The Australian bush is fragile. Bushwalking Victoria has produced a brochure called Tread Softly that explains how to walk in the bush in the way that conserves Victoria’s natural environment.

Tread Softy lists 10 recommended practices that will help protect the natural environment, without detracting from enjoyment. Each practice takes the form of a commonsense and easy-to-do action.

Bushwalking is the primary active recreation of 200,000 Victorians. Fifty-three thousand Victorians four-wheel drive in the bush for recreation. Twenty-four thousand Victorians hunt and shoot. Hundreds of thousands of Victorians, interstate and overseas tourists visit Victoria’s internationally acclaimed national parks”, Joslin Guest a Bushwalking Victoria board member says.

Every year, more people visit Victoria’s parks, forests and reserves. Bushwalking Victoria wants more people to walk in the bush, but it wants them to tread softly to preserve the natural environment, which is what attracts them there in the first place,” she says.

The 10 actions are:

  •  Make all parties small – this will reduce the impact a group has on the natural environment
  •  Keep to established tracks wherever possible to prevent erosion and damage to sensitive native vegetation growing beside the track
  •  If camping, use existing campsites wherever possible
  •  Use a stove to cook – they are safer and more environmentally friendly than cooking over a fire
  •  Take care with campfires – a very important precaution given the increasingly dry and hot climate
  •  Protect water sources so the water that we drink is not degraded because of careless practices
  •  If there is no toilet, bury toilet waste 15cm deep at least 100m from campsites, water sources and tracks
  •  Carry out all rubbish – carry out what you carry in!
  •  Respect flora and fauna by trying not to damage vegetation or interfering with the habitat of birds and animals
  •  Comply with biosecurity measures to prevent the spread of plant and soil pathogens, weeds and prohibited plants.

Tread Softly is available online from the Bushwalking Victoria website.

Printed copies can be obtained from the Bushwalking Victoria office, telephone: (03) 9946 4131 or from Victoria Tourist Centres.

Tread Softly is being launched in Geelong at Johnstone Park at 11am on Thursday 3 December 2015.

Contact Information

Joslin Guest

Board Member

Mobile: 0400 988 668


Bushwalking Victoria is the peak body for all bushwalkers and bushwalking clubs in Victoria. We aim to deliver Better Bushwalking for Victoria and work to inspire more people to walk in natural areas for enjoyment, health, wellbeing and appreciation of the Victorian environment.