The area from the tip of Cape York to just north of Lizard Island is the most biologically diverse region of the Marine Park. It is a remote natural area valued for its natural and undeveloped character.
When operating in the region there are some key arrangements you should check.
Check zoning requirements
Zoning is one of the primary management tools for the Marine Park and it is important that you understand the zoning for the area you intend to visit. You are responsible for knowing all the zoning provisions for the location you wish to visit.Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) website.
Check the Remote Natural Area
Almost all of the far north region is a 'Remote Natural Area'.
The idea is it is to be kept as much as possible in its natural state, free from structures and permanently moored facilities. Motorised water sports are not allowed.
Check Special Management Areas
There are Special Management Areas (SMA) throughout the Marine Park. They apply specific management arrangements to an area to improve conservation of the area or to manage use. They provide an overlay to zoning and are generally marked on the zoning maps.
When you operate in the far north, you must be aware of the Restricted Access Special Management Areas for MacLennan Cay Reef (11-070), Moulter Cay Reef (11-130) and Raine Island Reef (11-243). You cannot enter the waters surrounding the island and cays unless:
- you have a Marine Parks permit from the GBRMPA and QPWS specifically allowing that access; or
- you are accessing the island or cay and you have a QPWS permit to access that island or cay.
Read more about the site management arrangements for the Raine Island, Moulter Cay and MacLennan Cay.
Check designated Shipping Areas
If you conduct a cruise ship operation, check the designated Shipping Areas. They are an overlay to zoning and allow the navigation of ships through zones where they would otherwise not be permitted. You can locate the Shipping Area boundaries on the zoning maps. This region is a compulsory pilotage area for cruise ships.
Check your permit
You must have a permit to operate in the Marine Park. Read your permit carefully for additional conditions about operating in the region.
Check Island National Parks
Check Responsible Reef Practices
For each of the activities you undertake, consider how you and your clients can adopt responsible reef practices and further help protect the Reef.
Where can I get more information?
The Marine Park Authority and Queensland Parks and Wildlife can help you with any questions you may have.
Activities guide An introduction to zoning in the Great Barrier Reef - 99.4 kb
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.
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