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Caring for our Murray River National Parks for the future

Murray River National Parks
Camping Guide

The Murray River, with its majestic River Red Gums, sandy beaches and a large variety of wildlife, provides the ideal backdrop for camping and a range of water-based recreation. You can help protect the river environment, and enhance the enjoyment and safety of visitors by following a few simple guidelines.

Camping along the Murray River

Australia's Ancient Culture

For thousands of years, local indigenous people have lived along the Murray River. When exploring you may discover shell middens (kitchen hearths), burials and scar trees testifying to a rich human history spanning more than 10,000 years. Please respect these Australian heritage sites – protected by law. Find out more about the Australian Aborginal culture along the Murray River.

Our Food Source

Today, the Murray is a major source of domestic water for around 1.25 million people and is often referred to as the “food bowl” of Australia. Some products of Murray irrigation include fruit (fresh, dried, canned and juiced), dairy produce, vegetables, rice and other cereals, wine, meat and vegetable oil, many of which are exported.

Keeping the Parklands clean is important to ensure the quality of this food and water. The enclosed guidelines will help you to protect the environment, and enhance your enjoyment and safety whilst visiting these magnificent Parklands.

“A clean and healthy environment equals a clean and healthy water and food supply.”

Enjoying the River Parklands

Walking, cycling, bird watching, fishing, boating, scenic drives and camping are just some of the popular activities along the river.

Camping along the Murray River

Preparing the ideal holiday

Camping opportunities along the River range from formal campgrounds with facilities to basic bush camping.

Before you leave home, decide on the type of camping that you want to do and prepare accordingly.

Many of the sites listed have separate Parknotes providing more detailed information.

A haven for plants and animals

The Murray River National Parks, with their majestic River Red Gums and forests provide an important habitat for a variety of plants and animals. Kangaroos, emus and koalas are common.

Over 200 species of birds have been recorded and the river is one of the largest breeding grounds for waterbirds in Victoria. The river is also a breeding ground for native fish species such as the Murray Cod and Golden Perch.

Kangaroo in the Kosciuszko National Park

Regulations and Guidelines

Following these simple guidelines will ensure those who visit after you will enjoy their stay.

“The best campsites are found, not made”


Small campfires are permitted for cooking or warmth provided:

  • All camps must be at least 20 metres from any waterway
  • Permanent structures or camps are not permitted. campsites must be vacated when directed by a parks employee
  • Digging steps into river banks is illegal and can cause erosion and landslides
  • camping is not permitted in day visitor areas or on licensed water frontages adjacent to private property
  • unattended caravans and tents are deemed to be in permanent occupation and will be subject to legal proceedings if not moved when requested to do so by a parks employee


  • Do not camp or park under or near trees as they can drop branches without warning, and may fall some distance from the tree
  • Take care when swimming – fast currents, underwater objects and holes can be hazardous
  • Do not venture into deep water without a life jacket
  • Do not dive or jump into the river or use any kind of swing
  • Beware of rising water. Access tracks can be flooded when the river level rises
  • Be alert to other dangers – safety is your responsibility


Campers are encouraged to use gas stoves wherever possible. Small fires are permitted for warmth and cooking, provided the following regulations are followed:

  • It is not a day of Total Fire Ban. Gas appliances are also prohibited in open areas on days of total Fire Ban
  • The fire is in a properly constructed fireplace or a 30cm deep trench. Trenches must be backfilled before leaving
  • All flammable material within a distance of 3 metres is removed around a campfire or BBQ
  • All flammable material within 1.5 metres is removed from around a campfire or BBQ that uses gas, liquid or chemical fuel
  • The fire is not left unattended at any time and is completely extinguished with water before leaving. The person in charge of the fire must be in the line of sight and within 50 metres of the fire
  • The fire is no larger than 1 square metre
  • In NSW, solid fuel fires are not permitted during the ‘solid fuel fire ban period’ over summer months. call the NSW National Parks office for more information 03 5483 9100

“When it is cool to touch it is safe to leave!”

Rubbish - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Every year, over 6,000 cubic metres of rubbish is removed from the Parklands. That’s 25,000 wheelie bins. Most parks operate under a “Carry in, Carry out” policy, which means that anything you bring into the park must be taken home, to the local tip, or a designated rubbish collection point.

In Victoria:

  • No bins are provided on the Victorian side of the Murray River
  • Take all rubbish home for recycling or to a local waste disposal location
  • Avoid bringing glass bottles and containers into the park
  • Do not spray paint or attach signs to trees or objects
  • Keep campsites free of litter at all times
  • Do not place litter in campfires


  • Rubbish collection points are provided at the entrances to most NSW reserves


  • Chemical toilets are recommended, but earth pit toilets are acceptable
  • Toilets must be at least 100 metres from any waterway
  • Bury all toilet waste, including toilet paper

4WD and motorbikes

Don’t take vehicles or motorbikes off road

  • Off road use of any vehicle (4WD, motorbikes and cars) is strictly prohibited and fines apply
  • Drivers and riders must be licensed and vehicles registered and roadworthy
  • Remember that Victorian Recreational Registration for motorbikes is not recognised as legal in NSW
  • Helmets must be worn
  • Normal traffic laws apply
  • Remember that drivers, walkers, bike riders and horse riders can all share the same tracks in the park
  • Boats and jet skis must only be launched at boat ramps. Vehicles must not be driven onto sand beaches or below the normal water mark (normally defined by the grassy edge)

Dogs and other pets

Ensure that you and your pets enjoy your holiday

  • Check whether dogs and other pets are permitted in the area before leaving home
  • In some parks pets are permitted, but must be kept under control at all times
  • Pets can carry diseases that can harm native wildlife and may cause injury or disturbance to other park users.

Fishing and Shooting

  • Fishing Licences can be obtained from your local tackle or sports shop
  • Firearms are prohibited in most Murray River Parklands
  • Call 13 1963 to check with the local Parks Victoria office
  • Fishing along the Murray River
  • A NSW Amateur Fishing Licence is required for fishing in the Murray River
  • Visit the NSW Fisheries website or call 1300 369 365
  • Fishing in Rivers and lakes in Victoria
  • A Victorian Amateur Fishing Licence is required for fishing in waters south of the Murray River
  • Visit the Department of Sustainability and Environment website or call 13 6168

Firewood and Vegetation

  • Cutting down any tree, alive or dead, is an offence and penalties apply. It can also be extremely dangerous
  • Native trees and other forest produce are protected by law and must not be removed
  • Bring your own firewood to use at your campsite as there is limited wood on the ground
  • Do not drag or snig logs with vehicles
  • A permit is required to remove wood from allocated areas for domestic use
  • Spray-painting directional arrows and names on trees is unsightly and in some cases permanently scar the trees
  • Please avoid using nails to pin up directions or hang rubbish bags. Nails can leave trees permanently scarred and in some cases cause them to die

“Designate a meeting place that you can all find
and then show your friends the way to your camp.”

Generator use

Use a commonsense approach. Minimise generator use and consider other visitors and campers.

  • In Victoria, generators are not permitted in national parks
  • For both Victoria and NSW, use a commonsense approach. Minimise generator use and consider other visitors and campers. As a general rule, non-natural sound is more acceptable in highly developed camping areas rather than remote camping areas where there are few facilities and sound travels greater distances
  • To reduce the risk of starting a bushfire from your generator, always ensure:
    – the generator is located in an area clear of fuels, dry grass or other combustible objects
    – extension cords do not cross access tracks and are rated for external use
    – the generator is only refuelled when the engine is cold
    – avoid using generators on days of Total Fire Ban


  • It is illegal to obtain, possess or discharge fireworks unless you hold a Pyrotechnicians Licence or Fireworks (Single use) Licence from Workcover
  • No fireworks are allowed in Murray River forests, parks and reserves
  • Permits and/or licences will not under any circumstances be issued for bushfire prone areas including the Murray River parks and reserves
  • People buying and using fireworks without a Workcover permit risk a penalty notice with on the spot fines from police and Workcover inspectors. The courts can impose substantial
    penalties for handling fireworks without a licence
  • Fireworks are likely to cause bushfires. Anyone found guilty of causing a fire through the use of fireworks is liable to significant penalties. This also applies to inappropriate use of Marine Safety Flares
  • To report the illegal use or sale of fireworks contact your local police

Be safe - take care

  • Avoid camping or parking under trees, in particular Red Gums, as they may drop branches at any time without warning
  • Deep holes, cold water, snags and strong currents are common in the Murray River. Life jackets are recommended
  • Do not use swings attached to trees or any other structure
  • River cliffs are also erodable and slumping can occur at any time
  • If you see a snake, don’t panic. Stand still. Snakes nearly always move away when they feel footstep vibrations. Remember snakes are protected so don’t try to kill them
  • Discuss and agree on an evacuation plan in case of bushfires

Nature and History

All plants, animals, historical and archaeological sites and geographic features are protected by law and must not be removed or disturbed.

Source: From the Murray River Guardian, courtesy of Parks Victoria and NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service

Murray River National Parks



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