In Australia, bushwalking covers a range of activities from short walks on flat, well-formed trails to multi-day expeditions for fit, experienced and appropriately skilled bushwalkers.
Many trails in Western Australia have been classed according to the Australian Walking Track Grading System to help you decide if a trail is one that you can enjoy safely and whether it offers the experience that you're looking for. Some trails have not yet been classified to these standards, but they do have similar descriptive information.
Plan and prepare
Tell a trusted and responsible person of your plans, including return details and for longer trips schedule your progress reports. Provide sufficient detail so that someone has the information needed to get help if required. Some parks and trails have self-registration stations and in some remote parks, visitors should register with the local Parks and Wildlife office. These registrations should be completed in addition to informing your own trusted person or persons, not as an alternative.
Research your walk to make sure everyone in your group is comfortable with the planned route. Go to the dedicated websites for the Bibbulmun Track and the Cape to Cape Track, for more detailed information on our two longest walk trails or Trails WA for information on most of the popular trails in WA.
Always take a map and a compass and know how to use it. Also don’t rely on trail markers as they sometimes go missing!
Plan your walk for the most suitable season and/or daily weather conditions. Check weather forecasts prior to departure and be prepared for unforecast sudden and extreme weather changes. Have a bushfire survival plan.
If you are bushwalking on lesser used or remote trails, consider carrying a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) or a satellite phone with you and know how to use them in the event of an emergency.
For longer walks always take extra food and water.
- Walk in groups of three or more – in an emergency one might need to wait with the injured person while someone goes for help. Always walk to the pace of the slowest person in your group.
- Stay on the trail. If you get lost stay where you are. You’ll be found sooner if you don’t stray from the trail.
- Bush walking is not recommended in hot and windy due to the risk of bushfire or other extreme weather conditions, including severe winter storms.
- To protect yourself against heat stroke, wear a hat and loose protective clothing, drink 3 to 4 litres of water per day when walking and walk in the cooler times of the day.
- Check out the Department of Sport and Recreation's guide to Common safe practice for bushwalking in the outdoors.