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Tips for staying safe this long weekend 

It might be cold, but plenty of people will be out and about on Victoria’s public land estate over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend. 

Before you head out from home, consider where you are travelling and whether you should travel there. 

Avoid areas that have been badly affected by the recent storms

While many parks, gardens, reserves and state forests will be busy this weekend, severe weather conditions have affected parts of Victoria. Some locations may be closed, inaccessible or dangerous.   

Consider your need to travel if you had planned to visit an area that has experienced severe weather conditions. 

Watch out for trees when camping and hiking in parks and forests. Recent wet and windy weather can destabilise trees or branches making them more likely to fall. 

And before you go anywhere, check the VicEmergency app. 

While people living in metropolitan Melbourne must remain within 25km of home, people living in regional Victoria can travel to any destination outside the metro area. 

With a few precautions, we can make sure that the winter long weekend is safe and  COVIDSafe for everyone. 


Be patient, stay safe 

  • follow  COVIDSafe practices
  • stay home and get tested if you feel unwell
  • practice good hygiene
  • maintain physical distancing by staying 1.5 metres apart from people who do not live with you

You may encounter queues or crowds remember to:

  • stay patient.  
  • follow the mask rules remember, you must use masks indoors at all times.
  • carry hand sanitiser.

 
In regional Victoria, carry a fitted face mask when you’re outside. In metropolitan Melbourne, you must wear a fitted face mask outdoors, except where you have an exemption. Also, wash your hands thoroughly. That will ensure you’re COVIDSafe and will help you avoid seasonal sniffles too. 
 
Download the Service Victoria app before you leave home. Use QR codes and check into every venue you visit – even if it’s just popping in for a cup of coffee. QR codes help us to stay safe and stay open.

Plan ahead 

Plan your trip before you go. Have a backup plan if your destination is crowded or there are queues when you get there. 

On the road 

Wet and windy weather is expected to persist through the long weekend across Victoria. 

Leave plenty of time to travel, take it slowly and take regular breaks, especially if it’s been a while since your last road trip. 

If your intended route is flooded, FORGET IT.

Never drive through floodwaters. It takes only 15cm of water to cause a car to float, and the road surface may have been washed away. 

VicRoads has a handy guide to highway rest stops and tips for winter motoring and driving in snow

Also, check the Forest Fire Management Victoria website and the Parks Victoria website for any seasonal road or track closures before you leave.  

Camping and caravanning 

Camper van on the wide stretch of road, Tall trees on either side of the road.

If you are able to go camping or caravanning over the long weekend, choose your site carefully. Stay 1.5 metres from the next site. Use the width of a standard car, a beach towel, a tent pole or a canoe or as a guide. 

If your chosen site in a national, state or regional park, a reserve or a state forest is already full, and there are no designated sites available, you MUST go elsewhere. Try a nearby private caravan park, campground or a hotel instead. 

Don’t camp outside designated camping areas, on or near roads, or too close to watercourses.

Watch for overhanging trees and branches. These can fall anytime, without warning – especially after our wet, windy week. 

 
Campfires 

Read about  campfire safety before you travel. The rules still apply in winter. Different rules apply in parks and state forests. Never leave a campfire unattended, and ensure it’s fully extinguished with water

Take firewood only from designated collection areas in state forests or parks – never from fallen trees or hollow logs. 

There are different rules for campfires in national, state and regional parks and in state forests. Know the rules before you go. 
 

Stay in touch 

The weather can change quickly. Check the Bureau of Meteorology website before you go. While you’re away, listen to local emergency radio stations. Check the VicEmergency app and the Victorian Government’s coronavirus website and stay ready for anything. 

Moving around in parks 

Keep left on tracks and stay 1.5m from others. Stick to marked tracks, always. It’s safer, and you won’t damage the environment. 

 
Clean up 

Whatever you take into our parks and state forests must go home with you. Dumping rubbish is prohibited. Fines apply, and rangers and authorised officers will be on patrol. Be a respectful visitor. Clean up before you leave. 

Fishing, boating 

Fishers and boaties need to remember physical distancing and hygiene when fuelling up, buying bait, on a jetty or using boat ramps. Don’t share your fishing gear with others to stay COVIDSafe. Check this list of boat ramps so you have a backup if your favourite ramp is busy. 

 
Check theBoating Vic app for iOS or for Android, the Boating Vic website and the VicEmergency app for ramp and weather updates. 

 
Alpine resorts 

Photo of snow on top of mountains with a long stretch of road and big trees on either side of the road

The resorts will be open for regional Victorians and accommodation and other businesses will operate with QR codes for visitor check-ins and density limits at some sites and venues. There are no capacity constraints for the resorts and ski lifts.  
Download the Service Victoria app, use QR codes to check-in and observe density limits. 

Plan ahead. Check the resort websites before you leave for any updates or changes to conditions or operations. Where you can, book your resort entry, accommodation and lift passes online, in advance. 

Melburnians: get out and about 

If you live in Melbourne, present restrictions mean that you cannot travel more than 25km from home. 

Read the story entitled 'Hidden treasures on Melbourne's doorstep'which will show there are still plenty of options for you to get into Victoria’s great outdoors safely and without breaking the rules. 

Reviewed 11 June 2021

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