Cruise Ship Anchorages

Designated Anchorages

Designated anchorages are designed for use by large ships (at least 70 metres) and large vessels (more than 35 metres, but less than 70 metres) that are used as part of a tourism program or for private recreation (e.g. for cruise ships or superyachts).

There is a comprehensive network of 34* designated anchorages along the length of the Great Barrier Reef. They are designed to offer a range of opportunities in the Marine Park.

More designated anchorages can be added to the network if requested, after an assessment funded by the applicant. Assessment involves a thorough consideration of safety and environmental issues by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, based on advice from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of Transport and Main Roads (Qld), Royal Australian Navy Australian Hydrographic Service and reef pilots.

*Note: the total number of 34 designated anchorages includes the two designated anchorages in the Whitsundays that are numbered 29A and 29B.

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Note:

  1. The exact locations of each designated anchorage can be found by clicking on the relevant region below.
  2. All geographic coordinates are expressed in terms of the Geocentric Datum of Australia, 1994.
  3. The numbering of designated anchorages below are as per the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations 1983.

Far North

There are 11 designated anchorages in the far north of the Marine Park. This is a remote area with no port facilities or support infrastructure. The nine anchorages located within the Remote Natural Area cater for cruise ships that are 70-120 metres in length, carry 120-150 passengers and are able to provide their own tourism activities.  There are no size requirements for the two Flinders Island Group designated anchorages.

Cooktown and Cairns

There are seven designated anchorages in the Cairns Planning Area. Cruise ships can operate up to 50 days a year within the Cairns Planning Area with a booking.

Dunk Island

There is one designated anchorage to the east of Dunk Island. This designated anchorage is outside the Hinchinbrook Planning Area.

Hinchinbrook

There are two designated anchorages in the Hinchinbrook Planning Area. Cruise ships can operate up to 50 days a year within the Hinchinbrook Planning Area with a booking.

Whitsundays

There are 10 designated anchorages in the Whitsunday Planning Area. Cruise ships can operate up to 50 days a year within the Whitsunday Planning Area with a booking.

Fitzalan Passage caters for cruise ships that are less than 200 metres in length. The prior approval of the Mackay Regional Harbour Master must be obtained before accessing this designated anchorage.

Rockhampton

There are three designated anchorages off Rockhampton.

Far North

1. Boydong Cays South-Easterly Wind Designated Anchorage

The area of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park bounded by a notional line beginning at 11º 28.60' S, 143º 00.79' E and running progressively:

  • North-easterly along the geodesic to 11º 28.49' S, 143º 00.90' E
  • South-easterly along the geodesic to 11º 28.64' S, 143º 01.06' E
  • South-westerly along the geodesic to 11º 28.76' S, 143º 00.94' E
  • North-westerly along the geodesic to the point of commencement.

2. Piper Islands South-Easterly Wind Designated Anchorage

The area of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park bounded by a notional line beginning at 12º 14.20' S, 143º 13.25' E and running progressively:

  • North-easterly along the geodesic to 12º 14.09' S, 143º 13.36' E
  • South-easterly along the geodesic to 12º 14.24' S, 143º 13.52' E
  • South-westerly along the geodesic to 12º 14.36' S, 143º 13.40' E
  • North-westerly along the geodesic to the point of commencement.

3. Piper Islands North-Westerly Wind Designated Anchorage (weather alternative)

The area of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park bounded by a notional line beginning at 12º 14.96' S, 143º 12.84' E and running progressively:

  • North-easterly along the geodesic to 12º 14.84' S, 143º 12.96' E
  • South-easterly along the geodesic to 12º 15.00' S, 143º 13.11' E
  • South-westerly along the geodesic to 12º 15.11' S, 143º 13.00' E
  • North-westerly along the geodesic to the point of commencement.

4. Night Island South-Easterly Wind Designated Anchorage

The area of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park bounded by a notional line beginning at 13° 10.27' S, 143° 33.98' E and running progressively:

  • North-easterly along the geodesic to 13° 10.16' S, 143° 34.10' E
  • South-easterly along the geodesic to 13° 10.31' S 143° 34.25' E
  • South-westerly along the geodesic to 13° 10.42' S, 143° 34.14' E
  • North-westerly along the geodesic to the point of commencement.

5. Morris Island South-Easterly Wind Designated Anchorage

The area of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park bounded by a notional line beginning at 13º 29.30' S, 143º 42.89' E and running progressively:

  • North-easterly along the geodesic to 13º 29.19' S, 143º 43.00' E
  • South-easterly along the geodesic to 13º 29.34' S, 143º 43.16' E
  • South-westerly along the geodesic to 13º 29.46' S, 143º 43.04' E
  • North-westerly along the geodesic to the point of commencement.

6. Creech Reef South-Easterly Wind Designated Anchorage

The area of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park bounded by a notional line beginning at 13º 37.36' S, 144º 04.64' E and running progressively:

  • North-easterly along the geodesic to 13º 37.24' S, 144º 04.75' E
  • South-easterly along the geodesic to 13º 37.40' S, 144º 04.90' E
  • South-westerly along the geodesic to 13º 37.51' S, 144º 04.79' E
  • North-westerly along the geodesic to the point of commencement.

7. Pipon Island South-Easterly Wind Designated Anchorage

The area of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park bounded by a notional line beginning at 14º 06.80' S, 144º 30.19' E and running progressively:

  • North-easterly along the geodesic to 14º 06.69' S, 144º 30.30' E
  • South-easterly along the geodesic to 14º 06.84' S, 144º 30.46' E
  • South-westerly along the geodesic to 14º 06.96' S, 144º 30.34' E
  • North-westerly along the geodesic to the point of commencement.

8. Flinders Island Group Wongal Beach Designated Anchorage

The area of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park bounded by a notional line beginning at 14º 08.30' S, 144º 14.99' E and running progressively:

  • North-easterly along the geodesic to 14º 08.19' S, 144º 15.10' E
  • South-easterly along the geodesic to 14º 08.34' S, 144º 15.26' E
  • South-westerly along the geodesic to 14º 08.46' S, 144º 15.14' E
  • North-westerly along the geodesic to the point of commencement.

9. Flinders Island Group Stokes Bay Designated Anchorage (weather alternative)

The area of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park bounded by a notional line beginning at 14º 09.01' S, 144º 12.89' E and running progressively:

  • North-easterly along the geodesic to 14º 08.89' S, 144º 13.00' E
  • South-easterly along the geodesic to 14º 09.05' S, 144º 13.15' E
  • South-westerly along the geodesic to 14º 09.16' S, 144º 13.04' E
  • North-westerly along the geodesic to the point of commencement

10. Bathurst Bay/Cape Melville South-Easterly Wind Designated Anchorage

The area of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park bounded by a notional line beginning at 14º 10.70' S, 144º 25.89' E and running progressively:

  • North-easterly along the geodesic to 14º 10.59' S, 144º 26.00' E
  • South-easterly along the geodesic to 14º 10.74' S, 144º 26.16' E
  • South-westerly along the geodesic to 14º 10.86' S, 144º 26.04' E
  • North-westerly along the geodesic to the point of commencement.

11. Ingram Island South-Easterly Wind Designated Anchorage

The area of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park bounded by a notional line beginning at 14º 24.50' S, 144º 52.29' E and running progressively:

  • North-easterly along the geodesic to 14º 24.39' S, 144º 52.40' E
  • South-easterly along the geodesic to 14º 24.54' S, 144º 52.56' E
  • South-westerly along the geodesic to 14º 24.66' S, 144º 52.44' E
  • North-westerly along the geodesic to the point of commencement.

Cooktown and Cairns

12. Lizard Island Designated Anchorage

The area (other than areas of drying reef) bounded by a notional line commencing at the intersection of the Lizard Island coastline at mean low water and the parallel 14º 40.136' S (at or about 14º 40.136' S, 145º 26.677' E) then running progressively:

  • North westerly along the geodesic to 14º 39.710' S, 145º 26.264' E
  • North easterly along the geodesic to the intersection of the Lizard Island coastline at mean low water and the parallel 14º 39.185' S (at or about 14º 39.185' S, 145º 27.041' E)
  • Southerly along the Lizard Island coastline at mean low water to the point of commencement.

13. Ribbon Reef No.5 Location Designated Anchorage

The area enclosed within the 500 metre line around Ribbon Reef No.5 (15-038).

14. Ribbon Reef No.2 Location Designated Anchorage

The area enclosed within the 500 metre line around Ribbon Reef No.2 (15-075).

15. Agincourt Reef  Designated Anchorage

At the point 15° 57.252'S, 145° 47.571' E.

16. Norman Reef South-easterly Wind Designated Anchorage

At the point 16° 24.828'S, 145° 58.779' E.

17. Norman Reef North-Westerly Wind Designated Anchorage

At the point 16° 26.654'S, 146° 00.696' E.

18. Moore Reef Designated Anchorage

At the point 16° 50.984'S, 146° 10.601' E.

Dunk Island 

19. Dunk Island Designated Anchorage:

The area enclosed within 200 metres of a point located at 17° 56.00'S, 146° 07.50' E.

Hinchinbrook

20. Cape Richards Designated Anchorage:

The area enclosed within 250 metres of a point located at 18° 11.70'S, 146° 12.70' E.

21. Hecate Point Designated Anchorage:

The area enclosed within 500 metres  of a point located 18° 14.00'S, 146° 3.50'E.

Whitsundays

22. Hardy Reef Designated Anchorage

The area enclosed within 200 metres of a point located at 19° 44.45′ S, 149° 08.40′ E.

23. South Hayman Designated Anchorage

The area of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park bounded by a notional line beginning at 20° 04.20´ S, 148° 53.40´ E and running progressively:

  • South-westerly along the geodesic to 20° 04.70´ S, 148° 53.20´ E
  • North-westerly along the geodesic to 20° 04.28´ S, 148° 52.27´ E
  • North-easterly along the geodesic to 20° 03.90´ S, 148° 52.51´ E
  • South-easterly along the geodesic to the point of commencement.

24. Funnel Bay Designated Anchorage

The area bounded by a notional line beginning at 20°12.080′S 148°42.973′E and running progressively:

  • Easterly along the geodesic to 20°12.878′S 148°44.985′E
  • Southerly along the geodesic to 20°14.627′S 148°44.207′E
  • Westerly along the geodesic to 20°13.830′S 148°42.195′E
  • Northerly along the geodesic to the point of commencement.

25. Cid Harbour Designated Anchorage

The area of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park bounded by a notional line beginning at 20° 14.30´ S, 148° 56.00´ E and running progressively:

  • South-easterly along the geodesic to 20° 15.00´ S, 148° 56.20´ E
  • South along the meridian to 20° 15.70´ S, 148° 56.20´ E
  • West along the parallel to 20° 15.70´ S, 148° 55.80´ E
  • North-easterly along the geodesic to 20° 14.30´ S, 148° 55.20´ E
  • East along the parallel to the point of commencement.

26. Port Molle Designated Anchorage

The area of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park bounded by a notional line beginning at 20° 19.00´ S, 148° 50.10´ E and running progressively:

  • South-easterly along the geodesic to 20° 19.80´ S, 148° 50.60´ E
  • West along the parallel to 20° 19.80´ S, 148° 50.00´ E
  • North-westerly along the geodesic to 20° 19.00´ S, 148° 49.50´ E
  • East along the parallel to the point of commencement.

27. Fitzalan Passage Designated Anchorage

The area of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park bounded by a notional line beginning at 20º 18.89' S, 148º 56.52' E and running progressively:

  • South-easterly along the geodesic to 20º 19.31' S, 148º 56.80' E
  • South-westerly along the geodesic to 20º 19.50' S, 148º 56.47' E
  • North-westerly along the geodesic to 20º 19.09' S, 148º 56.19' E
  • North-easterly along the geodesic to the point of commencement.

28. Turtle Bay Designated Anchorage

The area of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park bounded by a notional line beginning at 20° 19.50´ S, 149° 01.00´ E and running progressively:

  • South along the meridian to 20° 20.00´ S, 149° 01.00´ E
  • West along the parallel to 20° 20.00´ S, 148° 59.50´ E
  • North along the meridian to 20° 19.50´ S, 148° 59.50´ E
  • East along the parallel to the point of commencement.

29. South East Hamilton Designated Anchorage

The area enclosed within 200 metres of a point located at 20° 22.10′ S, 148° 59.25′ E.

29A. South Hamilton Designated Anchorage

The area enclosed within a 200 metre radius of the point 20°22.900′S 148°57.700′E.

29B. North West Dent Island Designated Anchorage

The area enclosed within a 200 metre radius of the point 20°20.600′S 148°54.900′E.

Rockhampton

30. Great Keppel Island Designated Anchorage

The area enclosed between the coastal line and the coastal 1 kilometre line of Great Keppel Island.

31. Wistari Reef Designated Anchorage

The area enclosed between the reef edge and the 1 kilometre line of Wistari Reef.

32. Lady Elliot Island Designated Anchorage

The area enclosed between the coastal line and the coastal 1 kilometre line of Lady Elliot Island.

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