The National Trail Trekking Code supports low impact trekking and camping practices. The Code asks for a high standard of ethics and behaviour which will stand trekkers in good stead with land owners and managing agencies. The NT does not own the land through which the Trail passes. We negotiate access and maintain relationships with landowners and land managers along the length of the Trail to secure a traversable route from Cooktown to Healesville. Landowners and land managers include private landowners, leaseholders and state, territory and local governments and agencies. Your agreement to comply with the NT Trekking Code ensures that the NT experience will remain available to others who follow in your footsteps.
1. Self Reliance
You should prepare to be self reliant for much of the Trail. Detailed planning is required for long distance trekking.
The Trail exists through partnerships with many land owners and agencies across three states and the ACT. Please respect all landowners and their conditions of entry so that future generations may also enjoy the experience.
3. Private property
Where the trail passes through private property this is by a negotiated agreement with the landowner. We ask that you:-
- Due to State and ACT Bio Security Legislation, Trekkers must make a telephone call prior to traversing the private property.
- Leave gates as you find them.
- No dogs, cats, firearms, camping, rubbish, camp fires or removal of vegetation.
- Don’t wander off the track, disturb stock or crops.
4. Group Size
Group numbers are restricted by campsite facilities and some park management plans and may vary between private properties and current climate conditions
5. Your Safety
You are responsible for your own safety. This includes responsibility for undertaking adequate planning for your trip, for obtaining suitable equipment, and animals, for the task, for making provision for emergencies and for taking out your own ambulance, medical and personal property insurance. You should familiarize yourself with safe river crossing as well as bushfire safe practices. You should have adequate first aid knowledge and equipment, and should understand the dangers to health from poor diet, water and hygiene when camping. Be aware of local conditions. Advise someone of your plans and agree on what to do if you fail to make a planned contact. We recommend you carry a map, compass, NT Maps and updates. We strongly recommend you carry an emergency personal safety device (do not rely on a mobile phone).
6. The Environment
The NT supports low impact practices that minimise harm to the natural environment. Avoid washing with soap or detergent in creeks or rivers and carry water to horses. Dispose of all waste properly. If you carry it in – carry it out again. If you must, bury decomposable rubbish and remove the rest to a bin. Human faeces should be buried to a depth of 15-20cm at least 50m away from creeks and camping areas. Leave your campsite with no indication of your presence. Groom animals and pick tack, socks and clothes of noxious weeds seeds to prevent spread. Smoking is discouraged, cigarette butts should always be completely extinguished, collected and disposed of properly.
Always be aware of local fire conditions and respect fire warnings, particularly Total Fire Bans. Incorrect use of fire can cause bushfire, loss of property and possibly life. Carry and use a fuel stove. Only light fires in properly constructed fire places. Keep fires small and extinguish completely before leaving. You can be prosecuted for letting a fire escape.
8. Locked Gates
Locked gates must be respected. Locks must not be cut or tampered with. Maps contain instructions for obtaining keys and conditions for access. Alternatively, ask landowner or section coordinator for detour.
Firearms cannot be carried through, or discharged in, many tenures along the Trail. They are best left a home.
10. Hunting and Fishing
Most land tenures restrict hunting and fishing which makes ‘living off the land’ difficult.
In NSW many campsites are in Travelling Stock Reserves (TSRs) and a camping permit must be obtained. Members can obtain necessary permits via the NT office before trekking, even if you have no animals. Contact with the relevant Livestock Health and Pest Authority (LHPA) 48 hours prior to travel is a condition of the permit.
12. Fees and charges
Fees and charges are sometimes charged at showgrounds and campsites where there are facilities. These must be paid to the relevant facility manager.
At some campsites, particularly in the high country, huts are provided for shelter. These huts should be shared with other users. Huts must be left clean and tidy, food scraps removed, and firewood replaced. Never rely on a hut being available. Some huts have visitor books, use them to record your visit.
- Comply with road rules and laws including helmet requirements.
- Practice low impact riding.
- Be mindful of other trekkers and their animals.
- Be well prepared for any eventuality (food, water, spares, puncture repair etc).
15. Horses and Pack Animals
Trekkers are responsible for their animals, for their welfare and for any damage they do. Animals should be under control at all times, and must be securely fenced in or tethered at night.
- Minimise overnight impact by providing at least 25m2 per horse per night
- Tether or fence animals away from water courses and watering points, camping areas, crops and vehicles
- Remove animal droppings from day use areas and spread the rest
- Hard feed should be cracked or processed, no hay or grain please
- Wash and water animals away from streams and watercourses
- Animal welfare is your responsibility and you will be judged by your animals
- Meet spraying and animal movement requirements when passing from cattle tick declared areas to clean areas
16. Animals on the Trail
Trekking with pack animals is part of the BNT experience, however other animals, such as dogs and cats, are not permitted on the Trail.