Anchoring and Mooring in the Hinchinbrook Planning Area

Like most coral reefs, those around the Hinchinbrook area are very vulnerable to damage by careless anchoring and vessel groundings.

What do I need to know about anchoring?

As a general rule, you must not damage coral. Make sure that you are causing the least damage possible by anchoring in sand whenever possible and following the responsible reef practices for anchoring.

However, there may be times when damage is unavoidable. When you are anchoring, the general requirement not to damage coral does not apply if you:

  • take reasonable care to avoid damaging coral, and
  • use a reef pick to anchor.

When visiting the Brook Islands, you must not anchor in the Brook Islands No Anchoring Area. This No Anchoring Area protects vulnerable coral reef habitats. It is marked with Reef Protection Markers (pyramid-shaped buoys with blue Marine Park labels).

There is also a No Anchoring Area at Scraggy Point in the Hinchinbrook Channel.

Where can I anchor a large vessel or a cruise ship?

If your vessel is 35 metres or more in length (including a cruise ship), there are two anchorages in the Hinchinbrooke Planning Area that have been identified:

  • Cape Richards Cruise Ship Anchorage
  • Hecate Point Cruise Ship Anchorage

You must make a booking before accessing these anchorages.

You may also anchor anywhere outside defined Locations, providing this is allowed on your permit.

Using a mooring

Tying up to a mooring, instead of anchoring means that you are helping to protect the coral reefs of the Marine Park. Please use a mooring whenever you can and follow the responsible reef practices for mooring. There are blue public moorings available at Brook Islands in the Hinchinbrook Planning Area. You must use them according to the requirements marked on the colour-coded band and mooring tag.

Download Maps

Hinchinbrook Settings Map 1 Settings, significant bird site, transit lanes and cruise ship anchorages - 319.9 kb


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