Australia is an extraordinary country of natural wonders, breathtaking landscapes, multicultural communities and a diverse range of exceptional flora and fauna. For many travellers, the opportunity to experience ‘freedom’ is lure enough to set out across the Country on a ‘big lap’ in an RV.
Travelling in a self-contained vehicle gives you the opportunity to enjoy all the hidden oases scattered across Australia; you will have the luxury of being able to stop and take in the scenery for days, rather than being limited to a fleeting stopover. However, as you set off to an unknown destination with a vehicle full of supplies try to keep in mind that there are other travellers still hoping to follow in your footsteps.
Leave No Trace® (LNT) is an Australian scheme dedicated to promoting and encouraging travellers to demonstrate responsible outdoor travel and recreation behaviour. Leave No Trace® builds awareness, appreciation and respect for our cultural and natural heritage through education partnerships and research.
The Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia Limited (CMCA) is Australia’s largest RV Club and established the Leave No Trace® Self Containment Code of Conduct Scheme. The CMCA has long been at the forefront of promoting environmentally responsible camping and the LNT scheme is a major milestone for the Club's efforts in demonstrating to councils and other authorities that self-contained vehicles need not have a negative impact on the environment, even if a campsite has no facilities.
The great advantage of being self-contained is that you are able to stop at remote locations, without facilities. But, it is important that you don’t abuse the privilege of being able to freedom camp while travelling. It is not an acceptable practice to leave rubbish behind at sites that are not governed by regular maintenance. When parking for free you must be prepared to remove any trace of your stay so that your waste does not vandalise or disrupt the natural environment and habitat of local flora and fauna.
Members who participate in the LNT Scheme must have a vehicle that has the capacity to retain all waste within the confines of the vehicle and leave no trace whatsoever of its visit to a site. To qualify, vehicles must carry a minimum of 20 litres of fresh water, have a grey water holding tank with a minimum capacity of 5 litres per person or 15 litres per person if the vehicle is fitted with a shower, and have a portable toilet cassette or black water holding tank with a minimum capacity of the smallest portable toilet cassette.
To participate in this scheme you must be a member of an RV or caravanning club, such as CMCA. An application form for the LNT scheme can be found on the CMCA website, www.cmca.net.au, or in The Wanderer, the monthly CMCA Member magazine. You must also sign the declaration on the reverse side stating that you agree to abide by the Code of Conduct. This is a key part of the LNT Scheme as it is your commitment to, at all times, do the right thing by the authorities and also do the right thing by your fellow travellers. Your upholding of the Code of Conduct will help to ensure many happy nights of camping for all, now and in the future.
Vehicles that have qualified for the scheme display a sticker on the front windscreen, or for towed units, on the window closest to the entrance door, and the vehicle owner carries documentation of proof of their participation in this Scheme. This documentation can be produced upon request.
CMCA acknowledges that it is a privilege for RV travellers to be allowed access to controlled areas and will strive to develop and maintain the credibility and integrity of the Leave No Trace® Self Containment Code of Conduct Scheme to ensure that RV travellers comply with its environmental and ethical standards. The efforts of CMCA in promoting responsible travelling will not only benefit Members, but will bring considerable benefits to local councils and communities.
For the full article download Issue 12 of iMotorhome eMagazine by clicking on the link below.