Know your limits

Be aware of your own capabilities: your skills, experience and fitness. 

Can you carry enough water to sustain you on your bushwalk, even if expected supplies along the way have run dry? Can you navigate by paper map if or when your GPS stops working? Can you drive safely across that flowing creek?  Can you repair your bike when it breaks down? Do you know how a temperature of 40°C affects you? These questions are not about an 'average' person and we are unable to answer to answer them for you. They are questions you may need to ask yourself about your capabilities.

If you are part of a group, then make sure all participants in the group are also able and prepared. Make sure there's at least one experienced person in the group who can guide and assist others during the activity and in case of an emergency. Allow plenty of time to finish the activity in daylight.

Weather and sun protection

Be prepared for unexpected changes in weather. Wild wet winters, freezing spring nights and scorching summer days are common weather conditions in many parts of the state. Some areas, such as gorges, may experience temperatures often up to 10°C higher on hot days, or much lower in the shade of the steep gorge walls. Consider visiting during mild weather conditions to avoid weather and bushfire hazards. Avoid sunburn by wearing a hat, shirt and sunscreen, even on overcast days. See 'When to visit' for more information about Western Australia's sometimes extreme climate and weather conditions.

Equipment

Ensure your equipment is appropriate, in good condition and that you know how to use it. Take essential supplies such as a first aid kit, torch, matches, extra fuel, food and water in case of unexpected delays. Wear sun protection, boots or sturdy footwear and clothing that are weatherproof and scratchproof.

Drinking water

The availability of water in parks, especially for drinking, cannot be guaranteed. Do not expect to find water supplied or in natural watercourses, even in winter. Always carry enough for your own needs. Carry and drink 3 to 4 litres per person per day.

Most water sources in our parks are untreated. Treat any available water to make it safe for consumption unless it is indicated that it is safe to drink. Water in water tanks is not suitable for drinking, food preparation or human consumption without treatment. Treatment can be vigorous boiling for at least one minute, mechanical filtration or chemical treatment.

First Aid

Visitors should always carry a first aid kit and know how to use it.  See St John Ambulance Australia for fact sheets on first aid, including for heat-induced conditions and for stings and bites. Anyone visiting remote parks should consider specialist remote area first aid training. Go to the Department of Health's Public Health website for more information on health issues and if in doubt seek medical assistance.

Mobile phones

Mobile phones can be useful but don’t rely on them for safety or in an emergency as many parks have limited or no coverage.

Information on mobile phone and internet coverage is available from the various service providers. Take note of their disclaimers.  Very generally, with some exceptions, expect coverage in parks to be patchy at best for voice and text and largely non-existent for data. For most parks there is little or no service from most providers and for some no service is available from any provider. If you are travelling into more remote locations, consider carrying a personal locator beacon (PLB) or satellite phone. For more information see below and 'In an emergency'.

Satellite communication

A number of satellite communications services and products are available that provide coverage in all parks, but a direct line of sight between your device and a satellite is required, so you cannot connect from caves, deep gorges and underneath a dense tree canopy. A range of devices including satellite phones, EPIRB's (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons), PLB's (Personal Locator Beacons) and devices that connect smartphones to a satellite are available, with some suppliers offering a rental service. Check with service providers to ensure access to Australian Emergency Services is provided.

Boating

You may be required to carry an EPIRB in your vessel in a marine park - for details see the Department of Transport.

Public payphones

You can search for the locations of public payphones on Telstra's website.