The parks included on this website are lands and waters that have been reserved for conservation and need our protection.
There are different types of parks which reflect their balance between conservation and sustainable recreation. The activities permitted and visitor facilities provided need to be compatible with the type of park but also to the particular conditions of each individual park. A park's type is included in its name, for example; Purnululu National Park, Ningaloo Marine Park, Coalseam Conservation Park, Toolibin Nature Reserve, Hamelin Pool Marine Nature Reserve, Herdsman Lake Regional Park, and Dwellingup State Forest.
These parks are managed on behalf of the Conservation and Parks Commission by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and sometimes in partnership with traditional owners. Park managers and visitors share responsibility for the conservation supported by these parks.
- Park managers take direct conservation action and promote appreciation and respect for natural and cultural heritage.
- Park visitors minimise the impacts of their visits so that parks can maintain their conservation and heritage values and so that others can enjoy them in future.
Leave No Trace
As a park visitor, you can help care for our parks. Be environmentally conscious and follow the low impact principles of Leave No Trace (LNT) and any other advice or instructions provided in the park on signs or in a visitor guide.
Support the seven principles recommended by LNT for minimising your impacts when visiting a park.
Plan ahead and prepare
- Planning and preparation will help make your visit a success and prevent mistakes and compromises that lead to unnecessary impacts.
- Think about what you want to do ahead of time, gather information, learn skills and get the equipment and other resources you will need before your trip.
- Plan your meals to minimise leftovers, empty, smelly and insect attracting packaging and cleaning up that needs excessive hot water and detergent.
- Take bags or receptacles to keep rubbish in for responsible disposal later.
- Leave your pets home for the protection of native fauna -and your pets.
Travel and camp on durable surfaces
- Always drive on roads and tracks and walk on paths and trails.
- Move around campgrounds on paths and roads. These have often been carefully located for good access to toilets, barbecue shelters, trails and other facilities. They prevent a lot of damage that can be done by continually brushing vegetation and trampling soil and low vegetation by taking shortcuts.
- Leave the campsite as you found it. Adequate space is provided in camp sites. Follow any advice given on the right size and type of camping equipment you use, and the number of vehicles allowed for. Use tent pads and parking spaces provided, avoid digging holes and don’t tie ropes to trees.
Dispose of waste properly
- Choose food carefully to minimise the amount of rubbish that needs to be taken out when you leave.
- Don’t use a campfire to dispose of food or packaging.
- Check your campsite or rest area before you leave and collect any rubbish or spilled food. Leave nothing and consider picking up items carelessly left by others.
- Don’t allow wastewater to spill on the ground.
- Use toilets when they are available. Dispose of human waste responsibly at other times.
- Use dump stations points in regional towns to empty recreational vehicle wastewater tanks. Never empty portable chemical toilet storage tanks into campground toilets.
Leave what you find
You are not able to collect or move rocks, shells, flowers or anything else you might find interesting. Leave all objects of interest as you find them, to guard against damage and so that others can also discover and appreciate them as they are.
Look but do not touch aboriginal art or disturb sites of cultural significance in any way.
Minimise campfire impacts
Campfires are a traditional way of cooking food and staying warm at night. They take skill and time to prepare and look after but, with modern clothing, equipment and vehicles, are no longer essential either to prepare food or to be comfortable. Although campfires may be permitted, many negative impacts can be avoided by using a fuel stove or gas barbecue instead.
- Collecting firewood removes essential habitats used by a host of native flora and fauna, including endangered species. Insects, reptiles and other small animals lose their homes when wood is removed. Animals are displaced, nutrient recycling is disrupted, and the balance of ecosystems disturbed.
- Using firewood collected from other areas can be a way to introduce pests and diseases.
- The heat of a fire and the ash left afterwards can alter the chemistry of the soil.
- If you have a campfire, keep it small.
- Rules for campfires vary from park to park, usually depending on bushfire risk and firewood considerations.
They might be allowed for certain times of the year only or not at all. All campfires and the use of solid fuel stoves and barbecues will be strictly prohibited on days when a fire ban has been declared.
If you want to have a campfire, always check to see if campfires are allowed and if firewood is supplied or if you must bring your own.
To see Western Australia’s diverse and unique wildlife and their natural behaviours in their natural habitats, be prepared to be patient, watch quietly and be still or move slowly. Let them decide how close you can be and treat their acceptance of you as a privilege. Keeping your distance can be very rewarding.
Any form of interaction with wildlife can be a fond memory but please do not feed birds, animals, fish or any other wildlife. Feeding is often done as an easy way to get close and gain attention. However, feeding is known to be bad for wildlife and the rules about it are firm.
Human food is often highly processed and lacks the specific nutrition that animals need. A reliance on humans for food can result in health issues, disturbs natural foraging behaviours and can lead to unnatural concentrations of animals near feeding locations such as picnic areas and campgrounds. This can put pressure on natural food sources and result in a rise in competitive or aggressive behaviour and outbreaks of disease.
If you find an animal that is sick, injured or appears lost or abandoned, please do not try to look after it yourself.
If it is sick or injured, do not keep it without seeking expert advice as it may not survive. The best thing you can do to increase its survival chances is to take it to an experienced wildlife rehabilitator or vet.
Relocating an animal can cause significant stress and unknowingly separate it from its home and community. Please leave healthy animals where you find them.
For good advice on sick and injured animals go to Wildcare Helpline or call (08) 9474 9055.
Be considerate of your hosts and other visitors
Choice of activities
- Be aware that some activities might affect wildlife and the experiences of other visitors and should be avoided. Music, singing, shouting and noise from vehicles and generators are common examples of unwanted noise.
- Take note of information about the cultural significance of places that you visit and treat them with respect. Climbing trees and rocks, swimming in waterholes and making loud noises might be culturally insensitive.
- Check to find out if taking photographs is acceptable.
‘Leave No Trace’ depends more on an attitude and awareness of personal responsibility than on rules and regulations. However, many of the principles are also supported by regulations which are enforced for personal safety as well as for conservation of the environment and cultural heritage.
Would you like to take part in a conservation project as a volunteer? General information about volunteering with the Parks and Wildlife Service and contacts can be found at Volunteering with the Parks and Wildlife Service.