Please note: The Whitsundays Plan of Management has been amended. Some of the information below may have changed. Please refer to the Whitsundays Plan of Management for further information.
Australia's Great Barrier Reef is a 'wonder' of the natural world and every year visitors from around the globe experience its beauty. We all have a responsibility to make sure the Reef is protected, its World Heritage values are presented and visitors are able to experience, appreciate and enjoy the Reef now and into the future.
Superyachts can access most of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. However, different rules apply if your use is strictly private recreational use, or includes elements of commercial use such as providing transport, accommodation or services for paying guests or tourists. If your activities are purely of a private recreational nature, please see the guidelines for private recreational use of superyachts.
These guidelines apply to any of your activities in the Marine Park whilst you are under charter or undertaking activities that are of a commercial nature.
There is a summary of management arrangements available that sets out where different types of superyachts can go in the Marine Park.
In addition to the management arrangements for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, other rules may also apply to the operation of your superyacht in Queensland waters. Further information is available from Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ), Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) and Australian Customs Service (ACS).
What permits do I need?
To operate a superyacht commercially in the Marine Park, including as a tourism business, you will need a Marine Parks permit.
Even if you are only briefly visiting the Marine Park or are generally here for private enjoyment, you will need a Marine Parks permit if you are providing transport, accommodation or services for tourists at any time during your stay.
If you are using your superyacht commercially, you should contact Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) to ensure that you are meeting all Queensland State Government requirements for commercial vessels.
You will also need to ensure that you apply for a permit that is appropriate to the size of the vessel you intend to use, the areas you wish to visit and the activities you wish to undertake.
What does my permit allow?
Your Marine Parks permit will contain some important requirements about operating in the Marine Park, including what you can do and where you can go. Please make sure you know your permit conditions, including the areas you may access and any areas that you are not permitted to visit (exclusion areas).
When operating a superyacht in the Marine Park, you are likely to be visiting a wide range of areas and locations. Before you begin your trip, please check the management arrangements for where you go.
In addition, specific management arrangements for Planning Areas determine access to locations based on the size of your vessel:
- Superyachts 35 metres or less
- Superyachts more than 35 metres to less than 70 metres
- Superyachts 70 metres and above
What else do I need to know?
- Your responsibilities to collect, record and remit the Environmental Management Charge.
- How you can operate to high standards in the Marine Park and help keep the Great Barrier Reef great
- Guidelines for the private recreational use of superyachts in the Marine Park
- How to check that your activities match the Zoning for the area.
How can I help protect the Reef?
Whenever you are operating in the Marine Park, you can help protect the Reef by following the Responsible Reef Practices for your activities.
If you're heading out on the water, download and use the free zoning app so you know where you can go and what you can do.
We're delighted to celebrate the 40 years of the managing the Great Barrier Reef.
Visit our Great Barrier Reef and discover its amazing animals, plants, and habitats.
Everyone has a role to play in protecting our Great Barrier Reef. Find out what you can do to help protect this great Australian icon.
If you see sick, dead or stranded marine animals please call RSPCA QLD 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625)
A Vulnerability Assessment: of the issues that could have far-reaching consequences for the Great Barrier Reef.
Current Conditions: Environmental and climatic forecasts for the Great Barrier Reef