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All National Parks tracks and trails will be closed over the weekend

ChopStiR's picture

By ChopStiR - Posted on 10 January 2013

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.

This may also apply for Forests and other public lands.


All walking tracks in NSW National Parks will be closed until at least Monday due to severe weather expected over the next few days.

Picnic areas and camping areas in the east of the state remain open. Due to severe weather forecast National Parks is putting safety first and will close parks where there is any question of safety."

Details & Updates See Link:

Lenny_GTA's picture

Forests NSW have advised us at HMBA that they are closing the forests in the Hunter, so Awaba is closed friday through monday.

ChopStiR's picture

CTMBC have also annouced that state forests have been in contact with them and all Tracks and trails are closed in all State Forests

StanTheMan's picture

ohhhh well.....

browny's picture

Newcastle's forecast for Sunday is mid 20's and showers???

The Brown Hornet's picture

But with 2 days of over 40 deg. in the lead up to that 20 deg...

MELONHEAD's picture

I think an alarming precedent has been set. Every time the temperature goes above 35 I can see us being relegated to sitting on the lounge all day in the name of safety. I am fat and need to pedal.

ChopStiR's picture

I believe its the 40+ temps with high winds that create the catastrophic conditions.

If you need to pedal I would suggest a road ride or a trainer.

Im fat also and weigh in at 127kg

Lach's picture

Anyone know if this includes tar roads in NP's such as LCNP, Akuna Bay, Bobbin Head etc? The OEH web site page for fire info seems to have crashed at the moment....

kitttheknightrider's picture

um, maybe I'm not reading enough into that but it specifically says walking tracks which we aren't allowed to use anyway. It also says that picnic and camp grounds in the east will remain open which to me means you can still ride firetrails in those parks.

Maybe I am wrong but I don't think it is a blanket closure of parks that would see us locked out.

ChopStiR's picture

Mountsin sports who are hosting a running race at Manly Dam on sunday have contacted the council with the responce stating that Manly Dam will remain open over the weekend. Saying that. If your planning to ride early sunday morning beware of alot if runners.

ChopStiR's picture

Potentially true Kit. If someone can ring National parks to get clarification.

GiantNut's picture

Garigal National Park
Fires, floods and park closures
Last update: 11/1/2013 5:35AM
Total fire ban
A total fire ban applies in the park. (Ends Friday 11 January, 11:59PM)
A State Wide Total Fire Ban has been declared for Friday 11 January 2013.
All tracks and trails are closed for walking, horse riding and cycling from Friday 11 to Monday 14 January 2013.
All tracks and trails are CLOSED within the park to walkers, cyclists and horse riders. Designated picnic areas and boat ramps remain open. Only electric barbecues provided are to be utilised.
Total fire bans are imposed on days of extreme fire danger. This is determined by weather information and the dryness of the vegetation (the drought factor).
Total fire bans are issued in the afternoon and come into effect from midnight of that day. They operate for 24 hours. A total fire ban may be declared for particular weather districts, or may apply across the State.
During a total fire ban, you may still be able to use an electric or gas barbecue in your backyard (check the NSW Rural Fire Service website for more details). However, no fires may be lit in national parks and reserves. This includes:
fires in designated fireplaces
incinerators and barbeques which use solid fuel such as wood or charcoal
stoves which use gas or liquid fuels (such as petrol, shellite or methylated spirits).
Penalties for disregarding a total fire ban include fines of up to A$5,000 and a maximum of 12 months imprisonment. Check the NSW Rural Fire Service website for more information on total fire bans.
More information

browny's picture

I originally thought it might only be walking/cycling trails but then I saw the 'all tracks and trails' statement.

Brian's picture

I think its just easier for them to close everything. I don't see why the NP at Terrey Hills should be closed on Sunday.

BT's picture

Just need to avoid the runners on Sunday morning

noddman's picture

I'm not worried as I Can't do much anyway due to a borked back wheel. I can't replace said wheel until thursday when i get paid. Sad

hawkeye's picture

Currently awaiting clarification from NPWS media unit on exact scope of closure.

Specific question I'm seeking clarification of the wording on is whether closure applies only to all walking trails (ie, therefore cycling still permitted on management trails) or is it a global ban on cycling on all trails.

On the principle that the headline is a high level summary and the accurate detail is in the item body, there is a clear conflict between the two. Will advise when i hear back.

hawkeye's picture

That was quick.

Just heard back. Closure includes management trails.

Brian's picture

SO it looks like OMV and the Dam will be busy on Sunday.

Lenny_GTA's picture

I would have been surprised if it didn't include management trails. The NPWS primary concern would be that people don't get stuck in a park in the event of a fire. Irrespective of single trail or management trail, being in the scrub increases the risk and having people on a management trail would be as bad as them being on singletrail in the event a large fire broke out.

At least with the picnic/camping areas, people are contained in a single area, not spread around the park. Put people on a management trail and it would be impossible for the authorities to know if they had a handful of people in the park or a few hundred.

While the closures seem annoying, there is a reason for them and its just one of the side effects of legal trails that we will have to learn to deal with.

Antsonline's picture

Wingello is currently ok. Southern Highlands are holding a 3hr there on Sunday, and they have had the all clear for it to go ahead.
I think its one of the only options for the weekend.
I'm gonna head down there, but not ride in the race - I'll avoid the race tracks....

warpig's picture

The bitumen road through the park is closed again from this morning. Personally I think this is a gross over reaction, especially considering the caravan park in the middle of LC NP is open and full to capacity, but there no surprises in the nanny state.

DudeistPriest's picture

How hot is it around the place, it's 33 and no wind where I am at Gosford?

ben.archer's picture

29.7 In TH at the moment full details on the BOM site:

Lenny_GTA's picture

Newcastle Airport is 33 with a 19km/hr easterly. Would be cooler on the coast at Glenrock.


Nobbies Beach is 24.6 degrees with 30km/h easterlies which would be pretty much the same as Glenrock conditions.

kitttheknightrider's picture

Brian, pretty sure OMV is closed as well but closed by Hornsby Council

Edit: Thanks all for the clarification, I would have rode Terry Hills fire trails on Sunday thinking it was ok.

BT's picture

Closed only Friday and Sat.

ChopStiR's picture

Mt Annan has announced they are not closing this weekend and will be open tomorrow and sunday

As stated above, OMV will be open Sunday.

ChopStiR's picture

I have had a look and have not been able to find any Notifications on the BMCC web site. My assumption is that Blue Mountains council land will be open. This would Include Knapsack and Mt York.

Logan's picture

Will be closed, was still closed on Wed morning following Tuesday on Dawnie.

I think people are quick to criticise if they don't close the parks due to fire risk and someone goes there and gets killed, it will be on the heads of the people that run the parks and I know I couldn't live with that fact that if I had closed the park it might have been avoided.

Take a day off the bike, go to the beach, spend time with the missus, take the kids somewhere. It's 1/2 days maximum. If your that desperate to ride, hit up Wingello.

DudeistPriest's picture

I called the Newcastle office of NPWS and they told me all parks will be closed until Monday, with some exceptions that have already been mentioned on here. I also rang the State Forest HQ in Syd and they told me all State Forest will be closed until Mon.

browny's picture

Logan, I don't have a problem with them making a call if there is a genuine risk. But Newcastle peaked at 26oC today, Sunday is forecast to be mid 20's and Mon about the same. A stinker tomorrow but the rest is closer to nice summer weather than the apocalypse. Why not make the call based on local conditions?

hawkeye's picture

The guy i spoke to today said unofficially we should be right for Sunday but to be guided by the website linked above.

This surprised me - admin staff working weekends - but he said if weather permitted there would be an update.

@kit: thanks for confirming I wasn't just being a pedantic prat, I had to go up through several layers of management to get heard.

Took awhile to convince them i wasn't trying to argue with them, but was just trying to get clarity and get the sloppy comms fixed.

They've changed it but it's still not great. Sad

Hop fiend's picture

they will still be ridden just by it being a weekend!!

pharmaboy's picture

I'm with you Browny, it reeks of we have some problems in some places, so we'll just close the whole state because thats easier for us.

The reality will be little effect anyway - its only going to make a difference where they have gates and such.

kitttheknightrider's picture

I think the blanket closures have the added benefit of making it easier to catch arsonists, or even stop them before they do any damage. If your in a park that is closed then it's easier to be spotted and easier to be stopped and questioned without any other justification other then hey you shouldn't be in here now leave.

Lenny_GTA's picture

Browny, I don;t disagree with you. And with Glenrock the chances of a catastrophic fire catching someone out is pretty minor given the nature of the park. Ther park isn't big, its bounded by road/housesd, there are multiple exit routes, and the nature of the topography means that a fire won't get a massive run up.

If it blows westerly, the fire has to go downhill......that doesn't happen quickly compared to fire running up hill
If if its blowing N/E or southerly its hardly going to be hot.

If your in there and see a fire, escape would be pretty simple as long as you know the place.

That said, I don't have an issue with blanket closures when the conditions warrant it like last weekend. This weekend looks like one super hot one before it cools down sunday. So maybe the closure until sat night would be warranted. Today did reach the mid 30's just not till very late on (about 4pm at my place around the corner from the trails), which was a lot later than predicted.

Where NPWS, State Forest need to be careful is that they don't overly close things leading to people taking no notice. When people become blasé about the closures, then someone will be somewhere they shouldn't when a fire happens.

N76's picture

Lets not forget that the idea of closing National Parks additionally and just as importantly allows the Authorities to more effectively weed out those deranged nutcases that start some of these fires.

Renno's picture

There is always Singleton or Dungog for us Newy riders Eye-wink

There is fines too for disobeying the closures am I right??

Lenny_GTA's picture

Renno, Jesmond isn't closed, and there is heaps of other bush to explore....

Technically, killi hasn't been closed either. Mind you if there was a fire, killi is not where I would choose to be.

Hop fiend's picture

just be careful of some really loose stuff on a fast firetrail from the top across to Walsend side

danielschipper's picture

Sorry but no justification for closing the trails Friday through Sunday apart from a Nanny State taking their direction from a media beat up. Tuesday was a different story and they were right to close the parks.

Closures could easily become a precedent so I for one will be lodging a complaint with National Parks for their excessive response.

DudeistPriest's picture

I agree, at least for the Newcastle/Sydney regions, it's a nice summer day and I can't go for a ride, bit over the top.

Lenny_GTA's picture

It made it to 38 on the beach in Newcastle, just inland close to Glenrock at my place it is 40 degrees. Trail closures or not, the pool is a better destination than the trails.

I have no issue with todays closure, if its closed tomorrow with the forecast temps in the mid 20's thats another story, but I suspect there may be amendments to the park closures.


Make that 42 and rising at 2:45. .

Burt's picture

Who think its ridiculous to have the parks closed think about this. Everywhere is so dry at the moment all it takes is one spark for a fire to start, the fire will travel faster than you. Firefighters are putting their lives at risk to contain fires, the last thing they need is to go looking for idiots in the bush at the same time.
Anyone who was around for the bush fires in terrey hills would have more sense than to go riding on the second of three days in four years plus that the bush gas been closed due to extreme fire danger.
You want to be in the bush so much, why not volunteer? Or otherwise get a life so that two days off the mtb In The bush isn't such a major event in your lives.
It's a state wide ban not just the Northern Beaches

The Brown Hornet's picture

Excessive response? Taking their direction from a media beatup? What would have happened if the parks were kept open so you could enjoy your rightful access and a fire tore through the area? I bet you'd be one of the ones who then complain that not enough was done to save the public from themselves. For fucks sake its a few days where you have to do something else.

Take a look at what happened in Victoria a few years ago and what just happened in Tassie. In Tassie the folk who saw the fire on the other side of the bay thought they would have at least an hour before it made it all the way around to them. It didn't do that. It came straight across the water a few minutes later. Not much you can do in 2 minutes but run.

One thing that came out of the inquiry into the Victoria fires was a need for greater incident management. This blanket closure is part of incident management. As Burt has stated above, the last thing emergency service personnel need is to be searching for people in the front of a bush fire because they want to play Mr. Civil Disobedience.

Complain to National Parks if you want. It was the State Emergency Management Commitee who recommended the closures. Just in case you are wondering, it's made up of reps from all of NSW's emergency services, not a bunch of desk jockeys from Castlereagh St.

pharmaboy's picture

" What would have happened if the parks were kept open so you could enjoy your rightful access and a fire tore through the area? I bet you'd be one of the ones who then complain that not enough was done to save the public from themselves"

On the contrary - i like most, would wonder what the hell a mountain biker was doing in the way of a fire when so many warnings were around - fires dont erupt into 1km 60kmh fronts in minutes - they start from hours if not days old fires.

The truth of it is, that if you routinely close parks for a near nil risk statewide, then the populace will pretty quickly learn to ignore such bans. Its a low 20's day tomorrow, with easterly winds and 5 to 10mm of showers in my area with no ongoing fires - and I'm not allowed in a park thats 4km square and bounded by the ocean and houses? WTF! If you cant see stupid in that, then well.......

Hop fiend's picture

Did NPWS & State Forests put up signs?-if they were so worried this would have to be mandatory at every entry/exit point!

Lenny_GTA's picture

There were signs at awaba last weekend. Don't know about Glenrock, but the problem with signposting glenrock is that it is near on impossible to signpost every entry to the park.

Burt's picture

What a ridicous comment. Back that up. Except you can't.
For anyone who has the RFS on FB you will have seen that their status for people evacuating from area have changed in less than five minutes.
Common sense isn't common and your ignorant attitude proves it.
Again, if you are that keen and so well educated on the behaviour of bush fires join the rural fire service and put your money where your big mouth is.

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