Super-yachts less or equal to 35 metres

What does my permit allow?

Generally, your permit will allow every day 'roving access' to the Marine Park unless you specifically request regular access to nominated locations. Roving access means you are able to visit almost all areas of the Marine Park, provided that you stay no longer than two days at any one reef.

The Marine Park is divided into zones that are described in the Zoning Plan. Generally, you will be able to access all of the following zones:

  • General Use (light blue) Zone
  • Habitat Protection (dark blue) Zone
  • Conservation Park (yellow) Zone
  • Buffer (olive green) Zone
  • Marine National Park (green) Zone

Some areas that experience high use or have high conservation values have additional management provisions. These areas are:

  • Offshore Cairns and Port Douglas (covered by the Cairns Planning Area)
  • Hinchinbrook
  • The Whitsundays

See Download Map for a map of the Great Barrier Reef Boundaries and the Planning Areas.

Outside the Planning Areas, you may only visit a location (generally a reef, island or bay) for two days in any seven-day period. To help conserve and protect some important locations, and to provide a range of opportunities for private recreational users, there are some locations that you may not be permitted to visit. These areas will be listed as exclusions on your permit.

Please make sure you know your permit conditions, including any areas that you are not permitted to visit, especially because of your vessel size.

Accessing the Planning Areas

Generally, when you access the Planning Areas:

Cairns Planning Area

The Cairns Planning Area extends from the Ribbon Reefs in the north to the Frankland Islands in the south. It includes all islands and reefs offshore from Port Douglas and Cairns and covers about six per cent of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

  • If your group size is 15 people or less (passengers and crew) you are able to access most Locations in the Planning Area
  • If you carry more than 15 people check that your group size matches the size limits for the Location (see Related Links)
  • Please check the specific management arrangements for Sensitive Locations in the Cairns Planning Area.

Hinchinbrook Planning Area

The Hinchinbrook Planning Area extends from Dunk Island in the north to Halifax Bay in the south. This represents less than one per cent of the Marine Park.

  • If your group size is 15 people or less (passengers and crew) you are able to access most Locations in the Planning Area
  • If you carry more than 15 people check that your group size matches the size limits for the Location (see Related Links)
  • If your vessel is more than 20 metres in length you must not operate the vessel in the Missionary Bay Location (Hinchinbrook Planning Area) unless you are using the transit lanes
  • When accessing the Hinchinbrook Planning Area, if your vessel is equal to 35 metres in length then additional rules apply
  • Please check the specific management arrangements for Sensitive Locations and significant bird sites in the Hinchinbrook Planning Area.

Whitsunday Planning Area

The Whitsunday Planning Area covers waters and islands from Cape Gloucester in the north to Repulse and Thomas Islands in the south. This Area represents about one per cent of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

  • If your group size is 15 people or less (passengers and crew) you are able to access most Locations in each Planning Area
  • If you carry more than 15 people you will need to check that your group size matches the size limits for the Location (see Related Links)
  • Please check the specific management arrangements for significant bird sites in the Whitsunday Planning Area.

Are there special rules for some activities?

For some of the activities that you are likely to conduct on your tour or charter, there are some special management arrangements. Please take the time to learn about these for

If you use helicopters or semi-submersibles please check your permit for any conditions.

What if I use a mooring?

If you are planning to use public or permitted private moorings, there is some important mooring information that you should understand.

Other special management areas

You may not access the following Restricted Access Special Management Areas:

Refer to the Zoning Plan for further details.

Download Map

Great Barrier Reef Boundaries and the Planning Areas map - 965.4 kb


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