4WD Code of Conduct

Telegraph Track by Helga Dalla

4WD Code of Conduct

To help ensure the sustainability of the 4WD lifestyle

Developed by the the Australian National Four Wheel Drive Council in the interests of promoting responsible Four-Wheel-Driving, these codes of conduct support the National Recreational Four Wheel Drive Vehicle Policy .

All Codes of Conduct

Off Road Driving

  1. Obey the laws and regulations for Recreational Vehicles that apply to public lands.
  2. Respect the cultural, heritage and environmental values of public/private land by obeying restrictions that may apply.
  3. Respect our flora and fauna. Stop and look but never disturb.
  4. Keep to formed vehicle tracks.
  5. Keep the environment clean. Carry your own and any other rubbish out.
  6. Keep your vehicle mechanically sound and clean to reduce the environmental impact.
  7. Adopt minimal impact camping and driving practices.
  8. Seek permission before driving on private land.
  9. Do not disturb livestock or watering points, leave gates as found.
  10. Take adequate water, food, fuel, basic spares and a first aid kit on trips. In remote areas travel with another vehicle and have Royal Flying Doctor Service, or equivalent, radio contact.
  11. Enjoy your recreation and respect the rights of others.
  12. Plan ahead and lodge trip details with a responsible person.
  13. Support four-wheel drive touring as a responsible and legitimate family recreational activity. Consider joining an affiliated four-wheel drive Club.

Produced with the permission of the Australian National Four Wheel Drive Council in the interests of promoting responsible Four-Wheel-Drive-Touring

Read on the 4WDQLD website.


Four Wheel Drive Australia supports dispersed vehicle based camping. Campers stopping in unspoiled areas are responsible for the next camper’s enjoyable stay. This is achieved by those who have been there before you, having left nothing but footprints when they have departed.

Upon departure, leave the area as if no one had been there and in the same or better condition than previously. Ensure that the area you are visiting is not so sensitive that your presence will leave a permanent impact.


  • Dispersed camping is recommended so as not to compact the ground surface and inhibit vegetation growth or regrowth.
  • Use huts where provided only under the advertised conditions of use – many are for emergency shelter only. Use established campsites. When on a camping trip campers must be self reliant and carry your own tent or swag.
  • Do not dig trenches or gutters around tents or swags.
  • Locate your camp out from the drop zone of suspect trees and in particular keep clear of eucalyptus which may shed branches at any time.
  • Camp on elevated land and avoid at all times dry river beds, which are extremely dangerous as flash flooding can and does occur.
  • Camp at least 30m from any natural waterhole, creek or river in such a way that you do not prevent native fauna and station stock from gaining access to water.
  • Do not camp within a 500m radius of a dam or constructed stock watering point.
  • Do not camp within a 100m of any building unless specific permission has been granted.


  • Don’t wash anything using soaps or detergents in streams and lakes.
  • Wash points should not be located within 50m of any creek, stream, river or waterhole to prevent contamination of such waters.
  • Care must also be taken to ensure that a wash point is not located over a watercourse that feeds into the water supply.
  • When disposing of waste water spread it across the ground to enable natural filtration.
  • Do not use waste water to feed the root systems of native flora as the residue contained within the water could be harmful.


  • Adopt the practice of “leave no trace” camping.
  • Take out what you bring in and dispose of rubbish in designated rubbish bins or dumps.
  • Carry suitable containers in which to store rubbish and re-use where possible.
  • Avoid carrying high rubbish potential items such as bottles, cans and plastics, and remove unnecessary packaging prior to departure on trips.
  • Do not bury rubbish as it may be dug up and scattered by native animals.
  • Dispose of plastics in disposal facilities provided or take it home with you for approved disposal.
  • Nappies and sanitary napkins must not be disposed of in composting or deep pit toilets but should be packed safely and taken out to an approved disposal point.


  • Always check for fire restrictions with local authorities and comply with their regulations.
  • A Total Fire Ban is applicable to all types of fuel other than electricity, so be prepared.
  • Do not create a new fireplace where one already exists.
  • If a fire pit needs to be dug, try to remove the topsoil as a sod and place to one side.
  • When the fire has been extinguished and is not to be used again, replace the sod over the cold ashes.
  • Keep the area surrounding any open fire be clear of vegetation for a radius of 4m, or as required by the local authority.
  • Spare firewood is to be kept a minimum of 3m from a fire.
  • Do not use stones in the construction of a fireplace as they are prone to explode from the heat of the fire sending dangerous fragments in all directions.
  • Use only dead fallen timber for fuel if permitted.
  • Campers are not to cut standing trees as these are a key part of the environment.
  • Never burn ‘treated’ timber in a fire. Suitable alternative fuels are heat beads, Shellite, gas and unleaded petrol used in appropriate cookers.
  • Never leave a fire burning unattended.
  • Campfires should not exceed one metre in diameter and 0.5m in height. Separate cooking fires may be permitted if fuel is in abundance but should be kept to as few as possible. Set a time at which combustible rubbish, food etc, may be reduced in the fire.
  • Do not place plastic/foam/metal objects in a campfire.
  • When decamping, ensure that the fire is completely extinguished as residual hot ashes present a fire hazard and are likely to cause injury to foraging animals.
  • Dispose of cold ashes around plants as these will liberate nutrients in the soil.


  • Use properly constructed toilets where provided.
  • Self dug toilets should be not less than 100m distant from campsites and water courses or water holes.
  • Individual toilet holes should be as deep as practicable to prevent excavation by fauna.
  • Do not attempt to burn toilet paper in toilet holes. Bushfires have been started by this practice.
  • Fill in hole with removed soil and compact as much as possible.
  • Chemical toilets should be used in those areas where the ground surface prevents digging adequate toilet holes or the soil is of a type that is not suited to such a purpose. They should also be used in those areas which have a sensitive environment and ecology which is easily disrupted. Waste from chemical toilets should be disposed of at authorised sewerage points.

Environmentally sustainable vehicle based camping is a shared responsibility.

Produced by Four Wheel Drive Australia in the interest of promoting responsible vehicle use

Read on the 4WDQLD website.

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