Does anyone have experience hiking on private land?

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Does anyone have experience hiking on private land?

Postby Zebrofski » Fri 03 Jul, 2020 8:49 pm

So much land out there, yet seemingly few opportunities to just throw on the pack and head out into the wilderness other than the few designated areas. Has anyone had experience with making agreements with private land owners to use their land for hiking?
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Re: Does anyone have experience hiking on private land?

Postby Aardvark » Sat 04 Jul, 2020 9:28 am

Zebrofski, Do you have much experience yourself, walking in the wilderness?
Here in Australia i mean. Presumably NSW because that appears to be your current location.
Your question comes across as rather naive. Are you perhaps assuming if it is not National Park, then it is private land?
Someone with minimal experience may look at a map and only see a few random green sections indicating National Park and think there is very little compared to the whole country.
Private land is likely to have been farmed, landscaped or manicured in some way and therefore have limited appeal as wilderness.
Crown land, State forest and other such designations perhaps combine with National parks to provide the majority of walking in wilderness.
Some National Parks are larger than you might anticipate. They may still provide many days of walking in order to cross them.
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Re: Does anyone have experience hiking on private land?

Postby Mark F » Sat 04 Jul, 2020 12:15 pm

Some trips may need to cross a section of private land. It is normal to contact the owner beforehand and discuss whether and when access is allowed and any requirements the owner may have, eg - leave gates as you find them (open/closed), no fires, no camping etc.
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Re: Does anyone have experience hiking on private land?

Postby Huntsman247 » Sat 04 Jul, 2020 12:22 pm

How would one get contact info of said landholder?
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Re: Does anyone have experience hiking on private land?

Postby Mark F » Sat 04 Jul, 2020 1:56 pm

Huntsman247 wrote:How would one get contact info of said landholder?


It can be pretty hard to do. If you can identify the name of the farm and ask around - local stock and station agent, pub etc or see what comes up on Google. Say what you are trying to do, ask if they can pass on your contact details, hope the owner contacts you.
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Re: Does anyone have experience hiking on private land?

Postby Neo » Sat 04 Jul, 2020 2:09 pm

If looking at a digital map and a location has a DP, I guess that is a property owned by someone..? Or could it be a Crown land DP.
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Re: Does anyone have experience hiking on private land?

Postby Warin » Sat 04 Jul, 2020 3:09 pm

Huntsman247 wrote:How would one get contact info of said landholder?


If you have the name of the farm then write to them - include a stamped self addressed envelope as a curtsy.
A google can help - might get the last time it was sold etc.
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Re: Does anyone have experience hiking on private land?

Postby Mark F » Sat 04 Jul, 2020 3:11 pm

A DP is a deposited plan which usually means the boundary has been determined by survey and the land has a use - either owned or leased. Most of the Western Division of NSW (almost half of NSW) is leased to users, not privately owned. I would suggest that if there is a DP then you would need to request permission to enter and cross the land.
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Re: Does anyone have experience hiking on private land?

Postby FatCanyoner » Sat 04 Jul, 2020 4:00 pm

I wrote the following a good few years back about walking on private land, which I think is useful for your question: https://fatcanyoners.org/2013/02/26/pri ... nd-access/

I don't do a lot of walking on private property. Most private land is at the very least grazed, and the idea of walking through glorified paddocks doesn't excite me, especially when about 10 per cent of the state is publicly accessible.

There are many areas of public land that can only be accessed (or only easily accessed) via private property. Over the years I've gotten reasonably good at negotiating access to these places, with only a couple cases where I wasn't able to arrange it.

Techniques that have worked for me include:
- online searches (some bigger farms have websites or social media accounts) or you can find the name of the property owner and look them up in the white pages (farms often have landlines because of limited mobile reception)
- talk to other bushwalkers who have been to the area and ask how they arranged access (or try any local bushwalking / outdoor clubs)
- call the local pub. Publicans are often helpful and have a good knowledge of the locals
- talk to the local real estate agent
- call the local RFS brigade
- call local community groups (progress association, historic society, even country womens association). People involved in those groups often know lots of people.

Where possible, it's best to reach the property owner on the phone. Many are a bit cagey and want to know what you're planning to do. I've had several tell me they've had to chase illegal hunters off their properties, and other people up to no good.

When I get out there, I always drop in to the farm house and introduce myself as the person who spoke to them on the phone. I tell them again where we are going, ask where they want us to park our cars, and tell them when we'll be leaving. I also knock on the door once departing so they know we are safely out.

Personally, I often try to leave a six pack of beer. It's a simple gesture that shows we're genuinely thankful for their assistance. Hopefully the positive experience also makes them more likely to allow future people to cross their properties.

There's plenty more, but the main points are to put in the effort to get permission (don't try and sneak across private property) and be courteous and respectful. For me, it's actually a fun process trying to track down the landholder and get permission. You also get to pick their brains, and many have useful tips about the local conditions, such as how dry it is, and even advice on where passes are etc.
The Fat Canyoners: trip reports, technical tips, gear reviews and more: http://fatcanyoners.org
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Re: Does anyone have experience hiking on private land?

Postby puredingo » Mon 06 Jul, 2020 2:41 pm

Huntsman247 wrote:How would one get contact info of said landholder?


A couple of rifle shots into the air while you sit on your tailgate blearing Barnsey sinking a few tins usually rouses their attention pretty promptly.
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Re: Does anyone have experience hiking on private land?

Postby davidmorr » Wed 08 Jul, 2020 3:10 pm

And you can just go in the gate and up to the house and knock on the door.....
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Re: Does anyone have experience hiking on private land?

Postby peregrinator » Wed 08 Jul, 2020 5:31 pm

davidmorr wrote:And you can just go in the gate and up to the house and knock on the door.....


That's assuming "nice doggy" or "nice doggies" don't make you freeze in your tracks somewhere between the gate and the door.
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Re: Does anyone have experience hiking on private land?

Postby puredingo » Wed 08 Jul, 2020 9:04 pm

See “rifle shots” for reference...
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Re: Does anyone have experience hiking on private land?

Postby Huntsman247 » Thu 09 Jul, 2020 8:22 am

davidmorr wrote:And you can just go in the gate and up to the house and knock on the door.....
Most gates are locked these days...
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Re: Does anyone have experience hiking on private land?

Postby rcaffin » Sat 11 Jul, 2020 7:57 pm

If you are trying to access a National Park, contact the Ranger for the area. He will know everything.

Cheers
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Re: Does anyone have experience hiking on private land?

Postby crollsurf » Wed 15 Jul, 2020 5:51 pm

rcaffin wrote:If you are trying to access a National Park, contact the Ranger for the area. He will know everything.

Cheers
That's good advice Roger. Plenty of inaccessable Parks in NSW that I haven't bothered with because of it. Opens up a whole new world of opportunity. Thanks.

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