A walker wearing skis traverses a snowy mountain walk
CradleMountain-2 (2) (1)

Be safe in our parks and reserves this winter

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​Winter is here and authorities are urging everyone to take extra care and ensure they are well prepared when visiting the state's parks and reserves.

While winter can be a great time for bushwalking, it comes with increased hazards which include severe weather and the risk of hypothermia, says Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service Regional Operations Manager (North) Jayne Cooper.

“We want visitors to enjoy the unique experience of walking in winter in Tasmania and get outdoors and explore, but we want them to do it safely," Ms Cooper said.

“Tasmania's highlands can experience severe weather and sudden weather changes more frequently at this time of year and walkers should not underestimate the severity of conditions they may experience."

There are some basic safety tips to follow before embarking on a walk, including checking the weather forecast, choosing walks that match your capabilities, using the right equipment and being flexible with plans if conditions change.

“Another aspect visitors need to be aware of is the very short daylight hours in winter. Walks that may be completed easily in the long days of summer can become a challenge to complete in the short daylight hours of winter," Ms Cooper said.

Tasmania Police Senior Sergeant Michael Gillies reiterated the importance of being prepared and carrying equipment to stay safe and enable contact with emergency services if assistance is required.

“It's imperative that if you're planning on bushwalking you carry items to be suitably prepared for all conditions including sub-zero temperatures; including clothing and footwear, a waterproof jacket; adequate food and water, and a first aid kit," Senior Sergeant Gillies said.

“It's important to always carry a communication device but don't rely solely on your mobile phone – carry a physical map, a portable battery bank to recharge your mobile phone, and a Personal Locator Beacon.

“Police and rescue agencies will always respond to requests for assistance, but it's important to remember that if you require assistance, rescue crews could be hours away dependent on the weather. Carrying suitable equipment will ensure you can remain safe until help arrives if required."

Visit the PWS website for safe walking guidelines: https://parks.tas.gov.au/safety-in-parks

Published 24/06/2024