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Topics > Crown land

Accessing Crown land

The department is responsible for ensuring South Australia’s 26 million hectares of Crown land is managed effectively and equitably for the public good.

Management of this land is governed by the Crown Land Management Act 2009.

This legislation outlines access and appropriate use of Crown land, and specifies activities that are ‘allowable’, ‘permitted’ and ‘prohibited’.

Allowable activities on Crown land

Activities that are defined as ‘allowable’ do not require approval to be undertaken on Crown land. These activities include:

  • camping for a maximum of 21 days
  • mooring a houseboat for a maximum of 21 day
  • driving motor vehicles (including 4-wheel drives and motorcycles) on existing tracks and trails.

Permitted use of Crown land

Activities that are defined as ‘permitted’ require a permit or licence to be obtained prior to being undertaken on Crown land. These activities include:

  • hunting (which is permitted only in the prescribed duck and quail season in SA’s Game Reserves and with relevant permits.)
  • conservation activities
  • agricultural or horticultural activities
  • construction of jetties and boat ramps
  • construction of retaining walls
  • construction of pipelines
  • access
  • holding events
  • building or erecting structures or fixtures
  • houseboat moorings for longer than 21 days.

Prohibited use of Crown land

Activities that are ‘prohibited’ cannot be undertaken on Crown land. These activities include:

  • removing or interfering with fossils
  • removing or interfering with Aboriginal heritage items
  • damaging or removing vegetation, regardless of whether it is alive or dead
  • littering, dumping or abandoning property
  • closing off or obstructing roads (including erecting fences or gates)
  • driving on unauthorised tracks and roads.

Penalties for misusing Crown land

Penalties apply for unauthorised activities, occupation or misuse of Crown land pursuant to the Crown Land Management Act 2009.

A person may incur an expiation charge of $315, or a penalty fee of up to $20,000 depending on the severity of the offense. Offenses that also contravene other Acts may incur additional penalties and in some cases imprisonment.

Reporting misuse of Crown land

To report an offense on Crown land contact us. To report criminal offences contact the South Australian Police.

Caring for Crown land

You can help look after Crown land by:

  • Leaving no trace: Clean up after yourself and take all rubbish with you when you leave.
  • Driving slow and sticking to established tracks: Registered vehicles are permitted but must remain on established tracks. This includes sticking to hard sand when driving on beaches.
  • Staying short-term: Camping is permitted for a maximum of 21 days.
  • Bringing your own firewood: Damaging vegetation or collecting firewood for campfires is prohibited.
  • Following restrictions around campfires: Wood, solid fuel, gas and liquid fuel fires are permitted, except on Total Fire Ban days. Check cfs.sa.gov.au for fire bans.
  • Cleaning up after your pets: Pets are permitted but must be kept under effective control and must be cleaned up after.

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