet weather. Steep slopes, water and vehicular traffic are responsible for much of the erosion evident on tracks.
- Plan to use an alternative route if roads are wet and your vehicle is likely to cause damage, or wait until roads are dry before travelling.
- Avoid wheel spin and churning up the track. Wheel ruts can quickly become water channels which cause soil erosion and make tracks impassable for other users.
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