Plan ahead and enjoy the Southern 80 this weekend

Monday 5 February, 2024

Thousands of visitors are expected to converge on the banks of the Murray River this weekend for the annual Southern 80 Ski Race and authorities are asking visitors to plan ahead to enjoy their trip.

Parks Victoria Authorised Officers and Victoria Police will patrol the river and riverside area during the event. They will be available to offer advice and assistance to visitors, carry out compliance operations, and issue penalties for serious breaches of the law.

Parks Victoria is reminding campers along the Murray River to respect the park they are visiting by maintaining campfire safety, taking rubbish home, bringing their own firewood, and using appropriate toilets.

Campers are encouraged to use alternatives to campfires such as gas cookers and solar lights, especially during hot and windy weather.

Dumping rubbish in our parks is not just unsightly and illegal but also potentially dangerous for visitors and impacts on native plants and animals.

Visitors should take all rubbish home with them, deposit at the temporary transfer station on O’Dwyer Road or the Echuca transfer station on McKenzie Road.

Patrols of campsites along the Murray River between Echuca and Torrumbarry will be done to check on fire safety, prevent illegal firewood take and harm to wildlife, and curb any anti-social behaviour.

Cutting down or felling trees in parks and reserves is illegal. A zero-tolerance approach will be taken to anyone caught doing the wrong thing.

Campfires must be constructed in a fireplace or 30cm pit, use sticks and logs under one metre long, kept under one square metre in size and clear of flammable materials. Extinguish campfires with at least 10 litres of water, not soil, and never leave them unattended. For more information on campfire regulations, visit

For weather and emergency warnings, download and check the VicEmergency app.

Quotes attributable to Leeza Wishart, Area Chief Ranger Parks Victoria

“We’ll be checking people are doing the right thing when it comes to building, lighting and extinguishing their campfires.

“Anti-social behaviour is never acceptable and this weekend we’ll be visiting areas with lots of campers to make sure everyone is doing the right thing to enjoy a safe time at the Southern 80.

“We want all visitors and campers attending the Southern 80 to have an enjoyable and safe weekend, dispose of their rubbish appropriately and only drive on open and formed roads and tracks.”

Quotes attributable to Scott Falconer, Deputy Chief Fire Officer | Loddon Mallee | Forest Fire Management Victoria

“We want people to enjoy our forests and parks and make campfire safety a priority by knowing what they can and can’t do.”

“It is an offence to light a campfire in parks or locations where they are not permitted. It is also an offence to light a campfire on a Total Fire Ban Day or to allow a campfire to burn through the night if the next day is a Total Fire Ban.”

“If you have a campfire, it’s your responsibility to know the rules when building and maintaining your campfire. Before you leave, please make sure it’s fully extinguished with water, not soil – if it’s cool to touch it’s safe to leave.”

Three men in Parks Victoria uniform stand next to a Parks Victoria truck on a track through forest

Parks Victoria Authorised Officers on patrol during the 2023 Southern 80. Patrols will be repeated again for 2024's event

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