Can I have a campfire?

Posted on: 13/09/2018

 

Discover where and when you can legally have a campfire when camping in Australia.

Can I have a campfire on the beach?

Generally speaking in Australia fires are not permitted on the beach. This is because most beaches are public beaches, where abandoned coals or a leftover fire pit could be a hazard for others using the beach. Regulatory authorities do not have the time or resources to clean up everyone's old campfires, so they are largely banned. You may be allowed to have a fire on the beach if the beach is privately owned, but you would need to check with the owner in this rare insance.

 

Can I have a campfire in a national park?

You can't have a campfire just anywhere in a national park. Generally if you are allowed to camp in a national park there will be designated camping areas. Each camping area will have its own campfire restrictions, so you will need to look up the specific restrictions for that campground within the national park. Another thing to be aware of is that collecting firewood within a national park is often prohibited, so if you are planning to build a campfire you will need to bring your firewood in with you, or hope that the ranger has a side business selling it from their truck.

 

Can I have a campfire in a state park?

The restrictions here will vary state by state, but most of the rules follow a similar pattern. For example, you are allowed to build a campfire in Victorian state parks, but you must follow the safety guidelines to legally do so – these include keeping a three metre clear perimeter around the fire, and not leaving it unattended. Many of the rules around having campfires in state parks are common sense safety measures, so be mindful in the way you build your campfire and you should be on the right track. In all state and national parks, campfires may only be built in designated fireplaces and fire pits.

 

Can I have a campfire on total fire ban days?

No.

 

What else should I know?

When building a campfire outside of a designated fire pit, it is important to clear a three metre perimiter of all flammable material, including your tent. Campfires should be no larger than one square metre. Never leave your campfire unattended, and always extinguish your campfire completely before leaving the campsite. Burying your campfire in the dirt is not good enough – coals under the dirt can smoulder for days. Instead, you should extinguish your campfire with water, and when it is cool to the touch it is safe to leave.