Bookings - Frequently Asked Questions

How long is a booking for?

A booking is granted for a 24-hour period commencing at midnight on the day of the booking.

Am I required to book if using a public mooring?

Yes.  Where there is a requirement for you to book to either a Planning Area or Sensitive Location the use of public mooring does not remove the need to book.

Can I make a booking on the day of the visit?

Yes. If there is an available booking for that day. The booking must be made before entering the Planning Area or Sensitive Location.

Can I cancel a booking?

Yes. If you wish to cancel your booking you must cancel by at least 7pm the day before. This ensures that all operators have fair and equal access to the Planning Areas and/or Sensitive Locations. Booking made on the ‘day’ may not be cancelled.

If I book to a Planning Area and/or Sensitive Location, but do not visit, does this count?

Yes (but not for EMC purposes) unless you cancel the booking before 7pm the day before. If you do not cancel your booking before 7pm, you have effectively restricted use by other operators and the booking will be counted towards your yearly total. If you cancel after 7pm, and even if another operator takes up the booking, your booking still counts against your total booking allowance.

Can I "queue" for a booking in case an operator who has made a booking cancels?

No. All bookings will be dealt with on a first come, first served basis.

If I book to access a Sensitive Location, is that considered a booking to the Planning Area?

Yes. A booking to a Sensitive Location is also a booking to the Planning Area (unless otherwise endorsed) and must be counted towards the limit for both. This means that you have accrued a days use to the Sensitive Location and the Planning Area.

How far in advance may I book?

You may book as far as three years in advance.

How many days can I make consecutive bookings for?

For bookings to all Planning Areas and Sensitive Locations (except for Sensitive Locations in the Hinchinbrook Planning Area), you can book up to seven consecutive days. If you book for a consecutive period of seven days, no more bookings will be accepted from you until seven consecutive days have passed. Where you require more than seven consecutive days, you may contact the relevant agency for consideration of your needs.

Can I make multiple visits to a Planning Area on the one booking?

Where a booking has been made, you may visit the Planning Area multiple times with a single group or can make multiple visits with multiple groups. Note that this does not apply to Sensitive Locations.

Can I make multiple visits to a Sensitive Location with a single group?

Yes. You may visit multiple times with a single group for the period of your booking.

Can I make multiple visits to a Sensitive Location with multiple groups?

Yes. You may visit with multiple groups provided there are multiple bookings available, as each group will require a separate booking. Each group must not exceed the group size for that Sensitive Location and the total number of people taken into the Sensitive Location must not exceed the combined limit of the bookings.

Can I use my ancillary vessels at a Location?

Yes if the ancillary vessels are permitted as part of the primary vessels tourism operation.

Can ancillary vessels make a booking to a Planning Area and /or Sensitive Locations?

No. Bookings can only be made for primary vessels.

Can ancillary vessels be used to ferry groups in and out of Locations including Sensitive Locations if the primary vessel has a group size that is too large or the main vessel is too large for that Location?

Yes if there is a booking or multiple bookings available to accommodate the entire group to be carried into the Location. Each group must not exceed the group size for that Sensitive Location and the total number of people taken into the Sensitive Location must not exceed the combined limit of the bookings.

Can ancillary vessels be used to ferry groups above the setting limit to an island?

Only where you have a Commercial Activity Permit or Commercial Activity Agreement to access an island. You must not conduct any part of your tourist program whilst in the Location and transiting to and from the island.

Is an aircraft booking considered the same as a vessel booking in the Planning Areas?

In the Hinchinbrook and Whitsunday Planning Areas, vessel and aircraft bookings are considered different and there are set limits per day for each. In the Cairns Planning Area only vessel bookings count towards the maximum daily number of bookings however aircraft operating below 500 feet are still required to book.

Can one vessel be used across multiple permits to increase its access to a Planning Area and/or a Sensitive Location?

No. A vessel cannot operate across multiple permits for the purpose of gaining greater access. Unless otherwise endorsed, access will be limited to 50 days access per year per vessel. The only exception to this rule is where you can clearly demonstrate to the satisfaction of the GBRMPA that the vessel is not being used for the same operation.

Are Standard Tour Operators wishing to access the Cairns Planning Area between September and December required to book if they are involved primarily in gamefishing activities?

No. Between September and December gamefishing charters (primarily engaged in pelagic fishing) are not required to book to access the Planning Area. They are however required to book to access a Sensitive Location all year round unless operating a vessel to Michaelmas Cay Locality where the person is a member of the Cairns Professional Game Fishing Association, and is operating to the Association’s mooring at that Locality.

If an operator is conducting camper drop-offs and does not hold an endorsement to the Planning Area and/or a Sensitive Location, do they need to book?

For the Cairns Planning Area, no.

For the Hinchinbrook Planning Area, no.

For the Whitsunday Planning Area conducting drop offs does not negate the necessity to book to access the Planing Area unless operating to a Setting 1 area.

Note: Whilst undertaking camper drop offs you must not engage in any other activity and must be carrying passengers who hold a camping permit for that island.

Do recreational vessels need to book?

No. However, recreational vessels must follow the group size limits.

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