Filming and photography guidelines

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is one of the world's natural wonders and has been featured in numerous documentaries, films and photographic works.

Under the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Zoning Plan 2003, photography, filming and/or sound recording on or under the water is allowed without a permit in most areas of the Marine Park if it is done in a way that has, or is likely to have, negligible impact on the Marine Park.

However, a permit is required if your activities involve:

  • the placing of structures
  • the placing of certain equipment on coral / seagrass or in close proximity to coral and seagrass
  • special effects such as simulated explosions
  • introduction of biological and/or artificial props
  • the need to 'manage' other Marine Park users during filming (for example, temporarily excluding some users from the filming location)
  • manipulation of habitat
  • handling of marine life
  • cetaceans (i.e. whales and dolphins) (see below)
  • highly protected areas (see below)
  • anything that may have an impact on the physical, social, cultural or heritage value of the Marine Park

To identify whether a permit is required please refer to our photography, filming and sound recording guidelines.

Further information

If you have any questions please contact the Media team on 07 4750 0846.